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National’s exports – how to lose value and jobs

Written By: - Date published: 10:54 am, April 30th, 2014 - 77 comments
Categories: Economy, exports, farming, jobs, manufacturing, national, same old national - Tags: ,

It is always interesting reading David Farrar’s pitifully shallow analysis on most things as he parrots the National spin line. It is an exercise in how to spin the bad into a virtue. However Farrar did reach a new low when looking at our exports yesterday because he trumpeted the very flaw in our economy as being of value. As usual his analysis was a shallow as the press release from Statistics..

Look more closely and manufacturing is continuing its downward spiral, overall manufacturing is down 3.3% by value for the March year. Dairy exports are up massively. The problem is that dairy exports provide us with minimal jobs directly and indirectly and manufacturing provides a lot of jobs directly and indirectly. The nett effect is that we have a economy that is continuing to be completely moribund because people aren’t earning and there are few wage increases.

If you look more closely at the Table 10 in the Stats department Overseas Merchandise Trade that the press release came from this gives the gross figures on the international code basis. I’ve extracted from that table to give a better idea of what is growing and falling.

Exports and imports by Standard International Trade Classification. March results for 2014 are provisional.

Exports (fob)
 Type  March 2013($million)  March 2014 ($million) Month%change Quarter %change  Year %change
Food and live animals 2,286 2,866 25.4 28.1 16.0
Beverages and tobacco 124 159 27.9 19.3 7.0
Crude materials (inedible, except fuels) 584 617 5.6 9.6 14.1
Mineral fuels (lubricants and related materials) 167 143 -14.1 -12.5 -19.0
Animal and vegetable oils (fats and waxes) 37 27 -27.2 1.0 -18.9
Chemicals and related products 206 219 6.7 11.2 -0.4
Manufactured goods (classified chiefly by material) 378 316 -16.5 -6.1 -3.1
Machinery and transport equipment 317 330 4.3 0.2 -9.3
Miscellaneous manufactured articles 161 181 12.2 7.3 3.7
Other 147 221 49.6 9.6 4.1
           
Total:  4,408 5,079 15.2 17.4 8.5
           
Total manufactures: 1,062 1,046 -1.5 1.6 -3.3

 

So even after we look at the massive gains in dairy exports, the gains almost entirely from milk powder sold to China, we had a nett gain of 8.2% over the year in exports. However it was almost entirely in extracting resources, doing minimal processing on them, and shipping them off to other countries to add value. There are few jobs in doing that.

Anything that uses our local skills is falling because this government doesn’t give a damn about it. Instead of concentrating on things that will make all of us wealthy, they’re concentrating on the things that make themselves wealthy. Selling raw commodities offshore and having cheap imports. That is a get rich quick for a few strategy.

We have had these booms in raw and near raw commodities before. They always turn to a big bust when the prices plummet. Whatever jobs that they create disappear and the nett effect afterwards is that the country is worse off. But National’s MPs really don’t care. So many of them either own dairy land or have their noses stuffed into the trough of dairy companies that they really couldn’t give a damn about other kiwis or even their own kids. They’re just making money while the pigs trough is full.

 

National has had more than five years to show that they really aren’t interested in jobs in the economy. It shows in the export statistics that they really don’t care. They’re just after what makes them wealthy and to the hell with everyone else.

77 comments on “National’s exports – how to lose value and jobs”

  1. srylands 1

    The entire premise of this article is wrong. In a developed country we would expect to see a relative decline in manufacturing. That is a GOOD and expected trend if we want to become prosperous. It has happened all over the OECD. It has happened in Australia, which despite the recent downturn is arguably the richest country in the world. The only mistake Australian governments made was to fight the trend.

    The attached paper sets out the issues well.

    http://www.pc.gov.au/research/commission/manufacturing/keypoints

    So in summary, you are dead wrong, on the wrong side of history, and totally muddled in your thinking.

    • lprent 1.1

      sigh Perhaps you could learn to read your own links rather than being a mindless cut’n’paste drone. Reading my post would be useful as well.

      The key words were “exports” and “value” not just “manufacturing”. I focused on manufacturing because in NZ that is where the jobs come from directly and indirectly.

      But lets have a look at your link.

      The fastest growing activities have been those with links to Australia’s natural endowments and products that are more differentiated, with higher skill levels and R&D intensities.

      Manufacturing is increasingly globally oriented:

      exports increased from just over 15 per cent of manufacturing output in 1989-90 to around 24 per cent in 1999-2000, with import shares also rising.

      In contrast to the output story, manufacturing employment has declined somewhat both in relative and absolute terms over the long term, although stabilising since the early 1990s.

      In Australia as has happened here, manufacturing switched from being largely focused on the internal market and is increasingly focused on the world markets. There are two strands to it. One is adding extra processing to locally sourced raw materials, and the other is adding local intelligence and skills to products.

      If you dug around further into the NZ and Australian markets over the past decades, you’d have also found that many of the service industries with their large numbers of jobs are growing because they are supplying buy-in skills for the design and distribution sides of manufacturing. As your linked report states

      some service activities once categorised as part of manufacturing have been outsourced, though this effect is relatively modest;

      This is part of the slow disintegration of vertical integration manufacturing. But in the R&D based industries it is an especially significiant contributor to job creation.

      Problem is that in NZ over the last 5 years, the government has neither been focusing on adding value to our raw materials nor has it been supporting the growth of new export industries. So we have a job growth that is less than the growth of population, a ever increasing household underemployment, and the growth of a minimal processing of raw materials (ie milk powder) as our only major growth industry.

      BTW: Perhaps you could learn to think before wasting my time explaining the basis of your own links to you.

    • Colonial Viper 1.2

      Hey Shitlands.

      Of course the 0.1% become richer when manufacturing is outsourced to China, Bangladesh and Vietnam. Wages in those countries are so low compared to ours, and the 0.l% scoop up the difference and pocket it for themselves.

      It’s called wage arbitrage.

      Of course, the outsourcing of manufacturing jobs decimates the NZ working class and eventually the rot reaches the middle class as well (USA and UK being prime examples).

      But I wouldn’t expect a foreigner like you to give a damn.

      • srylands 1.2.1

        Stop being so rude.

        It is good that manufacturing is outsourced to Bangladesh.

        Unlike you I promote policies that are in the interests of all New Zealanders. I want a modern economy. Not an agrarian green economy with a few alternative medicine providers and basket weavers. Parasites in other words.

        Get real. And I repeat – stop being such a rude bastard.

        I have no idea what the “foreigner” thing is about.

        • Colonial Viper 1.2.1.1

          Rude lol, you don’t deserve anything else Shitlands.

          Why don’t you leave the political economics of NZers to NZers you paid foreign hack.

          It is good that manufacturing is outsourced to Bangladesh.

          Yep it’s good for the 0.1% who then pick up the wage difference that NZ workers lose, and then pocket it for themselves. It’s called wage arbitrage, Shitlands.

        • Draco T Bastard 1.2.1.2

          Unlike you I promote policies that are in the interests of all New Zealanders.

          No you don’t, you promote policies that are good for the 0.1%.

          You really haven’t been keeping up with the research that’s been coming out lately have you? You know, all the research that proves you completely, totally and utterly wrong.

        • felix 1.2.1.3

          The “foreigner” thing is about this being a NZ blog and you having never been here.

    • Naki Man 1.3

      “The problem is that dairy exports provide us with minimal jobs directly and indirectly”

      There are approximately 17,000 employees working for Fonterra, the average factory employee
      salary is about $80,000 per annum. Fonterra contributes about $20 billion to the economy per annum.

      • Tracey 1.3.1

        what is the median salary naki man?

        given how well fonterra is doing, is anyone on the minimum wage.

        tia

      • Molly 1.3.2

        … and the tax given to government by each farmer… apparently $1506 in 2011.

        A mere drop in the bucket to help offset the cost of dairying to our waterways I would think.

        And before you state that Fonterra pays a lot in company taxes, they have rebates and other methods of reducing net profit earnings.

        I have no doubt that there are farmers out there who love the land, the water and try to farm responsibly. Unfortunately, when Fonterra was created their autonomy was lost, and their values and decision making no longer provide the local restraints on water protection and conservation that otherwise might have prevailed.

    • miravox 1.4

      ” In a developed country we would expect to see a relative decline in manufacturing. “

      Tell that to Germany, if you like

      German Chancellor Angela Merkel was once asked by then-British prime minister Tony Blair what the secret of her country’s impressive success was. She famously replied, “Mr Blair, we still make things.” In Germany, manufacturing still dominates finance, not the other way around, as Germany has continued to emphasize manufacturing and exports over the financial industry.

      [my bold]

  2. greywarbler 2

    Meanwhile back in the process, a little barrier to progress. A double rainbow – what can it mean?? A double whammy to our direy industry. This from Radionz News.
    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/242869/new-rules-threaten-formula-exporters

    Perhaps someone wiser than me can explain what this new Chinese requirement means? Perhaps they noticed, after the botulism scare that firms and entities like Fonterra can lose track of what their distant sub-companies are doing and want to get better oversight and less trouser-sitting, meeting and conferring and finger-tapping skills displayed in the management of the produce.

    Synlait presumably has good direct lines between NZ production and Chinese retail.

    New Zealand’s infant formula manufacturers could be stopped from sending fresh product to the Chinese market from Thursday and the Government doesn’t know how long that could continue.
    All companies wanting to export formula produced from 1 May will need to be registered with authorities in China and some manufacturers warn the process could take months.
    Roger Smith of the Ministry for Primary Industries said one of the new rules was that brands and manufacturers must be closely associated…..

    Mr Smith said the situation is the same for every country exporting to China. “Everybody’s working through the same process,” he said….

    The Labour Party says the Government needs to demand answers from China on how New Zealand manufacturers can get approval to export infant formula there.

    (From Synlait with large Chinese ownership.)
    A large manufacturer, Canterbury-based dairy company Synlait Milk, said it needed to make some minor changes to its processes, that could take two to three months, to regain export approval for product manufactured after 1 May.

    However managing director John Penno said it would not be too disruptive long term. “China is an important market – it’s the biggest infant formula market in the world and we’ve been able to position the business for these changes.”

    • Colonial Viper 2.1

      I’m pretty sure that Chinese owned Synlait will have a smooth and expedited approval process.

  3. Wayne 3

    Iprent,

    I assume from this that the manufactures are defined to be essentially machines, tools and other metallic and plastic elaborating transformed manufactures.

    Therefore this definition does not include any food or beverage items, no matter how transformed they are. For instance there is a big difference between a meat cut, which is essentially not modified from the animal as it was killed in the freezing works, and an expensive bottle of wine or a packaged and processed food item. In the latter case there has been quite a degree of transformation. In short our food exports are progressively moving up the value chain. They require more staff and factories, which at least in part will explain the increased workforce in this area.

    I also note your list does not include export of services, including IT. I understand that this sector continues to make gains.

    These figures might therefore primarily suggest where our competitive advantage lies. And thus a shift in the economy to these sectors.

    You will be well aware of Sir Paul Callaghan’s work which showed the dairy sector in all its aspects had virtually the highest revenue per person working in it.

    • McFlock 3.1

      there is a big difference between a meat cut,[...] and an expensive bottle of wine

      I am sceptical of your suggestion that a winery employs more people than a meatworks for a given export dollar value. Expensive wine might take a bit of craftwork, but most wine is basically similar to milk processing – maybe even less.

