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Polity: Why Joyce is full of it on monetary policy

Written By: - Date published: 11:11 am, May 5th, 2014 - 33 comments
Categories: don brash, Economy, monetary policy, national, same old national, Steven Joyce - Tags: , , ,

polity_square_for_lynnlprent: Rob Salmond at Polity just saved me from having to write something like this post explaining economic basics to Steven Joyce today. Over the weekend Joyce demonstrated again why his tenure at MoBIE has been a failure for the overall economy. He fixates on one thing (like the business selling milk powder) to the exclusion of the overall picture. In part that is why we have neither expanding innovation or employment in our economy at present. He is a good tactical politician. But he is a fool on strategy.

Steven Joyce, Minister of Running Interference, is trumpeting a “back of the envelope calculation” this morning claiming it would take a six point rise in the Kiwisaver contribution rate to equal just a one point rise in interest rates. Ohmigod – that’s a 6:1 ratio! How horribly inefficient! And so on.

Here is why Joyce is spouting is a load of nonsense:

  1. Comparing apples with oranges
    A one percent change in interest rates takes, according to Joyce, around $2.5 billion out of new Zealanders’ disposable income. A 1% increase in savings rates only takes out around $400m. That is no surprise, because interest rates operate on capital holdings, while savings rates operate only oncurrent earnings. So the 6:1 thing is a rhetorical red herring, nothing more. If we compare apples with apples, Joyce is saying that KiwiSaver would need to collect an extra $2.5 billion from New Zealanders in order that banks do not have to collect the extra $2.5 billion from New Zealanders instead. True enough, but not really an argument.
  2. Ignoring most of the apples
    Labour has a wide range of policies designed to increase savings and expand what people can do with their savings, many of which will decrease the need to adjust the Variable Savings Rate (VSR). One is to make KiwiSaver universal, which will have a very large impact. Joyce’s calculations are all about how much Labour would have to change the VSR if it had absolutely no other policies that impact on savings. Which makes the analysis pretty much useless.
  3. Ignoring the world around him
    Joyce’s approach to monetary policy appears wilfully ignorant of interest rates in other countries. He keeps on about New Zealand’s interest rate history, instead. But nobody is choosing between New Zealand’s 2014 interest rates and New Zealand’s 1979 interest rates. For that, you need a DeLorean. Instead, millions of people are choosing between New Zealand’s 2014 interest rates and Japan’s or America’s or Australia’s 2014 rates. That is what is driving up our dollar, which is why managing growth without increasing interest rates is such a smart idea.
  4. Ignoring flow-on effects
    Assessing the impact of a policy on New Zealanders’ lives, you normally look at all the impacts of the policy, not just one. For example, if we manage heat in the economy through retirement savings rates instead of lending rates, we take away the major force driving the New Zealand dollar upwards (see above). That means our exports are more competitive, which means more foreign exchange earnings, a better balance of payments, and more jobs for New Zealanders. Oddly none of those obvious impacts appear in Joyce’s critique. Which is entirely disingenuous.

None of Joyce’s protests change the Labour’s fundamental point: If the economy is overheating, would you rather cool it down by giving your retirement account some money, or giving an Australian bank the money instead? If you would rather give the banks the money, National’s plan is for you. If you would rather give your retirement account the money, choice Labour’s plan.

This idea is entirely sensible, which is why it is getting praise from all over the spectrum, including even Don Brash!

Steven Joyce is treating the media and the public like fools. He thinks we will see “6:1″ and run like terrified peasants. We aren’t that dumb.

33 comments on “Polity: Why Joyce is full of it on monetary policy”

  1. Tom Gould 1

    You need to take everything Joyce says with a huge grain of salt. The problem with spinning exaggerated rants on everything opposition parties do, day after day, is that he can’t do serious. And, remember, this is the guy who promised a trillion dollars from an oil bonanza. Still waiting.

  2. captain hook 2

    Joyce will just say anything as long as it is obtuse and confusing. He never will address the issue of why National panders to one sector of the economy and leaves the rest out to dry.

  3. Clemgeopin 3

    Joyce needs to watch this video again and again until he understands it properly and clearly.

    http://tinyurl.com/luh3xah

    Or, he is better off spending his time trying to analyse and solve the Nova Pay mess.

  4. Enough is Enough 4

    I agree with this entirely. The bald conductor is spinning furiously.

    However to avoid his spin getting traction Parker needs to be armed with numbers. Otherwise he will be punished and National will be allowed to lie by saying Kiwisaver contributions will increase to 14%.

    Parker needs to smash their lies hard and early by showing the models and the numbers of what will happen to Kiwisaver in order to knock 1% off the OCR.

    • lprent 4.1

      One of the issues with putting up numbers is that they are unlikely to be particularly accurate at this point in time. Even the reserve bank with all of their modelling will have little idea about the sensitivity of applying these tools either on their own or in combination with other tools.

      When the reserve bank act was put into place with its single main active tool of the OCR plus the gabfest of warnings and other minor tools, it took nearly a decade before they managed to figure out how to use it without overshooting too much. Even now the expectations of the people in the “markets” it is designed to affect shift depending on what is happening in the wider markets at the time.

      Once the powers for this and the other monetary tools that Labour is proposing are put into place, I’d expect that it will take a decade for the reserve bank to learn how and when to use them. In all likelihood they won’t use them as their main tools for some time, but will instead tweak them slightly until they figure out the effect(s) that they have in conjunction with the tools that they already use.

      That was what was the complete bollocks with Steven Joyce’s “back of the envelope” numbers with “boffins”.

