web analytics
The Standard
Advertising

Slash and burn, Key’s choice

Written By: - Date published: 10:41 pm, March 21st, 2011 - 91 comments
Categories: budget 2011, public services - Tags: ,

John Key says there is to be no new money in the Budget. The health, education, and other locked-in increases  plus the Christchurch rebuild will come from cuts elsewhere. Cuts of up to 32%. It doesn’t have to be that way. The rebuild and the shortfall from the failing economy can be easily covered if Key wanted to. If he chooses to slash and burn, it’s because he wants to.

I took the 2011 spending that is outlined in the 2010 Budget, then I took off the ‘new spending’. That “$800 million of new spending” was actually only $394 million of new money and $410 million of cuts reallocated to other areas (what the Nats call a ‘top-down adjustment). Now, the new money won’t be there and the cuts won’t be reallocated, they’ll just be cuts.

Then, I looked at the things that can’t be cut:

  • You can’t really cut welfare and superannuation spending without cutting the size of the weekly payments (something National has pledged not to do). I realise that National is talking about cutting Working for Families at the top end but that will only save a few million unless the cut is so deep as to be politically unsustainable.
  • We can’t cut financing costs because that’s the interest we’re paying on our debt.
  • We can’t cut the GSF, that’s the Government Superannuation Fund and the government is contractually-bound to meet the commitments it made. Health and education aren’t getting cut (apparently) and are getting another $800 million, which is less than inflation and population growth.
  • Another billion has to be found to fund the government’s annual contribution to the rebuilding of Christchurch. Key says the budget won’t have any increase, so presumably the Christchurch rebuilding comes out of the existing pool.

So, what’s left after all that locked in spending? And how does that compare to what the other areas of government spending need just to tread water? Yeah, it doesn’t. We’re talking $3.75 billion in real cuts (only a billion of which is due to the quake rebuilding). That means nearly 19% slashed from housing, transport, police, defence, customs, conservation, justice etc etc.

I did the same thing but assuming the Nats won’t cut transport, and then again this time assuming they also won’t cut police and defence either.

The cuts for what is left are, of course, even deeper, up to 32% in real terms. Are you happy to cut 32% from the Kiwisaver,  and bio-security budgets? No. Well the money has to come from somewhere else then. What about 32% out of state housing? Or 32% out of R&D? Each area you wouldn’t cut means deeper cuts somewhere else.

The point I’m making is that this isn’t play money. The $3.75 billion in real cuts that Key is planning to make has to come out of the public services that you and I use, directly or indirectly. There’s a reason they call it the social wage – without it we’re poorer and we have to pay money out of our other income to try to cover the costs.

And what’s sucking all this money out of the economy and firing all those workers going to do to the wider economy?

What would I do? Well, the Budget shows that tax swindle from last year is costing $1 billion over four years, despite Key claiming again yesterday that it was fiscally neutral. So, reverse the tax cuts for the rich by moving the 33% rate back to 39% and keeping the corporate rate at 30%, not cutting it to 28% on April 1 as planned (oh, yeah, despite this ‘crisis’ the corporate rate is still being cut this year). That’s $1.4 billion right there. Then, get rid of those ETS subsidies, that’s another billion this year. Lets suspend new state highway construction, apart from the projects that are already underway. Well done, we’ve covered the shortfall, except for the earthquake costs.

Now, lets add that temporary earthquake levy that the vast majority of people support, $6 a week for each taxpayer is a billion a year.  That could be a flat levy on everyone or it could be progressively, whatever floats your boat.

Simply by reversing the tax cuts for the rich, taking away subsidies for polluters, stopping waiting money on white elephant highways, and putting on a widely-supported temporary levy there’s no need for any cuts.

If Key refuses to take these options and, instead, slashes public services it’s because he wants to cut them, not because he has to.

91 comments on “Slash and burn, Key’s choice”

  1. McFlock 1

    Key’s vision is blurred,
    so he’ll cut by a third.

  2. Lanthanide 2

    “taking away subsidies for polluters”
    If you take away the subsidies, but require companies still pay for the carbon tax, all you’ve done is pushed the costs from the public purse to the private one. So you’ll be increasing inflation and lowering everyone’s real income, which will mostly be felt by those on low incomes. The increased inflation will flow through to requiring higher government expenditure in the next budget (in salary increases if nothing else).

    • Marty G 2.1

      the economy is smaller and the costs are higher. the question is what goes as a result.

      Do you prefer to cut 32% from Kiwisaver, conservation, bio-security, housing, employment initiatives, aid, Mfat, communications investment, R&D, NZ on Air, NatRad, etc etc

      or

      cut a subsidy for climate change pollution

      I’m not denying it is costless in terms of flow-on effects, just as cutting public services isn’t costless.

      I’m arguing over where the cost of the situation we’re in falls. I think you agree with me that subsidising polluters to make the ETS less effective shouldn’t be a priority.

      • Lanthanide 2.1.1

        Definitely.

        I just think you should’ve mentioned it in your post, because it’s an obvious flow-on effect that cutting public funding of ETS costs would simply require private funding to make up for it, unless you just cut the ETS all together. Not mentioning it leaves you open for criticism about “fairies at the bottom of the garden” type wishful thinking.

        • Peter 2.1.1.1

          If we are talking about flow on effects, how about the flow on effects of reducing real spending and throwing more people out of work?

          The underlying question is, what is the best way to grow the economy because that is what we are told is needed to reduce the deficit long term? Keys way appears to be reduce Government’s activity in the economy and then wait for a private sector miracle to take up the slack.

          What is Labours alternative?

          • Rosy 2.1.1.1.1

            Growth, borrow, no levies on low and middle income – no position on upper income, reprioritise e.g. missles on frigates for Christchurch…. more here from his press conference.

        • Marty G 2.1.1.2

          don’t get me wrong, I appreciate that you’re on to it enough to raise these issues but every cut and each of the alternative funding options I’ve raised has basically the same multiplier effects.

        • Oscar 2.1.1.3

          Or how about just throwing the ETS out completely and going back to the drawing board on it. Where’s my 6 months of summer the alarmists promised?

          • Marty G 2.1.1.3.1

            I would prefer a carbon tax, rather than the complexity of the ETS but we’ve got the ETS now. Going through another 3 years of policy development to get a replacement is foolish when climate change is upon us now.

          • lprent 2.1.1.3.2

            Where’s my 6 months of summer the alarmists promised?

            Simplistic nonsense. Climate change is a changed climate. It doesn’t specify what direction the change proceeds in. We’re talking about the global climate having to disperse extra retained heat because of higher concentrations of greenhouse gases.

            In any one area that could mean more clouds and a higher rainfall over summer. Why? Because climate is a heat dispersal system and a changed heat pattern causes it to shift and there are many summer climate patterns known. If you’re really unlucky your climate change could bring you the summer monsoon

            But the reality is that climate shifts take decades to reach fruition and they are masked by weather patterns. So all we’re seeing at present in the climate patterns are shifts that people tend to view as just being within the normal variation of weather. You need to use stats to find if there has been a significant change.

            Of course that would require you to learn some stats ?

            • Oscar 2.1.1.3.2.1

              Oh yes, lets keep perpetuating the money merry go round.

              Of course it shifts over decades – 4 to 5 decades if I remember you saying rightly. 40 – 50 years is about the normal cycle in any regards.
              After all, the last time we had weather events this extreme was in the 40/50’s, so its about right.

              As for the ETS – who actually benefits from any money raised? It certainly ain’t the gummint, it certainly ain’t us plebs. So who? Oh that’s right, the Goreocracy.

              • Marty G

                who is the ‘goreocracy’ and how do they benefit from the ets?

                • Oscar

                  Nice little term I picked up at Deniers Anonymous. Refers to those who jumped on Gores bandwagon and is making themselves a nice little pile of cash in “being green”

              • lprent

                Not me. There is nothing significant in the 40-50 year range at a global level. The only cycles I’m aware of that influence climate energy globally at any usable significance (nice stats term..) level are:-

                • The solar cycle (Hale cycle) of about 11 years. The current data on the effect of that on climate is showing less of an effect that was expected, and the effect appears to be being swamped by greenhouse gas effects over the last decade.
                • Whatever caused the reduction in sunspots during the Maunder minimum in 1645 to 1715 and earlier (but probably the same event) in the Spörer Minimum in 1460 until 1550 which they are still arguing about causation. Probably the internal plume ‘geology’ in the sun by the looks of recent stuff from NASA. I suspect that eventually there will be a periodic pattern found for that in the 1000-2000 year range but it is going to be hard to get solid data on it..
                • The 26000 year Milankovitch orbital cycles.

                There are a number of other climate cycles known, but these are not changes in overall energy. They are just changes in how the energy is moving around. Global climate shifts rather than global climate change.

                BTW: Since this is heading into a science lesson – it’d probably pay to carry it on in OpenMike.

            • Bob 2.1.1.3.2.2

              Try and tell that to Ken Ring , but then again many have tried .

  3. her 3

    Borrow, borrow, borrow. Well he’s got to keep in with his banker mates. He’ll need a job eventually.

    • Pete 3.1

      Leaving uneven distribution (credits) after having already taken it as tax with WFF…

      I realise that National is talking about cutting Working for Families at the top end but that will only save a few million unless the cut is so deep as to be politically unsustainable.

      should be left alone, and instead impose an across the board increase for those on higher incomes – Simply by reversing the tax cuts for the rich??

      The only reason for this is because addressing the high cost of redistribution of WFF is “politically unsustainable”? Buying a few votes is more important than being financial sustainable?

      • Marty G 3.1.1

        pete. As we’ve been through before before, http://thestandard.org.nz/english-on-working-for-families/ cutting significant money out of WFF by making families on higher income get nothing isn’t as simple as it sounds. As Zet said:

        You can have lower overall payments, which hits everyone
        You can have a steeper abatement rate, which is like a higher effective tax rate on working families
        You can have a cut off point, which means that a family might be hundreds of dollars worse off if one of the parents earns one more dollar, which is just stupid economic policy.

        If you could show a way to stop families with incomes over $100,000 getting WFF without any of the problems outlined above, then I would support it. But we went through all the numbers and permutations last time. I’ve yet to see any clever solutions come out of the Right.

        I welcome your clever suggestions

        • Pete 3.1.1.1

          I know it’s not simple to undo the anomalies and nonsensical unfairness of WFF – but that doesn’t mean it should not be addressed. However we are probably stuck with ever increasing complexities, it’s far easier to add more and more ways of taking and giving tax than to simplify it. Politicians find it easy to give more, but very difficult to redress imbalances by taking some away.