      • cricklewood 3.1.1

        There is a lot of low value labour in vineyards picking and pruning etc so man hours wise it is possible certainly way more labour intensive than milk…

        • Colonial Viper 3.1.1.1

          And those damn meatworkers are all unionised! We actually have to pay them properly, unlike the cheap compliant immigrant labour in vineyards!

        • McFlock 3.1.1.2

          like apples, then

        • Naturesong 3.1.1.3

          This.

          If you’re around Marlborough, Gisbourne, Nelson, or any other area known for wine making, go and talk to the folks that prune and pick and clean and bottle.
          The ones that ensure that the vines and grapes are top notch so the wine maker can do their magic.

          I’ve known a couple of people who have done this work. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.
          It’s hard, hard work, tough on your body and tough on your mind.
          It’ll make you age quickly, and for that you get minimum wage, you’ll be casual, no holidays and be living day to day.
          And you’ll be out in all weather, day in, day out.

    • greywarbler 3.2

      These figures might therefore primarily suggest where our competitive advantage lies. And thus a shift in the economy to these sectors….

      You will be well aware of Sir Paul Callaghan’s work which showed the dairy sector in all its aspects had virtually the highest revenue per person working in it.

      I question that those employed in dairying are very well off from wages. There are some and then there are the larger group of others, working long hours without much return per hour.

      Dairy should not be our main event full stop. The economy being wrapped around this industry is ignoring the rest of the country and those who aren’t and shouldn’t be part of this sector-heavy investment. Just think, while the athletes in the Olympic games compete in the events that suit their competitive advantage, the rest of the country goes about its business. Some people are involved in running the Games and catering for its needs, the others have other ongoing jobs and business.

      This excerpt from the headings page on google explains in business terms how we in NZ are making a mistake in concentrating mainly on dairy business. This comes from business – so why do our smart government business operators not follow their own best practice? They should just take up this excellent advice available to even the meanest intellect – on google.
      Simulator How-To Guide: Diversified Portfolio | Investopedia
      http://www.investopedia.com/university/simulator/diversified-portfolio.asp‎
      Simply put, it is foolish to invest all your money in one investment. … nature of diversification, which is actually more common sense than you might expect. … do need to purchase at least 8 more stocks, around one from the remaining 8 sectors.

      • greywarbler 3.2.1

        The idea that our competitive advantage is with IT and elaborately changed food processes sounds good but? Food would require factory workers, infrastructure etc. I think of Hubbard muesli – a success. Yet our big customer has been Australia and for food, over there it is dominated by oppressive supermarkets. To produce any new item and sell it successfully for a length of time is difficult because of price gouging by them from suppliers. If popular, soon the supers muscle in and take it over with their brand name.

        IT – there are a lot of positions filled by overseas people. Here it could be that the firms these days have a lack of commitment to training people and want someone who has had good experience from somewhere else, they want to get the fruit ripe off the tree, not climate control it till it’s sweet. We hear all the time that employers can’t get the right people. They should look at themselves and their narrow little minds, probably most operating on rote rules and fitting the Peter Principle. Shades of the Office.

        And they have to fight over IT jobs that often are impossible to fulfil within the time specified and encompassing the add-ons that dreamers from the employing firm or department include. Often they will be beyond the capacity of the program machine that is being designed. we have all heard about massive fails. Police INCIS, Novopay, hospital ones, today a report that a Justice Department employee is blaming the Judges themselves. I don’t have confidence in the capacity of IT firms in NZ to be a big sector offering large employment opportunities and long career paths. lprent could shed light on this.

        But past competitive advantage came from developing our own industries here, then exporting good established products. We had a deep bank of jobs and business providing a vibrant economy, now we have a few remaining like the rare bits of native bush in the countryside which have to be nurtured to ensure that they can hold out against the predators from overseas.

        We must buy local, we must have work here, done as efficiently as possible but allowed to make a profit by protective tariffs set at a reasonable level. Lots of other countries do, and we trade with many of them. We should not just be buyers of remaindered goods from vast factories, buyers of the marginal product of volume producers overseas. We are becoming a nation that goes for cheapness all the time, and it produces the second half of the saying, the nasty results that we can see all around us.

        • Draco T Bastard 3.2.1.1

          I don’t have confidence in the capacity of IT firms in NZ to be a big sector offering large employment opportunities and long career paths. lprent could shed light on this.

          You should do because we’re actually very good at it. The failures you here about are just part of the overall industry and in many cases, like in the case of Novopay, done overseas because the government department pretty much ignored the NZ talent.

        • lprent 3.2.1.2

          IT – there are a lot of positions filled by overseas people. Here it could be that the firms these days have a lack of commitment to training people and want someone who has had good experience from somewhere else, they want to get the fruit ripe off the tree, not climate control it till it’s sweet.

          What you are describing is what happens in the small to medium export enterprises in startup or near startup phase. Larger companies are much more likely to take on apprentice level people straight out of academic or vocational training.

          But you are mistaking where the bottleneck usually is. Companies would probably like to train more people. It is the experienced people who could train them that don’t want to.

          It takes at least a year before most inexperienced people in IT stop requiring a having someone more experienced hand (and expensive) holding them. They irritate the hell out of their mentors with the questions that they ask, and if they don’t ask those questions then they take forever to be useful.

          I’ve trained quite a lot of “apprentice” IT over time because we used to get them out of the end of university courses. I can testify that training anyone while you are trying to code is like being pestered by a small child while you are trying play high level chess. It doesn’t work well. The productivity drop is immense and without the brain chemistry changes that parents get, after a while you want to take another job to get away from the pests.

          That makes it a hell of a large investment for any company and tends to drive people like me spare.

          The usual problem in most companies is that they don’t have enough experienced people willing to put up with hand-holding the novices, so they’re very picky about who they inflict on those who are willing to “mentor”.

          Incidentally, that is why in IT ads these days for both experienced and junior people the word “mentor” features so highly.

          I don’t have confidence in the capacity of IT firms in NZ to be a big sector offering large employment opportunities and long career paths. lprent could shed light on this.

          You are confusing the suppliers of local IT with those providing export based IT. Just to give you a hint on how separated those two industries are, the last time I worked for someone providing for the local industry was 1995. Most people I know work for one or the other of those two industries, but the seldom travel back and forth between them.

          Almost all of the big failures you are talking about are in local IT the government/corporate area and mostly where an overseas supplier has tried to develop something unique for NZ or adapt an overseas package. More often than not the actual issue has been with the client being incapable of knowing what they are asking for (the INCIS project being a prime example) and changing their mind in a way that prevents projects going to fruition.

          But I personally suspect that the government and its subsidiaries would be a hell of lot better off if they started using local suppliers. Problem is as the old saying goes from the heyday of big iron IT – “You don’t get fired for using IBM”

          • greywarbler 3.2.1.2.1

            @lprent
            Builders hate clients who accept a quote and then want to make this and that change of a window or door added, perhaps a serving hatch! I guess that IT designers feel the same. But the person at the business end who screws up the program generally seems to find a soft landing.

            These days IT designers may have to accustom themselves to working with others overseas such as in China, perhaps both working on different parts of the same program.

            How could new chums get more experience? Perhaps there is money in a NZ company designing a programming simulator teaching them how to fly a new program and test it well so the bugs show up.

            • Tracey 3.2.1.2.1.1

              builders also hate writing out exclusions… and those that do hate explaining them.

              • dave

                changes =more money that part they dont understand only when its time to pay !

            • lprent 3.2.1.2.1.2

              How could new chums get more experience? Perhaps there is money in a NZ company designing a programming simulator teaching them how to fly a new program and test it well so the bugs show up.

              I reckon that my usual learning curve per year is in the order of 20-30% per year. That is how much time you have to dedicate to staying close to the top of the game. I’ve also built a lot of training simulations mostly for management training. I think that a simulator to teach people to code has a very short lifespan. But you could find them on the net.

              Problem is that mostly what you have to teach is not the mechanics, but is the attitude towards how to approach problems.

              These days IT designers may have to accustom themselves to working with others overseas such as in China, perhaps both working on different parts of the same program.

              Outsourcing is fine for corporate programs where the solution space is known. But in our export industries that is seldom the case.

              In those you are almost by definition working in areas where there is no good definition of solutions to problems. The advantage that we have here is that where somewhere in the US or the UK will require a team of a hundred employees to do something, we will do it with a handful.

              Working remotely is something that gets done everywhere in IT to one degree or another. I spent 7 years coding (and training people) remotely from home back in the 90s and early 00s. Source control systems and remote access makes that kind of thing trivial to do.

              The real problem is when you’re bouncing ideas around to figure out solutions to unsolved issues. Then you need a whiteboard and a huddle.

      • Draco T Bastard 3.2.2

        I question that those employed in dairying are very well off from wages.

        He said highest revenue not highest wages. Big difference.

        And IIRC, it was actually the tech sector that returned the highest revenue and wages per person.

        EDIT:
        Found it
        It appears that Fonterra does have the highest revenue per employee but the high tech sector has more potential.

        • lprent 3.2.2.1

          I can’t find it, but there was this interesting comparison I read a year or so ago about capital investment on tech vs farming.

          If you go profit or revenue/capital for a rate of return rather than profit or revenue/wages then dairy looks rather sick. The problem of course is the extremely high (and ever rising) cost of the land sucking up vast amounts of capital.

          The difference of course is to do with risk. However when you consider that we’re looking at a largely commodity industry in dairy, completely exposed to world prices and demand, and to a large extent in a fashion area like milk powder – the risks in sinking the amount of money that NZ has into dairying is pretty damn risky.

    • lprent 3.3

      Therefore this definition does not include any food or beverage items, no matter how transformed they are.

      It’d be nice if that was in fact the case. That would be adding value to the local raw materials.

      I used table 10 because it was a summary easy to put on to a post page.

      But look at the more detailed table 2 in the spread sheet. The effect you are describing isn’t really noticeable

      For instance in the two examples you used, the exports of

      • Beverages, spirits, and vinegar *declined* by 8.8% over the year and was only $20 million anyway
      • Miscellaneous edible preparations where a lot of processed meats live *declined* by -5.3 and was only $64 million
      • Other animal originated products *declined* by -2.0% to $55 million

      There are a number of different categories where processed foods live in. But if you look closely at them the smaller ones by value the overall trends are downward or static over time. It is certainly bloody hard to point to any actual instances of extra value being exported in quantity.

      In any case they are dwarfed by these two largely unprocessed or minimal processing categories that are the export sectors that are actually increasing.

      • Milk powder, butter, and cheese *increased* by 30.5% to $1,527 million – it is now about 30% of the exports of this country
      • Logs, wood, and wood articles increased by 23.6% to $385 million

      You will be well aware of Sir Paul Callaghan’s work which showed the dairy sector in all its aspects had virtually the highest revenue per person working in it.

      Sure but productivity is almost irrelevant when it isn’t jobs and wages and therefore doesn’t reflect well back into the economy. It just makes investors with dairy investments (including many National MP’s) richer.

      Just to give you an idea of the scale of jobs:- the last time that I looked, the direct jobs in the entire dairy industry were about 68 thousand including on the farms and in the processing plants. The number of jobs in the tech industries I work in were about the same but with a much lower capital and export value. But it also reflected far more money indirectly back into the economy.

      Try finding the productivity increases being reflected back into the wages of dairy processing workers for instance. They have been getting minimal increases even during this boom in their industry. Which is why the rural regions in this country are depopulating rapidly and their economies are near moribund even with a dairying boom going on around them.

