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The Human Cost of Inequality

Written By: - Date published: 2:10 pm, May 18th, 2014 - 131 comments
Categories: admin, Economy, notices - Tags: ,

The Sir Douglas Robb Lectures for 2014 start tomorrow evening in Auckland. These three free lectures are being given by the authors of “The Spirit Level: Why More Equal Societies Almost Always Do Better“, a book much hated by those amongst us who would prefer that societies either didn’t exist or  were more unequal and tilted in their favour. Based on many of the trolls here on this topic, it’d appear that most Act supporters and many National supporters appear fall into this category*

Robb-Lecture-2014-Poster

 

 

* It is my contention that most of the people who decry this book are also people who haven’t read it. I think that they are also the same people who don’t read all of my posts before they start commenting on them. So lets try a wee experiment in inequality shall we!. People putting in links to “disprove” the claims in The Spirit Level into this post will be called on to show that they have in fact read the book. Those who cannot display their personal knowledge of the contents of the book will receive a free and unencumbered banning until after the election. This will be known as the “fine print”. Please refer to it as such. 

 

131 comments on “The Human Cost of Inequality”

  1. RedLogix 1

    When I was reading the book it occurred to me that while there are clear and measurable challenges associated with the kind of absolute poverty (defined as <U$10k pa/person income) – the more insidious and harder to define problems arose from the psychological impacts of a steep social gradient … regardless of income.

    In one rather literal sense this could be labelled ‘the politics of envy’. Yet the bizarre and unexpected hints in the data is that gross social inequality is bad for everyone – regardless of their perch on the pecking order – which rather puts envy out of the picture.

    I would argue that the most corrosive stress on people is a sense of powerlessness in the face of a perceived need. Some societies (I’m thinking here of India) have cleverly dealt with gross inequality by socially defining away the need for dignity and justice in this life. Who cares what happens to you in this life – when the reincarnation principle will make it up to you in another. Who can argue with an implacable fate? Why stress about the unchangeable? And why would gross inequality matter in this life?

    But when this one short life we have matters, then justice matters too. It is plain that some people contribute more than others, and our traditional, long evolved sense of equity approves of them being better rewarded for it.

    But there is some ill-defined point at which ‘getting more rewards for more merit’ is twisted into ‘using your privilege and status to rip the system off’. At some point what was fair – transforms into unfairness. Our instincts are perhaps troubled by it – but our mind has trouble putting words and definitions around it. Maybe extreme wealth and poverty is just something we did not evolve with – and we haven’t yet developed a strong social adaption for.

    Which is where Pickett and Wilkinson have done such valuable work – putting a rational white coat onto this otherwise dark moral specter.

    • Interesting red.

      The most corrosive stress? Powerlessness is definitely up there but for me inequality is absolutely corrosive. Inequality eats self esteem and most if not all of today’s woes can be traced to inequality imo – or more correctly the practice of inequality.

      Reincarnation is actually all about what you do now and not about any rebirth because what you do now determines (amongst so many things) what will happen to you after death – at least that was my understanding when I believed in it. But, you know, there are as many ideas about reincarnation as any other thought about what happens after death. IMO reincarnation is about modifying or understanding behavior and consequences today and any social inequality understanding it brings/creates acceptance for/contributes to, is a by-product, albeit a happy by-product for the elite.

      I am not sure i’d say that some people ‘contribute’ more that others simply because the measurement of ‘contribution’ is entangled in so many artificial societal constructs that its meaning is almost subjective. That some are better rewarded (for what?) is an area where the ‘practice of inequality’ rubber hits the road.

      • Colonial Viper 1.1.1

        The most corrosive stress? Powerlessness is definitely up there but for me inequality is absolutely corrosive. Inequality eats self esteem and most if not all of today’s woes can be traced to inequality imo – or more correctly the practice of inequality.

        Powerlessness, anxiety, loss of sense of control, expectations/reality gap, those are the psychological stressors which wear people down.

        Inequality generates all those things but it is also upstream from them, more abstract and less biological.

        • marty mars 1.1.1.1

          i dunno – inequality permeates – it generates anxiety, powerlessness and so on but they are generated by inequality. This is not just an abstract concept but a real world reality. I’d also argue that there is a biological aspect to inequality – that wrench in the guts when you see it in action, when you experience it, especially when you aren’t expecting it.

          • karol 1.1.1.1.1

            Yes, marty, and it impacts materially on people’s daily lives – on their actions, life opportunities (or lack thereof), their daily work, home and community lives, etc

  2. greywarbler 3

    FI
    Sir George Douglas Robb, CMG (1899–1974) was a New Zealand surgeon, medical reformer, writer, and university chancellor. He was born at Auckland on 29 April 1899[1] and educated at the Auckland Grammar School and at the University of Otago (MB ChB). Robb had a reputation as something of a maverick and a rebel against the conventional medical establishment, as is discussed in a chapter in Brian Easton’s book The Nationbuilders[2]

    Robb was influential in the formation of the Auckland Medical School as part of the University of Auckland. From 1961 to 1962, he held the year-long position of President of the British Medical Association.[3]

  3. karol 4

    One website says this:

    All lectures will be recorded and available a week after the lecture.

    Does this mean they will be available online?

    If so, I’d prefer to listen to that, than trek into Auckland CBD 3 nights in one week.

  4. fisiani 5

    The book should be called Cherrypicking for idiots as that is what it have proven to be. The Spirit Level Delusion has conclusively debunked the findings.

    • felix 5.1

      Would you care to walk me through one of these debunkings, fiz?

    • Draco T Bastard 5.2

      No it hasn’t but the supposed debunking has. It’s just that you don’t want to believe reality as it gets in the way of your preconceived ideology.

    • lprent 5.3

      Yeah I’m quite interested in how much people have actually read of the book when they get around to “debunking” it for reasons to do with the fine print.

      In my experience almost every “debunking” appears to have been done by someone who hasn’t read books in knowledgeable detail.

      For instance I totally agree with Danyl at Dimpost talking about the Piketty book

      I will write more about the actual book later. But I’ve been interested in the debate in the economics blogosphere. Left-wing economists all seem to think Pikety is right and right-wing economists all seem to think he’s wrong. (I would note that the objections I’ve heard from some on the right: ‘Piketty disregards the decline of inequality between nations, cf the development of China,’ or ‘Pikety disregards the ability of education and skills transfer to reduce inequality,’ seem to be issues Piketty addresses in the introduction to his book. Maybe there are more substantive critiques out there?).

      I read the Spirit Level and I have quibbles about some of the stuff in it. I then read some of the criticisms including “The Spirit Level Delusion”. They cheerfully cherry picked their way around the book they were attacking, and didn’t deal with the points or alternate explanations. Basically it was a book that was clearly written as an attack by a moronic hack (Christopher Snowdon) doing the same poor quality of research and analysis that Ian Wishart does.

      For instance they attacked the detail on changes in teen pregnancy and crime without looking at the demographic age changes or the changes in social policy that The Economist was detailing this week. Incidentally I had to laugh about this moron putting in a very selective quote from The Economist shorn of the criticism of Christopher Snowdon’s book on his website. Needless to say it had no link – for very good reason.

      Essentially Christopher Snowdon is a stupid arsehole who didn’t manage to disprove anything in particular.

    • Sanctuary 5.4

      fisiani! Here is your big chance to confront these charlatans bro! As I recall, you claimed they were in hiding after being unable to counter your withering analysis and denouement of the spirit level. Yet here they are. bold as brass and larger than life lecturing in publically advertised events. How do you explain this fisiani? What do you put this failure to heed your informed arguments down to? Why do you believe you’ve not received the airing you deserve? is it all a conspiracy, perhaps?

      • lprent 5.4.1

        I suspect that his withering analysis and denouement was fatally crippled by his never having read the book.

        As I recall and in retrospect (after reading it myself), his analysis was like looking through a desert window left for a hundred year and which had sagged into a yellowed semi-opaque distorting lenses. I was basing his opinion on crowing by others who’d also about poorly written analysis by a hack whose only real qualification in the subject was that he was a favourite of a rightwing thinktank with a dubious connection to the infamous tobacco lobbyist coverups. The actual analysis by Christopher Snowdon looked like he’d scanned the book through a large condom (to avoid contamination by the intellectual), but not actually read the book.

        But hey. That is a rigorous analysis by the lazy…

  5. Clean_power 6

    Two academics lecturing from their ivory towers with little to go for.
    On my part, I love inequality because adds variety to life. We are not born equal, after all.

    • McFlock 6.1

      and john key loved to see wages drop.

      Doesn’t make it a good thing, though.

    • Colonial Viper 6.2

      On my part, I love inequality because adds variety to life. We are not born equal, after all.

      Agreed; some people are natural born-to-rule arseholes.

    • karol 6.3

      Yes, higher murder rates, lower life expectancies, more mental illness, more infectious diseases, etc, etc, just add spice to life. Sit back and enjoy the show on, desolation row.

    • greywarbler 6.4

      ‘We are not born equal after all.’
      True but nearly, all look pretty helpless and a baby’s cry probably sounds the same in any country.. Inequality shows up more in the quality of help the mother gets.

    • vto 6.5

      “On my part, I love inequality because adds variety to life” …
      … and this is an illustration of the thinking…. . try not to despair folks

      • Colonial Viper 6.5.1

        Let’s see the born-to-rule arsehole volunteer for a year living on $230 pw so he can get some “variety”

      • Roy 6.5.2

        It is also an illustration that some people are born with much less empathy than others.

    • RedLogix 6.6

      We are not born equal, after all.

      Drop the stupid strawman. No-one, but no-one in this debate is seriously arguing we are all the same and should earn the same income and be perfectly equal. Of course the other absurd extreme would be a totally unequal world in which one person owned everything.

      Yet right now some 85 people control more wealth than the entire bottom 3.5 billion humans on the planet – we are are much, much closer to being totally unequal than completely equal.

      Somewhere in between these extremes lies a happy medium – and all that is being advocated here is some movement back in that direction.

      Shit this is so obvious – did it have to be said?

      • vto 6.6.1

        “did it have to be said?”

        But that’s it mr illogix. Human’s don’t respond to logix stimuli, and this is what so many miss

    • Draco T Bastard 6.7

      We are not born equal, after all.

      I’m actually sure we are. Different, yes, but equal in those differences.

      • Puddleglum 6.7.1

        A good point Draco T Bastard.

        People seem to misunderstand the word ‘equal’.

        ‘Equality’, in the political sense, is about equal rights. ‘Equality’, in the economic sense, is about having the same economic resources.

        Yet, when people say ‘how ridiculous, after all we aren’t born equal‘ what they mean is that we aren’t born with exactly the same features (physical, psychological, intellectual, etc.). That really is irrelevant to the political and economic senses of ‘equality’, quite obviously.

        It is perfectly possible for different social and economic systems to produce different outcomes as a result of the same ‘inborn’ features.

        At the extreme, for example, only the physically strong might do well in a particular society (i.e., gather to themselves the economic benefits available in a society). In another, only the morally bankrupt may gather the same resources. In yet another it might be intelligence. In a further society it might be physical appearance. Clearly, what you are born with is subordinate – in terms of economic outcomes – to how a society makes use of what you are born with.

        Put simply, material outcomes are not directly determined by the nature of the attributes with which we are born (physical, psychological, intellectual, etc.).

        And the explanation that claims that the most important attribute that determines outcomes is ‘effort’ really annoys me. It is so manifestly wrong it is hard to understand how people who take their cognitive abilities seriously can hold to the view.

        First, it assumes that less ‘effort’ is required for some of the longest hours worked, the most distasteful work, the most psychologically draining work and the most emotionally demeaning occupations than is required for the most well-rewarded ones. Just nonsense – unless a very peculiar definition of ‘effort’ is being used.

        Second, even if it were the case that differences in ‘effort’, in a particular society, are responsible for ranking people’s relative economic success it is as clear as the nose on anyone’s face that the relationship between ‘effort’ and reward is in no way linear.

        Our modern economy is like a vast machine. Rewards accrue differentially to people depending upon which bit of the machine they operate. Disproportionate rewards, that is, are a function of the place one occupies in that vast machine – it does not depend upon one’s effort.

        I’m baffled by – and shocked at – how many people think so simplistically about this very basic structural mechanism that is partly responsible for producing such repellant levels of inequality of economic outcomes in our society.

        And then there’s the racheting of inequality through privilege, parents’ economic and cultural capital, etc.. But that’s another story.

        • Draco T Bastard 6.7.1.1

          +111

        • greywarbler 6.7.1.2

          Roy says “It is also an illustration that some people are born with much less empathy than others.”