          So most of us (especially in the middle income/tax band) will probably keep paying more, to subsidise the poor who don’t have enough (and the minority of those who use other’s money to cruise) and because many of the rich keep finding ways of minimising their tax exposure.

  4. higherstandard 4

    In the current economic climate we need all of the following

    higher progressive taxes
    lower government spending
    more user pays
    capital gains tax
    increased exploitation of our mineral resources

    • Colonial Viper 4.1

      An asset tax as well, similar to council rates, but which also applies to stocks and bonds.

      Yes mineral resources need to be used – eg from non schedule 4 land.

      Private high value, high employment enterprise needs to be strongly encouraged.

      • higherstandard 4.1.1

        Nah asset tax is silly – don’t tax assets which have been bought with tax paid income and which are liable for tax in relation to dividends etc, tax them once the asset has been realised for a capital gain or income.

        We can have a sensible discussion about it but unfortunately the tosspots in the major political parties won’t go near it as they are primarily interested in votes coming into November

  5. Steve Withers 5

    It would be a calculation that the flow on effects from making polluters pay would be less damaging across the board (“a little inflation”) than throwing people out of work and cutting specific services en masse….or moving them to the private sector (for tax-backed crony profits) and user pays.

    See it as flaking skin (cut a subsidy to a broad group) as opposed to cutting off your finger (savage budget cuts). Both involve a net loss in body mass. One is much less disruptive than the other.

    • Lanthanide 5.1

      Completely agree, but I think Marty should have at least acknowledged it.

      • Marty G 5.1.1

        There are flow ons from all the options. I don’t deny that not does it need to be pedanticly spelled out every time since it’s both undeniably true and obvious.

        These are 200-500 word posts to kick off debate, not theses. By fixating on minor content issues, you miss the opportunity to contribute to the wider debate.

        • Lanthanide 5.1.1.1

          Of the 4 specific options you listed, 2 of them are effectively raising taxes, so the impact is transparently obvious (and the whole point of the exercise). 1 of them is to stop construction on highways – a lot of this money goes into raw materials and specifically labour, so the actual impact will be on a particular segment of the economy.

          Changing ETS subsidies will result in petrol prices and power prices going up, at the very least, which affects everyone. This isn’t as immediately obvious as tax changes or as narrowly focussed as infrastructure changes (which is really shifting work to CHCH, not scuttling it completely).

          IMO it’s worth a mention. Yes, this is a small post to kick off debate, but that doesn’t mean you can’t throw in a sentence or two on the ETS subisides changes being “problematic, but best of the bad bunch we have to choose from”.

          “By fixating on minor content issues, you miss the opportunity to contribute to the wider debate.”
          Right-wingers are going to fixate on minor content issues and blow it out of proportion so that they can conveniently ignore the rest of your message. Better to head them off at the pass by acknowledging their point on your own terms, before they see a small chink in your argument and tune out. Unless you think the idea that any discussion is better than no discussion (and we just need to look at the abortion post to see merit in that).

          To actually debate the merit of changing ETS subsidies – it will put the price of petrol up, therefore stunting growth if not ensuring recession (by your own analysis that high petrol price = recession).

          • Bright Red 5.1.1.1.1

            the ETS subsidies just mean that taxpayers pick up the Kyoto tab compulsorily through our tax rather than as a result of voluntarily engaging in climate changing behaviour. That’s a bad thing. It weakens the price signal that the ETS is meant to provide without actually reducing the cost of Kyoto on the country.

            by your logic, it appears we should place low ETS charges ahead of everything else. We should then bin the ETS entirely, pay for all the Kyoto charges out of our taxpayer pockets and do nothing about climate change.

            You seem to think that shifting the cost of Kyoto from non-polluting activity to polluting activity and using the tax money thereby freed up to fund public services rather than cutting those services and the jobs they provide will hurt the economy I’m not sure you’ve shown how that is the case.

            • Lanthanide 5.1.1.1.1.1

              “You seem to think that shifting the cost of Kyoto from non-polluting activity to polluting activity and using the tax money thereby freed up to fund public services rather than cutting those services and the jobs they provide will hurt the economy I’m not sure you’ve shown how that is the case.”

              I’m not raising the point about shifting ETS costs because I’m saying putting the cost of it it on private people will hurt the economy compared to putting the cost of it on the government.

              I’m saying that shifting ETS costs from the government onto the private people doesn’t magically make the cost disappear, it’s still going to have to be paid. Because it’s essentially a consumption tax, like GST it is regressive, and therefore will fall hardest on those with lowest incomes, while the richest people are unlikely to change their consumption of carbon-emitting goods and services in the face of a small price rise.

              Also, as I mention briefly at the bottom of my post, getting rid of subsidies to business will result in the petrol price going up. There is strong evidence (provided by Marty) that high petrol prices stunt growth. So there already is evidence that shifting the cost of the ETS from the public to the private will in fact hurt the economy. Let alone rising electricity prices.

              captcha: classes

              • Bright Red

                “Because it’s essentially a consumption tax, like GST it is regressive, and therefore will fall hardest on those with lowest incomes”

                I’m not sure there’s any evidence that poor people consume more oil as a percentage of their income and, therefore, would face more impact from the ETS. Quite the opposite.

                “I’m saying putting the cost of it it on private people will hurt the economy compared to putting the cost of it on the government”

                How so? A tax is a tax. The question is whether the government’s Kyoto costs are covered by polluters or out of general taxation.

                • Lanthanide

                  “I’m not sure there’s any evidence that poor people consume more oil as a percentage of their income and, therefore, would face more impact from the ETS. Quite the opposite.”

                  Maybe not ‘poor people’, but certainly those in the middle class spend a bigger proportion of their income on petrol driving to and from work, school, kids sports etc than those in the upper class.

                  You’ve also ignored the price of electricity going up. ‘Poor people’ (I don’t even know who we’re talking about here) may not need any petrol at all as there are lots of alternatives, but very few of them will be going completely without electricity.

                  “How so? A tax is a tax.”
                  If “a tax is a tax” then you’d have no problem with putting GST up to 25% and reducing the top tax rates even further?

                  Clearly all taxes result in $$ in the government’s accounts, but where and from whom the money comes from can be radically different between the types of tax you introduce.

                  Either way there is going to be pain – cut ETS subsidies and so the private market must pay, or cut government services. The question is who shoulders the pain under these two scenarios. In the case of cutting government services, the brunt is borne directly by those who lose their jobs or have pay freezes for 3 years (or cuts!), but also by everyone who relies on government services, as well as making us less resilient and more vulnerable to shocks (like the earthquake) in the future. Cutting ETS subsidies spreads the pain out onto whoever uses carbon-emitting goods and services, which is every one (unless they live self-sufficiently), but some people will suffer more from the increased price on carbon than others will.

  6. Pete 6

    Slash and burn, Key’s choice

    Coincidentally “slash and burn” also seems to be Phil Goff’s choice of over the top sloganning on something that hasn’t happened yet.

    It’s hard to take seriously anything else he has to say when he fronts with meaningless electioneering rhetoric.

    • Draco T Bastard 6.1

      Um, Pete, JK has asked the government to cut $800m from the budget which, in no uncertain terms, is slash and burn.

      • Pete 6.1.1

        Um, DTB, what is the projected total budget for this year compared to last year? I don’t think it’s $800m less.

        • Lanthanide 6.1.1.1

          In real terms, after inflation and population growth, it is. That’s the problem.

          • Colonial Viper 6.1.1.1.1

            Is Pete making the assumption that the Left didn’t learn all about economics and fiscal policy after we were hoodwinked in the 80’s?

            Sorry mate, we’re more on the ball with this stuff now than ever before.

          • Pete 6.1.1.1.2

            It’s not the main problem – the main problem is income (reduced) versus expenditure (increased). Borrowing even more than we are now pushes a growing problem further into the future.

            If you haven’t learnt that CV then you’re not on the ball.

            • Colonial Viper 6.1.1.1.2.1

              LOL Pete when times are tough NZ families and those New Zealanders who are the most vulnerable need more help from the Government, not less.

              Do you know how you increase Government income Pete? While reducing borrowing. You got it – tax the people who can bear the burden without having to give up too much in their lifestyles.

              IE the top 5% of income and wealth holders.

              You condescending prick.

              • Pete

                You want to spend more on wages, spend more on benefits and pensions, reduce borrowing (that means paying it back, ie expenditure), presumably more on education and health, maybe a bit more on police, you’d have to keep spending more on justice and prisons.

                How many rich pricks do you think there are? After what you want there would be far fewer – on paper or in the country anyway.

                What if times stay tough after that? Who would you tax more then?

                • Colonial Viper

                  Where the hell do you think all these so-called rich pricks are going to pack up and go to?

                  Switzerland? Brunei? Belize? Somewhere else with 0% income tax rates? If that was such a big deal why aren’t they all gone already. Every time a country raises taxes on them by 5% what are they going to do? Sell up and move on again? They’d be idiots to run their lives like this. Trust me these people are so rich they won’t have to give up their Bentleys and Ferraris OK? Make you feel better?

                  By the way top 100 entries on the NBR NZ rich list control assets valued at roughly $55B. At a guess, that’s more than the bottom 2M New Zealanders control, put together.

                  I think there’s a little room to move, don’t you.

                  What if times stay tough after that? Who would you tax more then?

                  Times are going to get tougher. Western industrialised nations are at the start of a long term financial and fuel based decline.

                  No one escapes this decline, but no one should go hungry and cold in a bountiful land like NZ either.

                  • nadis

                    if all you need is 3.8 billion, it is really easy to find.

                    An 80% tax on all income over 150,000 or an 80% tax on all income between 13,000 and 15,000. Or an increase in the top marginal rate to 60%. Or an increase of 4% in GST. Or just nationalise (actually it would be labourise) 10% of the richlisters assets.

                    In reality the increase would need to be higher than all of those because of the mutiplier effect as you suck that money out of the private sector and recycle via the public.

                    Done.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      In reality the increase would need to be higher than all of those because of the mutiplier effect as you suck that money out of the private sector and recycle via the public.

                      You assumed the inverse of the multiplier effect, nadis. In reality, the increased needed would be LESS, not more.

                      The reason is because wealthy people do not spend their portfolios of assets into the economy. Those assets are held as stocks, foreign investments etc.

                      By taxing them, and then spending that Government revenue to pay wages for reconstruction etc. community economies would greatly benefit. Families would have a breadwinner and be able to pay their bills. The multiplier effect would come into force.

                      An additional $100,000 taxed on a multi millionaire may mean that millionaire has to liquidate a a fraction of his stocks from the ASX or NYSE to pay the bill. The Government then spends that money into the local economy – something that wealthy person was not going to do.

