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Owning the agenda

Written By: - Date published: 6:03 am, July 7th, 2011 - 152 comments
Categories: economy, election 2011, labour, national, tax - Tags: ,

Notice how a single announcement (not even officially made) from the opposition Labour Party has generated more interest, excitement and reaction than the last (Sub-Zero) budget? More excitement, in fact, than anything the National government has done in the last three wasted years?

The Herald editorial heaps praise on Goff for a policy that is says is courageous and “not only would a capital gains tax be hugely beneficial to the economy but the time for its introduction is right.”

Press gallery leader Guyon Espiner says “most New Zealanders do not have an investment property and if Labour can argue this properly they should be able to carry this argument”.

Fellow press gallery heavyweight John Armstrong reckons that “Goff goes for broke with huge gamble”. Got that right. But – what – you thought Labour was just going to sleepwalk to defeat? Hell no.

Poor John Key reckons that a capital gains tax will send NZ “screaming backwards”. He’s quite the expert on that I guess. In the same piece Key predicts that the CGT will raise only “$700 million a year, after 15 years”. Unfortunately for the PM the recent Tax Working Group report put the figure at more than $4 billion a year (the 2009 report from the Victoria University of Wellington Tax Working Group agrees). Perhaps Nice Mr Key should check his sums. Or even wait a week and see precisely what form Labour’s policy will take.

Danyl at DimPost nails it with characteristic economy – “National wants to finance the rebuilding of Christchurch via asset sales; Labour via a tax on property speculation”.

Everybody’s favourite Tory mouthpiece DPF was strangely muted in his criticism at Kiwiblog. Perhaps that’s because he recalls saying, just last year that “… I think the time is right to now take a serious look at capital gains tax”.

For a take out of left field, Rob Carr at Political Dumpground argues that even if the CGT causes a property market implosion, that might be a Good Thing.

John Hartevelt at Stuff reckons that that this is “Labour’s big policy play”. Key’s good buddy Duncan Garner reckons the CGT is a “bold and courageous move”. And so on, and so on.

Labour have started setting out a bold, fair and plausible policy framework for the election. No asset sales. A tax system for the many not the few. $15 minimum wage. Children at the centre of social policy. R&D tax credits. Keep ACC and Pharmac. GST off fresh food. Strengthen KiwiSaver and the Cullen fund. All good stuff!

And the Nats? A budget almost universally panned as lacking in vision, they are simply recycling meaningless promises from one budget to the next. And news yesterday that the government’s “new” $17 billion infrastructure plan in fact contains no new plans at all, just re-announcements of old ones (which were mostly Labour’s anyway).

In short, Labour has a plan, National has a record of three wasted years. Labour have taken hold of the political agenda. Now they have to keep it for the next 5 months.

152 comments on “Owning the agenda”

  1. It’s not bold, yet. Labour have only dipped their toes in the water so far. If only we could have a decent debate over the merits and drawbacks.

    Unfortunately it’s likely to be overshadowed by electioneering. That’s a major problem, potential votes rule the debate, as does trying to win the media battle (claiming to win the media this early is a nonsense).

    Owning the agenda? That’s political pomposity. Stuff the people as long as you think you’re scoring political points.

    Common sense appraisal gets shoved to the side, as does considering what’s really best for most people and for the country. The mad scramble for power tramples everything.

    • Colonial Viper 1.1

      A CGT from Labour is not particularly bold, but it is twice as bold as anything National has thought of so far.

    • bbfloyd 1.2

      “the mad scramble for power tramples everything”. describes the national party’s political manifesto perfectly…

  2. It is interesting tactics the way the issue has been raised publicly. No doubt the debate will rage until later next week when the policy will be announced. It will be quite an achievement for Labour to dominate political discussion for so long.

    I am sure National will both continue to demonise the policy and try to divert attention. But it’s lack of a plan to address our economic problems is exceedingly obvious.

    • Danyl at DimPost nails it with characteristic economy – “National wants to finance the rebuilding of Christchurch via asset sales; Labour via a tax on property speculation”.

      Is it a good economic plan to put people off investing in property right now? Especially for Christchurch?

      • ropata 2.1.1

        Not sure how a rumour of potential opposition party policy becomes a “plan to put people off investing in property”.
        Big difference between speculative investments that cause bubbles, and long term investment in a place to live.

        Everyone was hoping that money man Key would pull $$$ out of thin air and make us all rich, but his plan for riches seems to require destroying the country’s critical infrastructure assets. Is that a good economic plan?

      • mickysavage 2.1.2

        Why should it put people off buying rentals? All that would happen is that they share a bit of their capital gain when it is realized with the rest of us.

        • Pete George 2.1.2.1

          I hope the people in Labour who are proposing the additions to CGT have a bit more understanding than you of possible effects of a tax on investment properties.

          • Jim Nald 2.1.2.1.1

            Oh yes, CGT will kill off any and every investment. Just ask other CGT countries who have been doing better than us.

            • PeteG 2.1.2.1.1.1

              Calm down. Our current CGT hasn’t killed off all investment. Neither of course will any additions that Labour might try to implement. But it could quite possibly affect investments in property at a time that it’s most needed in Christchurch.

              Shouldn’t that at least be considered? Or does a campaign for votes in November matter more than considering houses for Christchurch?

              • ropata

                FUD
                A potential policy isn’t an attack on rebuilding CHC
                If anything a CGT will reduce ongoing speculation in AKL and free up capital for other things

              • lprent

                We have needed a CGT to plug the investment bias for all of my adult life. It stifles business investments in areas other than property. That is the reality of setting up new business in NZ. You are completely constrained by the lack of investment capital, because it is used to buy investment properties as profits from those are largely not taxed.

                The building in ChCh will happen regardless because people and businesses need to have somewhere to live and work. In other words there is a demand. Putting in a CGT do not change that economic imperative. So essentially you’re talking straw man crap again

                Anyway, you’d hold up implementing CGT because of a one off short term issue? You do sound like a politician of the right – short term thinker and kind of stupid.

                • PeteG

                  Before rushing in with claims of stupidity look at what I’ve said. I didn’t say it should be held up – the voters will decide that. I suggested all effects should be considered.

                  The rebuilding of Christchurch is not a short term issue. It’s very important to the South Island in particular. It’s hardly being stupid considering what effect it might have – to people outside ot Auckland and Wellington at least.

                  • lprent

                    All effects will be considered. What I was saying was the possible effect you were looking at was a short term one, that didn’t exist in reality, and that shouldn’t hold up doing a structural shift in the tax base that many of the business community like myself have been calling for over three decades.

                    Christchurch will almost entirely be rebuilt within the next 5 years and it will be rebuilt because the economics of the south island says that it needs to be there. The only major uninsured part is the infrastructure which will be paid and done by the government who are not subject to a CGT. So the major bulk of the funds to rebuild comes from insurance.

                    Since investors largely own their land (and therefore grandfathered), and most actually have the majority of their building asset in place (and therefore grandfathered), they will build on it or sell to someone who will. What did you think that they would do – walk away from the existing investment?

                    Quite simply your arguments were crap, short sighted, and a few moments thought would have been sufficient to figure out why it is a straw man argument.

                  • ropata

                    Yes the likely effect is that a CGT will be beneficial to Cantabrians.
                    It’s a fairer solution than National’s plan to sell our precious assets, ostensibly to help pay for CHC rebuilding.

                    Christchurch also has suffered low wages and high unemployment for a long time due to inequitable economic policies, and National’s solution is even MORE inequity.
                    There are other people in Christchurch than just property developers.

              • Domestic landlords do not build houses to rent.

          • mickysavage 2.1.2.1.2

            Que?

            Reread what I said.  I merely commented that a CGT should not put people buying rentals.  It may put some off but their greed and lack of understanding are not things that I can remedy.

            It was not meant to be an encyclopedic description of the effects of the policy.

            If it puts people of speculating on land then that is a good thing.

          • Lazy Susan 2.1.2.1.3

            Listen to the economics correspondent from the Syndey Morning Herald explain what happened in Australia when they introduced a CGT. Yeah they also had all the naysayers like Peter George predicting the sky would fall in – but guess what? It didn’t.

            The correspondent notes how New Zealand is considered to be a strange anomally in that it doesn’t have a CGT – Australia, UK, US all have CGT. Also some good points regarding the lack of a CGT being a loophole in the NZ tax system that enables people to convert taxable income to non-taxable capital gain. Therfore it’s not just what a CGT would raise directly but with the loophole gone it would be harder to use property speculation to shelter income and so more tax would be collected on earned income.

            • PeteG 2.1.2.1.3.1

              Susan, you’re being lazy, or deliberately misleading, or part of the Labour message machine.

              I haven’t naysayed CGT, I have yaysayed having a reasoned debate about it and suggested that possible affects be considered.

              • PeteG you are the one being deliberately misleading.  

                Lazy Susan’s very good comment does something you never seem to do, that is address the merits and state a position.

                You have this Peter Dunne ability to talk round and round  an issue without ever committing.  And you never seem to make your mind up.

                Are you Peter Dunne 

                • PeteG

                  that is address the merits and state a position.

                  Don’t you mean address the merits and drawbacks?

                  It’s true I don’t usually jump to conclusions – I prefer to take time to see what pros and cons are raised on blogs and in the media, to see what people think and how it might affect them. For a complex issue like a comprehensive chngne to our CGT that takes time, doesn’t it?

                  Unless you just want to jump on the “it might get us elected, don’t dissent” train.

                  And I notice that Labour are dribbling this out presumably to test the water and adjust their final proposal, even they haven’t committed yet by the look of things.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Are you Peter Dunne

                  Prob not. Fan club president perhaps?

                  • PeteG

                    Peter Dunne, on his own, has probably had more influence on government policy and has initiated more of his own party’s policy than all of the Labour MPs put together.

                    Maybe that’s the sort of “talk round and round an issue without ever committing” that Micky alludes to.

                    Having a decisive CGT policy – once Labour gets around to finalising and announceing it – is worth diddly squat if they are in Opposition.

                    • felix

                      “Peter Dunne, on his own, has probably had more influence on government policy and has initiated more of his own party’s policy than all of the Labour MPs put together.”

                      HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!

                      List them.

                    • PeteG

                      Too much to list, so see here: http://www.unitedfuture.org.nz/successes/

                      List Labour successes this term.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      List Labour successes this term.

                      Whipping John Key’s sorry little ass back to his major shareholders in Hawaii.

                      Next.

                    • felix

                      Did you bother to read your own link Pete? It includes things like Winston Peters’ Gold Card for seniors FFS, and most of it amounts to “National will be nice to me, be my friend, and let me come to some of their clubhouse meetings, and let me claim responsibility for things they were doing anyway”.

                      ps why are you trying to shift the goalposts to “this term”? Is it because you just realised what an utterly stupid statement you made?

                  • Jim Nald

                    Re 26 Nov 2011:

                    John Key wanna sell our assets –

                    Kiss his ass or

                    Kick his ass?

              • Lazy Susan

                PeteG – I’m not being lazy, misleading and certainly not part of Labour’s mesage machine.