          Empathy is something learned Roy. Just as almost everything is from the time of birth – although there are a lot of unrealised experiences in a baby’s brain from before birth that will provide instinctive behaviour, research shows, but most of that can be over ridden in time by learned experience.

          There has been controversial work on the means of shaping behaviour called operant conditoning, and there is also an approach called classical conditioning. These understandings get used in propaganda and PR hype, and political spouting. So it pays us to know how our minds work and try to keep from being taken over by blatantly false ideas received uncritically.
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operant_conditioning

          Puddleglum points out –
          “It is perfectly possible for different social and economic systems to produce different outcomes as a result of the same ‘inborn’ features….
          Clearly, what you are born with is subordinate – in terms of economic outcomes – to how a society makes use of what you are born with.
          Put simply, material outcomes are not directly determined by the nature of the attributes with which we are born (physical, psychological, intellectual, etc.).”

    • Tracey 6.8

      you are one of the 50% of employees in nz earning less than 30,000 per annum aren’t you.

      • Colonial Viper 6.8.1

        Median NZ income including beneficiaries, retired etc is circa $29K pa.

        Median full time working wage is around $41K pa.

        I suspect about 80% of NZ adults are on $50K pa or less.

        It’s pathetic

    • Mike S 6.9

      Inequality is not about wanting everyone to be the same and have the same incomes, that’s a ridiculous strawman arguement.

      It’s about the increasing gap in income and wealth yes, but it’s also about equality of opportunity and the means to feel part of community and society. Please don’t start saying we all have equal opportunity in this country as that is utter BS. There will always be exceptions but the chances of someone coming from a poor background becoming wealthy are next to none, no matter how hard they work, whereas someone born into a wealthy family is far more likely to stay wealthy.

      There are so many things that contribute to growing inequality. Even small things all add up to increasing the gap. For a simple example, those on low incomes are more likely to have a car older than 10 years so they must pay twice a year for a warrant of fitness whereas someone with a newer car, (who is more likely to have a higher income) only have to pay once a year. $50 may seem nothing to someone on a comfortable income, but $100 is often impossible for someone who struggles just to pay the rent and buy essentials.

      This can lead to not getting a warrant, getting fined, not being able to pay the fine so costs are added and it is paid off out of wages meaning less take home pay for the bills, etc,etc. So such a small thing has potential huge consequences for a low income person.

      A recent study (can’t remember where I read it but can probably find the source if needed) showed that unless you are wealthy you have zero chance of being listened to by government, let alone having favourable policy changes. If you are wealthy, you have much easier access to politicians and far more influence over policy decisions.

      There are probably thousands of situations, rules / laws, areas of influence, socio economic factors and so on and so on that all contribute to growing inequality. The big question for those who choose to ignore it is at what point does it stop? When a tiny percentage of people own all of the wealth in the world? What level of inequality do you think is acceptable?

      There is an interesting short animated clip called wealth inequality in america, it is only 6 min long and quite eye opening.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QPKKQnijnsM

  6. tsmithfield 7

    So, it follows that if the government clipped the wealth off the wealthy and sent it overseas to poor countries rather than distribute it in NZ, then NZ society as a whole would do better? After all, NZ society would be more equal, and according to “the Spirit Level” that should lead to all sorts of wonderful societal outcomes.

    • McFlock 7.1

      lol

      Did you just draw a logical extension of a book’s thesis based solely on the title?

      Maybe you should read the book. It might make you less of a dick.

      • tsmithfield 7.1.1

        If the title doesn’t accurately reflect the thesis then they should change the title.

        • McFlock 7.1.1.1

          What a load of shit.

          You did see the “almost” in the title? Maybe you should have read the book to see what qualifiers and equivocations that “almost” implies. You might find that the book addresses moron-tory absurdities.

          By your logic “A brief History of Time” was neither brief nor a complete history, and it dealt with time AND space so you should probably get your money back.

          But thanks for admitting that you’re just another tory fuck who doesn’t read the book before he criticizes it.

        • felix 7.1.1.2

          So according to you, “accurately reflect” means “contain all the information and arguments in the thesis itself so I can comment on it without reading the book, particularly the fine print”.

          :roll:

          • tsmithfield 7.1.1.2.1

            McFlock, it seems to me that your avoidance of my argument is implicit acceptance of the proposition that the relative wealth of a country has far more to do with the social well-being of that country than the degree of social equality.

            If that is the case, wouldn’t it be a better goal to boost the average wealth of a country rather than equality?

            [lprent: You are aware how I view the “no answer = implied agreement” approach? In my view it is a step worse than the pwned/owned stupidity for a number of reasons. In a site as busy as this it isn’t practical to consider that people have even seen a comment. But more importantly because I have to exert myself crushing the inevitable flamewars that result from its use. Consequently I have a tendency to ban people who try to use it.

            Of course in my usual reflective style I start from your assumption that you will sight and read this note. A lack of response means that you have and have agreed that you are abjectly apologizing for its use and will not do it again. Consequently any further use would be a repetition of the offense and warrant the use of an increased severity of the sentence. :twisted:

            I’d suggest you heed this warning that it is a very bad idea to try to start using this technique. ]

            • karol 7.1.1.2.1.1

              Then why are such things as child well being, worse in the US, than in most countries that are generally not as wealthy, but have less inequality than the US?

            • McFlock 7.1.1.2.1.2

              You didn’t make an argument.
              You asked a nonsensical question based solely on the title of a rather lengthy book.

              But seeing as you have now made an argument, no it would not. We have seen that to “boost the average” does nothing for the poorest. Reducing inequality (for example taking some from the top decile and giving that fraction of their income to the bottom decile) does help the poorest. And because the poorest spend rather than invest (because they cant afford to), that helps the economy for people who actually make and sell things.

            • vto 7.1.1.2.1.3

              tsmithfield … “If that is the case, wouldn’t it be a better goal to boost the average wealth of a country rather than equality?”

              if you knew anything about averages you would never have written what you just did you stupid idiot

              ffs, another illustration of the thinking… try not to despair folks

              • Draco T Bastard

                +1

              • Good point vto.

                Even accepting tsmithfield’s argument, boosting the median wealth would be far more sensible.

                And, interestingly, clustering individuals’ wealth around the median, at least for those below the median, would be even better – but then that starts to look very much like improving equality, of course. :-)

                • lprent

                  You going to confuse tsmithfield with all of these statistical concepts.

                  One of the things I found so interesting about the debate over the Spirit Level as I was wending my way through the references on wikipedia 3 weeks ago, was just how petty some of the criticism was. It was a book aimed at a general audience. Not a research paper.

                  Yet there were idiots wanting a research paper level of material on how a explanatory regression line was calculated. But the book had a reference to a bibliography complete with an old-style link to exactly that. Why didn’t they just access that?

                  I was able to get to copies of a fair chunk of the referenced material I was interested in, and I don’t have the academic resources of a university library.

                  • Agreed, lprent.

                    A lot of the criticism has been polemic in non-peer-reviewed outlets.

                    Peer-reviewed criticisms have been of the usual level and none that I’m aware of have claimed to completely debunk the thesis or claim that it is a scandalous piece of pseudo-science as many self-styled critics on the internet have claimed.

                    • lprent

                      Looked to me to be the same kind of approach as happened in climate change. Don’t deal with the argument, don’t go near the referenced papers, just nitpick on wording and layout. Buy a few retired profs who need their pensions topped up. Pay for a few “studies” from pliant thinktanks.

                      The tobacco company approach to science. Obscufucate and buy a few more years. About the only thing I couldn’t figure out was who was paying for it to happen.

                    • McFlock

                      Looked to me to be the same kind of approach as happened in climate change.

                      Same approach, same crowd. In the closing paragraphs of smithfields link to a review of Snowden’s book:

                      For those that follow the politics of climate change this should all sound eerily familiar. Wilkinson and Pickett claim to be representing a ‘consensus’ view that does not exist, data is massaged to conform to a pre-defined message, opponents are labelled as industry stooges or as being unscientific and on and on. It is no surprise that some of those most enthusiastic about the Spirit Level are also enthusiastic supporters of anthropogenic global warming.

                      Those labels are pretty accurate, but “massaged” data means “not cherry picked”, and John Oliver accurately described the non-existent sicentific consensus on AGW.

        • lprent 7.1.1.3

          Perhaps you should learn to read what you criticize? I can’t believe that you think yourself competent to criticize something on the basis of a title.

          I always thought you were a somewhat mindless dick. But this really does take the cake.

          • tsmithfield 7.1.1.3.1

            1prent, when this was discussed in depth some months ago, I pointed out that the charts provided showed correlations that existed only because of the presence of one or two outliers. Others much more qualified than me have made similar criticisms

            If that criticism holds true, then it is quite valid to question the book.

            • McFlock 7.1.1.3.1.1

              Yes, if the underqualified tory propogandist holds true, then… actually, that’s a motherfucking big “if”.

            • lprent 7.1.1.3.1.2

              Ben’s posts? I thought you were wrong then. But at that time I had neither read the book or some of the critics of the book.

              Perhaps you should try this approach of actually understanding what you are criticising before you indulge yourself in being a fool.

              By the sound of it, you haven’t even read the book whose review you linked to. Why does that not surprise me.

              In my opinion, Snowdon is a mindless cretin when it comes to statistics and I was really glad I hadn’t paid to read his trash. He is one of the few people who I’d consider make Ian Wishart look good on his research, and I consider Wishart to be untrained and more concerned with making a story than doing actual careful research.

              I think Snowdon is just a very stupid hack with no credentials nor ability to understand the area he is criticising. It shows all of the way through his book. About the only thing it is good at provide a good link for mindless morons like yourself in your unthinking and unread bigotry.

              Now it sounds like you have two books to read before you can really indulge in debate on this subject. Because you can’t even judge the validity of Snowdon’s book until you read both eh?

              • lprent

                Incidentally, I am not looking forward to reading what? the 700+ pages in Piketty. Has anyone had time to read it yet? Is it worth the effort?

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Has anyone had time to read it yet?

                  Ha, not yet but what I have read has been worthwhile.

            • Puddleglum 7.1.1.3.1.3

              Interestingly, that link goes to a Snowdon review on the London Book Review.com site.

              I hope that site title is not just piggy-backing on the more well-known (and highly respected) London Review of Books?

        • Tracey 7.1.1.4

          like when prebble wrote
          “i’ve been thinking”?

        • Roy 7.1.1.5

          If you’d actually read the book you would know that the title is very apt.

    • Lloyd 7.2

      Sending more aid to third world countries so that those countries don’t flood our borders with economic refugees or generate terrorists to attack us when we travel overseas would appear to be practical survival policy. Aid aimed at birth control and education in poor countries would appear to be of benefit to the wealthy in this country, eventually.

  7. Skinny 8

    Here is a link that highlights the inequality gap widening after Union membership declined. Bit of the Great Gatsby from pre World War 1;
    http://www.alternet.org/newsandviews/article/1026472/new_chart_finds_correlation_between_income_inequality_and_union_membership

  8. Colonial Viper 9

    Dmitry Orlov spot on with the rule of “Moneybags Logic

    Well, job one for [oligarchic government] seems to be to make sure that the rich continue to get richer while the poor get poorer and the middle class is… well… class dismissed. If this sort of public policy seems self-destructive to you, that’s probably because it is. Whenever it is allowed to run its course, the results are abysmal—especially for the rich who continued to get richer, whose corpses end up festooning lampposts and whose arterial spray adds a touch of color to city squares.

    Now, you’d think that at least a few rich people here and there might realize this and do something about it; after all, they can’t all be completely stupid. Well, I think that it’s not a question of intelligence; it’s a question of sentience. These people are not people, they are moneybags. And moneybags have a logic of their own: I call it “moneybag logic.” This logic says that having more money is always good, having less money is always bad, and that therefore everyone should do everything possible to make sure that there is always more money. If that requires turning the Earth into a polluted, radioactive, lifeless desert, so be it.

    http://cluborlov.blogspot.co.nz/2014/05/moneybag-logic.html

    • Tracey 9.1

      the middleclass have become the donkeys with the carrot but they think they are thoroughbreds waiting for the break that will come from their efforts.

      the lower classes know theyre on a treadmill for fuck all, the middleclass are the truly duped, voting for tnose who enslave them, and when they have moments of lucidity they change to the other party that dupes them.

      • greywarbler 9.1.1

        The middle and upper class want to get to have a clear pipeline to all the good things they want and not to have to worry about delivery. Any suggestion that the flow of goods and comforts will be lessened or is coming under threat and stern action to save the situation will be taken. It is a simple condition that relies on the perfect peace of being totally self-absorbed.