                      They don’t notice any significant fall in lifestyle. And a few families get an income to keep them going. Win win.

            • Pascal's bookie 6.1.1.1.2.2

              It’s not the main problem – the main problem is income (reduced) versus expenditure (increased). Borrowing even more than we are now pushes a growing problem further into the future.

              Pete, tell me your assumption isn’t that the recession will last forever.

              If you want to focus purely on the expenditure side, tell us what you would cut.

  7. kevyn 7

    Lets suspend new state highway construction, apart from the projects that are already underway.
    Do you mean lets suspend all the projects that are just getting restarted after Muldoon suspended them to save the economy in the 1970s, or just the two new ones that get Joycey so excited – Transmission Gully and Holiday Highway?

    I can’t see Goff going with this part of the plan, it will mean conceding that Clark/Cullen were wrong either to hypothecate the petrol tax or to introduce Government Policy Statements.

    • Marty G 7.1

      Transport funding exceeds hypothecated excise tax revenues -ie roads are being subsidised by the wider tax base.

      I would start by canning any project with a BCR under 1. That’s the holiday highway and transmission gully for starters. Then I would reassess other projects in light of realistic demand and oil prices, given that vehicle kilometres travelled on the state highway network is below 2005 levels and probably falling

      • Lanthanide 7.1.1

        I think probably the only Road of National Impotence they came up with that would be worth continuing with is the CHCH southern motorway, and ONLY because there is likely to be new suburbs springing up out west that need the connection. If it weren’t for the latest earthquake, IMO that motorway should be canned too. Bear in mind that it is a substantial way a long, with considerable actual work already done, whereas I believe those other projects are still at the planning stages?

        • Bored 7.1.1.1

          Heaven forbid Lan, I have had the pleasure of a tour of Rolleston, its predicated on oil. To live there without cheap fuel would be a nightmare. No offense to the residents as their life reflects that of most of us, tied to cars, driving miles to work or the shops with no alternative. If we are planning to move people out into automobile centric sprawl we will be misallocating funds and missing an opportunity to build a better life for urban dwellers.

          • Lanthanide 7.1.1.1.1

            Yes, it sucks, but building out west, rather than building upwards in the center of the city, is what’s going to happen in the next 5-10 years (assuming no huge oil price shocks and that something, anything, is actually built).

            But having a motorway out to the west (it isn’t going as far as Rolleston) will actually reduce fuel consumption of people driving into town. Building more homes, shops and businesses out west will mean those already in Rolleston should eventually have a shorter distance to travel to get to work/shop.

            So ultimately it is encouraging further urban sprawl, but if we accept that such sprawl is inevitable, then building the motorway has desirable benefits over not building it.

            • Bored 7.1.1.1.1.1

              See your point, but I think resisting urban sprawl needs to be a priority. High density housing does not have to be high rise, for example two storey terraces can be highly desirable if well architected. Good example here in Wellington is Thorndon Mews (Beaven of Chch) which is highly sought after, as are Walker and Athfields high density buildings of the 70s. What these places dont have are massive sections with rusting car bodies on motor mown lawns. They do have community which is what Chch needs most. Its promising that Athfield is already involved in Chch post the first quake.

              • Colonial Viper

                People need to be able to walk to their shops, their friends and family, and their work. That means complete communities of no more than ~5km radius.

                • Lanthanide

                  What about bikes?

                  • Colonial Viper

                    10km radius then? But worth bearing in mind that a lot of elderly and infirm will not be able to bike (or walk) that far. So a 4-5km radius seems more friendly to most in a community.

  8. randal 8

    most fiscal problems in our beloved country could be solved by raising taxes.
    however as we are a nation of rugged individuals who need the dosh to buy new hardly davisons and go on trip sto places where the natives dont really like us but want our money then he key cant impose new taxes in case he offends the noo noo heads.
    besides the manual from the business round table says raising taxes is an offence against the laws of the universe and key does not want to offend kerr and his mates in case they ostarcise him when he gets back to london after his sojourn in the colonies.

  9. TightyRighty 9

    apart from taking large amounts of money from a small number of people to distribute in small amounts to a larger amount of people, i.e. robbing peter (who tends to employ people) to pay for paul (who is usually employed by peter or his ilk), does labour have any other election policy?

    • Bored 9.1

      TR, have you ever considered that employers make their money from the margin they get from their staff producing something? What happens then is that the staff get some money redistributed to them from taxes on this margin / profit…..so who is robbing who? Some would contend that the original robbery is Peter (employer) robbing Paul (employee).

      • TightyRighty 9.1.1

        Others, more economically literate than you, would contend that the margin on the goods produced is the return on investement and the risk assumed with the investment. You’ve been spanked so many times on that argument, i’m surprised you are back for more. where an employer makes a margin because they have risked something to go into business and employ people, it’s profit. a benny sits on their arse all day and complains of poverty, and gets a return on their investment of nothing in the form of a benefit. on a percentage basis, who does better? benny – $0 outlayed, $256 pax per week. return of infinity on investment. business owner? lucky to see 30% a year as a return on investment, not even beginning to account for the hours worked and stress assumed. WFF recepients, they also have a much larger return on investment than the people creating the employment opportunities will achieve, say 1000-2000%.

        now who is taking supernormal profits?

        to summarise by putting it in socialist speak, supernormal profits = robbery, so benny’s ruined the economy as benny’s are highway robbers.

        In addition to admitting to admitting that labour have no other policy to be elected on except to tax the wealthy to pay for the poor, we have concluded that benny’s and their cheerleaders and creators (labour) are the ones who ruined the economy with their appropriation of super normal profits.

        • Bright Red 9.1.1.1

          TR’s vision of a brighter tomorrow, the unemployed of the great recession and their families starving in the streets.

          ‘I would help you’, he says, ‘but I can’t have you getting an infnite return on investment. It’s about priorities’

          • TightyRighty 9.1.1.1.1

            Sounds much more like your vision of the world bored. But you’ll be happy as you will all be poor together. That’s the real aim isn’t it?

            That’s a confirmation, labour has no policy other than recklessly tax the rich and spend it on vanity “progressive” projects. (More like progressively the country grows poorer under labour)

            • Colonial Viper 9.1.1.1.1.1

              Top 5% of income and asset holders should be far more heavily taxed so that we can afford services and common infrastructure for all to benefit from.

              It’s a pretty comprehensive plan for a enjoyable, equitable society, Tighty.

              Oh, and its under National that your neighbours and your extended family are getting poorer, Tighty, in case you haven’t noticed.

              That’s because Bill and John buy into the neoliberal free market bullshit which favours the top 1% of the population.

            • Bored 9.1.1.1.1.2

              Hey TR, FYI I have owned and managed companies very successfully for most of my working life. My understanding is based upon hands on making cash, no theory involved. As such I understand business and economics in a way most corporate types (and RWNJs) dont. Yes I live a contradiction, I take the profit from my workers mouths, and i dont agree with the system I play. For the record I had absolutely no need of the extra cash Shonkey gifted me. Consequently I gave it away. What did you do?

              BTW Your “risk” argument….you have to have something to risk before you can take a risk. Thats the basis of capital accumulation, dont give me the trite old crap about everybody can do it. The rich are already robbing the poor of that ability by taking the profits for ourselves.

        • Colonial Viper 9.1.1.2

          This is bullshit Tighty, you’ve tried to assess a beneficiary’s life as if it was a fucking business.

          All you are trying to justify here is that those who own the most capital in this economic system should be the ones who make the most money.

          And those who have no capital should be lucky to get fuck all. In fact, they should count their blessings to get crumbs on a cold tin plate.

          Guess what, more than a few people are tiring of this scheme at the moment.

          The wealthy are going to get taxed one way or another mate, its the only way to recut the upward wealth distribution that they have designed into this economic system, and to stop the poverty and hunger in what should be a land of plenty.

        • fraser 9.1.1.3

          TR

          what about a business where profits year on year have increased yet workers wages have seen minimal increases, stagnated or gone backwards?

          Productivity (as well as profit for the big players) has increased massively – wages no where near as much

          So, if “an employer makes a margin because they have risked something to go into business and employ people”, shouldnt that same rule apply to the employees who have risked their time and earning potential to help the employer realise his investment? (possibly to a different degree of course)

          Its a symbiotic relationship – the employer has little without the workers and vice versa. Screw one side to heavily and the whole thing tanks.

          (i think its important in the capital vs labour discussion to differentiate between SMEs and multi-nationals/huge corporates – they are completely different beasts with different dynamics at play. I think youre mainly talking about the SMEs, where much of the compliant from “the left” is directed at the other end of the sprectrum)

          also – why are you bringing up the unemployed? Stay within the goalposts you erected with your first comment

          • Colonial Viper 9.1.1.3.1

            What has happened over the last 30 years is that an ever increasing share of business revenue has gone into shareholder dividends, executive management and company profits, not wages of the ordinary workers.

            Edit: frequently small business in NZ gets screwed as well (<20 employees)

            The big cash have gone to the major multinational corporates.

            When National talks about being business friendly they mean the latter group of businesses, not the former. As evidenced by how they have managed downtown Christchurch.

        • Bored 9.1.1.4

          Others, more economically literate than you, …so TR when did you read Adam Smith, Marx, Samuelson, Keynes, Galbraith, Schumpter, Freidman? Would you like a loan of my well fingered copies? Actually for you not a loan, how about a rental? Alternatively there is the socialised alternative, the library for free.

        • RobC 9.1.1.5

          “Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration.”

          A. Lincoln, 1861

      • Pete 9.1.2

        Most employees are grateful they have the opportunity to earn money. It’s simpler and usually a lot safer than being an employer – the income may be lower but the risks are much lower.

        And most employers are grateful that people will work for them.

        Most of us have to earn money, we choose whether we want to try and make our own or work for someone else.

        • Colonial Viper 9.1.2.1

          No, it’s time to move to a more democratic socialist economy.

          Workers who work for themselves in collective and co-operative enterprise, who don’t need to be managed by some fat cat at the top and who as a consequence don’t answer to a small group of shareholders who otherwise wouldn’t know the first thing about the business, because the workers ARE the shareholders.

          • Pete 9.1.2.1.1

            The option’s there if any groups of workers want to try it.

            The fact is most people are happy to draw a regular wage and not be bothered by high financial risks, and most people aren’t into the administrative discipline that is required to run a successful business or co-operative.

            The short to medium term success/survival rate of small businesses suggests most people simply aren’t management or self management type people.

            And…the more people involved in the managing of any sort of enterprise the more chance there is of disgruntlement with some not pulling their weight.