      They were simply lying with numbers. No-one can really anticipate the effects of these tools until they have been tried in our unique economy along with the other tools that are already in use.

      The point of having them, as Brash pointed out, was to have them so that we don’t have to continue to overuse the single main tool that the reserve ban currently has. That frequently is like trying to crack a brazil nut with a sledgehammer. We wind up with all of the growth squashed out of our real economy to quell property booms or applied too delicately – it actually encourages the mad rush of a bubble while the reserve bank is doing too little too late.

      The days of the single tool are long over.

  5. Tom Gould 5

    Turns out Joyce made it up, on the “back of a cigarette packet”, with a couple of Tory “boffins” and says it’s “not authoritative”. So why is it in the media? The guy’s an idiot.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 5.1

      They have boffins ?

      Boffin is of course one of the Hobbitt families .

  6. Gosman 6

    If Labour are going to introduce a range of policies to increase the savings rate in other areas beyond Kiwisaver won’t that make the proposed policy less effective?

    • lprent 6.1

      It is likely to make it less likely to be used. So what? That just means it will be used when it is needed to be used.

      We have reserve powers all the way through our system that are only there to be called into use when they are needed….

      Is that really a serious objection? Or are you just stroking that line?

      • Gosman 6.1.1

        It is a serious objection, or at least less an objection and more an observation. Fran O’Sullivan also highlighted this in a recent article on the policy. In theory there is nothing wrong with the proposal. In reality it would likely be far less effective at controlling the amount of currency in circulation than using interest rates.

        • lprent 6.1.1.1

          Fran is somewhat myopic and highly selective about what she chooses to look at. It might be less effective. However its’ efficiency wasn’t the reason that it was selected.

          She ignores the economic damage that the interest rate tool has increasingly been doing to our economy. That is why there is a widespread perception amongst both economic commentators who aren’t wedded to the advantages that the OCR gives them and the economically aware in the population.

          One of Fran’s blind spots for the last 20+ years I have read her is that she is completely oblivious to anything that actually produces value. IMHO She tends to just concentrate on money flows.

          • Gosman 6.1.1.1.1

            “increasingly” I don’t think your use of this word is accurate.

            • lprent 6.1.1.1.1.1

              I think it is entirely accurate. Look at the export trading position right now for NZ with the exception of dairy milk powder. Even that has just had a nasty probability of dropping in light of major price falls elsewhere in the world in recent days, not to mention the stuff up on milk powder with China

              http://www.nbr.co.nz/article/nz-dollar-advances-traders-await-data-employment-dairy-prices-bd-155711

              Early tomorrow morning traders will be eyeing prices in the latest GlobalDairyTrade auction and a speech by Reserve Bank governor Graeme Wheeler on the significance of dairy to the New Zealand economy.

              Non-dairy manufacturing is down for what? About the third quarter in a row. Unemployment policy from this government looks like it is more about standing people down off the roll than getting them into real jobs.

              About the only investment I see coming into the country comes in the form of people chasing the property bubble, and I suspect that reserve bank’s OCR policies are just going to make it more attractive to get their money in NZ dollars.

              • Draco T Bastard

                Unemployment policy from this government looks like it is more about standing people down off the roll than getting them into real jobs.

                That’s exactly what it is. Not that I’d call most jobs out there real jobs anyway.

                and I suspect that reserve bank’s OCR policies are just going to make it more attractive to get their money in NZ dollars.

                QFT

                It’s the OCR and the high interest rates that it brings that are stuffing up our economy and helping make it unsustainable.

              • Gosman

                Increasingly would suggest that the use of interest rates has been increasing the rate of economic damage to the economy over time. The reality would suggest otherwise. The greatest amount of damage caused by a a tight monetary policy was in the mid 1980′s. This led to the failure of many agricultural based businesses and farms.

                • lprent

                  Only if you consider that SMP’s (ie the sheep subsidy) was a monetary policy. Personally I viewed it as being a straight welfare by Muldoon’s National government to farmers that discouraged them from adapting to the permanently low price of wool and mutton.

                  The removal of that particular bit of welfare caused the failure of most of those agricultural based businesses because all of a sudden the income from the vast numbers of sheep farmers disappeared.

                  Incidentally as my parents had a small farm at the time, and I’d spent a year out farming before university a few years earlier it wasn’t hard to see where the failure of the “agricultural based businesses” came from.

                  The changes in the exchange rate at that time were also a direct consequence of Muldoon’s National government running us directly towards a governmental default in 1984/5 largely as a consequence of that dumbarse farmer welfare.

                  • Gosman

                    No, I’m talking about the massive interest rate hikes that took place in the mid 1980′s to tame the rampant inflation prevalent in NZ at the time. This impacted farmers because they had overextended themselves. That was the worst impact of the interest rate policy in my mind. Yoy suggest it is increasing in it’s negative economic outcome. I can’t see much evidence to support that view.

                    • lprent

                      Wrong causation. It wasn’t the creation of money supply being turned off that caused that problem. It was the abrupt fall in the value of land.

                      When the tap was turned off on SMP’s, the property bubble that had formed around farm properties (and that had caused an inordinate amount of land to be put into production – I think we peaked at nearly 70 million sheep) burst. Farm land values fell drastically not only on sheep farms, but on all farm lands.

                      People who were over-extended were unable to get loans for the amounts that they had previously and/or were unable to service the mortgages that they had (at table mortgages on long terms to beat inflation) with the income at world prices.

                      They had to sell up voluntarily or by foreclosure sales. That pushed the land values down further. It took most of the decade before the effect of SMPs shook out through the farming sector.