  9. Wayne 10

    I have read both books. I have no doubt that Pickett and Wilkinson will convince the Greens and a fair part of Labour.

    From what I understand of David Cunliffe’s budget speech, and other interviews he and David Parker have given, Labour will increase the overall tax take by around $2 billion or so dollars per year, maybe a little more. They would retain the level of the surplus at pretty much what the Nats propose. They will restart contributions to the Cullen fund and repay debt at pretty much the same rate as the Nats.

    So maybe an extra billion in social spending above the Nats per year over the next 3 years. You can certainly do something with that, but not all the promises they have made to date. Which seems to be extending Working for Families to beneficiaries, 10,000 extra state houses a year, paid parental leave to 26 weeks, and a host of smaller things.

    The only way to do more ( or even all the promises to date) is to increase taxes to a greater degree than has been suggested to date.

    I did say in a post earlier this week that the Nats typically like central govt spending to be 30% of GDP and Labour 35%. But much of the Clark era had central govt spending at more like 32 to 33% and that was with income taxes at 39% for incomes over $60,000. Of course surpluses mean the the Govt actually takes more than what they spend.A respectable surplus means 2% of GDP.

    David Cunliffe’s tax package does not seems likely to produce an increase in the size of the state by 5% of GDP. It will be more like the Clark era.

    Increasing the size of Govt by 5% of GDP means actually increasing govt by around 15%, with tax rises to match. Since clearly the lower rates will not go up, Labour would need two new top rates. 39% for income from $80,000 to $150,000 and 45%, (or perhaps 50%) for income above $150,000. It would be described by the media as a radical approach, and I can’t really see Labour doing that. Not when the bulk of voters are saying New Zealand is on the right track.

    The Pickett/Wilkinson approach really requires Nordic levels of taxation, which are even higher than the two top rates I have suggested. Typically a top tax rate of around 60%.

    It does seem that the Anglo nations for the last 35 years have basically gone for smaller govts than the Europeans, and that is irrespective of Conservative or Labour govts. And while I can see the Greens will go for the Nordic approach (presumably they will produce some form of costed budget), I cannot see Labour doing that.

    It is just too far away from the comfort zone of middle NZ, by which I mean people who readily shift between the two major parties, which is around 20% of all voters. And quite a number of social surveys indicate this.

    And when the bulk of New Zealanders are saying New Zealand is on the right track, Pickett and Wilkinson have an uphill job, except for the Greens and the left of Labour.

    I did note that Russell Norman described the budget as a Cabinet Club budget around 30 times in his budget speech. I can only assume Cabinet Club members were saying to John Key, do whatever it takes in social spending to win the election, produce a surplus, and we don’t expect a tax cut any time soon. Make sure the budget appeals to middle New Zealand.

    • McFlock 10.1

      I can only assume Cabinet Club members were saying to John Key, do whatever it takes in social spending to win the election, produce a surplus, and we don’t expect a tax cut any time soon.

      Tories have such a half-arsed definition of “whatever it takes” :roll:

    • Colonial Viper 10.2

      Very good with the numbers Wayne and of course you are implicitly pointing out that 95% of government spending and revenues are fairly fixed so it’s only around the edges that things can usually be done.

      You are however ignoring the hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders who live in relative poverty, suffer from ongoing unemployment and underemployment, with their potential for work, innovation and contribution to our real economy being lost to the nation every day.

      Your analysis also ignores the slowly closing jaws of the long term economic trap that western nations find themselves in – a toxic mix of peak oil, peak financialisation, peak resource extraction and oligarchic influence. And it’s going to get much nastier over the next 10 years.

      So where is the vision which is going to secure the future of the nation and its peoples – and not for yourself Wayne or your generation – but for those New Zealanders in primary school today.

      The top 20% most economically secure NZers today aren’t thinking about these issues that much and it’s not surprising that the major political parties continue to try and keep them happy with this ongoing game of ‘pretend and extend.’

      But that will change. Those on $75K pa are clearly noticing that their dollars don’t go very far at all these days, and they are wondering why their kids – whom they know are smart, educated, hard workers – are finding it tougher and tougher getting and keeping any decent kind of job.

      • Draco T Bastard 10.2.1

        +1

      • Wayne 10.2.2

        An interesting post CV.

        I was expecting a bit more for Science and Innovation in the Budget.

        I see Science (Universities, CRI’s and private institutions like Cawthorn) will get an extra $177 million over 4 years. Actually a pretty good boost in funding, around 5% to 10% extra per year depending on the programme.

        Innovation for private firms, gets two tax initiatives, one to enable starts ups tho cash up their losses generated by R & D, and one that allows deductibility of R & D on capital expenditure. Both of these are quite useful and may be worth much more over time that further grants.

        But Callaghan Innovation did not get more money, either for itself, or for the grant programs it administers. The grant programs are currently $140 million per year. I thought that they might grow to $250 million per year over 4 years, or an annual increase of $30 million per year. Oh well there is always next year.

        And of course the Nats left a fair bit of head room for campaign promises in respect of the projected surplus of $1.6 billion for 2015/2016, and $3.5 billion for 2016/2017.

        By the way John Key is promising that there will be tax cuts for middle NZ as part of the Nats campaign, based on these future surpluses. He said they had the biggest need. Have a look at the tax tables as to where that will be.

        The rate that is out of kilter is the 30% rate for income $48,000 to $70,000. The rate below it is 17.5% and the rate above is 33%. So 30% is anomalous, and a pretty high rate for a middle income earner.

        A reduction to 25% (or at perhaps 27%) would provide a smoother step. Reducing that rate is aimed right at the middle of middle New Zealand. I guess the 17.5% rate could also go down to 15%, (but this is very expensive since just about every New Zealander is affected by this rate). And the bottom rate of 10.5% could go down to 10%.

        • Tracey 10.2.2.1

          where do you see the top rate, and why?

          • Wayne 10.2.2.1.1

            It covers both financial transfers through govt and the size of the state sector which have to administer the programmes.

            By the way it does not matter from a govt accounting perspective whether the people are civil servants or contractors. They are both covered by the calculations on the size of govt.

            • karol 10.2.2.1.1.1

              Thanks, Wayne. I think you must be replying to my question.

              I was thinking more broadly about what is meant by “size of government”? You view it’s size purely in $ terms.

              It’s a perspective I struggle with, because the neocon/liberal idea of “small government” seems to refer more (or at elast as much) to the amount government impacts on people’s daily lives – ie a reference to polciies , regulations, etc.

          • Wayne 10.2.2.1.2

            Leave the top rate where it is, perhaps push up the threshold to $80,000. I think the 30% rate is crying out for a downward adjustment. It is too close to the 33% rate and too far above the 17.5% rate.

            Tax rates in my view should be a smooth progression from the bottom rate to the top rate, with no steps out of the trend line.

            Of course I know why the 30% rate was done. There was no money left to do all the smoothing in 2010, when the tax switch was done. The rate changes were to the two bottom rates, which are extremely expensive, since they cover all taxpayers. The threshold for the 33% rate was pushed out from $60,000 to $70,000.

            But clearly the smoothing could be done in 2016/2017.

            • geoff 10.2.2.1.2.1

              God you’re such a dinosaur, Wayne.

              Go and read Thomas Picketty.

              While you try and plaster a smiley face onto rentier society, Thomas Picketty has proven what the end-game is for the policies you advocate.

              • Wayne

                I do intend to read him, having at this stage only read the reviews (some quite long).

                I wonder how influential he will actually prove to be in NZ and Australia, which both sit in the middle of OECD inequality index, and without much change in the level of inequality over the last 20 years.

                Although you might say I am a dinosaur, I seem to be at one with most NZer’s who do seem to saying that NZ is heading in the right direction. And in most OECD social stats we sit near the top, even though we are in the middle for GDP per capita.

                • geoff

                  I don’t expect Piketty to make much difference. If decades of scientific research into global warming can still be undermined by the corporate media then a single, French economist will be no trouble at all for them to dispatch.

                • karol

                  I agree to some extent that income inequality rose most strongly in NZ in the last two decades of the 20th century. It depends which stats you look at as regards whether inequality has risen much in the last 2 decades.

                  If you compare the incomes of the top and bottom 10% in NZ the incomes of those at the top has continued to increase, while that of those at he bottom have been static. (as summarised here)

                  You also need to take into account the wealth gap. Income inequality feeds into the wealth gap, which is way larger than the income gap. And the wealth gap is harder to reverse – eg with respect to ownership of assets, including property etc.

                  Those saying the NZ economy is trending in the right direction to lessen inequality, follow the same economic model that resulted in the increase in the inequality gap – and that have continued to maintain a high level of income and wealth inequality.

            • Tracey 10.2.2.1.2.2

              you were in the wrong party wayne. do you vote ACT now?

              • Wayne

                Tracey,

                Not sure why you would deduce that from my posts here.

                Have a look at my views on tax rates. Pretty much mainstream Nat positions. In fact by suggesting no change in the top rate, but suggesting reducing the 30% rate that applies to income $48,000 to $70,000 I am probably somewhat to the left of center for the Nats.

        • Mike S 10.2.2.2

          $48,000 to $70,000 is not a “middle income earner”.

          Even 48k is higher than the median income from salary and wage earners so 48k to 70k is well above the “middle”.

          If you wanted to aim for the middle then you could look at the 30 to 50k bracket.

    • lprent 10.3

      It is nice that you have both read the book(s) and that you read my post down to the fine print. You are the first critic here who has. Doesn’t that say something about the critics?

      The volume is part of it, sure. However a hell of a lot of it is shifting the emphasis on where money is spent.

      For instance, I’m failing to see the point in the very large budgets for the NZTA’s new roads which appear to have little to no economic benefit. In fact in the current climate of falling usage of cars (from well before the GFC) I’m failing to see much economic benefit after completion of SH20, the remaining repairs and upgrades in ChCh, and some road straightening. Moreover the jobs it creates are temporary if there aren’t ongoing projects – which we don’t need.

      So rather than continuing with Bill English’s preferred 6% plus unemployment, why don’t we start upgrading the public transport services. There are sustainable jobs in those bearing in mind that everywhere that public transport is boosted at present it grows rapidly. Those types of jobs at a lower tech level than road construction then feed out into helping bring the bottom end of our economy up. It also would help reduce costs (running a car is frigging expensive these days) for other workers.

      I’m sure that if I had some time to mull it over, I’m sure that there are literally hundreds of places where the existing spending could be diverted into systems and projects that cause significiant shifts in equality of opportunity.

      Like removing the excessive subsidies to private schools? Putting that money into the state school system for the schools who need it sounds like it’d be a much better use of the taxes I pay.

      I really only have to look at the social stats for some of the UK’s inner city over the last 30 years to see how it can be done.

      A large chunk of that was simple redistributions about where government resources were expended. Perhaps we should try that first?

      • Wayne 10.3.1

        Bill English’s budget says unemployment will drop to 4.5%. Labour is aiming for 4%. Hardly a dramatic difference.

        • vto 10.3.1.1

          Bill English is certainly a very believable person who never deceives…… ffs

        • Lanthanide 10.3.1.2

          He must have had a change of heart since saying it was a hoax back in 1999.

        • Tracey 10.3.1.3

          hes also pretending we will have a surplus by turning a grant into an interest free loan and writing down the cost of rebuilding christchurch.

        • lprent 10.3.1.4

          I don’t have the figures here, but I thought that the budget was hoping for unemployment being 5% in 2016. (I do wish they’d qualify what they were talking about – HLFS or WINZ, under-employment (the more relevant) or unemployment).

          Ummm

          The strong employment growth is expected to drive a fall in the unemployment rate across the forecast period. The unemployment rate is expected to stay broadly steady at around 6.9% over the first half of 2013, before declining steadily, to slightly above 5% in March 2017. The rise in employment, fall in unemployment and pressures from the Canterbury rebuild are expected to put upward pressures on wages in the near term, with annual growth in average hourly earnings expected to rise to 3.2% in the December 2013 quarter, before moderating the following year. Over time, wage pressures will begin to grow again as the unemployment rate continues to fall.

          Oops that was 2013 budget

          Of course wages growth came nowhere close to that rate. What we saw through the year was a boost in the dairy and associated industry, and job losses in most other areas.