            • Colonial Viper 9.1.2.1.1.1

              Well I think you got a few things wrong with your analysis, but something I will say is that the current set up makes it quite difficult to finance co-operatives (banks prefer the traditional one company owner model for instance), and yes, we have a workforce too used to being treated like dumb do as you’re told workers, so there is some reconditioning and additional training to be done there as well.

              And…the more people involved in the managing of any sort of enterprise the more chance there is of disgruntlement with some not pulling their weight.

              Which the collective can then sort out together, as a community.

              The short to medium term success/survival rate of small businesses suggests most people simply aren’t management or self management type people.

              Most managers aren’t management type people.

              • Pete

                How much experience do you have running businesses CV?

                Banks prefer security over their financing, it doesn’t matter so much what structure the co-operative/partnership is. How much experience do you have running businesses CV?

                Banks prefer security over their financing, it doesn\’t matter so much what structure the co-operative/partnership is. One of the most common forms of security is the family home. If that is threatened it can put a lot of strain on the business and the family.

                If you have a partnership/co-operative where there is disgruntlement amongst those involved it can get very messy, often the easiest solution is to wind it up and go your own way – as sole operators or back into employment. Or it can just crash and burn.

                If you have a partnership/co-operative where there is disgruntlement amongst those involved it can get very messy, often the easiest solution is to wind it up and go your own way – as sole operators or back into employment. Or it can just crash and burn.

                • Colonial Viper

                  ?

                  Banks don’t have much experience with or understanding of collective enterprises.

                  If you have a partnership/co-operative where there is disgruntlement amongst those involved it can get very messy, often the easiest solution is to wind it up and go your own way – as sole operators or back into employment.

                  Perhaps you don’t understand how democratic socialist enterprises work – its got similarities to how the major shareholders of an enterprise operate.

                  The slight difference is that everyone gets a vote in a democratic socialist enterprise, an equal vote. And whatever the majority votes for is what happens.

                  How much experience do you have running businesses CV?

                  Oh, I’ve been here and there, you know :)

                  • Pete

                    How much experience do you have with social democratic enterprises? Where do they work successfully?

                    Are they dependent on co-operation, understanding and financing by banks?
                    Are they ever hamstrung by indecisiveness due to the time it takes to get a majority to agree?
                    Do they ever employ workers? Or is everyone a shareholder? Is remuneration always equal or dependent on how much the majority thinks everyone is worth?

                    • RobC

                      Ahhh …. you do realise NZ’s largest enterprise is a co-operative?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Hey Pete,

                      Enterprises set themselves up in a lot of different ways, look up Semco, also Mondragon. And as RobC suggests, Fonterra.

                      Are they dependent on co-operation, understanding and financing by banks?

                      Wow and just above you said that the banks would not pose a problem. Ideally a credit union or mutual savings bank, organisations with a common ethos, would be used, instead of a foreign owned private bank.

                    • Marty G

                      Fonterra – cooperative protected by special legislation
                      Telecom – former SOE
                      Contact – former SOE
                      Fletchers – got rich building state houses with government guarantees on its debt
                      Zespri etc – export cooperatives with protecting legislation

                      .

                      Meridian, Solid Energy, Genesis, Mighty River – SOEs that the financiers want to get their hands on because the private sector is incapable of creating large successful companies

                      .

                      face it, state capitalism and cooperatives are the model of successful business in nz

                    • Lanthanide

                      Marty – The Warehouse, Farmers are two large NZ-owned companies.

                      I’m sure there are lots of others.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Lanth – they are two large NZ owned operations.

                      But that’s a pittance compared to the number a few years ago.

                      Carter Holt Harvey, Watties, Telecom, Contact Energy, Whitcoulls, DIC, Fisher & Paykel Appliances, Glaxo, National Bank, Post Bank, ASB, BNZ, Ministry of Works and Development,…

                      All gone (or partially gone) now. Ripped out of the country, currently either bust or sending profits from NZ to offshore shareholders.

                    • Pete

                      RobC – I know Fonterra is a co-op, but it’s quite different to what CV was suggesting. It’s shareholders are it’s suppliers (who own their own businesses), who aren’t involved in the general running of the co-op, and as far as I’m aware it’s workers are just employees and not shareholders. I suspect the fat cats at the top earn a bit more cream than the tanker drivers.

                    • Pete

                      I’m generally not a fan of large off-shore owned corporations (nor franchise owners) but they are a fact of modern business life in an increasingly internationalised economy.

                      Some markets are a mix of a few large companies plus many small businesses working alongside each other, eg construction, with a range of opportunities – I saw boys drop out of school into a carpentry apprenticeship and build their way up the income ladder.

                      While there is a tendency for companies to grow and merge and grow, markets change and will sometimes reverse that. Two examples are bakeries and breweries – I’ve seen large companies take over not just the manufacture but also the distribution and retailing (breweries) with bland mass produced products but that trend has reversed and now small bakers and brewers proliferate again with a wide variety of products.

                      For CV styled co-ops to start up and thrive all it will take is for a bunch of like minded people to get them going in preference to owner operated businesses. They are out there now, I’ve been involved in three partnerships over the years.

        • Bored 9.1.2.2

          Pete, you may be right that most people find it simpler and safer to be an employee. Risk aversion comes into play. In reality I would contend it is actually safer to have the control of being the employer simply because as you say most of us have to earn money. I am grateful to have my guys working, but i dont lose sight of who gets the profit.

          • Rosy 9.1.2.2.1

            I admire people who are business owners who haven’t lost the idea of the society they operate in. It’s refreshing to know that it’s not all about the short-term money for everyone. I suspect that on average these businesses will be around for a lot longer than those who disassociate themselves from their employees lives.

            It may be safer to be an employee, but these days I’m not so sure, there is so much legal protection for the owners of businesses that go under that if you get it right you can walk away with your house and other assets in tact whereas employees walkaway with nothing.

            But also there are a lot of very, very talented people who are emplyees not because they are risk averse, but because they’ve understood risk. They’re smart enough to know they need or want to stick with that talent rather than run a business which that have no talent for or they’ll not be able to make use of the talent they have. Or else they know that to use those talents there is not enough of a market to do so by going it alone – chefs, scientists, engineers etc, etc.

            Businesses and the country cannot operate without them but are paying less and less of their share of educating them. I’m picking that NActs cuts will only increase this tendency

            People who successfully run businesses have special talents too and they may have to work their way to financial security just as employees do. I wish there were a lot of people would work out before they took other people’s money that they had no talent for business, and if they were employees they would have been sacked.

  10. Rich 10

    Legalise and tax drugs: that’d bring in tax revenues, reduced policing, justice and prison costs, income tax on drug manufacturers and sellers, tourist dollars, etc.

    • Lanthanide 10.1

      Good idea. Can’t see “we need it for the tax revenue” being a huge vote-winner though.

    • burt 10.2

      Publish the stats for how much Police & court time is taken up prosecuting people for personal use. Never assume that simply because you haven’t seen the stats that they haven’t been pondered for some time now.

  11. Pete 11

    It is very clear that the government intends to employ the shock doctrine as described by Naomi Klein.