                      That farm property bubble in the late 70s and early 80s was what caused me not to go farming. The property values were grossly over-priced compared to the returns from farming.

                      In many ways the same kind of thing is happening today with dairy prices. It is less complicated without the inflation and happens slower on the price reductions like the last 5 or 6 dairy auction results. But it is still happening.

                      That was what Wheeler was warning about today.

    • James N 6.2

      I think he meant “muffins” not “boffins”.

  7. Colonial Viper 7

    If the economy is overheating, would you rather cool it down by giving your retirement account some money, or giving an Australian bank the money instead?

    I suppose this is not quite as bad as increasing the numbers of unemployed to keep inflation low.

    Very selective parts of the economy are overheating in some locations, but for a majority of NZers in most of the country I suspect it is missing them entirely.

  8. Ennui 8

    The whole thing with Joyce and strategy is NOT that he is “no good” at strategy. That may or may not be, the reality is that Joyce lives in that torn environment between:

    A: The neo-liberal vision of “the invisible hand” of the market producing its own logic and strategy.
    B: The whys and wherefores of multi-national corporate and finance capitalism (formerly known as “robber baron”, monopoly, rentier etc).

    Neither of these things has Joyce, nor NACT, (nor both recent Labour administrations) challenged. It is pointless accusing Joyce of a lack of strategy when that option is actually proscribed by his party, by legislation etc. We live in a sad little country, at a sad time, with a sad little government sadly lacking in the decency and the courage to strive for something better.

  9. aerobubble 9

    Recap GFC. In order to stem a collapse in the world banking system major nations have started printing money. NZ dairy gets brought up by this cheap cash and in order to exchange something in return citizens get to buy cheap electronics etc. Only problem there’s not a lot of money around as citizens are paying mortgages off for over priced housing, and farmers for overprice farmland.

    Now we could cut back the about of dairy we sell and so take the pressure off our ecology and our economy, and lock our capacity to export to our citizens ability to purchase. No. No, what we actually do is have citizens and businesses (and now govt under key) borrow money from offshore, and deal with the imbalances from cheap money by selling off our profit centers.

    This is remarkably similar to why people should not borrow, because people pay twice, they pay the money to borrow it and they pay the capital back. A country that leaves their kids homes doesn’t have to work as hard. So a country that borrows heavily overseas has to pay twice, once to pay for the borrowing and then to pay the capital back.

    And all we needed was to sell less dairy, or better still, pay more to citizens to purchase more imports. But no your average National voter believes that wages need to be lower and debt is good, that the more dairy we have the better we will be off, YET ITS NOT TRUE, its just digging a even bigger debt pit to climb out of as interest rate rise along with the exchange rates.

    • Ennui 9.1

      Spot on Aero….

      I might add to yours “But no your average National voter believes that other peoples wages need to be lower and avoiding tax, lowering tax and allowing national debt to grow is good”……

      • aerobubble 9.1.1

        No. National voters believe in crushing unions, so want poorer bargaining power for employees, and most of them are employees. You see their boring, their followers, they don’t get that they lost their homes (or soon will, see below) because their wages (though it looked well paid) weren’t enough and National have removed their ability to drive up wages. Housing is over priced, rents will need to rise to maintain landlord mortgage repayments, rents can’t rise as power, food, fuel rise.

        Labour just said its going to lower the exchange rate, many over exposed to oil will be hurt, and unlike the rest of the world who have had to deal with higher price oil (having been in ‘good times’ due to Key’s financial policies) we are going to be hit by a triple whammy, oil, debt and housing collapse. Everybody else has been taking the hard medicine, nice Mr Key is just delaying the inevitable (and the longer the harder the crash). And the media just won’t criticize the neo-liberals,
        neo-liberals who don’t have to put up any sensible policy, or expose themselves to any kind of explanation about what has happened globally, what is happening, and what will happen. Its a good gig in a time of growth backed cheap high density non-renewable fuels to declare you
        don’t need to do government, and then declare you are working harder than ever doing less government, and how you win just by being there.

        Anyway more pointedly, if that’s not enough. No, its not about wages, its about the fact that we can produce everything we need, end world poverty, but we don’t because the wealthy can’t work out how to make a buck when most people will have reams of free time. And one or other must give, either the wealthy give up the notion of having a profit center everywhere, or the world wakes up to the con, that we don’t have to live exploited lives just so a few have bank balances that when laid to the moon several times makes for a party joke with their last friend.

        • Ennui 9.1.1.1

          Aero, nice summary, history may not repeat but the themes of humanity echo loudly: so many classes in the past have followed a trajectory to self fulfilling annihilation. Neo liberalism, the latest cab off the rank.

  10. dave 10

    your right when an ex governor like don brash says its a good idea and hes partisan ,you know Parker is on to something . joyce was running a Forbes reporter down 2 weeks ago for telling the truth its Joyce that has no credibility just a walking mouth spewing spin free of facts .there is a cure its called the mute button !

  11. captain hook 11

    The only economics joyce knows is all for me and none for you unless I have to pay you off.

  12. This type of economic illiteracy is a lynchpin of National’s political class. There are, admittedly, one or two people in the party that know about running a business, (ironically, probably less of them than there are in either the Green Party alone or the Labour party alone) but none of them understands how to run an entire economy.