                On the contrary. I took the trouble to post a link to an Australian economics correspondent who suggested the Australian experience of a CGT did not lead to the sky falling in on the property market – refuting your earlier post. He also raised a good point that suggested the tax revenue generated by a CGT was more to do with the fact it meant people could no longer avoid paying income tax by converting income into capital gain so increased the revenue from income tax – refuting the position taken on your website regarding revenue.

                Sometimes issues can be hard to debate. Did you listen to the podcast or was that too hard as well?

                • PeteG

                  I’ve heard a range of opinions on CGT in Australia, ranging from “it works” to regrets they introduced it because it’s just shifted problems rather than solving them.

                  A number of people have also claimed that CGT just changes tax avoidance techniques.

                  And – I never suggested the sky would fall in, so your claim is off target.

                  Mickey claimed “You have this Peter Dunne ability to talk round and round an issue without ever committing. ”

                  You can’t both be right.

                  Doesn’t it seem a bit stupid to be making definitive statements of support or opposition when we won’t know all the details until next week? We’re debating on dribbled bits of information.

                • MrSmith

                  peteG is a Concern Troll Susan , it wouldn’t have read your link as it isn’t here for education, it’s only here to spread Doubt and confusion.

                  Concern Troll http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Troll_(Internet)#Concern_troll

                  • PeteG

                    Very funny. Read your link. You seem to use a pseudonym. I don’t.

                    [lprent: As Felix says no-one apart from the mods (mainly me) can tell who is using a pseudonym or not. we have had people on here with full blown names and detailed back stories, that the mods or I could tell were completely fictitious. We have also had people claiming to be someone that they are not (like a father of a missing kid). I usually investigate those when they arise.

                    I've been known to look back at peoples machines while they are online from the servers or see who else has used their IP's here previously or see who lives in the same IP neighborhood. If I am really pushed I will even go so far as to request cooperation of ISP's and people who I know. Neither you, nor any of the commentators can do that type of verification - you don't have the IP's, e-mails, logs, and other histories required. The best that can be done is if there is someone trusted here that actually knows the person and who will vouch for them - which sometimes happens.

                    But the rule is that all handles are to be treated as pseudonyms unless I can confirm that they are not. And I won't waste my time unless there is a pressing reason so it happens very rarely and I do not allow 20 questions. The converse is also true - you cannot try to use the 'I have a real name' argument. If you do and I haven't confirmed it, then I may get irritated reading the consequential comments and writing these explanations. It is not a wise tactic to use unless you are a deeply addicted gambler. ]

      • Colonial Viper 2.1.3

        PeteG you’re an idiot for not noticing that Government is going to have to lead the way in investing in Christchurch. In comparison the private sector (including the insurers/reinsurers) are chicken to do so.

        And Labour now owns the better plan for funding that rebuild.

      • bbfloyd 2.1.4

        if people are rebuilding their homes to live in, it’s not a factor.. if someone builds five houses, and then sells four of them, then the tax would accrue.

        the people attempting to criticize this policy need to understand the basic reality of what a capital gains tax actually is… i would have thought the title was self evident.. you don’t pay a cent in tax until you realise an actual capital gain. which is why it works so well everywhere else…

        get it? build a house, … no tax….. live in it,….. no tax,…. build it and sell it for profit immediately, pay tax on your profit… buy ten houses and rent them out,… pay the same taxes you always have… sell one of those investment properties,… pay cgt on the profits from the one sale…

        now you can explain to me how that will stop people from rebuilding their homes again..

  3. higherstandard 3

    I’m supportive of a capital gains tax but have reservations about the $4 billion per year that’s being tossed about in the media.

    At the suggested rate of 15% on investment properties doesn’t that amount to around to around $26 billion in capital gains that is supposedly being made in overall capital gain per annum in relation to investment property sales ?

    Is that realistic……. can any real estate agents comment ?

    • Colonial Viper 3.1

      $4B seems somewhat high to me, best thing to do would be to see how the tax working group, and the 2009 working group, came to that conclusion.

      Hopefully they didn’t just reuse each others’ results.

      Is that realistic……. can any real estate agents comment ?

      Playing with numbers, 500,000 investment properties gaining in value by $20,000 is a $10B capital gain. However, it doesn’t seem likely that all 500,000 investment properties would be sold in one year.

      • higherstandard 3.1.1

        Even if that was the case $10B at 15% doesn’t come anywhere near the $4B tax revenue that the media keeps quoting……. guess we’ll just have to await the details.

    • Lanthanide 3.2

      The $4b is from the Tax Working Group, assuming a capital gains tax applied to all capital gains, not just investment properties.

      It has been clarified today that Labour’s policy will be covering all capital gains, not just investment properties. However I think the rate (15%) may not be as high as envisioned/calculated by the TWG.

      • higherstandard 3.2.1

        Hi Lath

        Have you got a link for the clarification of what the CGT is going to look like.

        Devil as always is in the detail.

      • Tangled up in blue 3.2.2

        Yep the $4b is from the Tax Working Group is based on a CGT applied on everything and a 30% tax rate on capital gains.

        I’m all for a CGT but MSM (and original poster) should be a lot more skeptical of that $4b figure as the gain could very well be a much smaller.

        Labour have been severely criticizing Nationals top tax cut so I think it’s likely that a claw back here will be factored into the wider package to give enough funds to sort things out without having to sell assets.

        • KJT 3.2.2.1

          4.5 billion with 30% and the family home exempted. 9 billion if family homes were included.

          http://www.victoria.ac.nz/sacl/cagtr/twg/Publications/3-taxation-of-capital-gains-ird_treasury.pdf?

          I expect there will be some gains in income tax, also if the advantage of offsetting income into untaxed capital gains was removed. As in South Africa.

          I think Labour will be adding some more progressive tax rates and remove some of the tax dodges in the mix also.

          I do not think the family home or any other income earning assets should be exempted.
          It makes it too easy to rort.
          You will suddenly see all sorts of children of the wealthy owning family homes for a start.
          How do you deal with trust owned assets?

          All income should be treated equally so that tax evasion by income shifting becomes impossible.

          Why should investment on land be taxed on after inflation profits only, when share and investment income is taxed on nominal returns.

          Families could be compensated for the extra expense in other ways as I have suggested above.

          http://thestandard.org.nz/owning-the-agenda/#comment-349170

          Unfortunately NACT are stripping the cupboard, so Labour is not going to have too much space to move after the election.

          20 billion plus deficit by next year.

          • Colonial Viper 3.2.2.1.1

            Unfortunately NACT are stripping the cupboard, so Labour is not going to have too much space to move after the election.

            20 billion plus deficit by next year.

            Thanks Bill and John, we’re lovin’ it.

      • lprent 3.2.3

        I think that they were considering 30% so that it was in the same order as personal and business income. It’d be more effective at that level. But I just want something put in to stop the drain of every effective tech business and their people offshore.

        • Draco T Bastard 3.2.3.1

          Yeah, National are actually right when they said that having different tax levels causes more income shifting. Of course, they then did the wrong thing by dropping the top tax rate and the business rate causing a massive shortfall in taxes. What they should have done is found a way to sheet home all income onto the PAYE scale. Flat independent rates don’t cut it as people will look for ways not to pay the higher amounts causing a massive dead wieght loss.

          • Colonial Viper 3.2.3.1.1

            And what kinds of persons can afford the professionals needed to help shift income around different ledgers and associated persons? No one earning $13/hr anyway.

    • felix 3.3

      Is that realistic……. can any real estate agents comment ?

      You want real estate agents to comment on reality?

      Ho ho. Have you never met one?

      • higherstandard 3.3.1

        Fair call – more on the issue of the number of houses and turnover aspect.

        • felix 3.3.1.1

          Don’t get me wrong, it was a good question. I’m just being a dick.

        • Puddleglum 3.3.1.2

          Hi higherstandard, try this. I generated it from the ‘market trends’ part of the real estate institute’s webpage. Not sure how exhaustive it is (I know it doesn’t include section sales – though you can put that in to the calculator too).

  4. wyndham 4

    Wow! Who poked a stick into the hornets nest?! In parliament this week, Key has been almost hysterical in fulminating against this proposal. Even English has managed comment other than to blame Labour for “nine years of economic mismanagement”. The usual suspects with an interest in the housing market are beside themselves. N.Z. as we know it appears to be doomed.

    Can one gauge from all this, that Labour has at last struck a telling political blow? And Labour hasn’t even officially announced the proposition yet !

  5. Policy Parrot 5

    Support the intent – its great to see the caucus finally get behind this idea, its been kicked around the workshops for a long time. However, I agree with some of the criticisms made by the some of the tax professionals that this will be possible to evade.

    A land tax would be preferable in my opinion, as it is much more difficult to evade, achieves very similar results, except that it generates a better cashflow, and on an annual and predictable basis. Concessions/relief from its unintended consequences can be much better targeted. Implement that, plus better use of the existing implicit CGT on non-real asset classes – would have a strong impact on high income tax evasion.

    Labour should be sticking to its guns on its rhetoric – that it truly wants to get at those who consider tax as something “only the little people pay”, and if that means the interests of some propertied caucus members suffer – well so be it.

    EDIT: 15% is really just clipping the ticket on evaders, and saying “well done, on your way”.

    • higherstandard 5.1

      Are you talking about the land as posited here.

      http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/BU0910/S00067.htm

      • Policy Parrot 5.1.1

        It would be similar, but more highly skewed to target speculators. A blanket, undifferentiated land tax is obviously unfair.

        Alterations/relief from an undifferentiated land tax suggestions:
        – A tax-free threshold on total real value, available only to actual individual taxpayers, accounting and legal personalities do not qualify.
        – Use the lower of the most two recent GV’s for assessment.
        – Differing thresholds and rates for different land usages, urban residential, urban commercial, rural, industrial, Maori land etc.

        • Policy Parrot 5.1.1.1

          Note: regarding total real value – the tax-free threshold is analogous to the intention of the exemption of the family home. Basically, the total real value of an individual’s property holdings would have the tax-free threshold applied once.

          I note that in such a circumstance there is some room for structuring on a couple’s basis – so this proposal is more demanding on those who have “property empires” rather than those who own a single extra property – and as it should be.

        • Draco T Bastard 5.1.1.2

          A blanket, undifferentiated land tax is obviously unfair.

          Nope, it’s what it should be but it shouldn’t be a proportion of income but an outright flat rate per hectare per year. Guestimate of somewhere between $100 to $1000 which would be well within affordability for all residential owners.

    • Colonial Viper 5.2

      EDIT: 15% is really just clipping the ticket on evaders, and saying “well done, on your way”.

      True; the rate should probably match the lowest income tax rate, at a minimum.

      • Chris 5.2.1

        The lowest income tax rate is 10.5%

      • Blighty 5.2.2

        of course, most capital gainers are going to be on one of the higher marginal tax rates but having the cgt rate set at a lower level allows for the fact that some capital gain is eaten up by inflation. In Aussie, cgt is half your marginal tax rate for that reason.

        • Draco T Bastard 5.2.2.1

          Adjust purchase price for inflation, minus from sale price, tax at full marginal tax rate. Not hard, the RBNZ even has an Inflation Calculator to do it for you. In fact, you’d probably want to legislate that that is the one used so that there’s no argument about the actual value.

    • Draco T Bastard 5.3

      A land tax should applied as well.