Links to post

Important links

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • The Greens are wacky?
    It is a bit like a game of pin the tail on the donkey, the National Government and their supporters are desperately attempting to stick the wacky label on the Greens again, but it is becoming harder to make it...
    Local Bodies | 31-10
  • Novopay Exemplifies National’s Governance
    This National led Government is strong on ideology, weak on process and reluctant to accept responsibility. The Novapay debacle exemplifies all of these well.When questioned about Novopay, National Ministers will never accept full responsibility. Initially the Government blamed Labour because they...
    Local Bodies | 31-10
  • Stuart’s 100 #47: The Forgotten Triangle
    48: The Forgotten Triangle What if the forgotten triangle behind Shortland Street was more than a parking lot? Continuing the series on forgotten or underutilised spaces within the city, the steeply rising wedge of land between Shortland Street, Albert Park...
    Transport Blog | 31-10
  • World News Brief, Friday October 31
    Top of the AgendaTensions Flare in Jerusalem...
    Pundit | 31-10
  • Guest post: Plain English is radical
    @aaronincognito is an anonymous soulless bureaucrat who blogs at fundamentallyuseless.wordpress.com. Despite all the ups and downs of the past few months, there has been one constant in left wing politics: jargon. Regardless of whether Nicky Hager, Judith Collins, or Eminem...
    On the Left | 31-10
  • Long past time
    The Dominion-Post reports that the government is considering wiping past convictions for homosexuality. Good. As a guest-poster to On The Left has recently explained, living with a criminal conviction isn't easy; employers and agencies will simply dump applications from people...
    No Right Turn | 31-10
  • Define Instruments Expands into South Africa
    It’s always great to see companies grow – and Define Instruments recently took their first big leap. The team has followed existing international sales by setting up a South African office. It’s the first of many new overseas offices we hope to...
    Lance Wiggs | 31-10
  • MacLennan on fixing the OIA
    Journalist and lawyer Catriona MacLennan has some suggestions on Fixing Official Information Act Abuses . She identifies three problems with the law: lack of resources to enforce the law; deliberate flouting of the act; and inadequate understanding of the legislation...
    No Right Turn | 31-10
  • All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
    It's Halloween! Time for a jolly pumpkin to remind everyone that there is chocolate nearby The weather is terrible, and while it can't rain all the time, I suspect there may be an absence of ghosts and ghouls. Whatever shall...
    No Right Turn | 31-10
  • Indistinguishable from totalitarianism
    SF author Charles Stross has a lovely alternate-history thought experiment which demonstrates quite neatly how British surveillance is indistinguishable in practice from totalitarianism. And if you're in any doubt, you've only got to read today's news:The Government is facing calls...
    No Right Turn | 31-10
  • Rate my minister
    Tertiary education minister Steven Joyce wants to introduce a new ranking system, Rate My Qualification, where employers rate tertiary education courses and then students can look up the results. Well perhaps employers should be able rate other things too, such as their ministers....
    Tertiary Education Union | 31-10
  • To the field experiments!
    In the wake of the Stanford / Dartmouth schnozzle this week, this political science article caught my eye: The way your brain reacts to a single disgusting image can be used to predict whether you lean to the left or...
    Polity | 30-10
  • NZ cranks finally publish an NZ temperature series – but their paper’s ...
    You can’t teach old dogs new tricks, it seems — certainly not if they’re gnawing a much loved old bone at the time. The lads from the NZ Climate Science Coalition — yes, the same boys who tried to sue...
    Hot Topic | 30-10
  • West Auckland Network with new interchanges
    Last week Auckland Transport began consultation on the new network for West Auckland. I and many readers were highly critical of it as it seemed to ignore much of the network design philosophy and elements AT are implementing elsewhere and...
    Transport Blog | 30-10
  • This ‘boom’ might save the world – 10 quick facts about r...
    As the world's leading climate scientists finalise the latest and most comprehensive report on climate change and ways to tackle it, a key question is: What is new? What has changed since the release of the UN climate panel's last Assessment Report (AR4) in...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 30-10
  • A lack of commitment
    New Zealand has finally joined the Open Government Partnership. A requirement of membership is to submit an action plan about how you will improve open government over the next two years. So what's in ours? Sweet fuck-all:Our Action Plan will...
    No Right Turn | 30-10
  • Smartphones are meant to bend
    You’ve no doubt heard of the issues surrounding the newly released iPhone 6, but do […] The post Smartphones are meant to bend appeared first on Connected....
    Potentia | 30-10
  • Tea Party takes on “President Obola”
    OK, so this happened: Theatricality is one of the best ways to shake the sleepwalking public awake. One brave liberty advocate made a bold statement when he donned a Hazmat suit and an Obama mask, and took to the president’s...
    Polity | 30-10
  • CTU welcomes forestry review recommendations
    The CTU is welcoming the today's release of the independent forestry safety review panel findings. "These recommendations must be implemented to ensure that everything possible is done to make forestry safer." CTU President, Helen Kelly said.  Photo:  ...
    CTU | 30-10
  • Herald vs Hosking-in-Herald on teabreaks
    The New Zealand Herald editorial today is distinctly unimpressed with the government’s decision to remove mandated tea breaks for workers: It is a pity that almost the first legislative act of the Government's new term is an act abolishing mandatory...
    Polity | 30-10
  • Forest Safety report first step in making our forests safe to work in
    Our forests are a very dangerous place to work. Between 2008 and 2013 there have been 32 fatalities and more than a thousand serious harm incidents in this industry. The Council of Trade Unions and First union have been doing...
    frogblog | 30-10
  • Ghost Dancing?
    Ghost Dancing circa 1890: With the buffalo effectively exterminated, the material basis for the Native American cultures of the Great Plains was destroyed. The Ghost Dance, it was believed, would reconstitute the basis for an independent indigenous existence. Has the...
    Bowalley Road | 30-10
  • I have seen one future, and it is bleak
    . . Way back in March, 2012,  I wrote this story regarding a march to support striking workers at Ports of Auckland. It appears there was some prescience about some of my observations at the time… . | | 18...
    Frankly Speaking | 30-10
  • WINZ: Bureaucratic Befuddlement and Confustication
    Yeah, I know. Confusticate isn’t a word, unless you’re quoting Urban Dictionary. Definition: This word is the coalescing of the English words “confuse” and “complicate”. It refers to anything of, or relating to the process of being both confused and...
    On the Left | 30-10
  • The idiot
    Here’s why this Steffan Browning/Ebola/Homeopathy thing is a really big deal for the Green Party. (a) Historically they’ve been stereotyped by their opponents as a bunch of nutters (b) The main focus of the party for the past five years –...
    DimPost | 30-10
  • The idiot
    Here’s why this Steffan Browning/Ebola/Homeopathy thing is a really big deal for the Green Party. (a) Historically they’ve been stereotyped by their opponents as a bunch of nutters (b) The main focus of the party for the past five years –...
    DimPost | 30-10
  • Climate change and New Zealand cities
    Environmentalists sometimes have an uneasy relationship with cities. Because they concentrate a lot of people and economic activity in relatively small places, they also concentrate a lot of negative environmental effects. All that concrete, all that energy being consumed, the...
    Transport Blog | 30-10
  • Got a mystery? Just ask John!
    Tuesday, November 24, 2009John Key has learned the identity of the entertainer guilty of an indecency charge through the grapevine of people circumventing the suppression order....
    Pundit | 30-10
  • Shameful attack on all workers
    The Government has passed the Employment Relations Amendment Act slashing the rights of all Kiwi workers. “These changes are shameful. New Zealand now has some of the worst employment protections in the OECD....
    CTU | 30-10
  • Blocked
    It is safe to say before the election last month I was fairly prolific in the blogosphere as we headed to an election. Was it because there was a glimmer of hope for we on this side of the coin?...
    My Thinks | 30-10
  • Blend with the Bruntletts Group Ride
    While Vancourerites Chris and Melissa Bruntlett are here for their Auckland Conversation talk, Generation Zero, Frocks on Bikes and TransportBlog have organised a slow, family friendly ride around the city centre. The map is below. The ride is designed to be self-directed so...
    Transport Blog | 30-10
  • Rawshark – Is she Maori or Pakeha?
    Cameron Slater blamed someone for being behind the hacking of his emails and passing them on to Nicky Hager. And then he named someone he thought was Rawshark. John Key says someone told him who Rawshark is but he ain’t telling. @B3nRaching3r is...
    Te Putatara | 30-10
  • Employment law: it’s toasted
    In an early episode of Mad Men, when the company’s going for the Lucky Strike account, sleazebag antihero Don Draper asks the client exactly how cigarettes are made. They talk through the process, mentioning the tobacco is toasted – and...
    On the Left | 30-10
  • Owners of the wind
    Thirty-odd years ago in the Kingdom of Denmark lived some brave people who disliked nuclear power and loved renewable energy. Determined to keep their country clean and safe, they began building their own wind turbines. Today, thanks to these passionate...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 30-10
  • Te Wakaputanga – What we did not learn at school
    This week saw the 179th anniversary of the signing of Te Wakaputanga, the Declaration of Independence of the United Tribes of Niu Tireni. Most of us did not learn about this fundamentally critical document at school, we barely learned about...
    frogblog | 30-10
  • NZ goes backwards on gender equality
    It is no coincidence that in the same week New Zealand is singled out for going backwards on child poverty under National,  we’ve also dropped in global rankings for gender equality. In one year New Zealand has dropped from 7th...
    frogblog | 30-10
  • TPPA Bulletin #58
    NATIONAL DAY OF ACTION 8 NOVEMBER 2014 Auckland, Hamilton, Raglan, Tauranga, Rotorua, Gisborne, New Plymouth, Napier, Palmerston North, Levin,Wellington, Nelson, Christchurch, Timaru, Dunedin,Invercargill. REGIONAL UPDATES Auckland (1:00 pm at Aotea Square): speakers include Robyn Malcolm (Actors Equity), Bunny McDiarmid (Greenpeace), Dayle Takitimu...
    NZ – Not for sale | 30-10
  • Seabed mining: drums in the deep
    Out on the Chatham Rise, the ridge jutting into the waters off Christchurch and extending out beyond the Chathams, Chatham Rock Phosphate has a mining permit and is now seeking EPA approval for its project to mine phosphate for fertiliser,...
    Pundit | 30-10
  • CTU Runanga calls on iwi leaders
    Maori workers are calling on iwi leaders to speak out against the employment law changes expected to go through today.“Iwi leaders have previously spoken out when workers in Aotearoa have been under attack, we believe they should do so again...
    CTU | 30-10
  • An unmanaged conflict
    Katherine Rich is a member of the government-appointed Health Promotion Agency, responsible for (as it says on its website) "inspiring all New Zealanders to lead healthier lives". Katherine Rich is also Chief Executive of the New Zealand Food and Grocery...
    No Right Turn | 30-10
  • Robert Fisk
    Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default...
    No Right Turn | 30-10
  • A stretch
    This morning the Herald revealed that Kim Dotcom had been convicted and fined for dangerous driving in 2009, but had not declared it on his application for residency. Immigration is now talking about deporting him. So, this is what we...
    No Right Turn | 30-10
  • Tauranga port happy to take the money – but not happy to accept responsib...
    Comments from a Port of Tauranga manager about deaths and injuries in their port during a Radio New Zealand interview are unacceptable....
    MUNZ | 30-10
  • New Ebola Toys for Xmas. Yay?
    From the "too soon?" file, here are two oddly successful exercises in niche marketing. First, the molecularly-sort-of-correct ebola plush toy. Apparently it has sold out: And, of course, the sexy ebola nurse outfit: Ebola, as everyone knows, ignores cleavage. And...
    Polity | 30-10
  • Temporary, discriminatory and an admission of Faliure
    The PM says that the legislation his government proposes to pass under urgency allowing for the confiscation of passports of NZ citizens in order to combat the threat of returning foreign fighters will be “tightly focused” on those traveling to...
    Kiwipolitico | 30-10
  • Climate change harming ocean health
    New Zealand is responsible for one of the largest areas of sea in the world – an area 14 times the size of our land area. The National Government is promising new marine protected areas legislation with a discussion document...
    frogblog | 30-10
  • Experiment-gate update
    Readers may recall the saga around an experimental mailer some Stanford / Dartmouth researchers sent into the state of Montana. In a randomised trial, it provided voters with some added information about two candidates running for a judicial election, and...
    Polity | 30-10
  • Why are our Politicians Auckland Toll Chickens?
    Yesterday both the National Government and Green Party opposed the suggestion to place a toll on Auckland’s roads, but for completely different reasons. The Government opposes it because they see it as a new tax. The Greens because they would...
    Gareth’s World | 29-10
  • The obvious question
    John Key says he knows who the hacker Rawshark is. So, will the police be raiding his home for ten hours and taking all his data, or is that something they only do to enemies of the National Party?...
    No Right Turn | 29-10
  • Guest post: Living with a criminal conviction
    What happens when one moment of bad judgement changes everything anyone ever thinks about you? Mike Jones* used a weapon to defend his girlfriend from an aggressive man at a party seven years ago. He’s still paying for that choice....
    On the Left | 29-10
  • James Shaw speaks on the four Bills formerly known as the Accounting Infras...
    The assurance industry is a critical component of our economic framework. The idea that there is a trusted independent watchdog of the public interest underpins investor confidence and ensures financial probity on behalf of our country's leading institutions. New Zealand...
    Greens | 31-10
  • ANZ needs to look after its workers after another super profit
    The ANZ bank needs to acknowledge the super profits it makes are coming at the expense of its workers, the Green Party said today.Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited (ANZ) 2014 full year results show a lift in performance...