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    The art of saying sorry – it’s a tough one. Apologise like Lou Vincent, and win plaudits left, right and centre. Apologise like Aaron Gilmore, and everything just gets worse. It’s been an odd time lately for apologies. David Cunliffe of...
    Occasionally erudite | 23-07
  • Robert Ellis’s apocalyptic vision of Auckland
    This blog has often written about Auckland’s 1950s-era motorway development plan, which transformed the city in fundamental ways. New Zealand painter Robert Ellis was one of the first to grasp the significance and character of that transformation. His Motorway/City series,...
    Transport Blog | 23-07
  • Dear LEGO employees…
    Hi. My name is Ian and I'm a campaigner with Greenpeace. I'm also a new dad and a big fan of LEGO. She's a little young now, but I know that in a few years my baby girl will be...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 23-07
  • Feed: Fulminating and fermenting
    Longtime readers of this site may be aware of my occasional bursts of fulmination about overhopped stunt beers -- and my calls for New Zealand craft brewers to produce more sessionable brews in the classic best bitter style I think...
    Public Address | 23-07
  • More stat-juking
    There were more allegations in Parliament today that the government is juking the stats, with Andrew Little pointing at a report from the Taranaki Daily News that a Crown prosecutor had claimed:"There was one occasion in 2012 when it was...
    No Right Turn | 23-07
  • A cleaner, fairer, smarter New Zealand
    Russel Norman- General debate speech, 23 July 2014   Together, it is possible to build a cleaner, fairer, smarter New Zealand. A New Zealand in which our rivers are clean enough to swim in and our precious beaches are safe...
    frogblog | 23-07
  • Nats to announce 2nd crossing without rail
    Labour Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says it has been leaked to him that John Key will rule out a rail option when announcing an accelerated timeframe for Auckland’s $5 billion second harbour crossing next month. “I understand the Government’s plan...
    Labour | 24-07
  • “They put Maori centre stage” – Harawira
    “I’m sorry I can’t be at parliament for the valedictory speeches of Tariana Turia and Pita Sharples” said Hone Harawira, MANA Leader and MP for Tai Tokerau, ”but I’d like to add my own best wishes as they reach the end...
    Mana | 24-07
  • ACT trying to have it both ways on zoning
    ACT Party candidate David Seymour’s campaign against changes to school zones in the Epsom electorate looks hollow given his party’s commitment to the abolition of school zoning altogether, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “It’s disingenuous for David Seymour to...
    Labour | 24-07
  • Interest rate rise will hit the regions
    The latest interest rate rise will hit the fragile regional economies of  New Zealand and hurt exporters by putting more upward pressure on the exchange rate, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker.  “The regions are already hit by dropping  export...
    Labour | 24-07
  • Burning the flag or accepting the evil
    Burning the Israeli flag in Auckland in protest over the murder of innocent civilians in Gaza is nothing to be ashamed of” said MANA Leader and Tai Tokerau MP, Hone Harawira. “Calling for both sides to stand down when one side...
    Mana | 23-07
  • Photo op disguises abysmal failure
    John Key’s opening of four Housing NZ units in Bexley today is nothing more than an insincere photo op designed to hide the Government’s failure to rebuild the housing stock destroyed by the earthquakes, says Labour’s Associate Housing spokesperson Poto...
    Labour | 23-07
  • TAXPAYER UNION “outrageously stupid”
    Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union says a MANA billboard “appears to have been funded by taxpayers”, and calls it “an outrageous use of taxpayer money”. “But the only thing that is outrageous, is how outrageously stupid Jordan Williams was...
    Mana | 23-07
  • Green Party launches Solar in Schools policy
    The Green Party will help schools install solar and save money on their power bills by investing $20 million into solar PV systems in schools. The $20 million is expected to:Help around 500 schools install solar over three yearsResult in...
    Greens | 23-07
  • Extent of job losses at Invermay remain hidden
    Despite growing concern in the agriculture and science sectors, both AgResearch management and the Minister responsible are continuing to hide the true extent of job losses at AgResearch’s Invermay campus, Labour’s MP for Dunedin North David Clark says. “Science and...
    Labour | 23-07
  • Tōku reo, tōku oho oho, tōku reo, tōku mapihi maurea – MANA launches ...
    “MANA is launching its te reo Māori policy this morning ahead of the first reading of the government’s Māori Language Strategy Bill this afternoon”, saidMANA deputy leader and candidate for Waiariki, Annette Sykes. “MANA’s policy is based on a love...
    Mana | 23-07
  • Connectivity Upgrade to close digital divide
    Labour will close the digital divide with its Connectivity Upgrade to ensure all New Zealanders can be part of a growing, more connected economy and have the right to access quality broadband, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says.  “The digital revolution...
    Labour | 23-07
  • New parents deserve support – Labour will deliver
    ...
    Labour | 23-07
  • National refuses meeting with Maui’s advocates
    National has refused a briefing from a group of Maui's dolphins experts, whose research shows 80 per cent of New Zealanders want greater protection for the critically endangered dolphin, the Green Party said today.Dolphin campaigner Gemma McGrath and marine scientist...
    Greens | 23-07
  • MANA Tamaki send a challenge to Labour
    “Labour should set the agenda and purposely do something positively controversial once a week”, said MANA candidate for Mt Albert, Joe Carolan. “A good start would be for all Labour Auckland MPs and members to join the Justice for Palestine...
    Mana | 23-07
  • We must act to save our dolphins
    A new report makes it clear for the urgent need to protect Maui’s and Hector’s dolphins while arguing  it is clear that there is no need for further research, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson.  “Labour backs the public call...
    Labour | 23-07
  • School told to manipulate national standards data
    Parents can have little confidence in the Government’s National Standards after an Auckland school was told to manipulate its data so it added up, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. “Valley School in Pukekohe was advised in an email from the...
    Labour | 23-07
  • Regional economies must have tailored plans
    News that up to 114 jobs could be lost from Fonterra’s Canpac plant in Hamilton reinforces the need for a government plan to build resilient regional economies, Labour’s MP for Hauraki-Waikato Nanaia Mahuta says. “The Canpac site has effectively responded...
    Labour | 23-07
  • Auditor General slams Shared Services project