          Employment growth accelerated over the second half of 2013, reflecting increased demand in the economy and greater confidence in the economic outlook, and the unemployment rate fell to 6.0% (Figure 1.6). With demand continuing to strengthen and confidence remaining high, further gains in employment are anticipated. The unemployment rate is expected to decline to around 5.0% in 2016, underpinned by a labour force participation rate that is assumed to return to its pre-recession peak in coming quarters and to remain at an historically high level. The higher labour force participation rate, coupled with rising net migration inflows, partly offsets the impact of stronger labour demand and results in only a gradual increase in wage growth.

          This years finger in the air

          Bearing in mind the effective increase in immigration as our job refugees come back from aussie and with the usual immigration running at the same levels, I think that forecast in National’s do-nothing environment is about as dated and useless as running iPhone 3G.

      • greywarbler 10.3.2

        Not when the bulk of voters are saying New Zealand is on the right track.
        Says Wayne. But the point is where is the track leading. These sort of questions lead to imaginative answers, as the replies are devoid of any real information as to what the interviewee’s opinion relates to.

        AA Milne had imagination and some thoughts on where it was right for people and perhaps voters, to go:

        Disobedience:
        King John
        Put up a notice,
        “LOST or STOLEN or STRAYED!
        James James
        Morrison’s Mother
        Seems to have Been Mislaid.
        James etc.
        (Commonly known as Jim)
        Told his
        Other relations
        Not to go blaming him.
        James James
        Said to his Mother,
        “Mother,” he said, said he:
        “You must never go down to the end of the town
        without consulting me.”

        Perhaps the voter was looking for a Parliament where she had a place:
        The Wrong House:
        I went into a house, and I thought it was a house,
        I could hear from the may-tree the blackbird call…
        But nobody listened to it,
        Nobody
        Liked it,
        Nobody wanted it at all.

        Oh well never mind – They’re Changing Guard at Buckingham Palace.
        They’re changing guard at Buckingham Palace –
        Christopher Robin went down with Alice.
        They’ve great big parties inside the grounds.
        “I wouldn’t be King for a hundred pounds,”
        Says Alice.

    • karol 10.4

      Wayne said:

      Increasing the size of Govt by 5% of GDP means actually increasing govt by around 15%, with tax rises to match.

      What do you actaully mean by “increasing the size of government”? Is that just about government spending, or the amount of people working in and for government.

      Does axing publc service workers and trimming government departments result in decreasing the size of government – even when the jobs previously don by government employees are contracted out to private enetities, and paid for out of the government coffers?

      So much focus on stats, so little focus on what this means for the actual real life experinces and struggles of people, especially those struggling to survive.

      • Gosman 10.4.1

        It is total spend of the government as a proportion of GDP. Therefore it doesn’t really matter much if the Government is outsourcing services. It is still paying for them.

        [lprent: You are banned from making any further comments in this post. Check out OpenMike. ]

  10. Mike the Savage One 12

    There appears to have been a news mention on Radio NZ National yesterday, and TVNZ seem to have published something similar on their website, but it did to my impression not appear on the TV One news. A link is here:

    http://m.tvnz.co.nz/news/top_stories/5975043

    It is about the most recent OECD statistics showing that housing costs in NZ, based on the average wage, or income, are the most expensive in the whole of the OECD.

    I may suggest someone here does a good write up on that topic later today, being Monday. That is news that Labour and Greens may well gain some traction with!!!

  11. Gosman 13

    Their views on the link between crime and inequality seems to fly in the face of the actual evidence given crime rates have dropped significantly in most Western nations while inequality has increased. Additionally inequality has fallen in Venezuela yet crime has gone through the roof. It seems to me that there is a awful lot of cheery picking going on by Ms Pickett and Mr Wilkinson.

  12. Tracey 14

    to be fair, gosman is an expert in ” cheery (sic) picking”.

    interesting to note that is the pgrase of preference for two of our naysayers. at least gosman admits inequality exists, he just doesnt think it’s a bad thing.

    • Gosman 14.1

      Of course inequality exists. It is in fact vital for the efficient functioning of an economic system. Left wing utopian visions of societies with perfect income equality are pie in the sky dreams divorced from reality. They are also a major factor why hard core left wing ideas don’t tend to work when applied in real life.

      • Tracey 14.1.1

        this messahe was brought to you by gosman who

        a. hasnt read the book; and
        b. hasnt experienced inequality except by paying 33% on every dollar over 70,000

      • vto 14.1.2

        Except gosman, exceptionally few people advocate for the type of hard core left vision you described there….

        unlike people such as yourself and Crazy Act Party Pill people who, at the other end of the spectrum, advocate for extreme right policies and see every person as a commodity to be traded for a dollar note …. This is a major factor why hard core right wing ideas don’t work when applied in real life.

      • Mike S 14.1.3

        So how much inequality is enough then Gosman? Are we at a comfortable level for you now or do you think inequality should rise further? At what point would you say “enough? Or do you think it’s ok if it just keeps increasing until the inevitable occurs?

  13. Tracey 15

    any irony that the lectures are in the owen glenn building?

  14. Tiger Mountain 16

    I’ ll cherry pick from pages 220 and 221 of “the Spirit Level” 2010 edition.

    It is interesting to see that Cuba is the only country that manages to combine acceptable living standards with a sustainable economy. The WWF World Wildlife fund, used the UN Human Development Index which combines life expectancy, education and gross domestic product per capita to illustrate this. Scarcely a single other country combines a quality of life (0.8 above the WWF threshold on the HDI with an ecological footprint that is globally sustainable.

    The authors note that because Cuba manages this without access to the greenest and most efficient technology it means that it could be done far more easily in countries with that access.

    • karol 16.1

      And this is about the human costs and benefits. Bunji did a great series of posts on TS about The Spirit Level. I linked to all of them in this post. Binji’s posts are a great resource and summary of the books.

      The human costs, as I summarised:

      In a hierarchical and overly competitive society we all suffer. Poverty results in poor health and this impacts on all areas of life. On top of that the stresses of inequality can be overwhelming.

      Bunji covered the human costs of a big inequality gap, compared with less inequality, with a post focused on each of the following:

      2. Inequality is bad for everyone’s health.

      Equality breeds trust; inequality breeds crime. (Or: Do you want to be a bonobo or a chimp?).
      Equality: better education and social mobility. Inequality: more teen pregnancies.
      Equality works better for a sustainable future.

    • Gosman 16.2

      Excellent. We should all live like peiople in that great bastion of economic and personal freedom of Cuba. Except a number of people in Cuba are willing to risk their lives to get out of ther place. Why is that?

      • Tiger Mountain 16.2.1

        Worse places to live than a tropical island awash in mojitos. I don’t think you would be welcome there anyway Gossie, private estates in Paraguay might be more your style. People leave there due to the consumerist lure of Miami and the hard times enforced by the 50 year old economic embargo/blockade courtesy of the yanks.

        The Cubans due to circumstances beyond their control moved to organic agriculture several decades ago and have kept a relentless focus on education and health. They train medical staff in many third world countries in exchange for commodities.

        The Cuban type of life style will become more common elsewhere as the fossil fuel burns out and the seas rise.
        All the capital and markets in the world don’t seem able to slow climate change.

        • Gosman 16.2.1.1

          I love how many on the left blame the problems of Cuba on the economic embargo by the US. Cuba is free to trade with most other nations. In fact they did so for almost thirty years reasonably successfully till the collapse of the Soviet bloc. If they hadn’t hitched their wagon to a failed economic system they wouldn,’t be in the mess they are now.

        • Tamati 16.2.1.2

          Having recently visited Cuba, I’d advise those supporting the “inequality is the root of evil” hypothesis not to use Cuba as a shining example of successful socialism. Stick to Scandinavia and comparing different American States.

          I can tell you for sure, most Cubans don’t sit around quaffing Mojitos all day.

          • Molly 16.2.1.2.1

            Recently visited – does not necessarily mean well-informed – unless you have researched the historical political background and visited a variety of different demographics while you were there – with the intent of becoming informed.

            A friend of mine recalled her experience as an AFS student in Chile during the coup of Allende. Her host family supported the coup, and for many years she believed that it was the equivalent of throwing out a fascist dictator. Her view was skewed by the – fairly wealthy – family she was staying with.

            I was overseas for many years, but did not extend myself to learn about the politics and the lives lived by those who resided in those countries. I returned to NZ, and discovered to my shame, I was equally uninformed about my own country.

      • Tracey 16.2.2

        meanwhile back at the thread about a book youhavent read, gosman.

        • Tiger Mountain 16.2.2.1

          good point Tracey,
          back on track, it is a challenging read for lefties too to test their theories against, the right can’t handle “The Spirit Level” in any way because the failure of neo liberalism to deliver anything of substance to most of us is well exposed.

          The writers are found wanting in solutions to inequality though despite seeming genuine with their community based companies etc. They fall into the common trap that revolution (as in a shift in class power, not just regime changes as in the middle East recently) is not on the agenda due to past failures.

        • Gosman 16.2.2.2

          Why are you assuming I haven’t read it?

          • Tracey 16.2.2.2.1

            apart from your responses strongly implying it the fact that you have drifted a long way from the book is quite informative.

            slylands can be found at 125 the terrace at about 10am most mornings. meet up with and you guys can pat each other on the back about how successful the current state of affairs makes you feel. just clean up after yourselves.

  15. tricledrown 17

    Wayne was [deleted]

    [lprent: If you are going to assert a fact about a person then make sure that you also provide a link. To do otherwise cause this site to become liable and I don’t like that. I’d prefer to get rid of the fool that increased the risk. In this case I think that your assertion was completely wrong. ]

  16. Ron 18

    A busy week for those going to lectures but just in case you still have energy left the Fabians have a good lecture on tomorrow Ethics in Finance and the Regulation of the Financial Sector
    Details on their site here Fabians

  17. greywarbler 19

    I thought I would provide a change from Gosman who is filling in his meaningless days filling the Standard with electronic utterances.

    This link is to Rosemary McLeod ‘s piece on Featherston subtitled Death in a town that lost its values. Rosemary illustrates the backdrop of the town with high unemployment low opportunities and lower hopes for the future under present regimes. She suspects that many small towns like Featherston ‘have gone bad since the infrastructure that one surrounded them collapsed…

    With that went opportunities for work, which offers the ability to live decently, if modestly, that welfare does not. You can see how hopelessness sets in, especially if you’re unskilled. When the world doesn’t value you how can you value anyone, even your own kids?.

    And this has resulted in sickening violence and deaths. Four young people, all parents, were found guilty in March of killing a man accused of rape, one wearing her special ‘stomping boots’, and then went to a service station, washed the blood off their shoes, and ate pies. Then went to some nightclubs and then to a local cemetery where one visited the grave of his partner and daughter. Also remembered is 6-year old Coral Burrows. Her stepfather killed her in 2003, after smoking P, on his fifth night and day without sleeping. (Mindless lives and deaths stripped of all purpose and nobility.)

    • Roy 19.1

      The catch there is that none of the murderers were Featherston residents. Three of them lived in Masterton and one in the Hutt valley.

      • greywarbler 19.1.1

        The catch is that Featherston happened to be the location for the murders plus other crime. And the point is that these are happening in the regions where there is not enough going on to keep young people occupied with lives to plan for. However in contrast with that there was Ewen Macdonald who had much to live for, and plenty of work and still committed crime.

        What values are the lads in the backblocks being taught. And there was a report about the violent and abusive behaviour of parents at rugby games and that kids were copying the adults. It was so bad that the young parents wouldn’t take it on and older men were stepping forward to help out as they were a bit distanced from it because of their age.

        It seems that rural practices and attitudes of respect and help for each other are not what they were, with serious rustling in some areas. Ewen Macdonald didn’t think twice about stealing a neighbour’s trophy deer – poaching is stealing – taking the heads and steaks and leaving the rest. He admitted it and didn’t seem to be ashamed of that or the other stuff he did. And found another guy to help him.

        • Phil 19.1.1.1

          What values are the lads in the backblocks being taught. [today?]

          I’ll wager all the money in my pockets, against all the money in your pockets, that they’re being taught the same values their fathers, and their fathers fathers, and the fathers fathers fathers were being taught.

          There’s a cultural phenomenon that we, as a species, have never shaken – belief that the old days were better. Based on interactions with my grandparents (before they passed away) and their siblings, I’d say that it’s almost certain the ‘good old days’ had a much greater quantity of vile and hateful racist, sexist, and homophobic tendencies than anything that exists today. I’d also wager that the Chris Trotter’s of this world suffer selective amnesia when they talk about how everyone got along and communities were more cohesive.

          • greywarbler 19.1.1.1.1

            Don’t wager anything Phil. It certainly is just conjecture that I have put forward. But the advent of psycho drugs and the long period of decline in opportunity of employment at a decent rate in the whole country made worse by the shrinking of numbers in farming communities will have had a downward effect on lives, future planning and values. Pinching the odd beast for dinner might have been ignored but organised rustling can put a family out of business. And the high jinks that might have led to problems in the past were of a different order than a home invasion, beating and murder.

          • Psycho Milt 19.1.1.1.2

            I’d also wager that the Chris Trotter’s of this world suffer selective amnesia when they talk about how everyone got along and communities were more cohesive.

            Fuckin’ A. As a teenager on the West Coast in the early-mid 70s, I saw no end of people that today’s wasters couldn’t teach a thing to. And no end of proof that ‘community cohesion’ is effectively another word for not rocking the boat or else.

  18. aerobubble 20

    Why did the allies, the humans first democracies, communist countries win over the fanatic and hierarchical? Simple. We were more equal and less bone’s to pick over. There is no time better than strife than to even scores. How many socialists, democrats in Hitlers armies trip up on purpose? How many buddhists drummed into the Jap airforce miss the US navy ships? Its because we don’t ask people to throw their lives away that we are a stronger society.

    And so the puzzle, why does it seem, thanks to all the spin, that we’d do anything, sell off our future for the planet to profit now. Its not only stupid, its crazy, as all it takes now is a few fanatical greenies to kick the system over to save the planet from our species. But you see we all still
    to democratic and free, that that is not happening.

    Its good economics, good politics, good society to be Green. Neo-liberals are fools.

    • How many socialists, democrats in Hitlers armies trip up on purpose?

      I remember watching a doco on guys restoring WW2 tanks, they were saying it was amazing how often the German tanks had obvious sabotage – bolts untightened, parts fitted backwards, pipes bent where it couldn’t be seen, cigarette butts stuffed down oil galleys…

  19. Ron 21

    I can confirm that John Key is not present at the lecture. Guess he will watch it on The replay

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    Came across this word “doxxing” lately. According to Wikipedia it refers to “the Internet-based practice of researching and broadcasting personally identifiable information about an individual.” My introduction to this new word was in a discussion of the ethics of identifying...
    Open Parachute
  • John Key’s war on P is a failure
    Back in 2009, John Key launched a "war on P", in the form of his Methamphetamine Action Plan. An important part of the plan was regular progress reports, tracking the price, purity and availability of methamphetamine, so we could see...
    No Right Turn
  • Time to cut out the middle-woman
    Four days before the Scottish Independence Referendum, the UK's supposedly neutral monarch intervened, telling the Scots to "think very carefully about the future". While cloaked as a "private exchange", it has now emerged that the whole thing was scripted by...
    No Right Turn
  • The courts and the Public Records Act
    Nicky Hager won an important victory in his case against the police yesterday, forcing discovery of the police's internal working documents about the decision to apply for and execute a search warrant against him. While some of the documents will...
    No Right Turn
  • Deficit deficit deficit deficit deficit deficit deficit tax cuts!
    Bill English’s laser-like focus on delivering tax cuts in 2017 whether it is a good idea or not reveals a deep problem that right-leaning parties have with being responsible. The whole idea behind deficit spending, which National has done a...
    Polity
  • Does intensification increase traffic congestion?
    Earlier this week, I took a look at the relationship between congestion and density. I was investigating geographer Phil McDermott’s claim, based on some dodgy data comparing between cities, that increasing density would increase congestion. Economists know that it is...
    Transport Blog
  • Busytown: Tell You What: A Nonfiction Giveaway!
    When Susanna Andrew and I sat down to write our proposal for that old-fashioned thing, a book on paper, we wanted to make the book we wanted to read. What we wanted was to sit down each summer to a...
    Public Address
  • LMAO
    Andrea Vance reports / mocks: Acronyms will go MIA in Defence Force briefing papers as new minister Gerry Brownlee says NOMW (not on my watch). Brownlee has ordered military top brass to remove all acronyms from their ministerial documents as...
    Polity
  • What do plummeting milk prices mean for our fresh water?
    This year milk prices have soured like a bottle left in the sun. There has been much wailing and gnashing of teeth about the economic impact of the fall in prices, but what, if anything does it mean for our...
    Gareth’s World
  • Gordon Campbell on the Pakistan schoolchildren killings
    The slaughter of the children in Pakistan is incomprehensibly awful. On the side, it has thrown a spotlight onto something that’s become a pop cultural meme. Fans of the Homeland TV series will be well aware of the collusion between...
    Gordon Campbell
  • Cuba libre
    President Obama announced this morning: President Barack Obama announced the United States would restore diplomatic relations it severed with Cuba more than 50 years ago, drawing resistance from lawmakers opposed to reconciling with the communist-run island. Apparently those opponents include...
    Polity
  • Find the perfect gift for the gender stereotype in your life
    Trademe has decided to make your holiday shopping easier with a handy-dandy gift finder. Just plug in the vital statistics of the person you’re shopping for, and voila! It’s the perfect tool to reduce the stress of the gifting season....
    On the Left
  • Auckland housing facts
    Statistics New Zealand has published a new study on housing trends in Auckland. It is sobering stuff. Here are the core findings: Since the mid 1980s, home ownership has plummeted in Auckland even faster than across the rest of the...
    Polity
  • Minister ducking for cover over ‘Diplomat Case’
    Apparently the Ministerial Inquiry into what now seems to be being referred to as ‘The Diplomat Case’ ( I have a few other names for it) has been completed and is in front of Foreign Affairs Minister McCully. Initial Reports seem to...
    frogblog
  • An economic comedy in four acts
    Scene IBill English bounces out of his Beehive bed with a surplus of energy, yet feeling rather lacklustre can only pour himself a glass of milk and drag himself to the balcony looking out over central Wellington. He glances over at...
    Pundit
  • Ten best paid bosses in tertiary education
    And their lowest paid colleagues Tertiary Update Vol 17 No 44 Last week the State Services Commission announced the total remuneration for chief executives and vice-chancellors at public tertiary education institutions. Prof Stuart McCutcheon earned at least $660,000. That is...
    Tertiary Education Union
  • Ten most popular stories of 2014
    This Tertiary Update’s top ten most read stories for the year included, at number ten, the massive job cuts at Manukau Institute of Technology and at number two the petition opposing those job cuts. Two more of our most read...
    Tertiary Education Union
  • Ten branches that recruited the most new TEU members
    Waikato Institute of Technology – of 142 members in September 41 joined in the last 12 months = 28.9 percent Tai Poutini Polytechnic – of 54 members in September 14 joined in the last 12 months = 25.9 percent NorthTec...
    Tertiary Education Union
  • Ten rights the government will take away next year
    …but that TEU plans to protect Next year several new laws will come into force that will remove some of your rights. It is more important than ever that you protect your rights by being active in a strong union...
    Tertiary Education Union
  • Ten Te Kaupapa Whaioranga wishes for the New Year
    For the tertiary education worker who has already got a partridge in a pear tree, and a pair of socks, here are other ten things they’ll be looking for. Sadly you will need to campaign for them rather than be gifted...
    Tertiary Education Union
  • Ten of our favourite TEU photos for the year
    ...
    Tertiary Education Union
  • City Centre Priority Cycle Routes
    An update to the Auckland City Centre Advisory Board (page 25) provides some new information about improvements to cycling planned for the CBD and include some artist impressions of just what they might look like – although unfortunately because it comes from a...
    Transport Blog
  • TISA text: US threat to privacy, civil rights, data security
    Press Release – AFTINET Leaked US proposals in the Trade in the secret Services (TISA) negotiations include rules that would threaten privacy and civil rights protections for digital personal data Dr Patricia Ranald, Coordinator of the Australian Fair Trade and...
    Its our future
  • 2014 will be the hottest year on record
    For those of us fixated on whether 2014 will be the hottest year on record, the results are in. At least, we know enough that we can make the call. According the global data from NOAA, 2014 will be the...
    Skeptical Science
  • Leaked TISA text exposes US threat to privacy, data security
    Press Release – Professor Jane Kelsey The US is demanding that New Zealand and other countries accept sweeping rules that would override privacy protections for digitised personal and other data, according to Professor Jane Kelsey from the University of Auckland.17...
    Its our future
  • Males only?
    Like Vaughan Rowsell I get asked to facilitate or be on panels and speak at events a fair bit. Actually not quite like Vaughan – he’s incredibly popular, and for good reason. Vaughan’s publicly announced that he will not accept...
    Lance Wiggs
  • An OTL milestone
    I have no idea how this happened, but this is the 100th post on On The Left! Things are probably going to slow down a bit around here over the holiday break, but thanks to all our bloggers and readers...
    On the Left
  • It’s nearly Foodmass
    Christmas is coming. The halls are decked with boughs of holly (plastic), and decorated with snow (artificial). Tips for Christmas (stress-free) have been appearing since November. Children are over-excited and desperate shoppers are looking for the perfect presents for people...
    Pundit
  • No justice in the UK
    Four years ago, G4S guards killed Jimmy Mubenga by restraining him inappropriately during a deportation - effectively asphyixiating him. But today, a British jury refused to convict them:Three private security guards who restrained the Angolan deportee Jimmy Mubenga have been...
    No Right Turn
  • John Key wants arbitrary detention
    That's the only conclusion that can be drawn from his comments today about the need to lower the threshold for detention:Prime Minister John Key said the Sydney siege gunman highlighted the conundrum for authorities over protecting citizens against potential terrorism...
    No Right Turn
  • Futility: Educating an IED
    Through this year, I have sadly been lured into spending energy trying to teach Martyn Bradbury about modern political science, and what it means for modern politics. He appeared misinformed about what polls are and how they work, so I...
    Polity
  • The OIA Review
    Yesterday, the Ombudsman announced that they had begun their review of OIA compliance. They'll be looking closely at 12 central government agencies, and surveying 63 more, as well as all 27 Ministerial offices. They'll also be soliciting submissions from the...
    No Right Turn
  • Biosecurity it’s everyone’s responsibility
    Biosecurity costs New Zealand millions of dollars in attempting pest eradication and much more in ongoing management of pests in farming, horticulture, beekeeping and conservation, as well as in our own backyards and recreation areas. More work must happen at...
    frogblog
  • Equality, Efficiency and Economic Theory (Social Journal Europe)
    Dani RodrikIn the pantheon of economic theories, the tradeoff between equality and efficiency used to occupy an exalted position. The American economist Arthur Okun, whose classic work on the topic is called Equality and Efficiency: The Big Tradeoff, believed that public...
    the Irascible Curmudgeon
  • New Fisk
    Peshawar school attack: Massacre of the innocents born of ambivalence towards Taliban...
    No Right Turn
  • How we pay for a universal basic income – Whiteboard Wednesday.
    Lots of people like the idea of an Unconditional Basic Income (UBI), but can we afford it as a nation? In this Whiteboard Wednesday Geoff looks at the three parts of the Big Kahuna package – Unconditional Basic Income, Flat...
    Gareth’s World
  • This will go down well
    Back in September, Mexican police arrested a group of 43 student teachers who had been travelling to Iguala for a protest against the local government. They handed them over to a local drug gang, who murdered them. Since the massacre,...
    No Right Turn
  • AT Metro Launched
    Last week we mentioned about how Auckland Transport was launching a new PT brand. That occurred yesterday and as well as new look buses, they have also launched a new brand for their public transport operations – AT Metro. Auckland Transport has...
    Transport Blog
  • Whales, dolphins, and ‘gunshots’
    I've just returned from seven days on board SV Vega as part of a small team monitoring the impacts of seismic testing on marine mammals off the west coast of Northland. No research has been done in this area, so...
    Greenpeace NZ blog
  • Meat workers need Jobs that Count
    The CTU is supporting todays Meat Workers Union campaign to combat insecure work in a core New Zealand export industry. Photo:  ...
    CTU
  • 2014: A Venture Capital Odyssey
    Fresh off the wire from Hong Kong, from your friends and mine at io9: Hong Kong based venture capital firm Deep Knowledge Ventures (DKV) has appointed a machine learning program to its board. Called VITAL, it's an "equal member" that...
    Polity
  • Buzzfeed takes the Herald
    Here's a Herald article this week, titled (I kid you not): 20 somewhat horrible things I do to my kids that I don't feel guilty about [Facepalm] I want the Herald to be good. I really do. I know some...
    Polity
  • Sad
    There's a lot of non-cheery news out there in the lead up to Christmas. There's the Taliban school massacre, the Sydney siege, the US Torture Report, and - at a much lower level, and closer to home - the Treasury's...
    Polity
  • Govt spend on transport out of step with reality
    The National Government is planning to allocate ever increasing amounts of taxpayer funding to build expensive new motorways despite record numbers of New Zealanders flocking to buses and trains, said the Green Party. The Government released its Government Policy Statement...
    Greens
  • Solar homes stymied by Govt inaction
    Government inaction is allowing the big power companies to discourage the nascent solar power sector, the Green Party said today. Green Party MP Gareth Hughes launched a petition today calling on the Government to empower the Electricity Authority to act...
    Greens
  • Foreign buyers for iconic island must add value
    Labour will look very closely at any Overseas Investment Office application to purchase Pakatoa Island if it is not bought by a Kiwi, says Labour’s Land information Spokesperson Stuart Nash. “Pakatoa is an iconic island in the middle of Hauraki...
    Labour
  • Way opening for April Sun in Cuba
    The United States of America’s President’s historic announcement yesterday to restore diplomatic ties with Cuba should be applauded by the New Zealand Government. The announcement marks a turning point in more than five decades of hostility between the two countries...
    Greens
  • Minister ducking for cover over ‘Diplomat Case’
    Apparently the Ministerial Inquiry into what now seems to be being referred to as ‘The Diplomat Case’ ( I have a few other names for it) has been completed and is in front of Foreign Affairs Minister McCully. Initial Reports seem to...
    Greens
  • Energy users need answers on Vector share plans
    Energy Minister Simon Bridges needs to stop ducking for cover about whether or not the Government will support plans to nationalise and then privatise $2.1 billion of shares in the Auckland Electricity Consumer Trust, Labour's Energy spokesperson Stuart Nash says. “It...
    Labour
  • Turning up the heat on working conditions
    A “Jobs That Count” campaign has the full support of Labour, the party’s Labour Relations spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. Organised by the Meat Workers Union, the campaign aims to put the spotlight on job insecurity in the meat processing industry....
    Labour
  • Biosecurity it’s everyone’s responsibility
    Biosecurity costs New Zealand millions of dollars in attempting pest eradication and much more in ongoing management of pests in farming, horticulture, beekeeping and conservation, as well as in our own backyards and recreation areas. More work must happen at...
    Greens
  • Failure to diversify puts prosperity at risk
    Beyond the news that a long-promised surplus is unlikely, further embarrassment is hidden in the fine print of the half year economic and fiscal update, Labour says. "National’s failure to rebalance the economy is further exposed in projections from its...
    Labour
  • Ombudsman probe targets Ministerial integrity
    John Key is on notice that the entrenched cynical and manipulative abuse of official information requests by his Government will no longer be tolerated, Labour’s Open Government spokesperson Clare Curran says. “The announcement by the Ombudsman of a wide-ranging review...
    Labour
  • Bill English’s face is redder than his books
    The Government owes New Zealanders an apology for failing to deliver the surplus it spent four years and two election campaigns promising, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Bill English’s face is redder than the Crown accounts. This is the...
    Labour
  • Is the Health Minister accountable to the public? He doesn’t seem to thin...
    Lately I’ve been involved in a sort of farcical standoff with the Health Minister, who seems to be under the illusion that I have no right to ask questions about conflicts involving Health Promotion Agency Board member Katherine Rich, and...
    Greens
  • Irresponsible tax cuts lead to seventh successive deficit
    National's borrowing to pay for cutting the top tax rate was irresponsible and will likely lead to a seventh successive deficit, the Green Party said today. Treasury have forecast a $572 million deficit this year in its Half Year Economic...
    Greens
  • Minister closes down dissent on climate change
    Minister closes down dissent on climate change In a threatening letter to Maori leaders, Minister for Climate Change Tim Groser says he will be requiring future international delegations to toe the party line, Labour’s Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods says. “In...
    Labour
  • Heartfelt sympathy for Sydneysiders
    The Labour Party has offered its heartfelt sympathy to the people of Sydney after the hostage situation in the city, says Labour’s Acting leader Grant Robertson.  “Our thoughts are with all those who went through this horrific and traumatic experience....
    Labour
  • Farewell at Phillipstown
    Last Wednesday, I attended the farewell for Tony Simpson, Principal of Phillipstown School. It was a very emotional event where many of us in the large crowd shed tears. Bagpipes and tiny tamariki performing kapahaka brought the house down and...
    Greens
  • The CIA Torture Report
    Earlier this week, the United States Select Committee on Intelligence released the Committee Study of the Central Intelligence Agency’s Detention and Interrogation Program.  The report, which was five years in the making, looked into the CIA’s interrogation techniques from 2001...
    Greens
  • Haere Rā 2014
    We’ve almost reached the end of the Parliamentary year so I wanted to take a moment to reflect on some of my highlights of the term in this blog post. It’s been an absolutely hectic year juggling an election campaign...
    Greens
  • Labour applauds High Court decision on Ruataniwha
    Today’s decision by the High Court on the Ruataniwha scheme is a victory for NewZealand’s environmental groups, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson RuthDyson....
    Labour
  • A welfare system for the 21st Century
    Today Child Poverty Action Group released a background paper on ‘The complexities of ‘relationship’ in the welfare system and the consequences for children.‘ The report includes 16 recommendations to modernise our welfare system which is no longer fit for the...
    Greens
  • Welfare system out of date and out of touch
    A new Child Poverty Action Group report released today highlights another example of how our outmoded social welfare system is harming kids, says Labour’s Social Development Spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni.  “The complexities of how a ‘relationship’ is defined in the welfare...