    Greens | 31-10
  • James Shaw’s maiden speech
    Tena Koe, Mr Speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to speak a little of the past, the present and the future. The privilege to serve in this Parliament was given to me by all those who gave their...
    Greens | 31-10
  • Feed the kids members bill
    Education is the best route out of poverty. But hungry kids can't learn and are left trapped in the poverty cycle. Let's break that cycle lunchbox by lunchbox. We can feed the country's hungry kids, if we work together.I have...
    Greens | 31-10
  • Feed the kids members bill
    Education is the best route out of poverty. But hungry kids can't learn and are left trapped in the poverty cycle. Let's break that cycle lunchbox by lunchbox. We can feed the country's hungry kids, if we work together.I have...
    Greens | 31-10
  • National’s “Auckland housing boom” a fizzer
    Falling Auckland consent numbers show the Government’s housing policy is going backwards contrary to wild claims by Building and Housing Minister Nick Smith that we are on the cusp of a massive construction boom, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    Labour | 31-10
  • Job losses major blow to Bay community
    Job losses at Wattie’s Hastings plant will hit families and the community hard, Hawke’s Bay-based Labour MP Stuart Nash and MP for Ikaroa-Rawhiti Meka Whaitiri say. “I know a number of the Wattie’s staff and these job losses will be...
    Labour | 31-10
  • Local job losses major blow to Bay community
    Job losses at Wattie’s Hastings plant will hit families and the community hard, Hawke’s Bay-based Labour MP Stuart Nash and MP for Ikaroa-Rawhiti Meka Whaitiri say. “I know a number of the Wattie’s staff and these job losses will be...
    Labour | 31-10
  • Zero tolerance for forestry accidents a must
    The Government must adopt a zero tolerance approach to workplace accidents in the forestry sector to stop people being killed, Labour’s Forestry spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “It is time for the Government and the forestry sector to put an end...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Return to less holidays on the cards?
    John Key needs to lay his cards on the table regarding the Government’s intentions around holiday pay and annual leave entitlements, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “A day after National pushed through laws that take away the legal...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Forest Safety report first step in making our forests safe to work in
    Our forests are a very dangerous place to work. Between 2008 and 2013 there have been 32 fatalities and more than a thousand serious harm incidents in this industry. The Council of Trade Unions and First union have been doing...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Catherine Delahunty Speaks on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill
    Kia ora, Mr Assistant Speaker. He mihi nui ki te Whare Paremata. Welcome to the glorious 19th century, dressed up in the not-so-new flexibility-speak. At the final moment of this bill, let us drop the charade. The Government has a...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Ruataniwha Feds refuse to present a balanced view
    A bid to sell the Ruataniwha water project to Hawkes Bay farmers has turned in to an incredibly one sided affair, says Labours spokesperson on Water Meka Whaitiri.  “It’s being promoted as ‘Ruataniwha it’s now or never’ and it promises...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Worker’s rights dealt severe blow with Bill’s passing
    The passing of the Employment Relations Amendment Bill is another blow to workers' rights in New Zealand, the Green Party said today.This afternoon, National's Employment Relations Amendment Bill passed with the support of Act and United Future."This bill will force...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Barriers to reporting sex crimes must go
    Both the Government and police need to take action to ensure that, in future, sexual abuse victims know they will be taken seriously, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “The young women involved in the Roast Busters case, and...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Te Wakaputanga – What we did not learn at school
    This week saw the 179th anniversary of the signing of Te Wakaputanga, the Declaration of Independence of the United Tribes of Niu Tireni. Most of us did not learn about this fundamentally critical document at school, we barely learned about...
    Greens | 30-10
  • NZ goes backwards on gender equality
    It is no coincidence that in the same week New Zealand is singled out for going backwards on child poverty under National,  we’ve also dropped in global rankings for gender equality. In one year New Zealand has dropped from 7th...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Kevin Hague questions the Minister of Health on management of Katherine Ric...
    Is he satisfied that all conflicts of interest that arose by the head of Food and Grocery Council Katherine Rich being a member of the Health Promotion Agency were managed in accordance with the provisions of the Crown Entities Act...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Bennett parks numbers on social housing
    Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett admitted today that well over 1000 families have been subsidised through the accommodation supplement to stay in the Ranui campground, somewhere she has previously described as not the right place for children to be growing...
    Labour | 30-10
  • 50,000 sign petition against anti-worker law
    More than 50,000 Kiwis have signed Labour’s petition against the Government’s scrapping of tea break entitlements, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “That’s the equivalent of five people signing our petition every minute for a week. It shows the...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Address in Reply Debate – Dr Kennedy Graham on UN Security Council- 2...
    In the Speech from the Throne last week the Prime Minister identified the usual domestic goals for his Government. I counted 17. They are not my subject today. I wish instead to focus on matters beyond our shores. In the...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Climate change harming ocean health
    New Zealand is responsible for one of the largest areas of sea in the world – an area 14 times the size of our land area. The National Government is promising new marine protected areas legislation with a discussion document...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Key misled public over Jason Ede
    Information contained in a new chapter of the book Key: Portrait of a Prime Minister, that Jason Ede stopped working for the National Party on the night the book Dirty Politics was released, shows Mr Key and senior ministers hid...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Greenpeace report highlights better path for NZ agriculture
    A Greenpeace International report highlights a better way forward for New Zealand agriculture than the GE and chemical mutation technologies supported by Federated Farmers, and the National Government through its research funding packages, the Green Party said today. "This report...
    Greens | 29-10
  • BNZ post record profits while leaving savers vulnerable
    A small part of the $850 million record profit posted by the Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) today needs to be set aside to protect savers' deposits in the future, said Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman today.Dr Norman was...
    Greens | 29-10
  • RBNZ U-turn shows monetary settings were wrong
    The Reserve Bank's U-turn on interest rates today shows monetary policy settings were wrong and New Zealanders have suffered unnecessarily through the loss of jobs and having to pay higher interest rates, the Green Party said today.Reserve Bank Governor Graeme...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Ports must take responsibility for shameful death toll
    Port companies must step up and take responsibility for a shameful toll of seven deaths and 133 serious accidents in the past three years, Labour MP Iain Lees-Galloway says. The frightening figures – released by the Rail, Maritime and Transport...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Please help me get my Feed the Kids Bill to Select Committee
    Last week I took over the Feed the Kids Bill that Hone Harawira had introduced to Parliament. If passed, my Bill will provide government-funded breakfast and lunch in all decile 1 and 2 schools. Hungry kids can’t learn and are...
    Greens | 29-10
  • TVNZ Outsourcing Pasifika and Maori Programmes
    I’ve always been a big fan of our state broadcaster and I’ve particularly liked their range of current events programmes. But after Friday’s announcement that TVNZ will be sacking up to 40 staff by contracting out the Pacific and Maori...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Labour urges iwi leaders to meet with National
    Labour’s Māori Caucus has called on iwi leaders and national Māori organisations to seek urgent meetings with the National Government to directly express their concerns about employment law changes which will harm Māori workers. In an open letter sent today...
    Labour | 29-10
  • ACC’s reputation needs fix, not glitz
    Restoring public trust and confidence in ACC will take a lot more than a new communications strategy or social media blitz, says Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “Under National, ACC has come to be perceived as insensitive, difficult to deal...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Lessons to be learned from police investigation
    The outcome of the so-called Roast Busters case should not put victims off reporting sexual crimes, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “This case has been mishandled from the start. Within days of police initially saying no charges had...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Anti-worker legislation is anti-Pacifica
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga, will go down in history as being part of a Government that harmed his own people through anti-worker legislation, says Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio.  “Pacific people are among...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Five-year tax holiday for overseas tax dodgers
    National has just gifted a five-year tax holiday for foreign companies dodging their tax payments, says Revenue spokesperson David Clark. “Todd McClay has pretended he is doing something about overseas companies dodging their tax duties by joining an international initiative...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Traffic Jam Tax must be given the red light
    Auckland Council’s proposed Traffic Jam Tax could cost some households thousands of dollars a year just to use roads they had already paid for with their taxes and must be rejected, says Labour’s transport and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford....
    Labour | 29-10
  • National has chance to show leadership on limos
    The National Party has the opportunity to show leadership by transitioning our vehicle fleet towards renewable electricity when a new contract to supply Government limousines for VIPs goes to tender next month, the Green Party said today. "This is a...
    Greens | 29-10
  • The Māori Party can’t have it both ways over labour laws
    The Māori Party has to fess up over its voting record on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill, says Labour’s Māori Caucus.  “It’s simply not good enough to oppose the bill at the same time  as they helped speed up its progress through...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Equal pay and the aged care sector
    Today the High Court upheld the historic ruling by the Employment Court that our Equal Pay Act could be used to consider work of equal value cases; the government has been telling the UN and ILO that it could for...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Court case perfect opportunity for Government to improve gender pay gap
    If the Government wants to halt New Zealand’s slump in international rankings on the gender pay gap it should act on the court finding that women deserve equal wages, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “The World Economic Forum’s...
    Labour | 28-10
  • All Auckland transport options should be considered
    All options for meeting Auckland's transport needs should be considered, including reprioritising the transport budget away from wasteful spending on motorways, the Green Party said today.Auckland mayor Len Brown is today releasing a transport report by the Independent Advisory Board,...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Another report highlights Govt failure on child poverty
    An international report measuring the impact of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) on child poverty rates, showing children in New Zealand have done worse than children in other countries, is further proof the Government needs to urgently take additional steps...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Child poverty: No more wake-up calls
    A new report which shows the National Government has made no inroads whatsoever into child poverty should do more than just set alarm bells ringing, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “UNICEF’s  latest Innocenti Report Card highlights the fact...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Eugenie Sage speaks in the 2014 Address in Reply Debate
    I congratulate you, Assistant Speaker Mallard, as Assistant Speaker and look forward to your knowledge, your fairness, and your light touch in being a referee of proceedings in this House. I congratulate also the other Assistant Speaker, Lindsay Tisch; the...
    Greens | 28-10
  • James Shaw’s Maiden Speech
    Tena Koe, Mr Speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to speak a little of the past, the present and the future. The privilege to serve in this Parliament was given to me by all those who gave their...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Govt airs real views on public broadcasting
    An admission by the Government that it is happy to experiment with Pacific and Maori audiences shows just how weak its vision for public broadcasting in New Zealand is, Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. “National today admitted it doesn’t...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Does Judith Collins have a get out of jail card?
    Former justice minister Judith Collins appears to have been gifted a get out of jail free card based on the Prime Minister’s answers in Parliament today, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “Judith Collins claimed in an Official Information...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Solid Energy decision delay sensible
    Today’s announcement by the Board of Solid Energy that it will delay making a final decision on re-entering the Pike River mine is a sensible move, Labour’s MP for  West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says. “It has been clear for some...
    Labour | 28-10
  • New York Green Bank off to a $1B start
    New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced late last week the New York Green Bank’s first NZD$1 billion tranche of green energy investments. The projects, which are difficult for the private sector to finance, are now possible by New York Green...