    The Auditor-General’s Office could not have been more damning about the 18 months spent on the Central Agency Shared Services (CASS) project at the Finance and Expenditure Committee this morning, says Maryan Street, Labour’s State Services spokesperson.  ...
    Labour | 23-07
  • Fonterra job losses a massive blow to Waikato
    The potential loss of up to 114 jobs from Fonterra’s Canpac plant in Hamilton is a massive blow to the Waikato region which has already lost hundreds of jobs, Labour says. Labour’s Social Development spokesperson and Hamilton-based list MP Sue...
    Labour | 23-07
  • Basin flyover decision an opportunity for capital
    The decision to reject the proposed flyover at the Basin Reserve must be taken as an opportunity to properly fund Wellington’s transport future and must not be used as an excuse to take resources away from the capital, Wellington Labour MPs...
    Labour | 22-07
  • National out of touch with the regions
    John Key is out of touch with regional New Zealand if he believes tinkering with council regulations will restore opportunities to small towns, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “While the regions are crying out for sustainable growth and job opportunities,...
    Labour | 22-07
  • Flyover rejection a victory for sustainable transport
    The rejection of the proposed Basin Reserve flyover by a Board of Inquiry is a victory for sustainable transport in Wellington and paves the way for other alternatives to be given a fair hearing, Wellington Labour MPs Grant Robertson and...
    Labour | 22-07
  • Reo Māori Policy Launch
    MANA will be launching its Reo Māori policy at 10am Thursday 24 July, at Matangireia (the old Māori Affairs Select Committee room at Parliament). We will also be addressing our concerns regarding the Minister of Māori Affairs Māori Language Strategy...
    Mana | 22-07
  • Basin Flyover decision victory for common sense
    The Green Party welcomed the Environmental Protection Authority's draft decision announced today not to allow the $90 million Basin Reserve flyover in Wellington to proceed."Both popular and expert opinion opposed the flyover. The proposal was expensive, unnecessary and would have...
    Greens | 22-07
  • Loss Leading could destroy Kiwi lamb’s reputation
    Meat companies that supply supermarkets and sell New Zealand lamb as a loss leader in the United Kingdom should lose their access to this valuable quota market, said Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor. “Our reputation as a Lamb producer...
    Labour | 22-07
  • Ae Marika! 22 July 2014
    The big storm has gone, but the damage that it did and the saturation levels that it reached meant that smaller storms quickly overwhelmed roading, and water-flow systems again in the north. And although certain individuals are talking up the...
    Mana | 21-07
  • 2014 Roger Award nominations now open
    The Roger Award is for The Worst Transnational Corporation Operating in Aotearoa/New Zealand in 2014 Nominations are now open please visit the website to nominate the worst TNC in Aotearoa. You will need to include reasons why you think your...
    Mana | 21-07
  • Labour will revive the regions with new fund
    The next Labour Government will co-develop Regional Growth Plans for every region of New Zealand and will invest at least $200 million in a fund to create breakthrough opportunities for jobs and sustainable growth, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says....
    Labour | 21-07
  • Speech to Local Government New Zealand
    Speech to the Local Government New Zealand Conference 2014 Read our full regional development policy Download Introduction Early in my time as an MP I went for a long walk on a windswept Kare Kare beach with Waitakere mayor Bob Harvey. We talked...
    Labour | 21-07
  • Stop Israeli State Terror – Rally and March this Saturday 26th July, Aote...
     The humanitarian crisis in Gaza is getting much worse and the world is marching in unprecedented numbers. New Zealanders spoke out strongly last Saturday with a march of 5,000 people in Auckland (see picture below) – the biggest march ever...
    Mana | 21-07
  • NZ needs to assist UN with aid for Gaza
    The New Zealand Government should support the United Nation's efforts to raise money to assist humanitarian aid for the people of Gaza, the Green Party said today.The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) has made a...
    Greens | 21-07
  • INTERNET MANA ROAD TRIP- LEG 2
      WAIKATO / TARANAKI / MANAWATU-WANGANUI  Tuesday July 29th, 6pm | RotoruaDistinction Hotel, Fenton Ballroom, 390 Fenton Street, Rotorua  Wednesday July 30th 6pm | HamiltonWaikato University, Price Waterhouse Coopers Lecture Theatre, Gate 7, Hillcrest Rd Hamilton  Thursday July 31st, 6pm |...
    Mana | 21-07
  • Road fix needed now, not later
    Northland’s roading system is in chaos and needs fixing fast, Labour List MP Kelvin Davis says.  “According to NZTA’s 10 year funding data every area of Northland has had a decrease in NZTA funding since 2008...
    Labour | 20-07
  • KiwiSaver innovations needed to build wealth
    The innovative changes to KiwiSaver suggested by the Financial Services Council today will be seriously considered by Labour as part of plans to make KiwiSaver universal, Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker says. “Universal KiwiSaver is an essential part of Labour’s...
    Labour | 20-07
  • Greens announce 20 hours free ECE for two year olds
    The Green Party today announced that its key social platform for this election will be to tackle child poverty and inequality by ensuring every child in New Zealand has enough to thrive.The Green Party will make a series of policy...
    Greens | 20-07
  • MANA Pasifika Says NO To Discrimination
    Vice Chairperson of MANA Pasifika James Papali’i  feels for Ms Tupou and her children after they were served with trespass orders from their  local swimming pool in new market. With no warning or explanation from the pool staff Police ordered...
    Mana | 20-07
  • MANA Movement policy release – Economic Justice – John Minto
    Address notes from Mana Economic Justice Spokesperson and co-vice President John Minto to Economic policy launch in Kelston – 2pm, Sunday 20 July 2014. Reducing inequality and giving everyone a fair go MANA Movement’s policy prescription for a rich man’s...
    Mana | 20-07
  • One-sided reporting on the Middle East Conflict
    The following was sent to New Zealand Herald, Fairfax Media, Radio New Zealand, Television New Zealand, TV3, Radio Live and ZB Network. We are writing to all of you because there are well established patterns of reporting which seem to have been adopted by New Zealand...
    Mana | 20-07
  • New President for MANA Movement
    Lisa McNab, MANA President, and Annette Sykes, outgoing MANA President and candidate for Waiariki Lisa McNab was officially passed the mantle of MANA President in a special ceremony at Potahi Marae in Te Kao this week, following her unanimous election into the...
    Mana | 20-07
  • Te Reo Māori a doorway to opportunity
    A Labour Government will ensure more of our children have the opportunity to learn te reo Māori by encouraging the learning and use of it in schools, Labour’s Māori Affairs spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta says....