  6. vto 6

    Such a policy will gave diddly-squat effect on property prices.

    People will pile into property again some time in the next few years (provided the entire world economy does not implode meantime) and this capital gains tax will have no impact on their decision to do that.

    But anything which broadens the tax base and relieves the tax on income earning is good.

    How about dropping all income tax?

    btw – Doesn’t Jacinda Adern come across superbly on breakfast telly? Sheesh, you lot should be getting her face to face with smile and wave. Expose the flab drab droopy snakes eyes of Key for what they are. If you think people will vote for Key because they just like him due to his friendly smile and waving then take a leaf out the same book and beat them at their own game. And on top of that Jacinda has intellect and principles as well so she beats Key hands down.

    • Colonial Viper 6.1

      People will pile into property again some time in the next few years (provided the entire world economy does not implode meantime

      Love your ‘sweet and sour’ approach in one sentence. Bang!

      An upfront 7.5% levy on all investment property mortgages would probably have the desired effect. I agree the CGT is a blunt instrument for holding back property speculation, but it is something.

      • vto 6.1.1

        It is rare that such fiddling by governments has the intended effect. It usually just complicates things and makes it worse.

        Is it speculation that is the problem? If so, then the probem is one of human nature and applies right across every sector. Good luck with controlling that. I dont think speculation is the problem.

        Or is it high housing costs that are in fact the real problem (it is imo)? If so, then there are other and better ways of helping bring housing costs down. Two examples – get local authorities to drop their countless fee, levies and taxes on new development (about 5-10% of land). Get government to drop GST on housing (15%). There is about $50,000 per average house right there.

        Go on, drop the GST on housing. You would see an immediate overnight drop in house prices.

        edit: another example – get some decent competition in NZ’s cement supply.

        edit edit: I suppose we could build houses out of fruit and vege.

        • lprent 6.1.1.1

          No. The problem is that having an ability to generate profits without being taxed on those profits distorts the investment pattern in NZ. It means that far too much money is put into property – with the consequences you describe.

          The real effect is that it slows NZ growing it’s real economy because small companies either don’t get created, or are unable to expand because of serious shortages of investment capital.

          • vto 6.1.1.1.1

            Well lprent, as I said above, I dont think a CGT will have that effect on investment patterns. Where are people going to put their money? In finance sector? In the sharemarket? Too many bad memories. People will continue to say that you cant beat bricks and mortar. And in many senses it is true. It doesn’t disappear overnight for a start (unless you’re in Chch). There is a very consistent demand for a roof over one’s head at night for another.

            I just do not think it will cause any discernable change to investment patterns. Happy to be proved wrong though.

          • jcuknz 6.1.1.1.2

            You would be correct if it just applied to housing but at this stage I have heard suggestions that it will apply to all gains, not just on housing, so it does seem a silly copy cat of what other mis-guided people have done in other countries … as Norman said “Even the [silly] Aussies.”

        • Colonial Viper 6.1.1.2

          No GST gets paid on existing used houses which are sold right? As I understood it anyways.

          Also it is common to find house prices in Auckland which have gone from $300K to $400K in just a few years.

          There is no way that dropping rates etc will compensate for that.

          The most important understanding is this: higher house prices have been driven by banks willing to lend more and more money on mortgages for essentially the same house. (Including allowing 5% and 0% mortgages)

          If you limited that, you will effectively limit the rate of housing price increases.

          • vto 6.1.1.2.1

            “No GST gets paid on existing used houses which are sold right? As I understood it anyways.”

            Wrong in a subtle but very real way. GST is payable on new land and new houses.

            If new housing had GST dropped you would see new housing drop in price by 15%. Existing used houses would obviously respond instantly to the same level of 15%.

            Land supply is the other major bogey affecting new housing cost.

            New housing cost has one of the most dramatic impacts on existing housing values. (putting aside the extremes of bubbles and busts). Deal with new housing and you deal also with existing housing.

  7. Ha
     
    Landlords are confidently predicting a Labour win in November.
     
    The prospect of a CGT has really spooked them.  According to the article two of the poor dears are going to buy rental property in Australia and leave New Zealand.
     
    Do you think we should tell them that Australia already has a CGT?

    • Colonial Viper 7.1

      Funny how they say that landlords are being spooked off by the CGT in one breath, and in the next breath they say that it will be dead simple to avoid the tax! lol

      John Shewan of PWC puts forward a good argument seemingly for a CGT. Everyone else they asked pretty much panned it.

      Including the guy who says that a CGT makes NZ less exciting (= less like a speculative circus I suppose!!!)

    • Blighty 7.2

      so, they’re going to go to Australia, which has a CGT?

  8. jcuknz 8

    Sounds like typical left wing class warfare by the no-hopers trying to get at those who deprive themselves today as they look to the future by saving and investing.

    • Colonial Viper 8.1

      Yeah its class war alright buddy, except its being waged by the wealthy 5% against the rest of us, and has been for decades now.

      • big bruv 8.1.1

        Sigh….still pushing that class warfare bullshit Viper?

        • Colonial Viper 8.1.1.1

          bb why don’t you go eat a cockroach and you can see what wartime rations are really like

          • big bruv 8.1.1.1.1

            Viper

            Anybody who says they have to eat cockroaches in NZ is a liar, there is NO reason at all for anybody to go hungry.

            Why do you keep insisting on pushing these lies?

  9. big bruv 9

    I cannot be bothered wading through Labour party spin (lies and bullshit), so, can anybody tell me if the planned CGT excludes the family home?

    And, would Labour use the extra income to lower personal taxes or just keep handing out money to parasites and DPB slappers with no conditions attached.

    If the family home is excluded from CGT then I think many Kiwis would support it, if not then it is another mind numbingly stupid move from Labour.

    • Colonial Viper 9.1

      would Labour use the extra income to lower personal taxes

      Every dollar less that the Govt collects is a dollar more it has to borrow from China, or dollar removed from services that it provides to you and me.

      • big bruv 9.1.1

        Then cut the “services” they provide and let everybody look after themselves.

        Why the hell do you think that the government can do it better when all the evidence shows that they cannot?

    • vto 9.2

      It had better exclude the family home. Bloody governments and councils should leave our castles well alone lest a revolt explode. Councils already do enough damage under the out-of-date rating system on family homes.

      (and what about if your family housing situation includes more than one dwelling???)

    • Blighty 9.3

      “would Labour use the extra income to lower personal taxes”

      yes.

      Labour has a policy of making the first $5,000 tax-free.

    • Lanthanide 9.4

      “I cannot be bothered wading through Labour party spin (lies and bullshit), so, can anybody tell me if the planned CGT excludes the family home?”

      Yes. It is a broad/comprehensive CGT on everything that has a capital gain, not just investment properties. One of the exemptions is the family home.

      • grumpy 9.4.1

        Choice!!!

        So it means I can claim for capital losses associated with such investments as well???

        Will it tax both realised and unrealised gains or losses?

        • Colonial Viper 9.4.1.1

          Only realised, by the sounds of it.

          • grumpy 9.4.1.1.1

            So, they only pay the tax when the asset is sold? What about losses?

            • Lanthanide 9.4.1.1.1.1

              I don’t see why losses would be treated any differently.

              • A loss is a diminution of capital.  A gain is income.

                Sorry but if investors lose the state will not partially compensate them. 

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Provisional tax. It’s paid before you get the income so if you get a loss during the year you’ll get a refund from the taxes paid. Really stupid idea that came about because, I suspect, doing all the accounting on paper took a bloody long time and hasn’t yet been corrected to the present day.

    • bbfloyd 9.5

      you really are a lazy minded git aren’t you big bruv… you admit you havn’t the attention span to read any documentation relevant to the policy question, or the heralds speculations, yet still find it acceptable to waste space and time arguing against it..

      what a dickhead. typical right wing moron. critical of anything that isn’t national party propaganda simply because it isn’t national party propaganda… for no more reason than bigotry, stupidity, and utter laziness when it comes to adult discussion.

      READ THE INFO YOURSELF, and then shut the fuck up.

  10. ianmac 10

    There was discussion this morning that the CGT would be broader based than just rental properties. Include business, farms and land? Now that would be outstanding.

    • PeteG 10.1

      This was also suggested (no source given):

      the Labour Capital Gains Tax will be UNIVERSAL and comprehensive with exceptions only for the “first home” (for now and also note: not the “family home”)

      and

      Also that it will now be RETROSPECTIVE with Government deemed initial prices where no purchase records exist in order to start raising tax immediately.

      If that’s the case it will impact a lot more people than a few rich property investors.

      • Lanthanide 10.1.1

        I think that’s just bullshit.

        Russell Norman was on Morning Report talking about it. He says he hasn’t heard the detail from Labour (as they’re not telling anyone), but that any proposal by the Greens was that all existing capital is grandfathered in, and the tax only applies to new purchases after the date of enactment. This means that it’ll take up to a decade before the money really starts rolling in – you can bet National are going to trumpet this from the parapets (but at the same time, it means this isn’t a short-term bogeyman that’s going to trap everyone).

      • KJT 10.1.2

        At last Labour are showing some signs of offering real visionary alternatives.

        Good on them.

        Some thoughts.

        The reaction shows that sensible people have been waiting for alternatives from the present voodoo economics.

        CGT should be universal on any appreciating asset.
        Without a CGT PAYE payers are subsidising speculators .

        It expands the tax base in a way that also discourages unproductive speculation and borrowing.

        Capital gains income should be treated the same as any other personal income for tax purposes.
        Why should you pay up to 33% on your work income and a speculator or someone who does up a house for sale pay only 15%.

        It has to be retrospective to have any real affect.

        The family home will probably have to be exempt to make the policy politically palatable, but I see no real reason to complicate CGT by doing so.
        Like GST, I believe tax systems are much harder to rort if they are kept simple.
        I can see a lot of single children of wealthy people suddenly acquiring a family home.

        If it is there are several ways to make it less distortionate. )Suggestions only. There are more).
        1 The family home could be exempt up to say, twice the mean price.
        2 First homes only could be exempt from CGT.
        3 More State housing both to rent or buy keeps prices within reach of ordinary people and puts a further downward pressure on house prices.
        4 Only charge CGT on the gap between selling a house and buying the next one.
        5 Allow for inflation and normal maintenance.

        Now we need to look at the bonanza for banks and speculators and nightmare for manufacturers and workers. The reserve bank act.
        Considering FTT and exchange controls would be good too.

        • Colonial Viper 10.1.2.1

          Labour has signalled it is going to target the RBA pretty hard so hope they come out with good courageous stuff.

        • RedLogix 10.1.2.2

          Capital gains income should be treated the same as any other personal income for tax purposes. Why should you pay up to 33% on your work income and a speculator or someone who does up a house for sale pay only 15%.

          Asset price rises have two identifiable portions; that due to general inflation, and that due to the action of the market. What the Australian system does is assume that over a period of time about 50% of capital gain is just due to inflation, while the balance is taxable as income. That is why individuals are given a 50% discount on the nominal price rise.

          What Labour is proposing assumes that most taxpayers liable will have a marginal tax rate of 30%… so their proposed 15% CGT is functionally equivalent.

          It’s not accurate… but it simplifies the calculations a lot and over time is probably near enough to be good enough.

      • lprent 10.1.3

        If that’s the case it will impact a lot more people than a few rich property investors.

        Sounds like the usual spinners astroturfing trying to push a meme out there. Boring really.

      • mickysavage 10.1.4

        PeteG 

        You are losing your Peter Dunne type independence and engaging in spin.  The only reputable comments are that the tax will not be retrospective and will apply to family homes and other areas.

        Spinner … 

  11. Adrian 11

    Wasn’t it nice of the PM to give the country all that free and quite technical advice on how to avoid the CGT in Parliament yesterday, this is almost certainly unprecedented in any parliamentary country. I have often said that this germ is a traitor to his country given his involvement in the Hi-fee and Andrew Kreiger episodes. The apoletic reaction of his and Englishs is because they can’t steal the policy, as to do so would cost them more votes ( to ACT? or not turning out ). Goff and Labour have to sell this well. I am taking the day off next Friday to deliver the explanatory leaflets to mailboxes, and if any here are as supportive as they claim it would be great if you could do the same.

    • big bruv 11.1

      Tell me Adrian, did you feel the same level of outrage at Helen Clark’s theft of 850k of tax payer money?

      • Lanthanide 11.1.1

        Please provide evidence that Helen Clark personally stole and kept $850k of tax payer money.

        • ianupnorth 11.1.1.1

          I am looking forward to that answer!!

        • Colonial Viper 11.1.1.2

          “Please provide evidence”

          haha nice play mate

          • Adrian 11.1.1.2.1

            I can’t word for word it, but it went along the lines of trading assets through shell like companies etc. It was on a Natrad news broadcast, very hard to follow because it was in Authentic Keysian Gibberish.

    • Lanthanide 11.2

      What was his advice?

  12. Matthew Hooton 12

    I guess I better start thinking about what to say about the CGT in tomorrow’s NBR …

    • Kaplan 12.1

      What’s to think about? If you want to write some honest facts on the subject then that’s pretty damn easy.
      Of course if you want to ignore the facts and spin it negatively then yeah you better get that thinking cap on…

    • Blighty 12.2

      well, you can’t argue against the economics of it. Your business readers will be loving the prospect of more capital directed at productive investment in business.

      You could call it tax and spend, except it won’t bring in much money at first and Labour’s big policies ($5K tax-tree, R&D trax credits, no GSt on fresh fruit and vegetables) are all tax cuts.

      I guess you could admit that it shows a hell of a lot more courage and vision than Key has managed in three years.

      • vto 12.2.1

        Yes, can someone outline what courageous vision Key has in fact shown since taking office?

        I don’t think there has been any has there? Anyone? Anything at all?

        • Colonial Viper 12.2.1.1

          His greenstone wool fabric suit was nice.

        • felix 12.2.1.2

          I think he sat next to Obama once.

        • higherstandard 12.2.1.3

          Only one and that was pre taking office……. the removal of Helen Clark and Labour.

          Scrub and repeat, same thing will happen to him in 2014.

          • Lanthanide 12.2.1.3.1

            He’ll be leaving in late 2012 or mid-2013, assuming they win the election. Otherwise he’ll be leaving late 2011 or early 2012, like a spoilt child who didn’t get his way.

        • pollywog 12.2.1.4

          He minced his way down a runway.

      • Matthew Hooton 12.2.2

        You commos might be pleasantly surprised!

        • The Voice of Reason 12.2.2.1

          If we read the NBR, yeah, we might be. But $9.95 on paper and a paywall on the net, even us chardonnay socialists are priced out of access to your pearls of wisdom, Matthew.
           
          And the thought of not knowing what you are told to think keeps me awake at night.
           
           

  13. vto 13

    Again, what about if you have two family homes?

    • felix 13.1

      You’d have to define family. Maybe you have two families.

      • vto 13.1.1

        Many do have two families. Think split families. Step-families. Or even one family that simply lives in two places. Family set-ups have myriad forms.

        One of the many complications no doubt.

        • felix 13.1.1.1

          Yeah, I wasn’t being facetious ;)

        • mickysavage 13.1.1.2

          Well with one of the houses if you make a great big capital gain you will have to pay 1/6 of it to the state so that kids can be educated, citizens provided with health care, police wages paid and those unfortunate to be unemployed or recently single can get some support.  Sound fair enough?

  14. ianupnorth 14

    The hardly scientific poll on the Herald’s website is currently at 40% for, 60% against. As stated earlier property speculation is not a majority activity; it is crucial to spell out exactly what it means and how it is better.
    BTW on Radio NZ yesterday the total rental property holding is in the region of NZ$200 million, yet a staggering NZ$500 million of registered tax losses are claimed against that – that simply is not fair and is rorting the sytem.

    • indiana 14.1

      Which Govt introduced LAQC – the vehicle used to avoide tax by claiming depreciation on your assets?

      • ianupnorth 14.1.1

        That isn’t just depreciation; its the GST on the vehicle used for the inspection visits and much, much more. I had a neighbour who owned several investments, every trip to town was ‘replacing a lightbulb’, inspecting the lawns, etc.

      • lprent 14.1.2

        LAQC’s were introduced into Income Tax Act 2004, replaced and tinkered with in 2007, and changed to LTC’s in 2010.

        In other words a legislative idea that got used for purposes that were probably not intended. Pretty normal. You can find this type of act scattered around throughout previous acts of parliament from all parties. Especially where taxes are concerned as the IRD tinkers with those almost continuously closing loopholes and frequently opening them as well.

        I’m sure that you have a point. But apart from your limited understanding of the legislative process and it’s frequent failures, I have quite failed to see it.

      • Lanthanide 14.1.3

        Clearly you don’t understand the usefulness of LAQCs, because you can still claim depreciation of your assets against your income and reduce your tax liability.

        When you have a mortgage on an investment property, you can claim the mortgage interest (but not principal) against your income and reduce your tax liability.

        When the house is owned by a LAQC, the LAQC pays the entire mortgage payment as an expense. Rental income goes to the LAQC as a straight income stream. If the LAQC makes a loss overall, this can be claimed against your personal income tax.

        Example of what this let you do:
        Your rental mortgage costs $10,000 in interest and $10,000 in principal each year. You receive $15,000 in rental income from tenants. If the house is held personally, you claim $15k in income, and deduct $10k in interest, for a net income increase of $5k, on which you pay regular income tax.

        If you own the house under an LAQC, then the LAQC has mortgage expense of $20k, and rental income of $15k. Overall it makes a loss of $5k. You then transfer this loss of $5k to your personal income, and get a refund on the tax paid.

        So if your income from other sources (eg salary) was $50k, in the first scenario you pay income tax on $55k income, and in the second scenario you pay income tax on only $45k of income.

        The difference here is that with an LAQC, you get to claim your mortgage principal against your income, whereas without one you can’t.

  15. tsmithfield 15

    So the CGT is to apply to all asset classes.

    Does this mean I will also be able to claim for losses against personal assets that depreciate, such as the family car?

    • grumpy 15.1

      Losses that are covered in Australia include losses on investments, so if you lost money on Finance Companies you can claim against tax. If Labour get in, all those losses could be written off and the CGT would make a loss.

      Also, if you own a house in the Red Zone, then any loss can also be offset for tax purposes.

      CGT in Australia provides a whole new raft of tax avoidance opportunities and the ability to actually make money from Capital losses.

      • tsmithfield 15.1.1

        I agree. It would be very unwise for any government to plan for income from a CGT. It could only really be considered on its merits for directing investment into more productive areas other than speculation. The tax itself might well make a loss more often than not.

        Also, how would the CGT affect Kiwisaver investments? Will the return reduce to investors because the underlying assets have increased in value and therefore become taxable?

        • grumpy 15.1.1.1

          That’s how it would appear, in Australia though, one of the great rorts is through “superannuation schemes”.

          My advice to anyone who has lost money to finance company collapse is to hold off writing off the loss as long as possible. You might at least get 15c in the dollar back, courtesy the Taxman.

          • Lanthanide 15.1.1.1.1

            The scheme is likely to have a grandfathered clause so all existing capital gains and losses are excluded from the tax.

            This means if you bought a house 30 years ago for $20k and sold it in 2014 for $350k after the tax is in place, you would NOT be paying tax on $330k. Whether you would pay any tax at all is not yet clear – they may have some way of working out the capital value of the property in 2012 and then taxing you on the difference between the 2014 and 2012 price.

            So any existing losses from investments you have are highly unlikely to get you a refund.

            • grumpy 15.1.1.1.1.1

              Ah, but losses on investments (such as finance companies) are only realised after the liquidator has finished disposing of assets and recovering debtors. Even then, there can be delays sorting out priority etc. If Labour get in, there are likely to be quite a few where the liquidator has not completed until into Labour’s term.

              • Lanthanide

                Timeline:
                * 2005: You invest $50k into a finance compan.
                * 2009, the finance company goes bellyup, and your investment is now worth maybe $2,500-$5,000 (what you can expect to get out of the liquidation)
                * 2012: CGT with grandfathered clause brought in.
                * 2012: Liquidation finally settled. You receive $3,250 from your investment.

                At the time when the CGT was brought in, your position with the finance company was estimated at between $2.5k and $5k. You eventually receive $3.25k, meaning you have either made a capital gain of $1.25k or a loss of $1.25k, or because it’s slap-bag in the middle of your investment’s expected value, you haven’t changed your capital position.

                Of course, this is speculation on how these losses would be treated, and the process could be broadly the same but with details that change the exact results. But the point is that if the grandfather clause protects you from having to pay CGT on the $330k “profit” you made from the house you bought 30 years ago, I don’t see why the grandfathered clause would work any differently for finance company investments that went bust prior to the CGT being brought in.

                • grumpy

                  That is assuming it is “grandfathered”. I’m not sure prior transactions will be – not if they are trying to raise $4b.

                  • KJT

                    It should not be grandfathered. Speculators have been bludging off the rest of us for long enough.

                    Why should I work 100 hours a week and pay 33% tax on my retirement savings. While someone sits on a house, shares, gold, farmland of other assets doing nothing and pays no tax on their income.

        • Lanthanide 15.1.1.2

          Unlikely to affect Kiwisaver investments negatively.

          My Kiwisaver provider is set up as a PIE investment entity. The returns are already classed as income and taxed at 28%. There’s no way they’d be introducing a double-whammy tax.

          If anything, Kiwisaver funds may be given special treatment and taxed at a 15% rate instead of the usual PIE rate. Or if the kiwisaver fund goes down, it might be eligible for 15% refund; not sure if you can get a tax refund if your PIE shrinks.

  16. mikesh 16

    “A loss is a diminution of capital. A gain is income.

    Sorry but if investors lose the state will not partially compensate them.”

    If you are going to regard a gain as income then a “diminution of capital” would have to be treated as a loss, and therefore would be deductible, for tax purposes, from other income.

    However CGT doesn’t require “gain” to be defined in this way.

  17. mikesh 17

    “Listen to the economics correspondent from the Syndey Morning Herald explain what happened in Australia when they introduced a CGT. Yeah they also had all the naysayers like Peter George predicting the sky would fall in – but guess what? It didn’t.

    The correspondent notes how New Zealand is considered to be a strange anomally in that it doesn’t have a CGT – Australia, UK, US all have CGT. Also some good points regarding the lack of a CGT being a loophole in the NZ tax system that enables people to convert taxable income to non-taxable capital gain. Therfore it’s not just what a CGT would raise directly but with the loophole gone it would be harder to use property speculation to shelter income and so more tax would be collected on earned income.”

    A CGT needs to judged on its merits. Even if every other country in the world has one, this does not in itself mean that we should adopt a CGT.
    The trouble is that CGT doesn’t address the main problem, which seems to be the deductibility of interest. Undercapitalised landlords pay large wads of cash to moneylenders, and as a result fail to make a profit and therefore they pay no tax. They then rely on some future capital gain to justify what they euphemistically refer to as an investment. Another landlord might invest his own capital, pay nothing to the moneylenders, make a healthy profit, and instead pay large wads of cash to the government in the form of income tax. Is it really fair that these latter landlords should pay CGT on the same basis as the former? Make interest non deductible and you would probably solve the problem.
    If a wouldbe landlord doesn’t have the capital to invest, one would have to ask, what the hell is doing in the landlord business.

  18. mikesh 18

    “If you own the house under an LAQC, then the LAQC has mortgage expense of $20k, and rental income of $15k. Overall it makes a loss of $5k. You then transfer this loss of $5k to your personal income, and get a refund on the tax paid.”

    Actually the LAQC is making a profit of $5,000. Only half of the $20,000 mortgage payment is an actual expense. The remaining $10,000 represents a reduction of liabilities.

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    Politically Corrected | 14-09
  • Gordon Campbell on the Glenn Greenwald revelations
    All that hanging out with the All Blacks clearly hasn’t taught Prime Minister John Key a thing about the ethics of playing the ball, and not the man. Still, in slagging off Pulitzer Prize winning investigative journalist Glenn Greenwald as...
    Gordon Campbell | 14-09
  • Gordon Campbell on the Glenn Greenwald revelations
    Column – Gordon Campbell All that hanging out with the All Blacks clearly hasnt taught Prime Minister John Key a thing about the ethics of playing the ball, and not the man. Still, in slagging off Pulitzer Prize winning investigative...
    Its our future | 14-09
  • 2014 SkS Weekly Digest #37
    SkS Highlights 97 hours of consensus: caricatures and quotes from 97 scientists by John Cook attracted the most comments of the articles posted on SkS during the past week. In addition, the 97 Hours campaign was widely acclaimed and promoted by...
    Skeptical Science | 14-09
  • Not the Six O’clock News – Laila Harré talks with Glenn Greenw...
    ...
    The Jackal | 14-09
  • Is Whale Oil a journalist (3)?
    Yes. Yes, he is. The High Court says so, as Whale Oil points out triumphantly. Like the good journalist he is, he even shows us the evidence: para 145 of Justice Asher’s judgment. Mr Slater then goes on to demonstrate...
    Media Law Journal | 14-09
  • Lincoln Rd consultation feedback
    Between last November and February this year Auckland Transport ran consultation for a plan to further widen Lincoln Rd. It’s a road I’m particularly familiar with seeing as I use it regularly. The upgrade seeks to widen Lincoln Road to provide an...
    Transport Blog | 14-09
  • O Mary!
    U2 has been in the news lately … which reminded me of  Mary J Blige …...
    The Paepae | 14-09
  • You really should watch this interview with Glenn Greenwald, despite the sm...
    It’s easy to fall for a rapid PR ‘framing’ response, especially from an experienced spin team like Prime Minister John Key’s media machine. This comment seems a fair description of what happens: Mr Key has been very quick with the...
    The Paepae | 14-09
  • Vote Positive Bus at Ratana
    As the Big Red Labour bus drove through the small streets of Ratana (home of the Maori Ratana faith, a Maori church teaching Christian doctrine) the locals couldn’t have been more delighted.  We had finally arrived to meet up with...
    Labour campaign | 14-09
  • Has Garth McVicar handed Napier to Labour?
    About a month ago, I predicted that Stuart Nash would win Napier with a majority of 3,000, almost reversing the existing 3,701 majority achieved by retiring National incumbent Chris Tremain. With regards to Garth McVicar throwing his hat in to...
    Occasionally erudite | 14-09
  • Something To Listen To As We Head For “The Moment Of Truth”
      ALREADY, the arrival of Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, Glenn Greenwald (a.k.a. "Kim Dotcom's little henchman") has afforded New Zealanders another disturbing glimpse of the man behind the Prime-Ministerial mask.  Even more will be revealed tomorrow at the Auckland Town Hall.  Doors open...
    Bowalley Road | 13-09
  • John Key’s Top 69 Lies: Today no. 6: I haven’t seen Ian Fletcher in...
    ...
    Arch Rival | 13-09
  • Poll of Polls update – 14 September 2014
    For some reason, Fairfax have delayed the release of their 11 September 2014 Ipsos poll to this morning (the Ipsos Polling Station on Stuff even calls it their “September 11 2014 Poll”). It’s almost standard these days to describe each new...
    Occasionally erudite | 13-09
  • Speaker: The End of Trust
    If there’s one thing I’ve learned reading the Dirty Politics book and associated stories, emails, blog posts, tweets and rants, it’s that I’ve got a thing or two to learn about PR.This worries me somewhat, because while I’ve only been...
    Public Address | 13-09
  • I was, of course, completely right
    According to a new book by Naomi Klein, described in the Guardian, it turns out that Richard Branson's much publicised attempts to green his humungeous planet wrecking fleet of aircraft was just hot air.(See what I did there?)I, of course,...
    Left hand palm | 13-09
  • Raising the minimum wage
    Labour and the Greens have both committed to raising the minimum wage in government. During the last leaders’ debate I got a few tweets from people insisting that raising the minimum wage would obviously kill all small business in New...
    Boots Theory | 13-09
  • A coalition with Winston Peters
    NZ First leader Winston Peters and Green party co-leader Russel Norman.I'm not sure how to break the news to all those desperate right wingers out there wanting the NZ First party to form a coalition government with National, but, despite...
    The Jackal | 13-09
  • Caption Competition: Gerry and Julie
    On Friday Night Prime TV’s Prime Time with Shaun Plunket hosted a debate on transport with Gerry Brownlee, Julie Anne Genter, Cameron Pitches and Ken Shirley (CEO of the Road Transport Forum). You can watch the discussion here. There wasn’t anything new...
    Transport Blog | 13-09
  • Welcome to Glenn Greenwald…
    . My welcome to visiting journalist, Glenn Greenwald; .   . Key’s comments to this man have been nothing less than shameful.This is how our Prime Minister deals to journalists he can’t control or manipulate; . . So much for...
    Frankly Speaking | 13-09
  • Welcome to Glenn Greenwald…
    . My welcome to visiting journalist, Glenn Greenwald; .   . Key’s comments to this man have been nothing less than shameful.This is how our Prime Minister deals to journalists he can’t control or manipulate; . . So much for...
    Frankly Speaking | 13-09
  • “National security” or “National’s security”?
    So, John Key has decided to double down on Glenn Greenwald's revelations about GCSB spying, promising to declassify and release documents showing that a proposed panopticon was discussed but never implemented:Mr Key has admitted for the first time that yes,...
    No Right Turn | 13-09
  • 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
  • Eliminating Poverty – Sir Edmund Hillary Collegiate, Otara | Internet MAN...
    A campaign to Eliminate Poverty, Feed the Kids, build more houses, and create thousands of new jobs, was outlined by Internet MANA at a public meeting in Otara this evening. When MANA and the Internet Party first sat down to...
    Mana | 09-09
  • Housing in Waiariki – Sykes
    Fact:  Under this National-Maori Party-ACT-United Future Government 61% of Maori in Waiariki do not own their own home and nearly 70% of Maori rentals in Waiariki pay $200 or more per week. “Maori in Waiariki have low rates of home ownership...
    Mana | 09-09
  • Charter school crisis shows time to axe costly experiment
    Dysfunction from day one at a Northland charter school shows it is time to dump this costly and failed experiment by the National-ACT Government, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Te Kura Hourua ki Whangaruru received $27,000 in government funding...
    Labour | 08-09
  • Labour will crack down on loan sharks
    A Labour Government will crack down on predatory loan sharks by making it illegal both to charge exorbitant interest rates and to exploit uninformed borrowers, Labour’s Consumer Affairs Spokesperson Carol Beaumont says. Labour today released its Consumer Affairs policy which...
    Labour | 08-09
  • Let’s do the FEED before the weed
    “Last week I put out a very strongly worded email to my colleagues about an online promotion about cannabis law reform” said MANA leader and Tai Tokerau MP, Hone Harawira “and I stand by that criticism today.” My concern was...
    Mana | 08-09
  • TE KAEA and NATIVE AFFAIRS live to fight another day
    “I understand that both the chair of the Board of Maori Television, Georgina Te Heuheu, and new CEO, Paora Maxwell, are now saying that my comments this morning about their plans to cut Te Kaea and Native Affairs, were wrong, and that...
    Mana | 08-09
  • How come the PM only pays 2.8% of his income in tax – Harawira
    “Before John Key talks about the piddling tax cuts he plans for low and middle income families today he needs to explain why he only pays 2.8% of his income on tax while a minimum wage worker pays 28% tax,”...
    Mana | 07-09
  • THE DEATH OF INDEPENDENCE FOR MAORI TV
    “If what I’m hearing is true, tomorrow Maori Television Service (MTS) will dump its news programme, Te Kaea, and staff will lose their jobs” said MANA Leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau, Hone Harawira “and the Minister of Maori...
    Mana | 07-09
  • Labour recommits to Pike River families
    An incoming Labour-led government will do everything possible to recover the bodies of the Pike River Miners and return them to their families, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “This tragedy and its aftermath has left the families of the 29...
    Labour | 06-09
  • Voting has started and still no tax plan or fiscal budget for voters to see
    "Even though voting for the election has already begun, National still refuses to provide any details of its proposed tax cuts. And Bill English admitted this morning that he won’t provide any specifics until after the election", Labour’s Finance spokesperson...
    Labour | 06-09
  • National’s partners’ tax plans cost at least $42 billion
    If National forms the next government its partners’ tax plans will cost the country at least $42 billion, and maybe as much as $50 billion, wreaking havoc with the books, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “National claims to be...
    Labour | 05-09
  • Labour: Providing more opportunities for young Kiwis
    A Labour Government will ensure every young Kiwi under the age of 20 is given the opportunity to be in work, education or training, and plans to develop a conservation apprenticeship scheme to help do that, Labour’s Youth Affairs spokesperson...
    Labour | 04-09
  • Candles out on teachers’ slice of birthday cake
    Today may be Novopay’s second birthday, but there’s little to celebrate, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Novopay has cost the taxpayer tens of millions of dollars already, and the cost is still climbing....
    Labour | 04-09
  • National’s blatant broadband pork barrelling misses the mark by a country...
    National’s blatant pork-barrelling ICT announcement today should reinforce a growing sceptical electorate’s view that they are all about the gift wrap and not the present, Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare Curran says. “Instead of addressing the real issues - the woeful...
    Labour | 04-09
  • More evidence of the need to clean up the system
    The latest release of emails and messages between disgraced Minister Judith Collins and blogger Cameron Slater are more evidence of the urgent need to clean up politics, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. "This new evidence confirms a near constant flow...
    Labour | 04-09
  • Labour commits to stable funding for voluntary sector
    A Labour Government will establish long-term funding and streamline contract accountability for community and voluntary groups, says Labour’s spokesperson for the sector Louisa Wall. Announcing Labour’s policy for the community and voluntary sector, she said this would give much greater...
    Labour | 04-09
  • Better trained and skilled workforce under Labour
    Labour is committed to a skilled workforce that benefits businesses as well as their workers, and will increase workplace training to improve productivity and drive innovation, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “Labour believes the Government should support New Zealanders into...
    Labour | 03-09
  • Labour will make renting a better option
    Labour will provide greater security of tenure for renters, and build more state and social housing, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Labour believes every kid deserves a decent start in life. That means a warm, dry and secure home....
    Labour | 03-09
  • At least 15 new taxes under National
    John Key is the last person to talk about creating taxes, presiding over a Government that has imposed at least 15 new taxes, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “John Key tried a novel line in the debate last night claiming...
    Labour | 03-09
  • Labour will strengthen New Zealand’s democracy
    A Labour Government will act quickly to protect and enhance New Zealand’s reputation as one of the most open and least corrupt countries in the world, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “The health of any democracy is improved by greater...
    Labour | 02-09
  • MANA Movement says tax cut on GST must be first priority – Minto
    “If Prime Minister John Key has money available for tax cuts then cutting GST must be the first priority”,  said MANA Movement Economic Justice Spokesperson John Minto. GST is a nasty tax on low-income families”, said Minto. “People in the...
    Mana | 02-09
  • The Maori Party’s Mana-Enhancing Relationship with National – Minto
    “First we had Cameron Slater and David Farrar backing Labour’s Kelvin Davis bid to unseat MANA Movement Leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau Hone Harawira.  Now we have Slater writing a pro-Te Ururoa Flavell article on his website, Whale...
    Mana | 02-09
  • There’s Only One Poll That Counts
    “One of the oldest sayings in politics is that there is only one poll that counts – the one on Election Day – and that’s the one that I am focusing on” remarked the MANA Movement candidate for Waiariki, Annette...
    Mana | 02-09
  • Local communities critical to Civil Defence
    Labour will focus on empowering New Zealand communities to be resilient in Civil Defence disasters, says Labour’s Civil Defence spokesperson Clare Curran. Announcing Labour’s Civil Defence policy, she says that Labour will work with schools, voluntary agencies and community groups...
    Labour | 02-09
  • Labour looks to long-life passports, gambling harm review
    A return to 10 year passports and a review of gambling laws are highlights of Labour’s Internal Affairs policy released today. “More than 15,000 New Zealanders signed a petition calling on the Government to revert to the 10 year system...
    Labour | 02-09
  • MANA Movement Leadership stands strong behind Internet MANA relationship
    “There is now, and always will be, a range of views about many issues within our movement and members are free to express them, but Georgina’s views on Kim Dotcom are not shared by the MANA Movement leadership or the vast majority...
    Mana | 01-09
  • Rebuilding the New Zealand Defence Force
    A Labour Government will make it a priority to rebuild the capacity of the Defence Force to carry out the tasks expected of it, says Labour’s Defence Spokesperson Phil Goff. Releasing Labour’s Defence Policy today he said the NZDF has...
    Labour | 01-09
  • Speech to Canterbury Chamber of Commerce
    Today I'm going to talk about our policy package to upgrade and grow our economy and how we turn that growth into a foundation for a decent and fair society. But first I want to address the issue of our...
    Labour | 01-09
  • Commission of Inquiry must have bipartisan support
    The Labour Party is drafting terms of reference for a Commission of Inquiry, Labour’s Shadow Attorney-General David Parker says. “It is abundantly clear there is a need for an independent Commission of Inquiry, chaired by a High Court Judge, into...
    Labour | 01-09
  • Rapid Transit to unclog Christchurch
    Labour will build a 21st century Rapid Transit system for Christchurch, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “The long delayed recovery of Christchurch hinges on a modern commuter system for the city. “We will invest $100 million in a modern rail plan...
    Labour | 31-08
  • Labour’s commitment to public broadcasting
    A Labour Government will set up a working group to re-establish a public service television station as part of our commitment to ensuring New Zealand has high quality free-to-air local content. “We will set up a working group to report...
    Labour | 31-08
  • A new deal for the conservation estate
    The health of our economy depends on New Zealand preserving and restoring our land, air, water and indigenous wildlife, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson. Announcing Labours Conservation policy, she said that there will be a comprehensive plan to restore...
    Labour | 31-08
  • Labour’s plan to end homelessness
    Labour has a comprehensive approach to end homelessness starting with the provision of emergency housing for 1000 people each year and putting an end to slum conditions in boarding houses, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “Labour believes that homelessness is not...
    Labour | 30-08
  • Labour: A smarter approach to justice
    A Labour Government will improve the justice system to ensure it achieves real public safety, provides equal access to justice and protects human rights, Labour’s Justice spokesperson Andrew Little says. “Our approach is about tackling the root causes of crime, recognising...
    Labour | 29-08
  • Labour to foster Kiwi love of sport and the great outdoors
    A Labour Government will promote physical activity, back our top athletes and help foster Kiwis’ love of the great outdoors by upgrading tramping and camping facilities. Trevor Mallard today released Labour’s sports and recreation policy which will bring back a...
    Labour | 29-08
  • Pacific languages recognised under Labour
    Labour will act to recognise the five main Pacific languages in New Zealand including through the education system, said Pacific Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio. Announcing Labour’s Pacific Island policy he said that there must be a strong commitment to...
    Labour | 29-08
  • No healthy economy without a healthy environment
    Labour recognises that we cannot have a healthy economy without a healthy environment, says Environment spokesperson Moana Mackey announcing Labour’s environment policy. “New Zealand’s economy has been built on the back of the enormous environmental wealth we collectively enjoy as...
    Labour | 28-08
  • Better protection, fairer deal for Kiwi consumers
    Tackling excessive prices, ensuring consumers have enough information to make ethical choices and giving the Commerce Commission more teeth are highlights of Labour’s Consumer Rights policy. “The rising cost of living is a concern for thousands of Kiwi families. A...
    Labour | 28-08
  • Media Advisory – MANA Movement Candidate for Waiariki Annette Sykes, Waia...
    Media are advised that this coming weekend, the MANA Movement Candidate for Waiariki, Annette Sykes, will be on the Internet MANA Road Trip within the electorate of Waiariki. Speakers confirmed are Annette Sykes, Hone Harawira, John Minto, Laila Harre and Kim...
    Mana | 27-08
  • Internet MANA – Waiariki Road Trip: 29, 30, 31 Aug 2014
    The Internet MANA Road Trip hits Waiariki this weekend. It would be great if all MANA members in Waiariki could especially attend the public meetings and show their support for our Waiariki candidate Annette Sykes. Confirmed speakers Hone Harawira (except Taupo), Annette...
    Mana | 27-08
  • Henchmen
    Henchmen...
    The Daily Blog | 14-09
  • Why it simply isn’t credible that Key stepped in and shut down the mass s...
    Key’s staggering admission that yes there was a year long business model by the GCSB to mass spy on all of NZ but  that he stepped in and shut it down after Cabinet had signed it off just sounds like make...
    The Daily Blog | 14-09
  • John Key’s love affair with a straw man
    Politicians like putting up straw men for the purpose of self-righteously knocking them over. Prime Minister John Key has a particular straw man he loves to punch over. He raises it whenever he’s asked about mass surveillance of New Zealanders...
    The Daily Blog | 14-09
  • John Armstrong turns on Glenn Greenwald
    Where does a mediocre journalist like John Armstrong get off attacking a journalist with the credibility of Glenn Greenwald as he has in his ridiculous column today? Armstrong has the audacity to try and play the terrorism card to justify why...
    The Daily Blog | 14-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Denis Tegg – Which of John Key’s many statements on the GC...
    We already have Glenn Greenwald’s assertion on The Nation that John Key has misled New Zealanders as to whether the GCSB has engaged in mass surveillance of Kiwis. But Key has made many other statements about the GCSB’s powers and...
    The Daily Blog | 14-09
  • Election 2014: Numbers and Faces
    Democratic politics is a game of numbers and faces. How can we translate the numbers into the 120 or more faces that will be in the next Parliament? Below is my prediction of a likely result: 120 people, divided by...
    The Daily Blog | 14-09
  • Scotland the brave
    The possibility that Scotland will vote for independence this Thursday has panicked the British establishment. An unholy alliance of Tory, Labour, Liberal and corporate leaders has resorted to fear-mongering and bullying on grand scale in a last ditch effort to...
    The Daily Blog | 14-09
  • Why Key’s denials sound so off and why Dotcom’s fight is all our fight
    The shrillness of Key is the issue. His denials just too forced and rehearsed. Key has gone from Hollow Man to Shallow Man with his lashing out at Pulitzer Price winning Journalist Glenn Greenwald by calling him a ‘henchman’. This...
    The Daily Blog | 14-09
  • Letters to the Editor – Spies, Lies, Five Eyes, and other matters on a S...
    . . Sharing a few thoughts and observations with newspaper editors around the country… . from: Frank Macskasy <fmacskasy@gmail.com>to: Sunday Star Times <letters@star-times.co.nz>date: Sun, Sep 14, 2014 subject: Letter to the Editor . The Editor Sunday Star Times . Our...
    The Daily Blog | 14-09
  • Letters to the Editor – Spies, Lies, Five Eyes, and other matters on a Su...
    . . Sharing a few thoughts and observations with newspaper editors around the country… . from: Frank Macskasy <fmacskasy@gmail.com>to: Sunday Star Times <letters@star-times.co.nz>date: Sun, Sep 14, 2014 subject: Letter to the Editor . The Editor Sunday Star Times . Our...
    The Daily Blog | 14-09
  • As TDB predicted, Labour to use universal super fund to buy back assets and...
    Greens about to be snookered again?   As The Daily Blog has pointed out several times now, Labour will use a universal super fund to buy back NZs assets in a bid to offer Winston a legacy project… Labour plans...
    The Daily Blog | 13-09
  • A lesson in caring for our most vulnerable
    Some of the comments on this article make me sick. Because I am so very much over people who think they are better than others because things have gone their way in life and think those who aren’t as functional...
    The Daily Blog | 13-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – Please vote positive
    One of the features of campaigning is the meet-the-candidates event.  As an opportunity to present policies to the voter, they aren’t the best vehicle but still serve a useful purpose.  The problem is that there are too many candidates and...
    The Daily Blog | 13-09
  • For this who don’t vote this election
    For this who don’t vote this election...
    The Daily Blog | 13-09
  • Where does Key get off abusing a Pulitzer prize winning Journalist like Gle...
    We are seeing the Dirty Politics PM today when Key decided the best way to counter the Glenn Greenwald claims of GCSB mass surveillance was to denigrate Greenwald… Prime Minister John Key says he will prove Glenn Greenwald’s claims by the...
    The Daily Blog | 13-09
  • Teflon Man No More
    . .   On 26 August, as Nicky Hager’s expose on New Zealand’s right wing politics hit public consciousness and confirmed our worst fears, I wrote, “Dirty Politics” has achieved more than simply revealing  unwholesome machinations between National party apparatchiks,...
    The Daily Blog | 13-09
  • Dear mainstream media – regarding Key’s promise to resign if GCSB expos...
    Dear Mainstream media. How’s it all going? I would like to acknowledge the deep depression many members of the Press Gallery are going through as their boy Key looks less and less likely to win. I appreciate how a loss...
    The Daily Blog | 13-09
  • It’s official: ACT’s Jamie Whyte is several-sandwiches-and-a-salad sho...
    .   . There aren’t very many times I agree wholeheartedly with our Dear Leader – but on this occassion I believe he spoke for those 99% of New Zealanders for whom common sense is as natural as breathing air....
    The Daily Blog | 13-09
  • ‘I’ll not be intimidated … by cowards’, says Fiji death threat jour...
    Fiji Sun’s Jyoti Pratibha … death threats via fake Facebook profiles. Image: Pacific Scoop THE PARIS-based media freedom advocacy organisation Reporters Sans Frontières and the Pacific Media Centre have condemned threats and intimidation against political reporters this week covering Fiji’s...
    The Daily Blog | 12-09
  • Glenn Greenwald on TV3s ‘The Nation’ – Everyone remember when Key pro...
    Glenn Greenwald has just given his first NZ interview on TV3s ‘The Nation’ and what he had to say was incredibly damaging. Glenn is here for Kim Dotcom’s Moment of Truth on Monday and what he has just had to...
    The Daily Blog | 12-09
  • What will soft National vote do, why Colin Craig will be a focus in final w...
    In what has been the most unpredictable elections of our time, the final week promises more shocks and bombshells than World War One trench warfare. We have the media who still have the Rawshark emails that detail the Ede-Slater exchanges....
    The Daily Blog | 12-09
  • Would a National-Conservative Party reduce rights to an abortion? Legalise ...
    With the possibility of a Conservative-National Party coalition looming, let’s consider the impact of this new hard right religious Government on social policy. We know Conservative Party candidate Edward Saafi, believes the inability to legally bash your kids is responsible for teenage prostitution, teenage pregnancy and...
    The Daily Blog | 12-09
  • ACTs solution to crime – more guns?
    How insane are the ACT Party? Honestly? Their solution to crime is to arm every shop keeper with a sawn off shotgun??? “Criminals are well aware that shopkeepers are defenceless and are taking advantage of this in brutal robberies. What...
    The Daily Blog | 12-09
  • John Key’s gift to teenage girls…
    Yesterday I was at the MANA Movement policy release on “Predators on Poverty” in the Otahuhu Shopping Centre. Successive Labour and National governments have left vulnerable communities on their own to face these merciless thieves who prey on the poor...
    The Daily Blog | 12-09
  • Poverty denial – Where does National get its advice from?
    National is displaying a quite inadequate understanding of their own policies and worrying inability to respond to criticism. When John Key trots out his old, tired example of how ‘work pays’ on Morning Report this week to justify leaving 260,000...
    The Daily Blog | 12-09
  • Education reformers mean well, so what’s the problem?
    The thing about education reformers is that, mostly, they mean well. Whether it’s charter schools, National Standards, Teach First, or another reform, many people involved have good intentions.  They want to improve things, try something new and innovate, they say. The thing...
    The Daily Blog | 12-09
  • My brain hurts
    My brain hurts.  This election year has been a really long nine months.  The lies, the headlines, the spin, the policy, the chat, I am literally overloaded with information.  At times it’s been exhausting trying to keep up.  However I...
    The Daily Blog | 12-09
  • Slater loses Blomfield defamation case – has to pays costs & must dis...
    Great victory for Journalism today. The Defamation case Matt Blomfield took against Slater has jumped its first hurdle, Slater has been told he might be a ‘Journalist’, but he has no right to journalistic protection of his sources because there was no...
    The Daily Blog | 12-09
  • Seeing an Economic Vision
    It has been some time since my last post to TDB. I was fortunate to recently come back to NZ briefly for a bit of a break from my work in Pakistan. While my visit was super short, I took...
    The Daily Blog | 11-09
  • 5 reasons why anyone identifying as Left with a capital L should party vote...
    There are 5 reasons why anyone identifying as Left with a capital L should consider casting their party vote for Internet MANA this election. 1 – Feed the Kids: There is no excuses now that National have flirted with the idea...
    The Daily Blog | 11-09
  • What I want from a change of government
    The prospects for a change of government look a little brighter so I though I’d look at what we can expect. The only option being provided by Labour, the main opposition party, is for a Labour, Green, NZ First coalition....
    The Daily Blog | 11-09
  • Why is the “Progressive” Coalition so Regressive?
    Have you ever, when parallel parking, got yourself wedged into the curb? The car in front is centimetres away and your rear wheel is touching the curb at an angle. This is a metaphor for the state of economic policy-making...
    The Daily Blog | 11-09
  • Of course the Greens could work with National
    A warm soy latte with John Key?   Sharp in take of breath moment as TVNZ last night reported Greens could work with National post the election if National win. It’s a smart move. The Greens are so viciously anti-tribal...
    The Daily Blog | 11-09
  • Coalition for Better Broadcasting – Quality of Journalism
    “Skilled journos getting unwarranted shit from hack bloggers & online warriors could earn big $ in PR/marketing, so thank you for what you do”. As this tweet rolled across my screen this morning the irony had me rolling my eyes. Why on...
    The Daily Blog | 11-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – #BlueGreen2014 – Or: The Media Jetskiis O...
    During Thursday’s iteration of One News, I was virtually shocked off my seat to hear a reasonably well-known political pundit slash nominal “journalist” prognosticating about the likelihood of the Green Party “switching gear” on its electoral strategy … and deciding...
    The Daily Blog | 11-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Michael Wood – Winning on the Economy
    One of the great tricks of the right over the past twenty years has been to desiccate debate about our economy. ‘The economy’ is spoken about as if it is an independent entity, divorced from the realm of democratic politics...
    The Daily Blog | 11-09
  • GUEST BLOG – Curwen Rolinson – They’re tryna build a prison system ...
    Well, at least we now know how National intends to deliver that extra hundred and fifty thousand jobs they’ve promised us. Although on sixty cents an hour, it’s not *quite* the reasonable pay packet – or, hell, living wage that...
    The Daily Blog | 11-09
  • 5AA Australia: NZ General Election is in full swing September 11 2014
    5AA Australia: Selwyn Manning and Peter Godfrey discuss the fallout from the dirty politics revelations and also how the political leaders are fairing. The NZ General Election is in full swing. Since we last talked, the fallout from the dirty...
    The Daily Blog | 11-09
  • If it barks like a dog…
    If it barks like a dog…...
    The Daily Blog | 11-09
  • The obscenity of National’s tax cuts
    It should be an abhorrence in a nation that once prided itself on its egalitarianism that National want to borrow another $500 million per year while 250 000 – 285 000 children live in poverty. There are two reasons why...
    The Daily Blog | 10-09
  • National’s work prison gulags
    All jails to become ‘working prisons’ under NationalMore prisoners will be put to work and ex-prisoners will receive post-release drug addiction treatment if National is returned to government. Corrections Spokesperson Anne Tolley says the working prisons model will be expanded...
    The Daily Blog | 10-09
  • Top 10 questions if the Conservative Party get over 5%
    1. If the Conservative Party get over 5% do we automatically go back to 1950? 2. If the Conservative Party get over 5% will  the National Anthem be changed from “God defend NZ’ to “God God God” 3. If the...
    The Daily Blog | 10-09
  • BackBenches Auckland Election special & TV3 Leaders debate review
    Fascinating time at the Auckland election special of BackBenches this year. I was at the filming in 2011 and it was a very different beast. I remember in 2011 a sea of blue. Team Key acolytes were everywhere, there was...