    Greens | 28-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Simon Buckingham – Where are Labour Candidates on disability?
    For the few people who know me (hello Mum), I am proudly New Zealand’s first Autistic Spectrum Lawyer, as well as being the very bottom Candidate on the Labour Party List. (64 out of 64). Being honoured like this is...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Blockade the Budget
    The ‘Independent’ Police Conduct Authority’s report into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash The report released by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash riddled with inaccuracies....
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • When National claim new anti worker laws provide ‘flexibility’ they mea...
    And so it comes to pass. The first law National ram through as part of their victory march are new anti worker laws they pretend will generate ‘flexibility’. The new law denigrate the unions ability to protect workers and provide...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • City Transport: A Taxing Matter
    This week the prospect of paying tolls on Auckland motorways became a hot topic. (See Mathew Dearnaley:Motorway tolling could hit some hard, NZ Herald, 30 Oct 2014.) As we might expect, the kneejerk response has been quite negative. But, as with...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Open Letter to Amy Adams: Please Reopen The Review Into Sexual Violence Cou...
    Ms Amy Adams, Justice and Courts Minister, Right now in this country it seems that although rape is illegal, it is not being prevented by the agents who uphold the law. It almost feels like rape is only illegal on paper,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Things That Make You Go Hmmmmmmm
    Every so often in politics, a public figure comes out with something so absurd and so outlandish … that it really does just make you go “Hmmmmmmmmmm”. We’re accustomed to this from certain quarters – by mid point through the...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Poverty & inequality don’t need protest marches – they need a riot:...
    The global level of inequality continues to skyrocket… Number of billionaires doubled since financial crisis The number of billionaires has doubled since the start of the financial crisis, according to a major new report from anti-poverty campaigners. According to Oxfam,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • If Key knows who Rawshark is…
    I’m sorry, what? John Key ‘given Rawshark’s name’The Prime Minister believes he knows who hacked Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater’s computer and produced the source material for Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics, according to a new edition of a recently published...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Child Poverty stats in NZ
    Child Poverty stats in NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Crimes Act + Police Investigation = WTF
    Just to frame the farce that is the Roastbuster’s investigation and conclusion – here are the parts of the Crime Act http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1961/0043/latest/whole.html#DLM329057  the Roastbusters are proven to have violated – that the police (and some suspects!) themselves acknowledge occurred: Crimes...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Publishing Journalists’ Home Addresses Is A Tactic Of The Right, Not The ...
    I think I’m starting to get rather annoyed with the conduct of some pro-MANA people over this ongoing Parliamentary Services crew complement issue. Yes, we get that there are legitimate issues to be raised with how some political reporters in...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Aucklanders caught between a tarseal-addicted government and a weak mayor
    Len Brown’s proposal for motorway tolls to reduce congestion and provide funding for better public transport is a weak response to a critical issue. The $12 billion dollar shortfall on transport funding he talks about is mainly for projected new...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • A Very Weird Story: Deconstructing Darren Aronofsky’s Noah.
    NOAH is a curious movie. Conceived as a biblical epic, it’s target audience was originally the millions of Americans who regard the Bible as God’s inerrant word. With the sin-filled works of Hollywood forbidden to these true-believers, Christian movie-makers have developed...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • You Can Get Away With Rape In New Zealand
    Jessie Hume with last years petition against rape     The police have sent a strong message today.  In fact they’ve been sending a strong message for a while; a message that our government supports. “You can literally get away...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Roast Buster case – no charges. In the immortal words of NWA…
    Roast Busters case: No prosecutions Police are to make an announcement this afternoon on Operation Clover, the investigation into the “Roast Busters” allegations. The Herald understands the victim has been told that the alleged offenders will not be prosecuted due...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Key’s flag change distraction to cost $26million!
    No. Way. Bid to change NZ flag to cost millions The cost of holding two referendums and consulting on a change of flag has been estimated to be just under $26 million. Look. We all appreciate that the sleepy hobbits...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Why NZ Herald’s Labour Party crocodile tears are so audacious
    The front page the NZ Herald would use if they thought they could get away with it No one can take the recent columns by NZ Herald seriously… John Armstrong: Shadow lingers on National John Roughan: Labour’s leadership vote matters...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • The beginning of the end of Cameron Slater?
    Slater postings on man bizarre, court told A businessman has changed his appearance and had to install extra security at his home after Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater posted his business and personal documents online, he says. Mr Slater has...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • We are a milk power republic and Fonterra our unelected senate
    Wow. Just wow… Deputy mayor says he’ll be sacked South Taranaki deputy mayor Alex Ballantyne says he expects to be sacked because he has spoken out about the impact gasses coming from dumped Fonterra dairy products have had on his...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: “…But *actually* this is about ethics in political-game jo...
    Yesterday, a piece of mine on the recent revelations about Hone Harawira employing several gentlemen either accused or convicted of sex offences was published on The Daily Blog. Predictably, given the fierce loyalty which Hone inspires in his party faithful and...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Privilege cheque
    There was no race problem in my childhood. Living in central Wellington I was well-insulated from what was going on not so far away. This was the 60s and 70s, where the teachers enjoyed free love in the staff room...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • A brief word on Key’s claim that it will be raining carnage
    Isis will ‘rain carnage on the world’ – John Key Left unchecked Isis would “rain carnage on the world”, Prime Minister John Key says, but he has yet to make a decision on whether New Zealand troops will join a...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Meanwhile…
    ...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • How does Andrew Little win Labour Leadership and unify the caucus?
    Audrey Young’s excellent column on how the Caucus vote  is shaping up shows how Andrew Little becomes the next leader of the Labour Party. She identifies the factions as the following… Andrew Little 6: Andrew Little, David Cunliffe, Iain Lees Galloway,...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Joe Trinder – Right of response to Curwen
    You have asked that Hone Harawira deserves to explain what happened, how would he explain when his next door neighbour is an alleged sex offender. What explanation can Hone offer he wasn’t involved, Hone had no idea this offending was...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: That Hella-Weird Feeling When You Defend Tova O’Brien
    Oh dear. Yesterday morning I blogged that Hone deserved a chance to explain what exactly had happened as applies his office’s Parliamentary Services crew complement – and, importantly, that we deserve to be able to judge him on the strength of...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Canadian Green MP warns against harsh anti-terror measures
    Canada’s Green Party has provided a welcome counterpoint to Prime Minister Harper’s call for tougher anti-terrorism laws in the wake of a soldier outside the Canadian Parliament. On October 22, while she was still locked in her parliamentary office, Green...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • When is an asset sale not an asset sale? When it robs from the poor and ste...
    National have turned state housing on its head. At no time during the 2014 election did the Key Government even hint that they were going to privatise 30% of the Housing NZ stock of state homes. Not once. Key even...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part To...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Rua) . Bill English comes clean on National’s intentions for HNZ privatisation . On 14 October, in a report on The Daily Blog, I wrote, In...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • The Questions Have Been Asked – They Deserve An Answer
    A few days ago, allegations that had been percolating for some time about Hone Harawira employing three either accused or convicted sex offenders on his Parliamentary pay-roll came to light. (one imprisoned before working for MANA; one who found himself convicted and...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • I have seen one future, and it is bleak
    . . Back in  March 2012, I wrote this story regarding a march to support striking workers at Ports of Auckland. It appears there was some prescience about some of my observations at the time… . | | 18 March...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • US air strike war Key wants us in has killed a civilian a day so far
      The US air strike war that John Key wants us to join has killed a civilian a day so far. From the Washington Post... The United States launched its first airstrikes on militants in Syria on Sept. 23, and has continued...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • The instant Jihad syndrome
    My favourite new term is ‘self-radicalised’ – it suggests the reasons for terrorism are totally divorced from the actions of the West. This need to suddenly ramp up terror laws because of lone wolf, self-radicalised Jihadists seems convenient and counter-productive....
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • We have nothing to fear from Ebola but fear itself
    I suspect most Americans perceive Ebola like this   I can’t work out if the fear being spread within the media about Ebola is deliberate or just ignorance. Yes Ebola is a terrible plague that kills a large percentage of...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – “Meritocracy? I wish.”
    I’d like to start by linking to a post I had published at another site in support of Nanaia Mahuta for the Labour Party leadership election.  She has a reasonable chance, given that she already has the endorsement of Te...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Chocolate milk shortage and creepy Santa? Let’s talk about real news
    Child poverty is still a scarily serious problem in this country and house prices are soaring through the roof to the point where it is simply impossible for the average New Zealander to buy a home. There is also little...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • It’s time to celebrate Kiwi schools and teachers
    Some would have you believe that New Zealand’s schools are in a state of collapse, that your children are not being educated well and that things are going to hell in a hand basket.  That there is no innovation, no...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Ideological Blitzkrieg – Privatization of state housing, more charter sch...
    Pundits in pundit land will tell you that this Government is boring, that Key is the great pragmatist and that it is his ability to create elegant solutions that keeps him the firm favourite in many Kiwi eyes. This ability...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • Hegemony rules but resistance is fertile
    The Prime Minister is a puppet. Not just our current Prime Minister, but given the forces of multinational globalisation, the role of any head of state, is less as independent actor, and more as a puppet of international trends and...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • An open Letter to Sir Bob Jones: demanding a ‘liveable wage’ is not “...
    How out of touch with reality is Sir Bob Jones? You know, that white dude who invested in privatised SOEs after the selling off of our assets in the eighties and made a ludicrous and disgusting amount of money and is...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • My insecurity about the Security Council
    As I write this (on 24 October) it is international UN Day. Of course, you all knew that already, right? Well, the day celebrates the entry into force of the UN Charter in 1945. With the ratification of this founding...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Catherine Delahunty – Back in That House
    Parliament opened this week and I still find it a very odd place. Most of the people are reasonably courteous and friendly, but the rituals are archaic and the rules around issues like the swearing in oath are oppressive and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Marae Investigates No More
    TVNZ yesterday announced the closure of their Māori and Pacific programmes department. That means they’ve chosen to stop making Fresh, Tagata Pasifika, Waka Huia and Marae Investigates to let independent producers get their hands on these lucrative contracts. This is...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • BLOGWATCH: An Un-Civil War in Labour, eh?
    Earlier today, my attention was directed to an entry that’s just recently appeared on the Slightly Left of Centre blog. It purports to contain the ‘inside word’ from a highly placed NZF source – which is funny, because I’m pretty sure...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Santanomics 101
    Santanomics could mean a number of things. It could be the study and practice of giving. Or it could mean the study and practice of rampant end-of-year commercialism. However, for me today it is the economics of erectingAuckland’s giant Santa...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • SkyCity boss misleads public over workers lost shifts
    SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison has defended the employment practices at his company in an “Opinion” piece entitled “Human Capital key to corporate success” in the NZ Herald on Thursday. A number of his claims are misleading, contain only partial truths...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Review: Perfect Place