    Labour | 19-07
  • Work numbers not all they’re cracked up to be
    The Government's figures on the numbers of beneficiaries don't add up, Labour's Social Development spokesperson Sue Moroney says."Paula Bennett keeps saying 1500 people are going off the benefit into work every week, yet today she announced just 16,000 fewer people...
    Labour | 18-07
  • Flood relief for National voters first
    “The flooding in Tai Tokerau has hammered the north and impacted hundreds of families right across the region,” said MANA Leader and Tai Tokerau MP, Hone Harawira. “It’s bitterly disappointing to see that the first response from this National government...
    Mana | 18-07
  • Don’t contract out your loyal cleaners SkyCity3
    SkyCity should put aside its proposal to contract out its cleaning staff and not be lured by the prospect of washing their hands of these essential jobs and leaving them to the world of third party contracting, Labour’s Associate Labour...
    Labour | 18-07
  • Green Party statement on tragedy of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17
    The Green Party conveys its condolences to the families of the victims of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17.The Ukrainian Government has accused pro-Russia rebels in the east of the Ukraine of shooting down the Malaysia Airlines jet with a ground-to-air missile,...
    Greens | 18-07
  • Gaza ground offensive can only result in more deaths
    Israel’s decision to continue with a ground offensive into Gaza can only result in more civilian deaths and push a ceasefire further beyond reach, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer says. “There is no such thing as a surgical strike...
    Labour | 18-07
  • Tackling childhood obesity is not rocket science Minister, but it is scienc...
    The Government's latest snub of scientific evidence - this time about its failure to address childhood obesity - is another example of National's reliance on 'tobacco science' to justify its denial agenda, the Green Party said today. An Auckland University...
    Greens | 18-07
  • Paying patients to go away not a solution
    A voucher system being used by emergency departments in Southern DHB - which pays patients to see a GP – is designed to skew figures to meet Government targets, Labour’s Associate Health spokesperson and Dunedin North MP David Clark says....
    Labour | 18-07
  • Common sense a better response
    The actions of two police officers who walked into a marae's wharenui in the early hours of the morning to search and photograph a group of children in their pyjamas are deeply concerning, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says....
    Labour | 18-07
  • Taxpayer cash to plug Chorus copper hole
    The Chief Executive and Board of Chorus must be held accountable for striking a deal that uses taxpayer money that was intended to build a new fibre network to instead plug the company’s revenue gaps, says Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare...
    Labour | 18-07
  • Labour won’t abandon regional New Zealand
    Labour will ensure no regions in New Zealand are ‘red-zoned’ by tailoring Regional Growth Plans for each province as part of our Economic Upgrade, Labour’s Finance spokesperson and Deputy Leader David Parker says. “The Royal Society of New Zealand’s Our...
    Labour | 17-07
  • A Kanaky tale of mining skulduggery and environmental courage
    Florent Eurisouké … still campaigning against mining. Photo: Del Abcede/PMC David Robie also blogs at Café Pacific AN EXTRAORDINARY story of mining skulduggery and a courageous struggle by indigenous Kanak environmental campaigners has been captured in a poignant new documentary,...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • UNBREAKING: The list of questions Mike Hosking will use in first TVNZ leade...
    “Good evening ladies and gentlemen and welcome to the first TVNZ leaders debate being held live in the gloriously beautiful Sky City ball room. It’s such a beautiful building boys and girls, we are so blessed to have Sky City...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • Internet Party Party review
      I have been to A LOT of political party functions in my time, and they tend to be dull affairs at the best of times but what is happening with Internet MANA is something quite exciting. I went to...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • Dear Seven Sharp – after learning Hosking will be the leaders debate ...
    I have to be honest, I had made the decision last night  to accept Seven Sharp’s hastily offered opportunity to appear on their show after I savagely criticised the bullshit whitewash story they did on John Key’s favourite far right hate speech...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • National refuses meeting with Maui’s advocates
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: National refuses meeting with Maui’s advocates Wednesday, 23 Jul 2014 | Press Release This is another reminder that the National Government does not care about the survival of the Maui’s dolphin National...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Message from CTU President Helen Kelly
    MIL OSI – Source: Unite Union – Headline: Message from CTU President Helen Kelly Dear MikeThere’s only 43 days until September 3, when voting in the General Election starts. The last day to vote is September 20.Thanks heaps for signing...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • MANA Tamaki send a challenge to Labour
    MIL OSI – Source: Mana Movement – Headline: MANA Tamaki send a challenge to Labour Posted on July 23, 2014 by admin in Joe Carolan, Press Releases“Labour should set the agenda and purposely do something positively controversial once a week”,...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • We must act to save our dolphins
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: We must act to save our dolphins A new report makes it clear for the urgent need to protect Maui’s and Hector’s dolphins while arguing  it is clear that there is no...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • School told to manipulate national standards data
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: School told to manipulate national standards data Parents can have little confidence in the Government’s National Standards after an Auckland school was told to manipulate its data so it added up, Labour’s...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Regional economies must have tailored plans
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Regional economies must have tailored plans News that up to 114 jobs could be lost from Fonterra’s Canpac plant in Hamilton reinforces the need for a government plan to build resilient regional...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Auditor General slams Shared Services project
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Auditor General slams Shared Services project The Auditor-General’s Office could not have been more damning about the 18 months spent on the Central Agency Shared Services (CASS) project at the Finance and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Fonterra job losses a massive blow to Waikato