      I also note your list does not include export of services, including IT. I understand that this sector continues to make gains.

      Sure. I work around that area. The problem there as I have pointed out before is that there are very few new businesses being formed. The growth we are getting now comes from businesses that were formed in the middle of last decade when there were flood of those types of businesses being set up. As the survivors move out of startup phase they expand into their overseas markets and grow.

      Problem is that there are virtually none of them being setup here now. The main reason for that is that almost all of the environmental and economic incentives put in by the Clark government to encourage the formation for IT and tech based businesses were dropped. They largely haven’t been replaced. The replacements that have been begrudgingly put in place are pretty useless. So those companies aren’t forming.

      To grow a sector like tech and IT you need to have a continuous replacement of smaller companies being formed because it is a world with an immense pressure in innovate and change. Even large companies will die in it. And in NZ of course we have the issue that eventually many of these companies will move/be sold offshore when they become mature and no longer need the innovation that we are good at producing.

      Essentially National is strip-mining the resource in a unsustainable way put in by previous governments for credit while not sustaining an industry that produces jobs rather than capital gains. Just as they usually do.

      The problem with relying entirely on the dairy and other raw material exports is that they do virtually nothing to much of the economy in terms of real job growth. This is directly reflected in the tax returns that are bedevilling this government’s ability to stop their rising debt levels.

      [lprent: Drat. Had to go into the database to set the correct comment I was replying to. ]

    • geoff 3.4

      You will be well aware of Sir Paul Callaghan’s work which showed the dairy sector in all its aspects had virtually the highest revenue per person working in it.

      Is that some kind of average? Link? Because the latest news regarding employment in the dairying sector doesn’t gel with the rosy picture you are painting, Wayne.

      http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/rural/242872/farmers-told-to-keep-up-paperwork

      http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/rural/242777/dairy-farmers-breach-labour-laws

      • Colonial Viper 3.4.1

        Wayne is obfuscating.

        From memory, although revenue per person from dairy is reasonable (and ignoring that farm workers get a tiny share of that revenue), it is still significantly under what serious advanced countries get from industries like biotech and pharmaceuticals, electronics, and software.

        Wayne is basically saying that dairying does better in this one measure than say fishing or forestry. Whoop dee doo.

        • Colonial Viper 3.4.1.1

          So let’s refer to Prof Callaghan’s presentation directly

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OhCAyIllnXY

          At 6:10 it is clear that our GDP per capita is total shite compared to Australia. (NB China is no longer going to be Australia’s economic growth magic charm for the next decade, so Australia is fucked).

          At 7:20 it is clear that NZ is the second hardest working OECD country by labour hours, but the value of our output per hour is total shite.

          At 9:10 you can see that Fonterra has a high level of revenue per employee – but of course Fonterra relies on the production of a hell of a lot of farmworkers who are not their employees, and they ain’t counted.

          Then at 9:20 it becomes clear where Fonterra’s stats of $350K per employee actually stand. Apple produces $1300K per employee. Nokia $1100K per employee. Sony $646K per employee.

          At 9:50 it is clear that NZ’s biggest export earner is manufacturing. Not dairy, not tourism. Yet we continuously treat our manufacturing sector with such disdain. (Fuck that Shitlands character).

          At 13:10 it becomes clear that the things NZ are good at exporting are things people do not expect. Frequency oscillators, radios, payroll software etc. And politicians are shite because like Wayne they like to oversimplify things down into meaninglessness, or worse, sheer disinformation.

          Our top 10 high tech companies have $3.9B in revenues. Fonterra is pretty average in this crowd.

          One of Prof Callaghan’s last points – NZ needs to be the country where great, motivated, talented people want to live and want to enjoy their lives and raise their families.

          Not a dug up mined out hole overflowing with cow shit.

          • Wayne 3.4.1.1.1

            CV,

            Broadly I agree with Sir Paul. His book from memory covered all the people in the dairy industry, not just those directly employed by Fonterra. Yes, I have noted the point about low paid farm workers as raised by Josie Pagani yesterday. But I know this since my brother in law actually is an employee on a large dairy farm.

            I consulted Sir Paul a lot, along with Neville Jordan, when I was Minister of Science and Innovation. On of the initiatives that I introduced was a big increase in grant money for those firms who had the highest levels of innovation in manufacturing and IT. Companies like Tait Electronics, Gallaghers, F & P Healthcare, Weta Digital, Pacific Aerospace, Orion, etc.

            This is now the Growth Grant, which is 20% of R & D expenditure with a grant value up to $5 million per year. New Zealand needs 30 more companies like these, but it is a hard business growing them, as in fact Iprent can testify.

            • lprent 3.4.1.1.1.1

              I try pretty hard not to get involved in growing them directly. I write code to solve awkward and hard problems because that is what I like doing.

              But I got into coding to get out of management because managing other people is a damn sight less fun than building things yourself.

              This is now the Growth Grant, which is 20% of R & D expenditure with a grant value up to $5 million per year. New Zealand needs 30 more companies like these, but it is a hard business growing them, as in fact Iprent can testify.

              The problem is that with technological and market attrition you need to keep creating 30 companies with a year with only a few employees and a dream to maintain having 30 companies at that level. The effects of the changes in 2009/10 was to make it a damn sight harder to get the initial R&D and first test marketing offshore done. The effect is that it makes fewer nascent companies to be created and more of them to fail early.

              Also an awful lot of the growth fund is tied up in funding graduate students often with some pretty dubious results in terms of getting anything to market for smaller companies. It is a good effort for larger firms where they need new ideas, but it is usually just a damn distraction for smaller firms who are mostly concerned with how to bring their idea to a marketable stage.

              • Wayne

                There are two main types of grants (1) project grants which are usually for smaller firms and (2) the growth grants which are for the larger, but highly innovative firms. The growth grants do not relate to any specific project. There is also much smaller grants for firms to employ graduate students.

                It is all set out on the Callaghan website. And Callaghan now has real momentum, after a bit of a rocky start. They are now fully staffed up in the grant part of the organisation, with some very bright and canny people. In fact I am sure quite a few of them will leave to head start ups. That will be healthy since there will need to be an active interchange of people between Callaghan, universities and private business.

                The growth grants are a high trust model and have relatively low compliance checking once a firm has qualified for the grant. If a company has a high level of innovation, a growth grant to boost innovation is likely to lead to more innovation because that is the culture of the firm.

                A firm qualifies for growth grants if they have a track record for innovation and typically have more than $20 million annual revenue.

                It was considered that backing these firms would produce greater growth than concentrating all the innovation money on start ups and smaller firms. But it is a question of balance.

                My prediction for government election policy. Currently the grants administered by Callaghan Innovation stands at $140 million per year. I reckon this will grow to $250 million per anum over next three years. This is not based on any inside knowledge, just my perception of what will happen.

                • Ad

                  Great to see a former Minister mixing it here.

                  I was at MoRST when we were developing the Fast Forward Fund.

                  Have you or Labour policy people started considering alternatives to this fund that would generate a deep and enduring compact between the pastoral industries (but especially dairy) and the Crown eg with the CRI’s?

                  I have never really forgiven National for axeing my project; I wanted some measure and discipline to the state and the dairy industry become basically an uneven binary system. The growing proportion of dairy in export receipts was even in the last years of Clark’s government quite amazing to track. I recall one analyst referring to the New Zealand economy in 2008 as “a dairy play.”

                • lprent

                  It was considered that backing these firms would produce greater growth than concentrating all the innovation money on start ups and smaller firms. But it is a question of balance.

                  That is going to be an interesting question isn’t it. Will those types of firms take up growth grants or will they simply sell ownership stakes in the markets that they want to penetrate into. Usually the latter is what usually happens. It allows startup investors to get out with cash in hand before their holdings get diluted by demands for expansion money. It allows the companies to get into markets where they can get real finance to expand with. A lot of the time they descale locally after that.

                  I don’t think that having a bit of R&D money available here will break that pattern (R&D tax credits might). Just trying to explain a business targeting micro-niche markets to people from outside of those markets is bad enough. The reality is that it doesn’t matter how smart they are and much they research it, the eventual decision is made mostly on a gut feel and a one way bet on the people. It gets even worse when you get to trying to explain how the technical aspects of the design operate and integrate.

                  However I can tell that with the gutting of MFAT’s trade side supporting first steps outside the country and effectively excluding most startups until after they have a track record of sales slowed and in my opinion largely stopped the formation of smaller companies after 2008.

                  They’re starting up again these days, but mostly with overseas investment (and often these days with net campaigns for investment) and frequently moving overseas at the onset. There is literally nothing to make them want to startup here.

                  They are now fully staffed up in the grant part of the organisation, with some very bright and canny people. In fact I am sure quite a few of them will leave to head start ups.

                  That wouldn’t surprise me. However the track record of aid ‘insiders’ in doing tech startups is (to put it mildly) piss-poor. I’ve avoided them for quite a few years. They tend to spend their time on getting aid rather than getting sustainable product and markets.

          • greywarbler 3.4.1.1.2

            Yes CV I have started reading up about Norway, etc. Sweden as someone the other day noted, has had a RW govt and is getting prepared to extract defeat from the jaws of victory or something. I don’t think that the World Health Org has caught up with the TINA disease but it sounds as if Sweden has got this debilitating fever. Instead of bringing down the top tax from over 90% to say 60% and striking a ‘Being fair’ pose, they seem to have started on the tinkering with the system approach.

            But generally I despair of down here. We’ve only got Australia near us, and with friends like them who needs enemies. The Asian people are perhaps more straightforward and understandable, once known. We are very isolated with throwbacks from early colonial days running the country in a similar fashion to 100 years ago. If we can’t break the cycle it will be necessary to seek virtuous circle clans working together in small communities as we would have to give up on the zombies.

    • Tracey 3.5

      interestingly agriculture is about 8% of gdp but banking and finance sector is 28%

      bother you at all?

      • Colonial Viper 3.5.1

        Banking and finance produce only intermediate goods, no final goods. And should be kept at around 10% of the economy, max.

        • Tracey 3.5.1.1

          yup.

          and is central to every economic collapse since 1980.

        • srylands 3.5.1.2

          That is crazy. The services sector, including finance, will continue to grow. In Australia the services share of the economy is over 75% of the economy, with the finance sector a major wealth generator. We can’t match that but we should expect to see the finance sector hit 40% of the economy. Manufacturing will continue to decline towards 10%, which we should applaud. Why the author of the post is worried about a decline in manufacturing I have no idea.

          This is a result of our international linkages which Phil Goff deserves a lot of credit for.

          There is no alternative to promoting policies that accelerate these trends.

          • Tracey 3.5.1.2.1

            god slylands. not the services sector. the finance and banking sector. try to follow the grown ups or go play outside.

          • Draco T Bastard 3.5.1.2.2

            Why the author of the post is worried about a decline in manufacturing I have no idea.

            I’d say it’s because, unlike you, he’s not fucking insane.

          • Colonial Viper 3.5.1.2.3

            There is no alternative to promoting policies that accelerate these trends.

            Cheap oil is going away Shitlands, and with it the global economy. Every kid in highschool today is going to see this occur before they hit middle age.

            So in terms of alternatives – yours doesn’t even register as sane and must be discounted.

          • ropata 3.5.1.2.4

            slyrandian has gone off the deep end this time.

            why the hell would we want foreign banks getting their greedy mitts on 40% of the economy?

            all banks and insurers ought to be nationalised, or at least reviewed every year by the commerce commission and the serious fraud office

            • Draco T Bastard 3.5.1.2.4.1

              Country only needs one bank and a state bank can out compete the private banks.

  4. blue leopard 4

    It seems to me sensible for us to diversify in how we, as a country, generate wealth.

    This seems especially important when we appear to depend on a sector that is polluting our environment – water supplies – when word gets out how filthy this country is becoming – we might just find any ‘competitive advantage’ in farming has withered to nothing.

    What a pity that Nats take such an unreasonable and frothing-at-the-mouth line toward the Greens; it seems to me that what the Greens promote would go a long way toward protecting the farming sector, for example, from the above disastrous outcome.

    Diversification also avoids monopolistic effects, which is when power gets concentrated and starts to sway the political agenda – like Amy Adams appears to have done with the RMA – having a few people having undue influence leading to them making arbitrary decisions on the entire country and leads to poorly thought out decisions – which can already be seen, in farming, to be threatening the very industry that the self-interested monopolistic elements in that sector are trying to profit from.

  5. geoff 5

    Nice analysis, lprent.
    According this: http://www.dcanz.com/about-nz-dairy-industry/dairying-today

    29% of our export dollars are from dairying. All entirely dependent on the milk solid commodity price?

    • lprent 5.1

      Pretty much. I’ll have to dig around. But last time I looked last year all of the other export products inside the dairy industry were largely static or tiny, and only milk powder was growing.

      • Ad 5.1.1

        If I squint hard and cross my fingers and toes I can imagine the dairy industry as a transition industry from a really low-value, low-productivity, low capital intensity, low-wage agrarian economy to a high value food specialist economy.

        The one big thing that holds it back in my view is Fonterra failing to live up to the reasons it was set up in the first place: to to add value to milk. Fonterra needs its original legislation reviewed – they have to be forced into higher value products. I know it’s taking the higher and harder and more risky route. farmers will otherwise realise too late they cannot remain addicted to the favours of a great dragon.

        • lprent 5.1.1.1

          That is definitely a problem. I haven’t looked recently at what else Fonterra have been producing. But looking at the numbers, the milk powder to China appears to drown out all other growth.

          Part of the problem is their governance. I really don’t detect much sign of thought. Just look at how late it was before they realised that dropping crap into their waterways that they depend on was not the way to build a sustainable industry. It is going to take decades at the best possible rate to clean up the damage they already caused to themselves.

          The other problem of course is that a base growth factor for Fonterra has been purely population growth, fading out in about 30 years. The other growth factor of markets growing into affluence like China is right now – but I can’t see that much opportunity for that to carry on without the environment fallout from using cheap fossil energy stifling that. Looks like the green movement in China is going to come from the more affluent who don’t want London smogs blighting their lives.

          Kind of an interesting example for other nations looking to grow fast. I’ve been catching up on The Economist back issues today as well.

          • Ad 5.1.1.1.1

            If only we could see Fonterra’s CE strategise beyond China – he is increasingly tempted to drive milk protein marketing through his drying plant Asset Management Plans, as if it were a bulk utility.

            It amazes me that Key doesn’t register that Fonterra executives are more powerful than most Ministers. In the midst of the botulism crisis we saw much of cabinet shown running around in full media scrutiny of most of China’s tv channels and many other global outlets. And failing. Would even a Foot and Mouth event require the Prime Minister to personally do an apology tour to China?

            Forcing diversification of Fonterra would decrease the massive exposure any future government has to dairy in particular to Fonterra.

            A start would be if the MPI Minister was required to be on the Board, and the Landcorp Chair were required to be on the Shareholders’ Council.

  6. “The problem is that dairy exports provide us with minimal jobs directly and indirectly and manufacturing provides a lot of jobs directly and indirectly.”

    vi) Number of Direct jobs in the Dairy Industry

    Over 26,000 people were employed as dairy farmers and dairy farm workers
    Over 11,000 people employed in New Zealand by Dairy Companies
    Over 37,000 direct jobs in the New Zealand Dairy Industry

    http://www.globaldairyalliance.org/english/2/newzealand/statistics.shtml

    That’s not minimal and that’s just directly.

    On top of that there’s major support industries with stock feed, irrigation, buildings, milking equipment, fertiliser, stock firms, vehicle supply and service, transport etc etc.

    Without the dairy industry a big chunk of New Zealand would become ghost towns and villages.

    • Draco T Bastard 6.1

      That’s about 2% of workers and so, yeah, very minor.

      • Pete George 6.1.1

        Yeah, right. And it’s growing.

        The dairy sector is especially short of workers. It’s estimated that at least 2,000 more workers are needed every year to cater for growth in the sector.

        http://www.newzealandnow.govt.nz/working-in-nz/great-job-opportunities/agriculture-forestry-jobs

        Multiply that for the service industries – in some areas of New Zealand a quarter of jobs are related to dairy. Try telling Waikato, Taranaki or Southland they’re ‘very minor’.

        • lprent 6.1.1.1

          See my comment in 6.3 about the effect of modern dairying on rural depopulation.

          Generally you’ll find farming areas with a mixed farming style like used to exist in the Canterbury and Southland plains supported a lot more people with work than dairying does.

          Older dairy areas like Waikato, the Thame plains and Taranaki have effectively managed to massively increase production without a corresponding increase in the number of people employed directly or indirectly. Much of the money from the increased production hasn’t been going into wages or even the farmers pockets. It has been going into interest payments and profits to investors

          This is what it means when people concentrate on productivity. You create deserts where the number of people diminishes and where the industry has less and less beneficial effects for the whole economy.

          • Pete George 6.1.1.1.1

            Rural depopulation occurred on a major scale long before dairy came to dominate.

            You need to also take into account a much more mobile workforce and industry. For example sheep and cattle farming used local trucking companies, dairy transport can be more factory based, they go and get the milk whereas other farms deliver with local transport.

            Has rural depopulation occurred significantly more this century? I’d have thought dairy would have intensified labour needs.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 6.1.1.1.1.1

              “…thought…” – well there’s your problem. What goes on in your head is too distorted by self-regard and bias to be considered thinking.

            • lprent 6.1.1.1.1.2

              Has rural depopulation occurred significantly more this century? I’d have thought dairy would have intensified labour needs

              You’d have thought so yes. But only if they remained on the same kind of tech as they had previously. When I was milking back in the late 1970’s we had a large herd of about 280 cows with a couple of us milking and on the farm. As at 2011/12 it was nearly 400 cows as an average herd.

              Herd sizes

              They will still be doing that with just a couple of people.

              Depending on what was being farmed in a particular area before, you will usually find that the rural population will either remain static or decline after the dairy conversions are done. That is what we are seeing happen particularly in areas that converted from mixed farming to dairy. You will get increases in population in areas that have a conversion from hill sheep and beef to valley dairy using the hills as a runoff. But there aren’t that many of those.

          • Pete George 6.1.1.1.2

            Actually this is surprising:

            In 1881, the rural population of New Zealand numbered 291,237 (excluding Mäori). While the rural population had increased to 532,740 in 2001, it was 501,258 in 1916, so the population of rural areas has increased very little since the early twentieth century.

            Instead of depopulation there is probably a change in the location and composition of the rural population. Counties near urban areas, where, either coincidentally or not there are a number of small holdings, tend to have increasing populations.

            http://www.stats.govt.nz/browse_for_stats/people_and_communities/Geographic-areas/urban-rural-profile/historical-context.aspx

            That’s just up to 2001 but the rural population has changed rather than shrunk up to then.

            And this table seems to support static rather than depopulation since then (I only had a quick look).
            http://www.stats.govt.nz/~/media/Statistics/browse-categories/people-and-communities/geographic-areas/urban-rural-profile-update/people.xls

            • lprent 6.1.1.1.2.1

              As I said in another comment, it is variable what happens depending on what the existing tech was compared to the encroaching tech. You also have lag effects because of the retired and those who remain unemployed or under employed in an area.

              The most effective way to look is usually to look at the population in the 20-30 age band. When employment drops away, they are the “fast responders” who move away. Conversely they are the people who move into new demand areas.

              BTW: You’d need to look at the 2013 population statistics to see the changes from dairying. Most of the conversions happened after 2005 when the FTA talks with China were started. It’d been happening from the early 00’s but at a less marked rate than it achieved just before and after the time that the FTA with China was signed in April 2008.

              It was the FTA that really supercharged the international market for exported dairy products because we started sending a hell of a lot of product that way rather than into the previously rather moribund international trade.

            • Ad 6.1.1.1.2.2

              Almost all local authorities outside the cities are losing people. The stats professor at Waikato can give you chapter and verse on this. Local Government New Zealand will also fill you in.

              The dairy sector has been a major increase in capital intensity, and in productivity per hectare. And that’s excellent – a massive step up from low density and low capital farms from the days of Footrot Flats mythology.

              But it’s not enough. We’re not going to reach those high salary jobs when the farm staff are still largely on minimum wage or close to it. Any hick can hose down the shit.

              And any dumbass exec in a dairy company can keep treating dairy factories with the same value-add as a dam-based electricity generator does to storing water: it’s simply a bulk commodity being sold in units like electricity.

              We should expect more.

            • Draco T Bastard 6.1.1.1.2.3

              500,000 in 1916 – half of the population
              500,000 in 2001 – about an eighth of the population

              Looking at absolute numbers can give a dreadfully inaccurate picture.

        • lprent 6.1.1.2

          BTW: You should look at the numbers.

          Last year the dairy had at about a $500 million increase in revenue. But they only need about 2000 new workers? That means that every dairy worker generates something like $250,000 of export revenue annually. Needless to say this isn’t reflected in their wage packets as they are not exactly overpaid – which is the main reason they aren’t inundated with eager recruits.

          As I say, this is an industry that poses a problem for NZ. Especially since it is in a commodity market that is dominated more by fashion than need, it can easily lose it’s recent stellar export prices at any time.

          It is much the same issue that we had with the wool industry, the beef industry, the venison/velvet industry, the kiwifruit industry, etc etc.

          As far as I remember, none of those got anywhere near being 30% of our total exports by value. That is a ludicrously risky position for this country to be in.

          • Wayne 6.1.1.2.1

            “That means every dairy worker generates something like $250,000 of export revenue annually.”

            Well, that is exactly the case and was well illustrated by Paul Callaghan. It is why investment is flowing into diary production. It pays off, even if it is capital intensive.

            Sure, it feels like we are putting an awful lot of eggs into one basket, but my sense is that diary does not feel like other boom and bust agricultural businesses such as deer, kiwifriut, lamas and blue berries, et al.

            And I personally believe the environmental issues will be manageable as the industry expands, though it will take a lot more effort and leadership by Fonterra than they currently show.

            Diary products are much more ubiquitious in daily diets, and as Asia grows, demand will continue upward.

            After all diary has been the basis of much of New Zealand’s prosperity for 140 years, and for the vast majority of that time has been a very good bet for our country. It has dipped significantly only during the the late 1970’s and 1980’s when the UK joined the EU (and I guess in the 1930’s).

        • Draco T Bastard 6.1.1.3

          Until we run out of land and considering the water shortages and general pollution of our waterways I’d say that we did that years ago. And no amount of increased intensification and productivity is going to substitute the needed resources to support more cows.

          From Callaghan that I linked to up thread:

          But looking at largely brain-based business, it does seem, overall, that high technology companies come out quite well. Indeed there are several companies, in the US
          especially, where $1 million US revenue per employee is not uncommon. Of course large revenue will be most interesting, from a wealth generation perspective, when it arises from the lowest raw materials input value, or supplier product input value (and least capital asset base). In this regard, Samsung, which makes its own chips and consumer electronic products, could be close to that ideal. The point is that Samsung produces about half New Zealand’s GDP with 123,000 employees. That’s a sobering thought.

          We could easily put 123,000 employees into high-tech and match that and yet there’s absolutely no way that farming will ever be able to do it. It would, though, need a lot of backing from government both in R&D (direct government through universities and other government research institutes and government funding of small private firms) and building fabrication plants. Basically, the same way that the US does it.

    • geoff 6.2

      @PG

      Did you not read Lynn’s comment above??
      http://thestandard.org.nz/nationals-exports-how-to-lose-value-and-jobs/#comment-806793

      he said…
      “Just to give you an idea of the scale of jobs:- the last time that I looked, the direct jobs in the entire dairy industry were about 68 thousand including on the farms and in the processing plants. The number of jobs in the tech industries I work in were about the same but with a much lower capital and export value. But it also reflected far more money indirectly back into the economy.”

    • lprent 6.3

      That’s not minimal and that’s just directly.

      You should probably read the sources in your links. Decade old sources are pretty useless.

      Information Source: Livestock Improvement Corporation “Dairy Statistics 2003-2004″.

      It is somewhat higher than total direct 37 thousand jobs now. As I said last time I looked it was about 68k

      On top of that there’s major support industries with stock feed, irrigation, buildings, milking equipment, fertiliser, stock firms, vehicle supply and service, transport etc etc.

      That is the interesting thing. Go and have a look at the population in areas like the Southland plains where there has been intense conversion to dairy over the past decade from a more mixed farming style. What you will find is a depopulation going on in the towns and even out in the farmland. Dairying on large farms is quite intensive and once it is past the conversion stage is intensely productive at a labour and supply chain level.

      They spend a lot on initial equipment but it doesn’t need much maintenance or replacement. They also don’t need as many people in the supply chain. Which is why intensive large scale dairy areas often look like people deserts

      So no, you are wrong on this as well.

  7. greywarbler 7

    Something that ‘someone’ here doesn’t get is that employment from dairying isn’t great. That’s on the one hand, but then on the other, if dairying started providing lots and lots of jobs in particular areas or all over the country, then that isn’t great either.

    Because we have become too ‘exposed’ to the one industry. If dairy is our main industry and anything goes wrong in it, here or in the world that buys our milk, then we are stuffed. We could then form a rabble and go round smashing everything down in anger which would be the type of thing we humans do. But that would be as foolish as putting all our economic eggs in one basket as the wiseguys and girls now are doing. Stop and think, look left and right, before taking any more steps forward you morons.

  8. Philj 8

    xox
    I remember reading “a hundred year ago ” reference in the newspaper and it was all about government and industry leaders talking about adding value to our commodities. Nothing really has changed in this
    respect. Maybe worse. Now we have legions of workers from the Pacific and Asia working on slave ships, vineyards, rest homes ,and increasingly plastering and painting houses in Auckland. Not so evident in Christchurch,yet.

  9. Steve Bradley 9

    Bang on regarding the politics of the ‘NZ dairy export economy’. Reminds me of the National party in government during the 1970’s when Holyoake and then Muldoon rode the sheep industry and its rural seats into the ground after Britain joined the Common Market rather than make necessary incremental changes to the benefit of all New Zealanders. That death grip ended with Rogernomics and Ruthanasia as workers, particularly Maori, were made to pay the costs. Their decendents fill today’s jails. Up to a point the dairy industry can be useful, but now its excessive growth is becoming an ecological disaster as well. Not only with continuing consumption and pollution of limited water resources. But also with the sheer waste of fossil fuels as we burn our precious natural gas supplies to evaporate water from milk. Perhaps some of it is justified in providing milk powder as an emergency food supply in case of natural disaster; but just to make money is an economic negative. Manufacturing (including agricultural processing) still occurs in New Zealand, but for a couple of decades it has been seen as less sexy than than other activities such as film making, IT, money massaging. These can all be positive too. But there is a growing realisation that manufacturing requires skilled operational staff, substantial research staff, and can make decent profits as goods are produced that people around the world actually need and are prepared to pay for. More analysis of the data will help a Labour-led government facilitate increases in productive capacity.

  10. mike 10

    do what you like with the stats but everything is rosy. Get over it

    • felix 10.1

      Ooh, a plea to ignore facts and focus on the slogans.

      Night shift is here. :roll:

    • lprent 10.2

      Ah right. You divined this from what? How your navel hair and dandruff looks when you scoop it out and inspect it?

      There is a reason why we go to the considerable expense of collecting and publishing statistics. It so that we have a moderately objective base from which to examine what is actually happening. It so we don’t have to waste time some pinhead like yourself practice your black magic powers of divination.

      Of course we know that is just a cover for your illiteracy with numbers. But hey, we won’t harp on about that or your next claim of having an 18″ dick and that “many” women love your grafted on horse member…

      There is always a dickhead from the nomadic warrior clans around. Grunting to them in their own language usually works wonders

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    Politically Corrected | 30-09
  • How did the UK grid respond to losing a few nuclear reactors?
    This is a re-post from PassiiviIdentiteetti, written by Jani-Petri Martikainen. Answer: mainly by increasing the use of coal in power production. In the second week of August power company EDF decided to shutdown their reactors in Heysham and Hartlepool. This...
    Skeptical Science | 30-09
  • The very public evisceration of David Cunliffe
    Ordinarily, when the coup of a party leader is underway, one of two things happens. Either the incumbent simply walks, having seen the writing on the wall, or attempts to stare down their opposition in a closed room. Someone walks out of...
    Occasionally erudite | 30-09
  • Dr Sean Simpson from Lanzatech
    On 8th October, Dr Sean Simpson from Lanzatech will be speaking at the University of Auckland, on the subject of “Climate-friendly fuel: A challenge of scale and time”.  This is part of the Energy Centre’s Energy Matters lecture series. Sean...
    Transport Blog | 30-09
  • Stuart’s 100 #36 On the Beat
    36: On the Beat What if we had more cops on the beat? Isn’t it time the New Zealand Police started to recognise the changes happening in urban New Zealand? In our central cities and busiest town centres and main...
    Transport Blog | 30-09
  • Bonus growth for SaaS exporters
    The currency fall has a wonderful effect for exporters, especially those who have most of their costs back here in New Zealand. As I write this, the NZD versus the USD has fallen about 10% since earlier this year. As an...
    Lance Wiggs | 30-09
  • Against returning to Iraq
    Last week the US announced a new bombing campaign against ISIS in Iraq and Syria. Its hard to see how bombing will do any good (except for US defence contractors), and easy to see how it will cause blowback. To...
    No Right Turn | 30-09
  • Speaker: An Open Letter To David Cunliffe
    Dear David,I want to first congratulate you on the campaign you ran. You gave it your all, and did well in the debates. I was deeply disappointed in the result that Labour got on September 20th - but I’m sure...
    Public Address | 30-09
  • Long run or short season for David Cunliffe?
    When you’ve read this short post have a look at the interview below with David Cunliffe on last night’s Campbell Live .  But first,  if you haven’t done so already, please  read my previous post on the ex Labour leader, titled...
    Brian Edwards | 30-09
  • Seaworthy ships and stormy seas – PPTA annual conference 2014
    30 September 2014 Pirates, privateers, seaworthy ships and stormy seas all featured in PPTA president Angela Roberts' nautically themed opening speech to the association's annual conference this morning. Describing the political context PPTA ventures out into as "often stormy and...
    PPTA | 30-09
  • Key admits exiling people without trial
    Back in February, we learned that John Key had responded to the "threat" of people travelling to Syria to participate in its civil war by cancelling their passports. This was done without any sort of due process or review, let...
    No Right Turn | 30-09
  • Reflections on Melbourne and Sydney
    2014 was an auspicious year. Whether by cosmic alignment or fickle chance, Easter Monday and Anzac Day fell in the same week, and I was able to shoot off to Melbourne and Sydney for ten days with only three days...
    Transport Blog | 29-09
  • The “Pacific solution” devolves into rape and child abuse
    Australia's "Pacific solution" of imprisoning refugees in remote gulags in an effort to pschologically torture them into going home has turned into a catalogue of horrors: neglect, beatings and rapes, torture, and murder. And now they've got a new one:...
    No Right Turn | 29-09
  • The leadership characteristic that shall not be named
    David Cunliffe formally resigns today, setting up a head-to-head battle between him and Grant Robertson, although there’s still a chance that David Shearer, Andrew Little and/or Stuart Nash might throw their hat(s) into the ring. As the Labour MPs arrived for...
    Occasionally erudite | 29-09
  • The leadership characteristic that shall not be named
    ...
    Occasionally erudite | 29-09
  • Th Austerity Disaster and its impact – Lessons for New Zealand? (Fro...
    Europe’s Austerity Disaster29/09/2014 by Joseph StiglitzJoseph Stiglitz“If the facts don’t fit the theory, change the theory,” goes the old adage. But too often it is easier to keep the theory and change the facts – or so German Chancellor Angela...
    the Irascible Curmudgeon | 29-09
  • The Damage Fallacies of Neo-Liberal economics cause
    The on-going and recent scandals (Judith Collins & Oravida, Maurice Williamson & Donghua Lui, John Key & Dirty Politics....)  in New Zealand that have swirled around the neo-liberal National Party government of Key, supported by the discredited political parties of...
    the Irascible Curmudgeon | 29-09
  • Changing Leaders Will Not Be Enough
    Trial By Ordeal: The techniques of the Seventeenth Century Witchfinders-General might be preferable to the process Labour has adopted to uncover the reasons for its woeful performance in the 2014 General Election. It's a pity the Party has not allowed...
    Bowalley Road | 29-09
  • Starting a constructive conversation on the future of the Treaty of Waitang...
    To learn more about our upcoming Treaty project click here...
    Gareth’s World | 29-09
  • Gillard on NZ Labour
    I arrived in Australia a month after Tony Abbott had been elected Prime Minister, a week after Bill Shorten had been elected Labor Leader and a month before Kevin Rudd announced his resignation from Parliament. It quickly amazed me how...
    Progress report | 29-09
  • March to #StopDeepSeaOil and #StopStatoil
    There have been amazing and moving scenes in Northland as the Waiho Papa Moana Hikoi made its way down from Cape Reinga to stand up for their coast, their way of life and for future generations. And they are not...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 29-09
  • Auckland Transport Early October Board Meeting
    The Auckland Transport board meeting is on Thursday and below are sections from the various reports that caught my attention. The first thing I noticed was the huge number of items on the closed agenda with 18 specific items for decision/approval or...
    Transport Blog | 29-09
  • Labour not “part of the communities we live in”
    Labour leadership aspirant Grant Robertson told a blunt truism to Kathryn Ryan on Radio New Zealand the Monday after the election. “Politics has to be about more than elections,” he said. “It has to about being part of the communities...
    Colin James | 29-09
  • The mystifying rise of Jacinda Ardern
    As Labour’s leadership debacle lurches nowhere fast, the only winner thus far appears to be Jacinda Ardern. A One News poll (or what One News sometimes likes to call a poll, despite it being a self-selecting online survey. Please, just leave the...
    Occasionally erudite | 29-09
  • The mystifying rise of Jacinda Ardern
    As Labour’s leadership debacle lurches nowhere fast, the only winner thus far appears to be Jacinda Ardern. A One News poll (or what One News sometimes likes to call a poll, despite it being a self-selecting online survey. Please, just leave the...
    Occasionally erudite | 29-09
  • “Unless you can perform miracles, it’s time to go David”
    To be honest, I haven’t really had time to keep up with the volumes that has already been written regarding the (current lack of) leadership of the New Zealand Labour Party. One piece that has however caught my eye is...
    Progress report | 29-09
  • How sustainable is New Zealand?
    Behavioural economics is not a complete theory but it demonstrates that we are not the economic rational being usually assumed in economics theory. One of the most troubling divergences is that we make time-inconsistent decisions so our short run choices...
    Pundit | 29-09
  • The Labour leadership meltdown continues
    Over the weekend, I road tripped it down to Wellington, where I had a beer with a pollster, briefly checked on what announcement Cunliffe had made mid-Saturday afternoon, and then proceeded to ignore politics. Fine wine and convivial company was far...
    Occasionally erudite | 29-09
  • The Labour leadership meltdown continues
    Over the weekend, I road tripped it down to Wellington, where I had a beer with a pollster, briefly checked on what announcement Cunliffe had made mid-Saturday afternoon, and then proceeded to ignore politics. Fine wine and convivial company was far...
    Occasionally erudite | 29-09
  • Gordon Campbell on the farcical elevation of David Seymour
    With the election won, it’s time to find jobs for the boy. David Seymour is the Act Party’s latest scrounger to be rewarded by the National Party, and not only with a seat in Parliament. This time around, a couple...
    Gordon Campbell | 29-09
  • Bike to the Future
    Bike to the Future. 28 September 2014. Photo: Tamara Josephine. The wunderkinds at Generation Zero put on a great event yesterday. Part celebration, part protest, the Bike to the Future event was attended by about 400 (500?) people, including young...
    Transport Blog | 29-09
  • Peter Williams – Hero of the Week
    There are not many lawyers who I respect. However, that's not the case with Peter Williams, who is clearly one of the good guys.Not only has this highly experienced Queen's Council worked tirelessly to uphold the law, he has also...
    The Jackal | 29-09
  • Carbon News 29/9/14: Key challenged over climate impacts on Pacific islands
    Memo John Key: look Pacific Island leaders in the eye The Government is being challenged to invite the leaders of the Marshall Islands, Tuvalu and Kiribati to come and tell Parliament what they think of New Zealand’s climate change policies....
    Hot Topic | 29-09
  • Is John Key about to send the NZ SAS into Iraq?
     Is John Key about to send the NZ SAS into Iraq?If so, will they be better equipped than they were in Afghanistan? In the following clip we see John Key reassuring  the nation after five New Zealand soldiers were killed...
    Arch Rival | 29-09
  • The question will only go away if we let it – please like & share thi...
    After only a few years in parliament, a relative newcomer to politics, John Philip Key became the leader of the National party of New Zealand.  He was subsequently elected the Prime Minister of New Zealand on 8 November 2008 and...
    Politically Corrected | 29-09
  • Peer review of an anti-fluoride “peer review”
    In  Anti-fluoride activists define kangaroo court as “independent” I promised to review the anti-fluoridationist “International Peer Review.” This is Anti-fluoride  critique of the recent review Health Effects of Water Fluoridation: a Review of the Scientific Evidence produced by the Royal Society of NZ together with the Office...
    Open Parachute | 29-09
  • Stuart’s 100 #35 A Corner to Remeber
    35: A Corner to Remember   Flatiron Building c1917 What if a flatiron building could rise on every forgotten corner? Continuing the series on forgotten spaces, the corner site at the bottom of Anzac Avenue where it meets Customs Street...
    Transport Blog | 29-09
  • A model for unaccountability
    National signed its confidence and supply agreement with ACT today. The headline news is that David Seymour get more patronage from National, in the form of being appointed Parliamentary Under Secretary to the Minister of Education and Parliamentary Under Secretary...
    No Right Turn | 29-09
  • Nash equilibrium
    Labour seem to have gotten themselves into this weird position where they have (a) a leadership contest and (b) a long, extensive review of the party and its poor performance, meaning that they’ll either have to wait for the outcome...
    DimPost | 29-09
  • Hold fast to your Mana – Harawira
    Hone Harawira today called on the voters of Tai Tokerau to hold fast to their mana, and not be dictated to by those party leaders who have ganged together to tell them how to vote. “I call on our people...
    Mana | 18-09
  • Media Advisory – Interview availability
    This is to advise all media that Hone Harawira will be available in Auckland tomorrow, Friday the 19th of September from 7am to 4pm for interviews relating to his recent press releases. If you are interested in interviewing Mr Harawira on...
    Mana | 18-09
  • Labour stands on proud record on Suffrage Day
    Women have come a long way in the 121 years since New Zealand became the first country to give them the vote on September 19 1893, but there is still more to do, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Carol Beaumont says....
    Labour | 18-09
  • Polling Booths asked to treat Maori voters with respect
    “Polling booths without Maori roll voting papers, Maori people not being offered assistance to vote, people getting sent from Whangarei to Wellsford to vote, Maori people getting turned away from voting because they didn’t have their ‘easy vote’ card, Maori...
    Mana | 17-09
  • Aussie Liberals embroiled in Key campaign
    John Key needs to explain why Australia’s Liberal Party is interfering in New Zealand domestic politics and is encouraging Kiwi voters across the ditch to vote for National just days out from the election, Labour’s campaign spokesperson Annette King says....
    Labour | 17-09
  • The MANA Plan for Beneficiaries and Income in Waiariki
    Median Personal Income for Waiariki is $21,700. Over 13,000 Maori who live in Waiariki rely upon a form of government benefit including the Unemployment Benefit, Sickness Benefit, Domestic Purpose Benefit and the Invalids Benefit. “If you’re lucky enough to have...
    Mana | 16-09
  • Māori development crucial to New Zealand’s future
    Labour recognises the concern of Māori about child poverty and the rising costs of living, and in Government will make a real difference to the wellbeing of whānau and iwi, Labour’s Māori Affairs spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta says. “As our Māori...
    Labour | 16-09
  • MAORI PARTY – DON’T COMPLAIN … WALK
    “If the Maori Party are serious about stopping government spying on NZ citizens then they should tell the Prime Minister to either stop doing it or they will walk away” said MANA leader and Tai Tokerau MP Hone Harawira, on...
    Mana | 16-09
  • JOHN KEY SUPPORTING LABOUR
    “There is something really sick about a National Party Prime Minister coming out in support of a Labour candidate” said MANA leader and Tai Tokerau MP, Hone Harawira, after hearing that John Key is urging voters to back Labour in...
    Mana | 16-09
  • SHUT DOWN THIS GOVT NOT KAITI WINZ – Nikora
    “I’m going to make it as hard for you to get help as I can” is Paula Bennett’s message to the people of Kaiti  said MANA candidate Te Hāmua Nikora today in response to the news that National will close...
    Mana | 16-09
  • Winegums make for better polling – Harawira
    I wanted to laugh when I saw the Native Affairs poll the other night (Hone Harawira 38%, Kelvin Davis 37%) because it was almost the same as the one they did back in 2011”, said MANA leader and Tai Tokerau...
    Mana | 16-09
  • The Leadership of MTS Lied – Harawira
    “Normally I’m happy to tell people that I was right but when I received the news about the staff cuts at Maori Television, I had nothing but sympathy for the three Maori media leaders who are going to be made...
    Mana | 16-09
  • Privileges Complaint Laid against Prime Minister – Harawira
    MANA Movement Leader and Te Tai Tokerau MP Hone Harawira has today lodged a Privileges Complaint with the Speaker regarding the Prime Ministers denials in parliament that he knew anything about Kim Dotcom before 2012. “Information made public today appears...
    Mana | 15-09
  • Sharples’ new appointments are out of order