    Labour
  • NZ should formally recognise Palestine
    New Zealand should follow the lead of Sweden, and now recognise Palestine as a separate state On 30 October, Sweden’s new government formally recognised the state of Palestine, only the second Western country to do so, after Iceland. Down here...
    Greens
  • James Shaw’s adjournment speech on behalf of the Green Party
    It is a great honour for me to speak on behalf of the Green Party in this adjournment debate. I thank my colleagues for the privilege. I became a MP only 12 weeks ago, a period of time that seems...
    Greens
  • Time to end legalised cruelty of factory farms
    We can ensure that animals are kept in safe and ethical conditions. Claims of economic impact and practicality as justification for animal cruelty just don't stack up.Use our easy e-letter to write to the Minister for Primary Industries Nathan Guy...
    Greens
  • Government can’t rely on geothermal to grow itself
    While Electricity Authority figures showing geothermal has risen from the fourth to the second highest source of power generation are a promising sign for a geothermal renaissance, there can be no cause for complacency, Labour’s Energy spokesperson Stuart Nash says....
    Labour
  • Big bickies for bosses despite subpar performance
    While public service workers are experiencing Grinch-like wage increases state sector bosses have pocketed early Christmas presents in the form of whopper pay hikes, Labour’s State Services spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. “Unbelievably State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie got an additional...
    Labour
  • Consent should come before research grants for phosphate mining
      The Government’s decision to make a grant by Callaghan Innovation to Chatham Rock Phosphate is highly questionable, says Labour’s Science spokesperson David Cunliffe.  “The fact is that the company still has to get a marine consent to mine the Chatham...
    Labour
  • A Tale of Two Farms
    Pig farming has yet again been thrust into the public view with two programmes this week on Campbell Live highlighting the very different conditions for pigs on two very different farms. The first programme exposed the awful conditions on a...
    Greens
  • Dirty Dairy Accord failing to clean up rivers
    The first monitoring report of the Sustainable Dairying Water Accord fails to show progress on cleaning up our rivers since the Accord was introduced, the Green Party said today. The Accord's targets for stock exclusion are weaker than the previous...
    Greens
  • The Indignant Kiwi: Why we need to do more to protect our national bird
    A kiwi, about to be released into the wild, was first introduced to Prime Minister John Key and German Chancellor Dr Angela Merkel on her recent visit to New Zealand. By all reports, Dr Merkel was delighted to meet the rather indignant...
    Greens
  • Conflicted interests and health promotion; my opinion.
    As it happens, I know quite a bit about health promotion. It was an area I worked in prior to becoming an MP. What differentiates health promotion from the strict biomedical model, or from health education, for example, is its...
    Greens
  • Transparency on foreign buyers register needed
    News that Overseas Investment Office officials have been working on a register of foreign buyers of New Zealand homes is a welcome surprise, but Land Information Minister Louise Upston now needs to be clear on the details of the project,...
    Labour
  • National moves on state house sell off
    The Labour Party understands the Government has decided to move ahead with a mass sell-off of state houses. Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says he has been told by sources that Cabinet agreed the plan for their sell-off this week....
    Labour
  • Back-down on expert teacher plan welcomed
    News that the Government has backed down and returned to the drawing board on its flagship ‘expert teacher’ policy will come as a welcome Christmas present to schools and teachers, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Teachers throughout New Zealand...
    Labour
  • John Key can’t duck the blame for internet and phone price increases
    Shareholders are winning out over Kiwi households in the latest episode of the long-running fiasco on copper network phone and internet prices, Labour ICT spokesperson Clare Curran said today. “As predicted last week hundreds of thousands of Kiwi households now...
    Labour
  • An astounding disregard for Māori Affairs
    I have sat on the Māori Affairs Select Committee for most of the last 12 years. I love the committee, its work, its constituency and I especially love how it works differently than other committees, with a strong commitment to...
    Greens
  • Plunging dairy payout will hit regions hard
    The plunging dairy payout will hit New Zealand’s provincial towns and farm service industries hard, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “Farmers have been bracing themselves for this expected announcement but it will be small towns and those who...
    Labour
  • Reducing inequality creates a stronger economy
    An OECD report finding New Zealand has one of the fast growing rates of income inequality shows “trickle down” economics has failed and that everyone is better off under a stronger economy, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “The Government should...
    Labour
  • Government surplus target turning sour
    The Government’s golden surplus target is under threat with today’s Crown accounts showing the deficit is $260 million worse than expected, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “It is two blows in one morning for the Government’s economic credibility after...
    Labour
  • Greens call for end to cruelty of factory farming
    The Government must end the legalised cruelty of factory farming, the Green Party said today.Footage shown on Campbell Live this week revealed yet again the appalling, but legal, conditions pigs are routinely kept in on factory farms. The conditions the...
    Greens
  • Milk price plunge creates $6b economic black hole
    The plunge in Fonterra’s forecast dairy payout to a seven-year low for farmers will create a $6 billion economic black hole, showing yet again that National’s failure to diversify is hurting the economy, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “The...
    Labour
  • Gender Pay Gap: It’s a Matter of Leadership
    The State Services Commission’s annual Human Resource Capability report for the public sector shows the gender pay gap has not decreased since at least 2010. The gap is 14% across all management roles – a slightly bigger gap than for...
    Greens
  • Pardon me Minister, but the cracks are showing
    Cracks are appearing in Cabinet ranks with the Minister of Pacific Peoples, Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga, throwing his predecessor under the bus over a huge spike in spending by advisers, Labour's State Services spokesman Kris Faafoi says. "Spending to 'staff the...
    Labour
  • Confirmation of no confidence in schools plan
    That just 90 of the country’s 2500 schools have signed up to the Government's one-size-fits all performance pay scheme confirms a wide-spread lack of confidence in it, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “The scheme, which creates ‘executive’ and ‘lead...
    Labour
  • John Key’s secret foreign buyers register
    John Key has been secretly planning a register for foreign buyers without telling New Zealanders, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Last week Andrew Little called on John Key to adopt the Australian policy on foreign buyers....
    Labour
  • Another kick in the guts for Christchurch
    The government has walked away from the people of Christchurch with Cabinet’s decision today to cut funding available through local Members of Parliament offices to assist people with their earthquake related issues, says Labour’s Earthquake Recovery Spokesperson, Ruth Dyson.  “Over the...
    Labour
  • State house sell off will make transience worse
    The National Government’s plans to sell off state housing will increase the rate of transience among the poorest families, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. The Growing Up in New Zealand study released today reveals families with children under two...
    Labour
  • Report shows need for independent food safety agency
    The inquiry into the botulism botch-up shows the decision to merge the food safety authority into the Ministry of Primary Industries was a failure, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “MPI has been severely criticised in this report for...
    Labour
  • National needs to pull their head out of the sand on climate change
    Green MPs were out across the country attending Heads in the Sand events this weekend. I spoke at the Christchurch event where a couple of hundred people mimicked the Government’s climate policy by burying their heads in the sand. It...
    Greens
  • Claims of pumping up the volume all noise
    New manufacturing figures from Statistics NZ reveal a further decline in New Zealand's export performance, highlighting the Government's ongoing failure to rebalance the economy, Labour's Economic Development spokesperson David Clark says."The National Government has adopted a volume-based approach in an...
    Labour
  • Mediation Between Lyttelton Port and Union Fails
    The Rail and Maritime Union (RMTU) has opted to continue its overtime ban indefinitely after mediation with the Lyttelton Port of Christchurch (LPC) failed to progress collective bargaining.   “There was no substantial shift in LPC’s position today so the...
    The Daily Blog
  • Letter from Pakistan
    I was in Peshawar last week. It is a vibrant city with a real energy to it. It is my favourite place to be in Pakistan. You feel the energy as you drive around the city. I am in an...
    The Daily Blog
  • Lyttelton Port workers begin overtime ban
    Media Release: Rail & Maritime Transport Union Lyttelton Port workers begin overtime ban Workers of Christchurch Rail and Lyttelton Port have begun an indefinite ban on overtime, according to the Rail and Maritime Transport Union. The ban was announced at...
    The Daily Blog
  • So the United States of Torture is the ally we are supporting to re-invade ...
    How easy is it to con the sleepy hobbits of muddle Nu Zilind? Very. The despicable means by which this corrupt dirty politics Government have gone about trying to use the fear and anger caused by the Sydney hostage situation...
    The Daily Blog
  • A tale of two gunmen – how the media spins
    A tale of two gunmen – how the media spins...
    The Daily Blog
  • GUEST BLOG: Jill Ovens – Auckland Hospital worker cuts – Democracy the ...
    Auckland Hospital kitchen workers tell CEO Ailsa Claire (far right) a week ago that they did not want to be contracted out. Such was the arrogance that no contingency plans were made in the event that these workers would be...
    The Daily Blog
  • Political opportunists out in force over Sydney hostage crisis
    It hasn’t taken long for supporters of New Zealand’s so-called “anti-terror” legislation passed last week through parliament to try and justify it in the wake of the Sydney hostage crisis. Before we even knew much about the gunman or hostage...
    The Daily Blog
  • NZs new hobby – hating the poor
    Last week people queued at the doors of the Auckland City Mission. They are people that are living without enough income to afford the basics let alone the extras we as a society have come to expect at Christmas. Extras...
    The Daily Blog
  • The only people who believed National’s surplus illusion were voters
    Sigh – the sleepy hobbits of muddle Nu Zilind are pretty easy to con aren’t they? National’s surplus was always a joke that would never happen, but in every single focus group, voters believed by overwhelming numbers that National were...
    The Daily Blog
  • Key’s crocodile tears over dirty politics
    John Key: Bloggers ‘not big part of my day’ Prime Minister John Key says bloggers are not a “big part of his day” but he lives in a world where he can’t ignore them. Speaking on TVNZ’s Breakfast programme today,...
    The Daily Blog
  • Why we are in inequality denial and climate change denial
        We are a country in denial over our inequality and climate change. Both issues have the same thread that runs through them. 30 years of neoliberalism has generated its own cultural narratives and myths. We have been taught that...
    The Daily Blog
  • This weeks Waatea news column – Why proclaiming Key as the Politician of ...
      This weeks Waatea news column – Why proclaiming Key as the Politician of the Year is ethically bankrupt...
    The Daily Blog
  • Britomart violence raises questions over rail staff safety
    Media Release: Rail and Maritime Transport Union   Britomart violence raises questions over rail staff safety   The Rail and Maritime Transport Union is raising serious questions over the safety of the staff on Auckland’s train network after violent incidents on...
    The Daily Blog
  • Australia stares down Siege – National Party politicise tragedy
    The Sydney siege has finished, from the reports that are breaking the gunman, Man Haron Monis is dead and one of the hostages has also been killed. The Australian Police seem to have acted incredibly professionally and the real Australian...
    The Daily Blog
  • The termination of the Internet Mana alliance
    Last week the Mana Movement and Internet Party wrote to the Electoral Commission to cancel the registration of the Internet-Mana political party. It was a decision which brought the arrangement between the parties to a natural end after failing to...
    The Daily Blog
  • Peace breaks out between Greens and Labour
    Finally some good news for the Left. Peace has broken out between the Greens and Labour. One of the greatest barriers to a real relationship between the Greens and Labour has been the uncompromising arrogance of the Labour Party Caucus...
    The Daily Blog
  • Little keeps it stupid, simple
    Labour MP drops euthanasia billA bill which would legalise voluntary euthanasia has been dropped by Labour MP Iain Lees-Galloway at the request of his leader Andrew Little. Mr Lees-Galloway had been canvassing support for his End of Life Choice Bill...
    The Daily Blog
  • Dear Ministry for Social Development,
    Dear Ministry for Social Development, I realise you probably already know this, but just a wee reminder of REALITY. You know – the reality of the vast majority of us who aren’t making ends meet and are struggling to live...
    The Daily Blog
  • Social Policy still in the dark ages when it comes to relationships
    Two years ago I became aware of the work of two very able barristers who defend low income women accused of relationship fraud. CPAG then began collecting cases and stories of horrendous misery and victimisation. Then penny was slow to...
    The Daily Blog
  • The truth about inequality
      The truth about inequality...
    The Daily Blog
  • Rather Than Sending Troops To Iraq … Brownlee May Wish To Consider Better...
    There’s something a little unsettling going on at the moment. Ok, many somethings. Of particular concern is the fact that right now, New Zealand troops are training at Waiouru for deployment to Iraq – and, assumedly, the ongoing war against ISIS. Brownlee,...
    The Daily Blog
  • West Papua’s Saralana Declaration most vital unity development for 52 yea...
    Newly elected spokesman for the unified West Papuan movement Benny Wenda is treated to a chiefly welcome at the opening ceremony of the “unity” meeting in Port Vila. Photo: © Ben Bohane/wakaphotos.com David Robie also blogs at Café Pacific. A...
    The Daily Blog
  • Helen says it all
    Helen says it all...
    The Daily Blog
  • When Fran O’Sullivan, John Armstrong and Cameron Slater are singing Andre...
    The mainstream media of NZ will never allow a Labour leader who threatens the bastions of neoliberalism from ever taking power. David Cunliffe found that out. So when the mainstream media establishment from Fran O’Sullivan to John Armstrong to even...
    The Daily Blog
  • Wisdom’s Mirror: Can Grant Robertson Slay the Neoliberal Gorgon?
    HOW TO ELIMINATE one’s rival without getting one’s hands dirty? It’s a problem with a prodigious political pedigree. King David’s lust for Bathsheba drove him to order Uriah, her unfortunate husband, placed in the front line of battle – where...
    The Daily Blog
  • GUEST BLOG: Miriam Pierard – Sweet Sixteen and able to vote?
    The level of voter participation in elections is an indication of the health of a democracy. Declining turnout across the democratic world, particularly among young people, has led to questions about the legitimacy of our governing institutions. It is time...
    The Daily Blog
  • Public Equity and Progressive Politics
    We heard from the OECD on Wednesday morning (10 Dec) [Focus on Inequality and Growth] that inequality suppresses economic growth. (Here are Radio New Zealand’s morning reports on this.) This is hardly a surprise to many economists and non-economists alike. The key point in...
    The Daily Blog
  • Analysis: Final Across The Ditch Bulletin for 2014 – Lorde Help Us!
    Analysis (Text & Audio): Across The Ditch – Selwyn Manning & Peter Godfrey Headline: Final Across The Ditch Bulletin for 2014 – Lorde Help Us! 5AA’s Peter Godfrey and Selwyn Manning.FiveAA’s Peter Godfrey and MIL’s Selwyn Manning present their last...
    The Daily Blog
  • Sharing intelligence with CIA torturers
    New Zealand’s spy agencies have long presented intelligence sharing with their US counterparts as mutually beneficial and benign. That stance has always lacked credibility and is now its impossible to justify. The just-released US Senate Intelligence Committee report shows that...
    The Daily Blog
  • Labour votes for Surveillance State. NZ First Opposes!
    A few weeks before the election, the New Zealand Labour Party decided to cash in on simmering popular discontent with the state of the surveillance state that National’s set up. Never mind their own previous and well-publicized brushes with egregious state-surveillance … they wanted people to know that...
    The Daily Blog
  • Economic ideology destroys us all
    The OECD’s latest report says “The biggest factor for the impact of inequality on growth is the gap between lower income households and the rest of the population. The negative effect is not just for the poorest income decile but...
    The Daily Blog
  • 3 simple words for the Labour Party
    I have 3 very simple words for all those Labour Party apologists who are trying to rinse Labour clean here. Get. A. Warrant. You can all try and spin this any way you want, but Labour voted for 24 hour...
    The Daily Blog
  • 2014 – Year of the angry white knuckle
    I knew Internet/MANA would have to fight National, ACT, Conservative Party, United Future, Maori Party and the mainstream media. I didn’t think they would also have to fight Labour, the Greens and NZ First as well. Apparently feeding hungry kids in...
    The Daily Blog
  • Chris Rock on cop shootings
    Chris Rock on cop shootings...
    The Daily Blog
  • Bank Lending: Restrictions and Favourites
    An important story in 2014 has been the Reserve Bank’s ‘loan-to-value ratio’ restrictions, which have made it extremely hard for first-time house buyers to get sufficient finance to buy a house. Corran Dann in TVNZ’s  Q+A (7 Dec) suggested that...
    The Daily Blog
  • This weeks Waatea news column – How should Waitangi Tribunal ruling on S...
      This weeks Waatea news column - How should  Waitangi Tribunal ruling on Sovereignty be implemented?...
    The Daily Blog
  • Labour sell us out on warrantless surveillance
    Isn’t it depressing that Labour are selling us out by voting for warrantless spying by an agency caught out smearing them? Last night Labour do what they always do, over compensate on Security issues. So terrified are Labour at being...
    The Daily Blog
  • This Is The Headline For Test Post
    This Is The Headline For Test Post Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut eget neque facilisis sapien laoreet volutpat. Nulla vel nisl nec purus interdum tincidunt. Phasellus orci sapien, vestibulum et pulvinar non, pellentesque eget leo. Sed...
    The Daily Blog
  • Question Time in Parliament Today – National Party MPs cheer graph that s...
    This is the graph the National Party were shown by Russel Norman in Parliament today and they all cheered…     …they cheered?!?!?!? That’s beyond denial, that’s just gleefully suicidal....
    The Daily Blog
  • NZ Pastor Prays For Homosexual Author To Kill Himself
    By Jayden Jameson and Jessie Hume If we ever needed a reminder that homophobia is alive and kicking in New Zealand we have Pastor Logan Robertson from the Westcity Baptist Church. The Westcity Baptist ministry could apparently be described as New...
    The Daily Blog
  • Political Journalism in the South-Pacific – a new direction for NZ influe...
    Last week, the incredible Pacific Journalism Review celebrated 20 years of promoting and supporting and standing up for Journalism in the South-Pacific. The conference at AUT featured journalists from around the pacific who have battled and fought and been punished...
    The Daily Blog
  • Antarctica minus the ice – welcome to your future
    Antarctica minus the ice – welcome to your future...
    The Daily Blog
  • REAL LIFE GUEST BLOG: Lou – 15 shifts in 12 months……permanently homel...
    This is Key’s real life – other NZers aren’t so privileged    15 shifts in 12 months……permanently homeless since May. I went to the Salvation Army yesterday on advice for emergency housing as my temporary accomodation had turned volatile. Just...
    The Daily Blog
  • Labour Party Members should be furious at reviews findings
    Let’s see The Standard use this image Well, well, well… Labour’s election review: What went wrongLabour’s review panel has reported its findings back about the party’s election campaign and the reasons for the low 25 per cent result, identifying problems...
    The Daily Blog
  • Judith Collins joins the Sunday Star Times and cements the Rights dominance...
    “I am not a Monster”, hissed Judith Collins   I don’t read the Sunday Star Times, so had no idea that they had just decided to make Judith Collins of all people a new columnist. Her appointment cements into place...
    The Daily Blog
  • Grey Lynn Festival – very Grey – Art in the Dark – very Dark
    The battle of Helm’s Deep from the Two Towers would have had better OSH conditions than Art in the Dark   Grey Lynn Festival – 2 stars So the Grey Lynn Festival happened last weekend. It’s a day where the good liberal...
    The Daily Blog
  • ‘Stalking’ Ede
      Tau Henare accuses TV3 of stalkingA former National MP has accused TV3 of stalking after one of its journalists attempted to question a former Beehive spin doctor. Today’s episode of The Nation featured an unsuccessful attempt to question former...
    The Daily Blog
  • Taxpayer Union, the NZ Herald and Len Brown’s secret hidden love den
    I love the way the NZ Herald introduced the discredited Taxpayer Union in their bullshit story about Len Brown’s secret hidden love den… ‘Secret room’ spending shows need for recall electionsA lobby group says revelations Auckland Council spent $30,000 on...
    The Daily Blog
  • Eric Garner killed by NYPD original footage
    The horror of a ultra militarised and racist American Police Force who can kill with impunity. Obama claims cameras on every office would stop this type of brutality, these cops knew they were being filmed and killed him anyway. In...
    The Daily Blog
  • Unjust to imprison us for crimes we haven’t yet committed
    Once again National and Labour have succumbed to the “law and order” brigade enabling the passage of a Bill imprisoning people for crimes they might commit in the future. The Public Safety (Public Protection Orders) Bill allows the Court to...
    The Daily Blog
  • SPCA welcomes glueboard traps ban
    The Royal New Zealand SPCA applauds the ban on the sale and use ofglueboard traps in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics
  • Mediation Between Lyttelton Port and Union Fails
    The Rail and Maritime Union (RMTU) has opted to continue its overtime ban indefinitely after mediation with the Lyttelton Port of Christchurch (LPC) failed to progress collective bargaining. “There was no substantial shift in LPC’s position today...
    Scoop politics
  • Review into Phillip Smith’s escape submitted to Government
    A multi-agency review on the escape of Phillip Smith to South America has submitted its initial report to the Government today....
    Scoop politics
  • Len Brown gets haybales from giant chicken and Ms. Santa Cla
    Today at 10.30am, Ms. Santa Claus and a giant chicken delivered haybales to Len Brown’s office, urging Auckland City Council to decline a resource consent application sought by cage egg producer Craddock Farms....
    Scoop politics
  • Increased Abuse of Parents A Predicted Outcome
    Family First NZ says that the increasing level of parental abuse , especially towards mothers, is an unfortunate but expected outcome of the rise of children’s ‘rights’ and the undermining of parental authority....
    Scoop politics
  • Brownlee’s Misplaced War on Acronyms
    The beleaguered Minister of Defence who reportedly cannot tell an RFL (required fitness level) from an AWQ (annual weapons qualification) has declared war on military acronyms while proving the proverb about those in glass houses....
    Scoop politics
  • Fluoride risks whitewashed in rushed consultation
    Ministry of Health propose to exempt toxic industrial waste products used in water fluoridation from the Medicines Act 1981...
    Scoop politics
  • Practical Tips on Working and Living in New Zealand
    JUANderful Juan” in 7-Minute Migrante Video Project Shares Practical Tips on Working and Living in New Zealand...
    Scoop politics
  • Christmas Day in Prison
    Christmas Day in prison this year will involve swapping the main meal of the day, so that dinner will be served at lunchtime, leaving the evening meal to be sandwiches. This is standard practice for this day....
    Scoop politics
  • Alcohol advertising bans need stronger evidence
    Wellington (18 December 2014): The New Zealand Initiative’s Head of Research, Dr Eric Crampton, today urged Cabinet to look to the evidence before banning alcohol advertising and sponsorship. The Ministerial Forum on Advertising and Sponsorship...
    Scoop politics
  • EPA grants marine consent to OMV NZ Ltd
    The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has granted a marine consent to OMV NZ Ltd to continue its development drilling programme in the Maari oil field in the South Taranaki Bight....
    Scoop politics
  • DHB puts staff and patients at risk in order to save money
    The Public Service Association (PSA) is alarmed that the Waikato District Health Board (WDHB) is proposing to cut the 4 and 2 roster system, established nationally, for mental health nurses. The PSA represents more than 210 mental health nurses working...
    Scoop politics
  • Ambivilence about alcohol marketing recommendations
    Ministers Adams and Dunn issued a media release yesterday nearly two months after receiving a final report from their Ministerial Forum on Alcohol Advertising and Sponsorship, and four years following an original announcement to review alcohol...
    Scoop politics
  • Alcohol forum recommendations: a step in the right direction
    The Forum has stated clearly that that it accepts alcohol marketing plays a role in heavy alcohol consumption and subsequent harm, and that young people need to be protected from it by regulation....
    Scoop politics
  • Court Judgment: Nicky Hager v Police on Dirty Politics Raids
    Mr Hager alleges that steps taken by the second respondent (the Police): first, in deciding to apply for a search warrant in respect of Mr Hager’s premises; secondly, in applying for the warrant; and thirdly, executing the warrant at his...
    Scoop politics
  • Holiday home hazards revealed
    Common sense ways to look after your property this summer Auckland, 18 December 2014 – Burglars aren’t the only threat to your home during the holiday season, says AA Insurance. It’s more likely to be broken water pipes, burst hot...
    Scoop politics
  • Grieving families should be able to scatter ashes in peace
    Grieving families should be able to scatter ashes in peace 18 December 2014 Funeral directors are relieved that Wellington City Council has finally dropped plans to charge families for permits to scatter ashes in public places. Funeral Directors...
    Scoop politics
  • RSA Offers Condolences To Victims Of Sydney Siege
    As an organisation representing over 100,000 New Zealanders, the RSA has today condemned the actions taken by Man Haron Monis during his siege in a Sydney café, and offered their deepest sympathies to the friends and family of Tori Johnson...
    Scoop politics
  • Kiwi activists crowdfund billboard for Simon Bridges
    Almost seven thousand New Zealanders have taken part in a crowdfunding campaign, and have raised enough money to put a billboard up in Tauranga that is directed at Simon Bridges, the Minister of Energy and Resources....
    Scoop politics
  • Leaked TISA text exposes US threat to privacy, data security
    ‘The US is demanding that New Zealand and other countries accept sweeping rules that would override privacy protections for digitised personal and other data’, according to Professor Jane Kelsey from the University of Auckland....
    Scoop politics
  • Lyttelton Port workers begin overtime ban
    Workers of Christchurch Rail and Lyttelton Port have begun an indefinite ban on overtime, according to the Rail and Maritime Transport Union. The ban was announced at a mass meeting at the Port after negotiations between Lyttelton Port of Christchurch...
    Scoop politics
  • Ban on Alcohol Advertising Could Cost Taxpayer
    Responding to yesterday's release of the report of the Ministerial Forum on Alcohol Advertising and Sponsorship, Jordan Williams, the Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union says:...
    Scoop politics
  • Farm safety isn’t helped by punitive fines
    Federated Farmers Health and Safety spokesperson, Katie Milne says she is concerned about the impact of the $40,000 fine for a Marlborough farm couple, who weren’t wearing helmets and carrying children as passengers. The Court case, and subsequent...
    Scoop politics
  • New online guide to NZ’s environment goes live
    The Environment Foundation* has launched a new web-based guide to the management of New Zealand’s natural environment....
    Scoop politics
  • Ban On Alcohol Advertising Just One Step
    Family First NZ says that a proposed ban on alcohol advertising at sports events as recommended by a ministerial forum is an important move, but will not solve the binge drinking and alcohol abuse issue on its own....
    Scoop politics
  • CLANZ scholarship winner to examine legal services to Crown
    Wellington in-house lawyer Tania Warburton is the inaugural winner of the research scholarship established by the Corporate Lawyers Association of New Zealand (CLANZ)....
    Scoop politics
  • Joint Australasian operation dismantles drug syndicate
    The Joint Organised Crime Task Force (JOCTF), leading a multi-agency team, has smashed a multi-million dollar international organised crime network following raids across Melbourne this morning....
    Scoop politics
  • Video: Meet Mark Gilbert, U.S. Ambassador-Designate to NZ
    Join us in welcoming Ambassador-Designate Mark Gilbert and his wife Nancy. They are arriving in New Zealand shortly and wanted to introduce themselves. Watch this video to learn about his connections with Aotearoa, and why he thinks the partnership between...
    Scoop politics
  • MIA Welcomes Review Findings
    The MIA welcomes the findings of the Health Quality & Safety Commission into child and youth mortality arising from the use of motorcycles, quads and other agricultural vehicles....
    Scoop politics
  • Quads Bikes Not for Under 16s
    Safekids Aotearoa strongly supports recommendations made in a report released today highlighting the dangers posed by quad bikes when ridden or controlled by children who are under 16 years of age....
    Scoop politics
  • Inquiry on Parliament’s legislative response to emergencies
    Public submissions are being invited on Regulations Review Committee’s Inquiry into Parliament’s legislative response to future national emergencies. The closing date for submissions is Sunday, 1 March 2015....
    Scoop politics
  • Switch off on the beach NOT at level crossings
    KiwiRail and TrackSAFE NZ have launched a new summer rail safety campaign with a message to motorists to stay focused and always look for trains at level crossings over the holidays. December is known as the month for family, festivity...
    Scoop politics
  • Report on child and youth deaths from vehicle use
    Quad bike and other off-road vehicle accidents second largest cause of child recreational deaths...
    Scoop politics
  • Inspector-General accepts apology for leak of report
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security, Cheryl Gwyn, has accepted an unreserved apology from Hon Phil Goff MP for disclosing some of the contents of her recent Report into the Release of Information by the NZSIS in July and August...
    Scoop politics
  • Santa’s naughty list shows NZPork in trouble
    Santa has provided animal advocacy organisation SAFE with an early copy of this year’s naughty list , as it prominently features many animal-abusing industries and businesses, with NZPork topping the list....
    Scoop politics
  • WWI veterans had persisting higher risk of early death
    New research on the impact of the First World War on participating New Zealand soldiers shows they typically lost around eight years of life and had an increased risk of early death in the post-war period....
    Scoop politics
  • Rainbow Wellington urges further change from Blood Service
    This week the New Zealand Blood Service (NZBS) announced the implementation of the agreed changes to blood donor deferral. For men who have sex with men (MSM) this primarily involves a reduction of the deferral period from five years to...
    Scoop politics
  • New Zealand Government signals reversal of fortune
    The Government’s robust $372 million forecast surplus from Budget 2014 will turn into a $572 million deficit, according to the 2015 Half-Yearly Economic and Fiscal Update and the Budget Policy Statement. Imports are cheaper and good export prices...
    Scoop politics
  • Time for Jobs that Count in the Meat Industry
    The NZ Meat Workers Union will launch a new national campaign to highlight job insecurity in the Meat Industry this afternoon in Palmerston North....
    Scoop politics
  • Protest at killing of schoolboys – Vigil 17/12/14
    A peaceful vigil will be held in Downtown Square opposite Britomart station – cnr of Queen and Customs St from 11-45 am: Wednesday 17 December 2014....
    Scoop politics
  • Social housing provider opens development in Johnsonvillle
    Social housing provider, Accessible Properties, will be opening eight new social housing units in a new housing development in Johnsonville tomorrow....
    Scoop politics
  • NCWNZ Wins Court Case
    ComVoices welcomes and celebrates the news that the National Council of Women of New Zealand (NCWNZ) has won its High Court case against Inland Revenue and the Charities Registration Board....
    Scoop politics
  • Cut Taxes + Cut Waste = Surplus
    Responding to the Treasury's Half Year Fiscal and Economic Update, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says:...
    Scoop politics
  • Cuts in public services likely fromBudget Policy Statement
    The horizon for workers looks gloomy with the release today of the Budget Policy statement. “Continuing real cuts in Government funding of public services are inevitable as a result of today’s Budget Policy Statement. The policy ignores the social,...
    Scoop politics
  • Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update 2014
    The Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update (HYEFU) 2014 provides the Treasury's latest economic forecasts and the forecast financial statements of the Government, including the implications of Government financial decisions....
    Scoop politics
  • Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update 2014
    The Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update (HYEFU) 2014 provides the Treasury's latest economic forecasts and the forecast financial statements of the Government, including the implications of Government financial decisions....
    Scoop politics
  • Chief Ombudsman launches major review of OIA practices
    The Chief Ombudsman, Dame Beverley Wakem, has today begun a wide ranging review of Official Information Act (OIA) practices in the public sector....
    Scoop politics
  • The Tasman Sea got a little smaller this morning
    “Our hearts and minds are with the people of Sydney: the Tasman Sea got a little smaller this morning,” said Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy....
    Scoop politics
  • A safety message for the festive season from Housing NZ
    Batteries may be required for some of the best toys under the tree this year, but they are just as essential to enjoying the greatest gift of all, says Housing New Zealand General Manager of Property Services, Marcus Bosch. “Smoke...
    Scoop politics
  • Charity Wins in the High Court
    The National Council of Women of New Zealand (NCWNZ) is delighted that the High Court has found in its favour in its case against Inland Revenue and the Charities Registration Board....
    Scoop politics
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