    The Daily Blog | 10-09
  • EXCLUSIVE: Was the Donghua Liu Affair another example of Dirty Politics?
    . . – Frank Macskasy & ‘Hercules’ What appears to be an orchestrated  Beehive plot to dig dirt for throwing at Labour leader, David Cunliffe, ahead of a crucial parliamentary debate is revealed in a paper trail linking Immigration Minister,...
    The Daily Blog | 10-09
  • Public interest at risk more than business interests this election
    This election is not just about which political party wins. It’s about the privilege of multinational corporates, including the all-powerful media. It’s about access to minerals and resources needed to prop up the prevailing economic order and to stave off...
    The Daily Blog | 10-09
  • Green Pasifika candidates
    In the last couple of elections the Greens have stood Rev Mua Strickson-Pua as their candidate in Mangere. A well known personality in the Pacific community, often seen by many as a little eccentric. I’ve enjoyed seeing Rev Strickson-Pua make...
    The Daily Blog | 10-09
  • BLOGWATCH: Gordon Campbell’s 19 reasons Why We Can’t Afford Another Nat...
    National Party Billboard if it was honest   The ever brilliant Gordon Campbell over at Werewolf has put together 19 reasons why we can’t afford another National Government. I highly recommend you read the entire thing – his 19 reasons...
    The Daily Blog | 10-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Kelly Ellis – Sandy Smiles
    The man tapped the glass with his pen at two minutes and I wound up my less than positive comments about the MPs who’d betrayed the Whangarei Electorate. It’s hard to stay on-message when looking at the state of this...
    The Daily Blog | 10-09
  • Purity and Power: Chris Trotter critiques John Armstrong’s advice to the ...
    WHAT AN EXTRAORDINARY COLUMN from John Armstrong! There have been many this year, but his latest (10/9/14) stands out because of the cynical amorality underpinning the writer’s political analysis. “The Greens face an old dilemma”, opines the NZ Herald’s Chief Political...
    The Daily Blog | 10-09
  • BLOGWATCH: The audacity of David Farrar
    Cry us a river David! The audacity of Farrar slagging off Nicky Hager today is almost delusional.  The bore of Babylon claims that we on the left hate the right having strong voices. Oh pa-lease! Despite Farrar masquerading as lite right...
    The Daily Blog | 09-09
  • Final decision on Ruakura Development Plan Change
    The independent Board of Inquiry considering the Ruakura Development Plan Change has released its final report and decision. The Board has approved the plan change request but with amendments....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Confirmed – Smacking Law Needs Correction
    Family First NZ says that the ONE News Vote Compass survey showing only 23% support the anti-smacking law is no surprise, and confirms that it’s time the politicians listened to New Zealand families....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Kiwi voters urged to heed warnings
    Kiwi voters would do well to note the advice given this week to Queensland people by retired judge and renowned corruption fighter Tony Fitzgerald, according to Democrats for Social Credit health spokesman David Tranter....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Fisheries policy analysis produces surprising results
    Nine political party policies were analysed to determine which party had the most public friendly fisheries policy and the results surprised LegaSea, an apolitical fisheries lobby group. “For the first time, recreational fishers have been offered...
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • $3m to help keep Hutt families healthy
    National Party candidate for Hutt South, Chris Bishop, welcomes news Hutt City Council has been selected to lead a $3 million anti-obesity initiative in Lower Hutt which will help families improve their health. “Healthy Families NZ is National’s new...
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Community organisations struggling
    The survey, conducted by community sector network ComVoices, highlights the high level of frustration and urgency being felt by those who deliver services, says group Chairperson, Peter Glensor. 311 organisations completed the survey....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • NZ 2014 Election Index – 6-11 September
    Below is iSentia’s weekly Election Index for the period 6 to 11 September, showing the relative amount of coverage of nine Party Leaders in the lead up to the National Election across news media and social media. We will publish...
    Scoop politics | 14-09
  • Workers despair at Nationals lack of fairness
    “Nationals Workplaces policy, released today, fails to articulate any vison about how life for working New Zealanders can be improved.” CTU President Helen Kelly said. “Again if this policy focusses on removing work rights, its own documents...
    Scoop politics | 14-09
  • National tries to dodge the discussion on workers’ rights
    New Zealanders deserve a proper conversation about National’s plans to keep undermining the real value of their wages and conditions at work. “Today National has released a ‘workplace policy’ which will further widen the imbalance of power between...
    Scoop politics | 14-09
  • Didn’t Get Your Easyvote Pack? You Need to Enrol Now.
    If you didn’t get an EasyVote pack in the mail last week, you need to check your enrolment now as you may not be enrolled....
    Scoop politics | 14-09
  • Survey shows television without adverts could be vote winner
    Survey shows television without adverts could be a vote winner Television news focuses too much on politicians' personalities and not enough on the real issues, according to a UMR survey commissioned by the Coalition for Better Broadcasting....
    Scoop politics | 14-09
  • Which of Key’s many statements will Greenwald challenge?
    John Key's credibility and honesty will be tested on many more GCSB issues than whether there was / is mass surveillance of New Zealanders by the GCSB. I have put together this by no means comprehensive list of Key's statements...
    Scoop politics | 14-09
  • 4th tranche of Auckland Housing Accord licenses sprawl
    Youth organisation, Generation Zero, is appalled at the next stage of the Auckland Housing Accord, released today, as it is once again focussed on urban sprawl. The fourth tranche of 41 Special Housing Areas (SHAs), allows for 8000 dwellings, nearly...
    Scoop politics | 14-09
  • New funding to support high value food exports
    Auckland, New Zealand. 15 September 2014...Plant & Food Research has received funding for two new projects in the latest government science investment round....
    Scoop politics | 14-09
  • National, Greens Big Movers on Bribe-O-Meter
    The Taxpayers’ Union has updated its election policy 'Bribe-O-Meter’ to reflect the cost of recent campaign promises. The update takes into account Labour’s new fiscal tables and all announcements up to Friday and is based on numbers provided...
    Scoop politics | 14-09
  • Policy Costing Expert Questions ‘NZ Power’ Numbers
    Dr Michael Dunn, engaged by the Taxpayers’ Union to provide the figures for the 'Bribe-O-Meter' election costing website , is questioning the Labour Party’s costing of it’s flagship "NZ Power” policy....
    Scoop politics | 14-09
  • Meet the Real Colin Craig
    Watching Conservative Party leader Colin Craig struggling to explain his tax policy on The Nation this morning finally revealed that he is making dishonest promises....
    Scoop politics | 14-09
  • Lifetime Achiever Generous of Investment in Whanau Ora
    Earlier this month, Maori Party's Te Tai Tonga and Christchurch based candidate, Ngaire Button, said she was rapt local hero, Tihi Puanaki, was named Regional Winner of the Pride of NZ 2014, Lifetime Achievement Award. Button is clearly delighted...
    Scoop politics | 14-09
  • Bigger than the Foreshore And Seabed
    “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...
    Scoop politics | 14-09
  • New Zealand’s participation in Five Eyes
    “Our policy is we're committing to a full review of all of New Zealand's security services. We will be repealing the GCSB legislation and we will replace it with something that is guaranteed to be more protective of New Zealanders...
    Scoop politics | 14-09
  • Once in a Lifetime travels north!
    After Once in a Lifetime ’s packed launch and sold-out panel discussion at the Christchurch Word Writers and Readers Festival, members of the editorial team are presenting the book to Auckland and Wellington audiences, in an attempt to increase...
    Scoop politics | 14-09
  • Q+A: The role of the GCSB and our participation
    Green Party co-leader Russel Norman told TV One’s Q+A programme that they would close Waihopai and review the role of the GCSB and our participation in Five Eyes....
    Scoop politics | 14-09
  • NZ First poll shows Labour coalition more likely than ever
    New Zealand First’s East Coast candidate, Mere Takoko, has revealed that her party’s internal polling shows Labour’s Moana Mackey is just 2 percent away from winning the East Coast electorate seat from incumbent Anne Tolley....
    Scoop politics | 14-09
  • iPredict Daily Update
    Initial allegations made by journalist Glenn Greenwald yesterday appear to have dented National’s chances of leading the next Government, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New Zealand’s predictions market, iPredict,...
    Scoop politics | 14-09
  • ACT is holding the Balance of Power
    ACT will hold the balance of power after the election on Saturday....
    Scoop politics | 14-09
  • Statement From Hone Harawira And Laila Harré
    The Prime Minister has used his security access to further own political interests, demonstrating he is unfit to hold the office....
    Scoop politics | 14-09
  • Key “rejected mass surveillance plan”
    National Party leader John Key told TV1’s Q+A programme that the GCSB looked into a plan for mass surveillance after two companies were subjected to a major cyber-attack – but he rejected it....
    Scoop politics | 14-09
  • Monday a Moment of Truth for Key on Spying, Says Harré
    Assurances given by the Prime Minister and the GCSB that spy agencies do not conduct mass surveillance on New Zealanders look set to be tested on Monday, says Internet Party leader Laila Harré....
    Scoop politics | 13-09
  • Outdoor Voters Poised to Vote
    A New Zealand-wide outdoor recreation organisation predicts the outdoors voting public will have a big impact on the election result....
    Scoop politics | 13-09
  • Patrick Gower Interviews NZFirst Leader Winston Peters
    Good. It looks like you’ve got a good crowd there. If we could start, Mr Peters, with Kim Dotcom and Monday night – the big reveal. A personal view from you, do you think that John Key knew about Kim...
    Scoop politics | 13-09
  • Lisa Owen Interviews Glenn Greenwald
    Says there are serious questions about whether the government has been truthful about changes to the GCSB legislation. “What I can tell you is that the statement that the GCSB made to New Zealand citizens last year — 'we do...
    Scoop politics | 13-09
  • Lisa Owen Interviews National Party Leader John Key
    Lisa Owen: We've got the top five polling party leaders today, but first, Prime Minister John Key. I spoke to him first thing this morning and began by asking him, post-election, who would he prefer to form a coalition with...
    Scoop politics | 13-09
  • On the Nation: Lisa Owen Interviews Colin Craig
    Lisa Owen: Conservative Party leader Colin Craig joins me now. Good morning, Mr Craig. Colin Craig: Good morning. John Key was on this programme this morning, and he had a chance to endorse you with a week to go. He...
    Scoop politics | 13-09
  • Patrick Gower Interviews Labour Leader David Cunliffe
    Patrick Gower: Yes, David Cunliffe, let’s look at the polls. Any way you slice or dice it, you’ve got a lot of convincing to do with voters to get that left block across the line. How are you going to...
    Scoop politics | 13-09
  • Vote for Healthy Seas and Dolphins
    WDC (Whale and Dolphin Conservation) , NABU International and Maui’s and Hector’s Dolphin Defenders....
    Scoop politics | 13-09
  • Provinces Deserve a Fair Go
    Thank you for the opportunity to talk to you today. At the outset of my talk today it is important to emphasis that New Zealand First has a strong commitment to regional development....
    Scoop politics | 12-09
  • Cunnliffe is lying about ACT policy
    "Mr Cunnliffe says that ACT’s policy would enable shopkeepers to have loaded guns in their shops for self defence." said Jamie Whyte....
    Scoop politics | 12-09
  • Support kiwi business-friendly policies in Election 2014
    Support kiwi business-friendly policies in Election 2014 The Motel Association of NZ (MANZ) is calling on voters to make sure they vote for the party and candidate who will do the most to support kiwi businesses in the election next...
    Scoop politics | 12-09
  • Disappointment with early start to Holiday Highway
    Youth organisation, Generation Zero, is disappointed by the Prime Minister's announcement today that the Puhoi-Warkworth Highway would start construction in 2016. The highway is over 18 kilometres long, and latest estimates put the cost at over $760 million....
    Scoop politics | 12-09
  • Rural Women welcomes travel cost settlement
    Rural Women New Zealand welcomes news that a proposed settlement has been agreed that will lead to home support workers being paid mileage and wages for the time they spend travelling between clients....
    Scoop politics | 12-09
  • InternetNZ political survey gets answers
    In July this year, InternetNZ released its Election '14 and the Internet document, outlining seven key Internet issues for focus and discussion during this year's election and over the next three years....
    Scoop politics | 12-09
  • Taxpayers Union wrong on cost of abolishing student debt
    “The so-called ‘Taxpayers Union’ clearly thought the Internet MANA’s announcement today seeking to abolish student debt was tl:dr (‘too long didn’t read’)”, said NZUSA President Daniel Haines....
    Scoop politics | 12-09
  • Cyclists welcome investment in health and better transport
    The $300 million investment in cycling announced today by Greens co-leader Russel Norman pays a triple dividend, says Cycling Advocates Network spokesman Patrick Morgan....
    Scoop politics | 12-09
  • ACT says Feds boss right to be wary of shadow party ambition
    “Dr William Rolleston, Federated Farmers boss is right to caution the primary industry of his concern about downright awful permutations over Ministerial roles should the 'left' cabal seize power afterSeptember 20th ,” Don Nicolson ACT primary industry...
    Scoop politics | 12-09
  • Internet Party Insults Students
    "I sometimes wonder if the Internet Party is giving students an intelligence test," says ACT Epsom Candidate David Seymour...
    Scoop politics | 12-09
  • ACT Leader Dr Jamie Whyte, ACT Headquarters
    ACT to Strengthen Rights to Self Defence and Introduce a New Crime for Home Invasion...
    Scoop politics | 12-09
  • Closing the Gap on Health and Housing
    “Inequality is the biggest problem facing New Zealand at the present time” says Peter Malcolm National Secretary of Closing the Gap. It underlies many of our social ills, poverty, lack of trust, an economy that could do much better, and...
    Scoop politics | 12-09
  • A tale of misery and destruction which ACT can stop
    On the 29th of August a man came before a Judge in the North Shore District Court...
    Scoop politics | 12-09
  • Fair travel for support workers removes existing injustice
    Human Rights Commissioner, Dr Jackie Blue welcomes the Government’s announcement today that it has corrected a wrong for community support workers by agreeing to pay for travel time and for petrol costs when travelling between clients....
    Scoop politics | 12-09
  • TV ONE Election Coverage Winning Ratings
    FRIDAY 12 SEPTEMBER 2014 The 2014 General Election is fast-approaching and ONE News will lead be leading the way with coverage. ONE News was the most-watched programme in New Zealand in August, with an average audience of over 700,000 viewers...
    Scoop politics | 12-09
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