    The new appointments to the Waitangi Tribunal announced by Dr Pita Sharples this morning are completely out of order given the election is just five days away, says Labour's State Services spokesperson, Maryan Street. “This Government continues to show disdain...
    Labour | 15-09
  • MANA Movement Housing Policy
    “When families are living in cars, garages, cockroach-infested caravans and three families to a house then we have a housing crisis”, said MANA leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau, Hone Harawira. “When you have a housing crisis for low-income...
    Mana | 15-09
  • Bigger than the Foreshore and Seabed – Sykes
    “Over the past week I have received some disturbing information that has led myself and a number of Maori lawyers to conclude that this National - Maori Party - ACT and United Future Government are going to put an end to both...
    Mana | 14-09
  • MANA wants Te Reo Māori petition fulfilled
    Hone Harawira, MANA Leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau Annette Sykes, MANA candidate for Waiariki Te Hāmua Nikora, MANA candidate for Ikaroa Rāwhiti  “More than four decades have passed and the petition calling for Te Reo Māori in schools...
    Mana | 14-09
  • Primary focus on the critical issues
    A Labour Government will prioritise New Zealand’s agricultural sectors by recreating a Rural Affairs Minister and appointing a Primary Industry Council and a Chief Agricultural Adviser. Releasing Labour’s Primary Sector and Rural Affairs policies today, spokesperson Damien O’Connor says the...
    Labour | 12-09
  • Maori Television fears confirmed – Harawira
    ...
    Mana | 12-09
  • More ghost houses from National
    The Government’s desperate pre-election announcement of more ghost houses won’t fool Aucklanders wanting action on the housing crisis, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “These are ghost houses, to go with National’s ghost tax cut. Families cannot live in ghost...
    Labour | 12-09
  • National bows to union pressure over travel time
    National has reluctantly bowed to pressure from unions and adopted Labour’s fair and sensible policy to pay home support workers for the time they spend traveling between clients, Labour’s Associate Health spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. “This decision is long overdue...
    Labour | 12-09
  • Predators on Poverty – Harawira
    “As poverty has ballooned out of control, the Predators on Poverty have emerged to suck the lifeblood from whole families and communities” said MANA Movement leader and Tai Tokerau MP, Hone Harawira. “They are deliberately targeting low-income areas, particularly those...
    Mana | 11-09
  • MANA Movement Policy Launch
    Predators on Poverty (pokie machines, alcohol outlets and loan sharks) 1pm, Thursday 11th September Corner Great South Road and Criterion Street Otahuhu Shopping Centre...
    Mana | 10-09
  • Party members and affiliates – the real losers in Labour’s leadership f...
    Hey, wanna do a back room deal that cuts the members and affiliates out? Cunliffe must be reeling. He has lost failed Ilam candidate James Dann. It must cut as deep as the loss of Steve Gibson. Apart from providing Claire...
    The Daily Blog | 30-09
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, the election res...
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, the election result...
    The Daily Blog | 30-09
  • The rich get richer
    Nobel prize winner Paul Krugman highlights the growing inequality in this article in the New York Times. The left wing slogan that the “the rich get richer” is a fact of almost perverse power. The most recent period of expansion in the...
    The Daily Blog | 30-09
  • A brief word on reinvading Iraq
    So after telling the country before the election that NZ would not send forces to Iraq, lo and behold now he’s won the election with a full spectrum dominance political majority, Key is suddenly now looking to join the re-invasion of...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • A brief word on the importance of ACT, Maori Party and United Future to Nat...
    I’m a far right wing clown who attacks tax money going on anything collective, gimmie some cash and privilege.  One of the great successes of National has been to implement hard right policy but have it sold as moderate. For some NZers,...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • Labour’s Angst
    Was Labour’s predictably low vote David Cunliffe’s fault? Was it policy? Was it something else that has aroused perceptions of electoral carnage? My analysis of the numbers suggests that, as uncertain voters made up their minds, there was a late...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • Information wars: Gaza as “the last taboo”, the threat of mass surveill...
    “When the truth is replaced with silence” wrote the soviet dissident Yevgeni Yevtushenko, “the silence is a lie.” There has been a silence these past months full of noise, static and sound bites of those in power justifying their violence,...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • When the media say they covered Dirty Politics – did they?
    I was watching The Nation in the weekend, and watched the defenders of NZ media up against Minto telling him he was wrong in his claims of media bias and that the media covered Dirty Politics. I laughed. When the...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • GUEST BLOG – P Campbell – To the Left with love
    A week after the general election results I feel wrung out emotionally, having been through the disappointment, depression and anger of seeing  another right wing government elected overwhelmingly by winning support from the parts of NZ that will never benefit...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – I will be the new Labour Leader!
    One week after the election, while I was still waiting to be consulted about contributing to the review on what went wrong, what do you know? There is a leadership challenge. So instead of opting for a united, thoughtful and...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Pat O’Dea – A Prescient Post
    A very prescient pre-election post by Martyn Bradbury tells us why the Labour Party are at war now. “The NZ First-Labour Party attack strategy against Internet MANA better work” Despite Martyn Bradbury warning them this Right Wing strategy “Better Work”...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – W(h)ither Labour (!/?)
    There’s an old saying that success has many fathers, but failure is an orphan. Not so in the Labour Party, wherein soul-crushing defeat on a scale unseen since 1925 definitely has many fathers (and more than a few mothers and...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • At the end of the day…
    At the end of the day…...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • Cynicism towards Key’s sudden desire to help children in poverty
    Cynicism towards Key’s sudden desire to help children in poverty...
    The Daily Blog | 28-09
  • Internet MANA the election and the media
    I’ve been very critical of media reporting of Internet MANA during the election campaign and not surprised at the predictable response from representatives of the corporate media establishment. I wasn’t going to carry this further but was asked at the...
    The Daily Blog | 28-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Rachel Jones – A superficial discourse analysis of a superfic...
    On Sunday there was a story about Paddy Gower and his detached retina in the Herald on Sunday. Really? I hear you ask. Really? Yes, really. Pam Corkery will have sprayed toast crumbs over her dressing gown. The reporter has become...
    The Daily Blog | 28-09
  • Terrorising Australia’s Muslim population
    We should be suspicious when 800 police conduct “terror” raids across Australia, but only one person is charged with a relevant terrorism offence (of which we know few details). We should be suspicious of the lurid tales of terrorists planning...
    The Daily Blog | 28-09
  • Another Labour leader has resigned and as per usual, the media lost its min...
    Another Labour leader has resigned and as per usual, the media lost its mind. I know the Labour party has its problems and I’m not even going to try to prescribe what should be done about it. But what I...
    The Daily Blog | 28-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – Loyalty, Leadership and the Labour Party
    My first after the election and I can only say I’m feeling pretty sad.  It was a terrible result, and feels even more so knowing the number of volunteers hours, hard work & sacrifice made by so many people who...
    The Daily Blog | 27-09
  • A Study in Party Stability
    . In terms of long-term stability, one party above stands above all others, with the exception of personality-driven groups such as NZ First and United Future. That party is the Greens. If the Labour Party wants to look elsewhere for...
    The Daily Blog | 27-09
  • Cunliffe vs Robertson – Round 2
    Much to the disappointment of the NZ Herald and other right wing pundits who have decided they would like to appoint the next Labour leader, Cunliffe has surprised by deciding to damn the Caucus and appeal directly to the members...
    The Daily Blog | 27-09
  • The tasks before the left and labour movement
    Anyone on the left would have been disappointed at the result of the election. There was an opportunity to win, but that got lost through a combination of factors. There were tactical decisions made by Labour, the Greens and Internet-Mana...
    The Daily Blog | 27-09
  • From Fiji’s dictatorship to ‘democracy’ – the AUT student team on t...
    Mads Anneberg’s profile on Ricardo Morris and Repúblika. David Robie also blogs at Café Pacific. THREE STUDENTS from AUT University covered Fiji’s historic “from dictatorship to democracy” general election this month. While the election arguably legitimised Voreqe Bainimarama’s so-called 2006...
    The Daily Blog | 27-09
  • David Cunliffe Resigns As Labour Leader – Forces Robertson Out of the Bel...
    David Cunliffe has made a smart move, resigning as the leader of the Labour Party so as to force a leadership primary campaign. The move draws rival Grant Robertson out of the beltway to parts of the country where he...
    The Daily Blog | 27-09
  • Deep thought vs Deep prejudice
    . . This letter to the editor appeared in The Listener, on 27 September, and caught my attention; . . Mr Dawson wrote in response to one of those typically unthinking comments which  condemned the poor for their “unbridled, reckless...
    The Daily Blog | 27-09
  • The NZ National voters elected
    The NZ National voters elected...
    The Daily Blog | 26-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – The post election postmortem is giving me post p...
    I feel the need to contribute to the discourse. This is a new experience for me. Not having an opinion, but expressing it on a popular forum in a public sphere. That’s why I have waited till now and put...
    The Daily Blog | 26-09
  • A dictionary of education terms and definitions, brought to you by the let...
    Free to all TDB readers, please enjoy your very own cut-out-and-keep handy primer of terms that I predict you will need to know over the next three years… Achievement Gap (noun) Synonym for wealth gap. ACT (abstract noun) Intangible. Reported to exist in...
    The Daily Blog | 26-09
  • A Mines Rescue brigadesman’s perspective on the Pike River Mine
    My husband and I lived in Greymouth in 2010, we were a coal mining family.  The day Pike River Mine blew up and the days following changed us profoundly, as it did for so many.  This is a Mines Rescue...
    The Daily Blog | 26-09
  • The Left Triumphant! A Counterfactual History of the Last Twelve Months.
    DID IT REALLY HAVE TO END LIKE THIS? Reading through the commentary threads of the left-wing blogs it is impossible to not feel the anger; the sense of betrayal; the impression of having had something vital ripped from their grasp;...
    The Daily Blog | 26-09
  • GUEST BLOG – Myles Thomas: The media won it!
    Make no mistake, John Key is a clever communicator – reasonable, authoritative and relaxed – but without the media he wouldn’t be PM. Depending on your viewpoint, New Zealand’s news media are either a bunch of Grey Lynn lefties or...
    The Daily Blog | 25-09
  • Not Learning Lessons Past: the West’s Response to IS
    In an earlier posting Ukraine, United Kingdom, Ireland, Scotland, I noted that the first lesson of conflict learned by Robert McNamara was “understand your adversary”. If we have honourable objectives, our first and most important weapon is empathy. In the Vietnam War,...
    The Daily Blog | 25-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Dr Jarrod Gilbert – Proof of David Farrar’s deception: my ...
    In the lead up to the election the Minister of Corrections Anne Tolley launched a gang policy. In order to justify the government’s approach she used gang figures that overstated the gang problem. Not by a little bit, but a...
    The Daily Blog | 25-09
  • SPECIAL FEATURE: Stuart Nash – Red To The Rescue?
    SPECIAL FEATURE by Selwyn Manning. IF THE ELECTION RESULT which was dished out to Labour was not enough to incite an immediate leadership primary, then the caucus’ refusal to recognise David Cunliffe as the leader should cement it. Now is...
    The Daily Blog | 25-09
  • Has the one party state crackdown begun already? Left wing NZ activist grou...
    Well known left wing activist social media group, ‘John Key Has Left Down NZ’ has been shut down on Facebook. At 11.40pm last night, Facebook, without any warning shut the group down siting a breach of terms of service as...
    The Daily Blog | 24-09
  • Why Cunliffe should probably just let Nash & Robertson win
    We have to face some very unpalatable home truths. If you are a left wing political person, best you put your vote now to the Green Party, although you’ll have to do that all the while the Greens frantically tell you...
    The Daily Blog | 24-09
  • The graceless win of Kelvin Davis
    The graceless win of Cameron Slater’s mate in the North, Kelvin Davis is difficult to swallow. Here Cameron Slater’s mate in the North is shitting on Hone Harawira by calling Hone all steam, no hangi as Kelvin rubs his ganged up win into...
    The Daily Blog | 24-09
  • So Labour shifted too far to the left?
    So Labour shifted too far to the left?   Here’s the ill-judged view of Josie Pagani in the Pundit “Labour must change”: “At the last election I made myself a heretic when I wrote a column mentioning how unpopular the...
    The Daily Blog | 24-09
  • Uncomplicated Loyalties: Why Cunliffe and the Labour Left Cannot Win
    THE STORY of David Cunliffe’s leadership of the Labour Party has been one of missed opportunities and unforced errors. That he was the only choice available to those who wanted to rid the Labour Party of its neoliberal cuckoos is...
    The Daily Blog | 24-09
  • So we can expect this now?
    So we can expect this now?...
    The Daily Blog | 23-09
  • Can Labour be saved? Why Whaleoil & National won and why we need a new ...
    As the shock of my optimism that NZers would recoil from the real John Key as exposed by Dirty Politics and mass surveillance duplicities wears off, I am surprised to find that the right in NZ are not content with...
    The Daily Blog | 23-09
  • Three more years (up shit creek and paddling hard)
    “If the future is not green, there is no future. If the future is not you, there is no future”. Emma Thompson’s stirring words to the climate marchers in London last Sunday are worth considering in the aftermath of the...
    The Daily Blog | 23-09
  • One Party State
    In years to come this election will be seen as a historic turning point towards one party rule. I don`t mean this literally, absolute single party dictatorship is not in prospect. In the New Zealand context though, one party has...
    The Daily Blog | 23-09
  • No More. The Left Falls.
    . We cannot be beaten down Because we are down already. We can only rise up and if you should beat us down, We will rise again. And again. And again… And when you tire of beating us down, We...
    The Daily Blog | 23-09
  • Hang tight everyone – Marama Davidson campaign reflection
    To the many people who had expressed their overwhelming support for me to enter Parliament this election – thank you. That the Greens held steady in a big loss for progressive politics is an achievement. We are hopeful that after...
    The Daily Blog | 22-09
  • New flag for NZ once Key signs TPPA
    New flag for NZ once Key signs TPPA...
    The Daily Blog | 22-09
  • Reflecting on Elections Past
    There are a number of past elections that can give the left in New Zealand guidance and hope. Two major points though. Major parties require leaders who can bridge the political divide through strength of personality, vision of what it...
    The Daily Blog | 22-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Kelly Ellis – The Reptile Room
    I stress, at the outset, that I’ve got nothing against reptiles. Some of my best friends are reptiles. Some say I am one, but I’m not really. I just emulate that ability to sit, stationary for hours in court, eyes...
    The Daily Blog | 22-09
  • The success of right-wing counter messaging in the election
    One of the reasons National won the election was due to its success in counter messaging – and the way so many media commentators ran with th the right-wing spin. Here are some examples. Dirty Politics The original message was...
    The Daily Blog | 22-09
  • New Flag competition
    New Flag competition...
    The Daily Blog | 21-09
  • Narratives from the 2014 Election: what do we learn?
    I would like to invite you to a Fabians Reflection on "Dirty Politics, Dotcom and Labour’s worst result" with Colin James, Keith Ng, Stephanie Rodgers and Richard Harman. They will provide a debrief of analysis and lessons from the 2014...
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Oil Free Wellington drops banner from Statoil headquarters
    Today members of Oil Free Wellington have targeted the offices of Statoil, by attaching a banner reading 'Statoil out of Northland: Stop Deep Sea Oil' to the entrance of Vodafone on the Quay Midland Park, where Statoil's New Zealand office...
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Media Statement from Karen Price
    “After a period of intense media attention and scrutiny of our family, I set up and used an anonymous Twitter account over the weekend and made a number of comments that I deeply regret....
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Greenpeace disrupts Simon Bridges’ speech to oil industry
    Greenpeace activists have disrupted the opening speech by Energy and Resources Minister Simon Bridges at the Petroleum Summit in Auckland this morning....
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • New Zealand Red Cross Responds to Drought in Tonga
    New Zealand Red Cross has sent an aid worker and two desalination units, to turn seawater into safe drinking water in the drought-hit Ha’apai islands of Tonga....
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Can you ever tell if an email is real or forged?
    Computer industry veteran Brian Eardley-Wilmot warns that we should never take claims about stolen emails at face value....
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • NZ MPs to attend the ASPG Annual Conference in Sydney
    New Zealand MPs to attend the Australasian Study of Parliament Group Annual Conference in Sydney...
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Independent Maori seats still needed in Parliament
    “He’s got to be joking!” is the reaction of the president of the Maori Party, Rangimarie Naida Glavish to a call by a former Labour Minister of Maori Affairs, Dover Samuels, for debate by Maori on whether the Maori electorates...
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Support for Democratic Rights in Hong Kong
    Rallies supporting the rights for universal suffrage will take place all over New Zealand today and tomorrow...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Trout Mass-Poisoned in New Zealand
    Trout Mass-Poisoned in New Zealand The Graf Boys New Zealand has some of the best trout fishing in the world! Every year thousands of international visitors wade pristine rivers in search of the freshwater game fish....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • New Zealand’s 2014 Hottest Vegetarians Crowned
    With winter gone things are heating up, and things just got even hotter with the crowning of New Zealand’s hottest vegetarians, says animal advocacy group SAFE. Marking World Vegetarian Day, 1st October, director James Napier Robertson and actor...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • A day to remember our duty to look after our senior citizens
    Human Rights Commissioner Dr Jackie Blue says International Day of the Older Person (1 October) is a United Nations day to celebrate our senior citizens, but also acknowledge the need to protect our kaumatua, or older people from abuse and...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Clear data needed on impact of benefit sanctions on children
    A lack of data on benefit sanctions means there is no way of knowing whether welfare reform is helping or harming children, says Child Poverty Action Group....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • The socialist alternative to austerity and war
    Public meeting: After the New Zealand election—the socialist alternative to austerity and war By Tom Peters 29 September 2014...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • New recruits to boost border protection
    Twenty six new recruits began an intensive nine-week training course in Auckland today that will see them graduate as Customs officers in time for the busy summer season....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Dwindling Mallard population shows up ‘pest’ myth
    The pro hunting organisation Fish & Game is researching the causes of the decline of the mallard duck population, upset at the prospect of fewer ducks to kill....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Support for Democratic Rights in Hong Kong
    New Zealanders in Auckland will gather on Wednesday to support the rights for universal suffrage in Hong Kong....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Campbell Live Exclusive Interview with David Cunliffe
    David Cunliffe resigned as leader of the Labour party on Saturday; but he still wants the top job....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Action needed on cycling safety
    “Clearly we aren't doing enough to protect the 1.5 million New Zealanders who ride bikes,” said Mr Morgan....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • World Rivers Day Passes Without A Whimper
    Sunday 28 September was World Rivers Day to celebrate clean, flowing rivers and caring about them. But a recreation-conservation advocacy the Council of Outdoor Recreation Associations of NZ (CORANZ) says the day seems to have slipped by without...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • The Kiwifruit Claim: Q&A
    1. Who is running The Kiwifruit Claim? The Kiwifruit Claim was founded by kiwifruit growers representing well in excess of 10% of the industry. 2. Why are you running this claim? The introduction of Psa into New Zealand had devastating...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Fed Farmers Need to Be Weaned
    The Taxpayers’ Union is calling on Federated Farmers to make a firm commitment to reject any future Government funding, after it was revealed that the lobby group had received over $200,000 of payments in recent years....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Children paying the price for charter school stitch up
    New Zealand children will be paying a high price for a one-seat deal between ACT and National, with an expansion of the beleaguered charter school system says education union NZEI Te Riu Roa....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Hikoi From North Reaches Oil Conference Tomorrow
    Today: The Hikoi opposing Statoil plans for seismic testing and deep sea oil drilling has marched through Dargaville and later be welcomed to Piringatahi Marae, West Harbour,Tamaki Makaurau/Auckland....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Communities Still Count
    The efforts of many organisations to influence the electorate and the political parties they voted for in the lead up to the 2014 Election is over. The voting public has spoken and provided a strong endorsement to the centre-right National...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Eleven social enterprises get ready to take off
    Eleven teams from across the country will take part in the Launchpad, Ākina’s programme to get social enterprise ideas off the ground....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • An open letter to the Prime Minister
    in which Transparency International New Zealand asks the Prime Minister to ensure integrity underpins all work he leads "in the best interests of all New Zealanders"...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Paula Bennett ‘great work’ acknowledged – McVicar
    “Paula Bennett, as Minister of Social Development, has contributed significantly in lowering our crime rate and preventing further victims.” - McVicar...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Key’s Restraint in Propping up ACT Welcomed
    The Taxpayers’ Union is welcoming the announcement that ACT MP David Seymour will not be appointed as a Minister....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Only Concession is from the Taxpayer
    Responding to the confidence and supply agreement reached between John Key and Peter Dunne’s United Future Party, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says:...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • A Tent for Any Tenant
    AUT students and Salvation Army Manukau Community Ministries team up to raise awareness, as South Auckland’s housing situation moves from crisis to collapse...
    Scoop politics | 28-09
  • Cycle Safety Panel Draft Report Seeks Comments
    The Cycle Safety Panel Draft Report and Recommendations was published on 25th September 2014 and the panel are inviting comments. Lucinda Rees from NZ School Speeds, the organisation campaigning for consistent speed limits outside schools, is encouraged...
    Scoop politics | 28-09
  • Labour’s Review – Terms of Reference Agreed
    Labour's Review - Terms of Reference Agreed Following a meeting of its ruling New Zealand Council yesterday, Labour has released the terms of reference for the comprehensive review initiated following its 2014 election result. The review will comprise three...
    Scoop politics | 28-09
  • The final countdown for Kiwi smokers
    There are just two days left until many smokers stubb out their cigarettes for the last time and embark on Stoptober – New Zealand’s first national quit-smoking month....
    Scoop politics | 28-09
  • “In A Democracy People Win And People Lose”
    “In A Democracy People Win And People Lose” – Chris Hipkins Labour Senior Whip I would say to all of the caucus and all of the members let's actually hear the arguments from the people who want to be leader,...
    Scoop politics | 28-09
  • Campaign to make Murder of Unborn ”Safe and Legal”
    The IPPF have launched an international campaign through its 161 affiliates including the New Zealand Family Planning Association [NZFPA] to make the murder of the unborn safe and legal and accepted as a human right. This is an acceleration of...
    Scoop politics | 28-09
  • Grant Robertson Labour leader hopeful on TVNZ Q+A
    “Look I think what we need to be is relevant, clear and consistent with New Zealanders about the Labour Party's values,” said Labour leader hopeful Grant Robertson on TVNZ’s Q+A programme....
    Scoop politics | 28-09
  • Labour Needs to Get House in Order Before Deciding Leader
    Ex Labour party leader and possible repeat contender David Shearer says the Labour Party is going about the post-election period in the wrong way....
    Scoop politics | 28-09
  • Hate merchants at it again with smear tactics
    “It’s disappointing to see the hate merchants at it again with yet another attempt to smear and silence a health professional who’s doing research they disagree with,” says Ian Powell, Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists...
    Scoop politics | 28-09
  • Women’s group heartened by response to promo girls
    The National Council of Women of New Zealand is heartened by the strong response to the inappropriate use of bikini-clad girls at a technology expo....
    Scoop politics | 27-09
  • Owen interviews Jim Anderton, Helen Kelly and Selwyn Pellet
    Lisa Owen interviews Jim Anderton, Helen Kelly and Selwyn Pellet ___________________________________________ The Nation on TV3, 9.30am Saturdays and 10am Sundays. Check us out online , on Facebook or on Twitter . Tell us what you think at thenation@mediaworks.co.nz or text...
    Scoop politics | 27-09
  • Owen interviews Mark Boyd, Jonathan Milne and John Minto
    Lisa Owen interviews Mark Boyd, Jonathan Milne and John Minto ___________________________________________ The Nation on TV3, 9.30am Saturdays and 10am Sundays. Check us out online , on Facebook or on Twitter . Tell us what you think at thenation@mediaworks.co.nz or text...
    Scoop politics | 27-09
  • Prime Time on Labour
    Mike Smith - former General Secretary of the NZ Labour Party Jim McAloon, Assoc Prof, Victoria University of Wellington History Department (currently writing official history of the Labour Party) Rob Salmond, consultant to Labour Leader's office and...
    Scoop politics | 27-09
  • Korero Mai Ki Ahau – Saturday 27 & Sunday 28 September 2014
    Saturday 27 September 2014 | One million people voted for National in last week’s election. Another million didn’t vote at all. In Kia Korero Mai this week, Eru Morgan talks to political commentator Henare Kingi about the figures and what...
    Scoop politics | 26-09
  • On The Nation this weekend: Labour, National, The Media
    This weekend on The Nation… Labour’s had its worst election result in 92 years, so what happens next? We’ll talk to former Labour president Jim Anderton, CTU president Helen Kelly, and tech entrepreneur and past donor Selwyn Pellett about the...
    Scoop politics | 26-09
  • Red Cross, Pacific leaders prepare for cyclone season
    The New Zealand Red Cross Pacific Advisory Group, met for the first time this week, to develop a disaster response plan for the upcoming Pacific cyclone season, which is forecast to be severe....
    Scoop politics | 26-09
  • Teachers support PM’s call for solutions to child poverty
    NZEI Te Riu Roa is pleased to hear that the Prime Minister is calling for new ideas to address child poverty....
    Scoop politics | 26-09
  • First batch of household protection kits arrives in Liberia
    Kits containing protective gear will equip a network of community-based Ebola care centres nationwide...
    Scoop politics | 26-09
  • Dr Paul Hutchison praised for work to reduce child poverty
    The Association of Salaried Medical Specialists (ASMS) has thanked retiring National MP Dr Paul Hutchison for his work to reduce child poverty....
    Scoop politics | 26-09
  • Bag snatch hero deserves a medal – McVicar
    The Justice Spokesman for the Conservative Party, Garth McVicar, is calling for the woman known as the bag-snatch hero to be awarded a medal for bravery....
    Scoop politics | 26-09
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