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Fonterra job losses a massive blow to Waikato The potential loss of up to 114 jobs from Fonterra’s Canpac plant in Hamilton is a massive blow to the Waikato region which has...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Basin flyover decision an opportunity for capital
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Basin flyover decision an opportunity for capital The decision to reject the proposed flyover at the Basin Reserve must be taken as an opportunity to properly fund Wellington’s transport future and must...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Indonesia: New President Widodo must make good on human rights pledges
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: Indonesia: New President Widodo must make good on human rights pledges Indonesia’s new President Joko Widodo must deliver on campaign promises to improve Indonesia’s dire human rights situation, Amnesty International said....
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Communities in Sierra Leone turn their backs on female genital mutilation
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: Communities in Sierra Leone turn their backs on female genital mutilation While activists gather in London to discuss strategies to tackle female genital mutilation, communities across Sierra Leone have been taking...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • The Gambia: Activists mark 20 years of iron-fisted repression
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: The Gambia: Activists mark 20 years of iron-fisted repression The Gambian government must abolish the laws and iron fisted practices that have resulted in two decades of widespread human rights violations,...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • A blog from the front lines of Palestine: It’s time for a new narrative
    I don’t know if I follow trouble or if trouble follows me, but somehow I seem to have found myself near one of the world’s hotspots again. The difference this time is that instead of sitting in some obscure location,...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • GUEST BLOG: Michael Wood – The Path Ahead
    It’s well established that Labour has had a difficult couple of weeks. Getting back on to a successful path requires our focus to shift from looking inwards to outwards, heightened discipline, and inner conviction. While my assessment of New Zealand...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Employers liquidating companies to avoid paying minimum entitlements
    Across the union movement we have seen a number of documented cases now where companies are liquidating their business in order to avoid their legal obligations, in terms of paying the minimum entitlements to their workers. The most recent example...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • GUEST BLOG: Joe Carolan : Positively Controversial
    The protest in Auckland last weekend that the NZ Herald claimed was attend by only a hundred people. Labour should set the agenda and purposely do something positively controversial once a week. A good start would be for all their...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Come on TV3 News – you are better than regurgitating Israeli propaganda
    Say it isn’t true TV3 News, you are seriously bitching about this???? The leader of the Mana Party, Hone Harawira, has supported flag burning at a pro-Palestinian march in Auckland at the weekend. Mana Party flags can be seen in...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • The brutal siege of Palestine
    70 years ago the Jews of Europe suffered as much as any people can suffer. The Nazis set about ethnic cleansing and sent 6 million to their death. Today we watch in horror as Israel, the Jewish homeland created after...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • When the mainstream media go feral: A tale of two holidays
    . . The recent non-story on David Cunliffe’s three day holiday should be proof-positive that the mainstream media (msm) is fixated on pumping out as many “bad news” reporting as can be generated by a headline-seeking; advertising-driven; lazy corporate-media system....
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Canterbury housing crisis a moral, economic, health, education, and social ...
    Can they build it? No they can’t.  Occasionally I come across people who don’t believe me when I say there is a housing crisis in Christchurch.  Despite all the evidence to the contrary.  Even when I tell them that every...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Respected world visionaries of the past speak out on Israel
    Respected world visionaries of the past speak out on Israel...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • From Here To There: How did Labour become so hopelessly lost?
    WRITING ABOUT the Labour Party these days puts me in mind of the joke about the American tourist and the Irish farmer. Seems there was this American tourist driving down a narrow lane in the heart of Ireland. He needed...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Oh NOW everyone thinks the ABCs are up to no good?
    Goodness last months June seems like years away doesn’t it? In June I pointed out a move by the ABCs to destabilise Cunliffe was under way. For pointing this out, Labour Party bloggers Rob Salmond and Lynn Prentice rushed to put...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Dear Seven Sharp – I have little interest in appearing on your show so th...
    After savagely critiquing Seven Sharp for trying to whitewash the repulsive history of a far right hate speech merchant like Cameron Slater yesterday, Seven Sharp have contacted me and offered to do a profile on me. Here is their email…...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Basin Flyover decision victory for common sense
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: Basin Flyover decision victory for common sense Tuesday, 22 Jul 2014 | Press Release “Both popular and expert opinion opposed the flyover. The proposal was expensive, unnecessary and would have undermined the...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • CPAG Newsletter July 2014
    MIL OSI – Source: Child Poverty Action Group – Headline: CPAG Newsletter July 2014 22 July 2014 New child poverty data nothing to celebrate New data released by the Ministry of Social Development  indicates people living below the poverty line are worse...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • Hotel ordered to pay $80,000 in outstanding wages
    MIL OSI – Source: Unite Union – Headline: Hotel ordered to pay $80,000 in outstanding wages An Auckland hotel has been ordered by the Employment Relations Authority to pay nearly $80,000 in outstanding wages to two employees. Filipino couple Abraham...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • Rising interest rate and dollar driving manufacturing exports back to Globa...
    MIL OSI – Source: CTU – Headline: Rising interest rate and dollar driving manufacturing exports back to Global Financial Crisis levels The Council of Trade Unions is calling on the Reserve Bank not to raise interest rates on Thursday. “Another...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • Israel/Gaza: Attacks on medical facilities and civilians add to war crime a...
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: Israel/Gaza: Attacks on medical facilities and civilians add to war crime allegations The continuing bombardment of civilian homes in several areas of the Gaza Strip, as well as the Israeli shelling...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • Central African Republic: Brazzaville talks should not lead to amnesties fo...
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: Central African Republic: Brazzaville talks should not lead to amnesties for war crimes Amnesty International called on delegates to the Central African Republic (CAR) National Reconciliation talks due to take place...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • Russia increases stranglehold on dissent as five more NGOs named ‘foreign...
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: Russia increases stranglehold on dissent as five more NGOs named ‘foreign agents’ The Russian Ministry of Justice today registered four more Russian human rights organizations and one environmental group as “foreign...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • Nigeria: World Bank panel turns its back on forcibly evicted community
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: Nigeria: World Bank panel turns its back on forcibly evicted community The decision by a World Bank Inspection Panel to refuse to investigate a complaint about forced evictions linked to a...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • National out of touch with the regions
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: National out of touch with the regions John Key is out of touch with regional New Zealand if he believes tinkering with council regulations will restore opportunities to small towns, Labour Leader...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • Flyover rejection a victory for sustainable transport
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Flyover rejection a victory for sustainable transport The rejection of the proposed Basin Reserve flyover by a Board of Inquiry is a victory for sustainable transport in Wellington and paves the way...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • Loss Leading could destroy Kiwi lamb’s reputation
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Loss Leading could destroy Kiwi lamb’s reputation Meat companies that supply supermarkets and sell New Zealand lamb as a loss leader in the United Kingdom should lose their access to this valuable...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • Labour will revive the regions with new fund
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Labour will revive the regions with new fund The next Labour Government will co-develop Regional Growth Plans for every region of New Zealand and will invest at least $200 million in a...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • Speech to Local Government New Zealand
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Speech to Local Government New Zealand Speech to the Local Government New Zealand Conference 2014 Introduction Early in my time as an MP I went for a long walk on a windswept...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • GUEST BLOG: Chris Perley – Confessions of an ex-Public Servant watching t...
    Back in the 16th century, good Queen Bess said to her Privy Council of advisors something along the lines of: “I want your free, frank advice, without consideration of fear or favour.”  In other words, tell me what you think,...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • The rise of the Internet/Mana phenomenon
    Commentators seem surprised at the popularity of the Mana/Internet phenomenon. The ultimate ‘odd coupling’ is doing reasonably well in the polls at over 2% support, and Right Wing pundits are guessing that the Party might even reach 5% by the...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • Which Party Would (not) Walk Away from a Crap TPPA?
    Trick question.  Any TPPA would be crap. But a future government will try to sell it to us anyway. It is clear that there won’t be any deal until well after the election and the new government is installed. So...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • Te wiki – Maori Language Week
    Maori Language Week has become an entrenched feature of New Zealand.  New Zealanders have come to accept that for one week a year the normal institutions of the white settler society will make some attempt to engage their stakeholders using the...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • A brief word on Cunliffe saying sorry for a 3 day holiday
    I’m not sure who the bloody hell is advising Cunliffe to apologise about a 3 day holiday, but it’s stupid. If you want to know what angry white reactionary NZ thinks about anything, go to a stuff.co.nz poll. Here’s their...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • Seven Sharp – The day public broadcasting died
    I rarely watch Seven Sharp because it’s bullshit and sums up all that is wrong with current affairs in NZ, but even I can’t believe that Seven Sharp have stooped to being an apologist for Cameron Slater on this evenings show. This...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • ….except Israel
    ….except Israel...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • NZIFF Review: The Dark Horse – 6 stars
    This year’s opening New Zealand International Film Festival offering was a couple of nights ago, and I still feel this incredible NZ movie reverberating inside me. The Dark Horse is heartbreaking, heartwarming and terribly raw. Director James Napier Robertson has...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • TDB New Zealand International Film Festival 2014 picks
    NZIFF is here, our picks this season are… The Dark Horse Boyhood Leviathan Is the man who is tall happy?  Hot Air Maps to the Stars Snowpiercer Toons for Tots InRealLife Print The Legend E-Team The Internet’s Own Boy: The...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • Mike Hosking for PM?
    The Coalition for Better Broadcasting is adding its voice to the many appalled at TVNZ’s choice of Mike Hosking as moderator for the upcoming political debates....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • ‘Party Party’ Hitting the Right Notes
    The “sold out” sign has gone up at the Internet Party’s concert in Christchurch tonight. A capacity crowd of 1000 will be at The Foundry for the Party Party concert, part of a major national musical tour aimed at getting...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • New Electoral Commission Campaign Launches This Weekend
    New Electoral Commission Campaign Launches This Weekend More non-voters than ever before say they don't feel like their vote is worth anything, or that their opinion matters. It's a trend that concerns the Electoral Commission, and the reason for...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Umere says ‘taihoa’ on Māori Language Strategy
    A