    I went to a Perfect Place on Tuesday night, and what a delight it was. The marshmallows sweetly (and forcefully) handed out pre-show, set the tone for the next hour. Walking up the stairs at The Basement was a complete...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • 5AA Australia – NZ on UN Security Council + Dirty Politics Lingers On
    5AA Australia: Selwyn Manning and Peter Godfrey deliver their weekly bulletin Across The Ditch. General round up of over night talkback issues: Thongs, Jandals and flip-flops… ISSUE 1: New Zealand has been successful in its campaign to become a non...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • When I mean me, I mean my office & when I call whaleoil I mean not as m...
    This. Is. Ludicrous. Green Party co-leader Russel Norman put the first of what are likely to be many questions about Mr Key’s relationship with Slater, asking him how many times he had phoned or texted the blogger since 2008. “None...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • Roast Busters: Turn Indignation into Action
    People raged about the Roast Buster case. The indignation was justified – it was horrible. “Where were their parents!?” Fair question. I am sure the Roast Busters’ parents and the victims’ parents all wish they had been more proactive in...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Stats NZ only have themselves to blame for postponement
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says Statistics NZ only have themselves to blame for the indefinite postponement of the release of the Food Price Index: November 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • NZ Diversity Survey – benchmarking workplace diversity
    AUT University’s New Zealand Work Research Institute (NZWRI) has released a report on diversity in New Zealand workplaces....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Māori Language (Te Reo Māori) Bill
    Tutehounuku Korako, Chair of the Māori Affairs Committee, is inviting further public submissions on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Friday, 5 December 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • ERA amendments a mixed bag
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act has the potential to put vulnerable workers in a more precarious position, says Equal Opportunities Commissioner, Dr Jackie Blue. However, the commissioner says the right for all to request flexible work hours is...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Sensible Sentencing calls for appeal of judicial activivism
    The Sensible Sentencing Trust is appalled that Justice Jill Mallon has today refused to apply the Life without Parole (LWOP) provisions of the Three Strikes law as enacted by Parliament....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Global Rally against ISIS – for Kobanê – for Humanity, Nov 1
    The New Zealand Kurdish Community will march in solidarity with Kurdistan as part of the “GLOBAL RALLY AGAINST ISIS – FOR KOBANÊ – FOR HUMANITY” on 1 November 2014, 2pm....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Safer roads are better for everyone
    Recent pedestrian versus vehicle incidents highlight the real issues being addressed by delegates as the 2Walk and Cycle conference concludes....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Law change creates more flexible labour market
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act, passed yesterday, will bring new flexibility to the labour market and will reduce the ability of unions to organise and to recruit....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Bumper ANZ profits mean no excuse for insecure hours
    A big rise in profits at New Zealand's largest bank needs to be reflected in a better pay offer and more security around hours of work, the bank workers’ union said today....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Count down to lowered alcohol limit
    With just a month to go until a new lower alcohol limit for adult drivers comes into effect, Police and road safety agencies are reminding drivers of the impending change....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • WorkSafe Supports Forestry Review Findings
    WorkSafe NZ says the Independent Forestry Safety Review has clearly identified the problems facing an industry in which ten workers were killed last year. “The Review’s analysis matches our own view and leaves no doubt about the need for comprehensive,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU welcomes forestry review recommendations
    The CTU is welcoming the today's release of the independent forestry safety review panel findings. "These recommendations must be implemented to ensure that everything possible is done to make forestry safer." CTU President, Helen Kelly said....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Activists will confront animal abusers
    Today animal rights activists will confront a group of wealth advisers who want to build the biggest egg factory-farm in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Turia: Women’s Refuge Conference 2014
    This is a milestone moment in my life. This will be my last official address as Co-leader of the Maori Party. On Saturday night at our Hui-a-Tau, I will be standing down from that role and enabling a new co-leader,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rodeo Code of Welfare ‘Sick Joke’
    Animal advocacy organisation SAFE says the revised Code of Welfare for Rodeos just released is nothing but a sick joke. “Rodeo animals are goaded, tormented and forced to endure needless suffering and gross mistreatment, all for the sake of so-called...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Conservative Party applauds binding referenda on flag
    The Conservative Party are congratulating the Government on the decision to hold two binding referendums to decide the fate of New Zealand’s flag – and believes it will pave the way for binding referenda to form part of New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Walk the Talk – Opposing violence against women
    Soroptimist International of Auckland have organised a walk on 22 November from Silo Park at the Wynyard Quarter through the Viaduct and back to Silo Park, to show their opposition to violence against women. This event hopes to raise awareness...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Recommendations on the Design of Pecuniary Penalties
    The Law Commission has reviewed the use of pecuniary penalties as a regulatory tool. Pecuniary penalties are financial penalties that policymakers are increasingly opting to use in place of criminal sanctions in order to punish and deter misconduct in...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Every worker will be affected by employment law changes
    Every worker will feel the effects of the government’s new employment laws and should join a union if they want to maintain and increase their wages and conditions, says New Zealand’s largest private sector union, the EPMU....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Shameful attack on all workers
    The Government has passed the Employment Relations Amendment Act slashing the rights of all Kiwi workers. “These changes are shameful. New Zealand now has some of the worst employment protections in the OECD. It is embarrassing that a country which...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Unnecessary law changes more to do with ideology
    The government’s employment law changes are simply ideological and are at odds with its approach in the related areas of health and safety and immigration law, FIRST Union said tonight....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU Runanga calls on iwi leaders
    Maori workers are calling on iwi leaders to speak out against the employment law changes expected to go through today. “Iwi leaders have previously spoken out when workers in Aotearoa have been under attack, we believe they should do so...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Educating children not the best solution to alcohol harm
    Alcohol Healthwatch says we need to look beyond educating children and young people to address deeply embedded attitudes and behaviours concerning alcohol....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • New code of welfare for rodeos released
    New standards to strengthen the animal welfare requirements for rodeos have been issued today by the Minister for Primary Industries, Nathan Guy....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • IPCA report riddle with inaccuracies, say students
    A report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is riddled with inaccuracies, say students who laid the original complaint with the IPCA....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CT v The Queen – indecency convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rameka v The Queen – murder convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Auckland Council Out of Control
    Responding to the NZ Herald article that some Auckland households will face a rates rise of up to 9.6 per cent next year, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “Len Brown’s pledge to cap rates rises at 2.5 per...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Stats NZ staff escalate action with ‘no more meetings’ rule
    Statistics NZ staff have voted to escalate their ongoing industrial action in an effort to get Stats NZ back to the bargaining table with a reasonable offer. The staff, who are members of the Public Service Association (PSA), have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Rape Crisis calls for changes to criminal justice system
    Wellington Rape Crisis has added its voice to the public outcry following the announcement that there will be no charges in the teen rape gang case. Butterworth says the decision not to lay charges will not have been a surprise...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Police action justified in Blockade the Budget demonstration
    Police actions in dealing with a demonstration in Central Auckland known as Blockade the Budget on 1 June 2012 were justified and appropriate, an Independent Police Conduct Authority report released today found....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • NZDF Joins with Australia to Commemorate WWI Centenary
    A contingent of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel will join their Australian counterparts at Australia’s first major commemoration of the First World War centenary in Albany, Western Australia this weekend....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Reserve Bank should reduce interest rate
    “The Reserve Bank should be reducing its policy interest rate, the OCR”, says CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg in response to the Bank’s announcement today that it is not increasing it....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • 2015 Stout Fellow will write about Māori & Criminal Justice
    Kim Workman, founder and advocate for the Robson Hanan Trust, which administers the Rethinking Crime and Punishment and Justspeak initiatives, has been awarded the 2015 John David Stout Fellowship at Victoria University....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • What John Key thought about ‘dirty politics’
    On September 20, John Key swept to victory to become one of New Zealand’s most successful and popular Prime Ministers. Rocked by scandal, the 2014 election campaign was one of the most brutal – and riveting – in recent history....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Trade Deal Threatens Farmers and Food Businesses
    The secret Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations are a direct threat to food businesses and farmers, and a moratorium on the release of GE crops must be enshrined in law before the TPP is signed....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • CTU announces election of new Secretary
    The contested election for the position of CTU Secretary has been won by Sam Huggard. Sam officially takes office on Monday 1 December 2014. Sam has worked in the union movement and brings a wealth of experience and a commitment...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kim Workman awarded 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship
    The Victoria University of Wellington 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship, funded by the Stout Trust, has been awarded to justice reform advocate Kim Workman. Mr Workman (Ngati Kahungungu ki Wairarapa, Rangitaane) is well known for his work on criminal justice,...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • TPPA causing concern
    Concern over the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations is being expressed in two public meetings over the next week; one at a presentation on 5th November by former councillor Robin Gwynn to the Napier City Council, the...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kiwis rally to demand justice for ‘Roast Buster’ survivors
    Over 1,500 kiwis have rallied to demand justice after the announcement of the NZ Police decision not to lay charges in the ‘Roast Busters’ saga....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • New employment law will hurt the most vulnerable NZers
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says changes to the Employment Relations Act, expected to be passed in Parliament tonight, will hurt vulnerable workers and their families more than anyone....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Consultation to close on proposed place names
    The New Zealand Geographic Board (NZGB) Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa today advised that only one month remains before public consultation closes for 18 name proposals for geographic features and places around Te Ika ā Māui (the North Island)....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Operation Clover – Statement from Police Commissioner
    I have taken a close interest in this investigation and I am confident police have conducted a thorough and professional enquiry in what has been a challenging and complex case. The Operation Clover team has ensured that victims have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Better policy would have protected children from recession
    Child Poverty Action Group says an international report released by UNICEF today shows good policy can protect and improve child well-being, even during a recession....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Outcome of Operation Clover investigation
    Police have completed a multi-agency investigation, Operation Clover, into the activities of a group calling themselves “The Roast Busters”. The 12 month enquiry focused on incidents involving allegations of sexual offending against a number of girls...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • False birth registration brings home detention
    A Whangarei woman who attempted to register the birth of a fictitious child to claim a sole parent benefit was sentenced to six months home detention in the Whangarei District Court today....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Family of Robert Ellis demand a proper investigation
    The family of a New Zealander killed in Indonesia are growing increasingly concerned at the lack of information they’ve received, and the handling of the investigation into his murder....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Minister of Health must account for aged care workers’ pay
    The New Zealand Federation of Business and Professional Women (BPW NZ) congratulates rest-home worker Kristine Bartlett on her landmark claim for equal pay from her employer and successfully pursuing this to the Court of Appeal....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere