web analytics
The Standard
Advertising

Time to take back what’s ours

Written By: - Date published: 6:16 am, October 18th, 2011 - 116 comments
Categories: wages - Tags:

The neoliberal revolution saw a massive transfer of wealth from the people who create it to the owners of capital.

This didn’t ‘have to happen’. There were other options. The dramatic fall in wages as a % of GDP in New Zealand was not matched in Australia. They had stronger unions and more distributed political power than in FPP New Zealand. There neoliberal crazies didn’t get carte blanche as they did here.

It was at this time that the wage gap opened up. In part, because of slice of cake going to workers got relatively smaller in New Zealand. In part, because the economic destruction wrought by the neoliberal’s low wage/low skill/strip it down/sell it off mentality saw New Zealand’s productive capacity stagnate while Australia surged away from us.

The wage gap is about 70% due to the smaller economic output of New Zealand. 30% due to the fact that Australian workers get a larger share of their output in wages than we do.

One of the effects of the decline in workers’ share of GDP was that a few got richer and the rest of us had wages that stayed the same or went backwards. Trying to ‘keep up with the Joneses’, many here and in other countries blighted by neoliberalism took advantage of the cheap and easy credit offered by the deregulated finance sector. We know how that worked out.

The last Labour government got some way to reversing that trend (even as workers’ share of GDP in Australia fell under Howard). That progress has already started to reverse under National.

I’m looking forward to seeing policy from Labour today that will help to return workers’ share of the wealth that we generate back to the levels we used to enjoy.  And, in doing so, give young Kiwis more reason to stay here rather than chasing higher pay in Aussie.

116 comments on “Time to take back what’s ours”

  1. tc 1

    Geez watch this policy disappear into the RWC void…..they need to focus on the nats appalling performance and odious ministers such as Basher, ayatollah, brown coal, smith etc etc

    Watch this sink without trace, who the F is running this campaign !!

    • Colonial Viper 1.1

      SOrry mate gotta disagree; Labour can’t win this campaign simply by complaining and being negative.

      • aerobubble 1.1.1

        Epsom have mortgages too. They are waking up to the reality, that growing the pie
        in order to have a large slice of it, means growing wage packets for the unwashed
        masses. Spin was highly profitable in cheap energy, easy credit, times. Now its
        back to the hard labour of bums on real not fiscal seats. There are still many ‘hangers-on’
        on the right that believe to get ahead all they have to do is peddle the party line,
        like some failed communism of the left, but these people were never leadership
        material, they are political foot soldiers who will gravitate to a new agenda once
        the old one has been truely discredited. Labour will win, even if labour loses
        which I doubt, Labour wins by National being a conservative party in a
        time of massive progressive political times. And man does it show.

      • tc 1.1.2

        Not saying that CV, the swingers and non voters of 08 are far more likely to be swayed by consistent simple messaging around ‘this is what you’re getting, here’s how we’ll address it’.

        Releasing yet another policy is nice but aint gunna do squat unless it’s crafted into slogans they all parott….like ‘for the many not the few’ etc

        I’d also like to see some of sideshows quotes laid out alongside his contradictions of late, especially the one about ‘follow me and we’ll be like Ireland’

    • burt 1.2

      who the F is running this campaig

      I think its the same chap who voted to pass the EFA but didn’t have a clue what he was voting for and breached it himself only a month or two after he passed it saying it was confusing and others were doing it too. (aka: bricks-for-brains Mallard)

      • Afewknowthetruth 1.2.1

        burt.

        I don’t know who is running the campaign either but I do have to agree with your description of Mallard: ‘bricks-for-brains’.

        When he was Minister of Energy we refered to him as Daffy Duck. His capacity to make sensible decisions was on a par with that of the cartoon character, if not lower. …. and Labour supporters wonder why the public does is not keen on another Labour government ????

    • Deadly_NZ 1.3

      Everyone knows that France are going to win and the feel good that Shonky wants will melt faster than chocolate in an oven.

      • Clipbox 1.3.1

        Win or lose, will New Zealanders really link it with Key…?

        • felix 1.3.1.1

          I don’t think anyone believes that, but some think that the general mood of the nation might have an effect, the theory being that if the All Blacks win we feel that all is right with the world and that favours the incumbent govt.

          • Clipbox 1.3.1.1.1

            It’s also been shown that when people are happier they’re more open to different perspectives (i.e. not Key), compared with when they’re sad or angry. We shall see!

            • felix 1.3.1.1.1.1

              Yeah that’s a good point. I don’t put too much stock in the rugby theory myself but it’s an interesting one.

    • ChrisH 1.4

      How come this policy got no airplay on TV3 at 6 pm tonight 18-10-2011? The TV3 news led with the Nats super policy, followed by rugby and Rena, with commentators actually saying how the Nats had got the jump on Labour by not leaving campaigning and policy till after the RWC. Clever Nats. Even so, Labour’s IR policy was on Radio NZ National. Do you think it got stuck in the TV3 fax machine? Maybe they had it on after the ad break next to stories about cats up trees… I didn’t sit around that long, it wasn’t flagged upfront or in the first few stories anyhow.

  2. burt 2

    You can clearly see the reforms in 1984 starting to take effect then the ‘Tea break’ kicks in as we return to the failed ideology of socialism.

    • Oh Burt you are so funny.  You mean the plummet from 55% to 46%, the blip up to 47% after the wage freeze was lifted and then the death spiral as rogernomics and ruthenaisa kicked in?

      So why did Australia do so much better? 

      • big bruv 2.1.1

        Why did Australia do so much better?

        John Howard and a right wing government.

        • Colonial Viper 2.1.1.1

          Dont be a fucking moron, its because Howard had the sense not to try and screw the unions.

          That and the fact he let private debt skyrocket plus China giving successive Australian governments a get out of free card.

          Workers must be properly organised and led in collectives and unions.

    • Blighty 2.2

      Are you referring to that tiny upward blip from 1986 to 1987? Which was before the major labour law changes, btw.

      Let’s just ignore the decades of data around it, eh?

      • mik e 2.2.1

        Looking at the blips they seem to be around election years when right wing governments hand out bribes followed by big falls in disparity

        • big bruv 2.2.1.1

          Lol…the selective memory of the left.

          Shall we talk about bribes?

          1. Working for (other peoples) families.

          2. Interest Free student loans

          3. A bloody train set that we paid four times the value of.

          How is that for wasting a few billion dollars in election year bribes?

          • Colonial Viper 2.2.1.1.1

            Hey fuck head, doing things which help people to live and which strengthen the country are not ‘bribes’, and for you to characterise them as such means you’re a fuck head who doesn’t understand the role of Government on acting for the people.

            • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 2.2.1.1.1.1

              So, to summarise, he is a fuck head.

              Biting.

              • burt

                Look, ah I’ve wrestled with this style before and; well, I can see that he has good intentions and all that. But I’m picking he’s benefiting from at least 2 out of 3 on that list and wants to keep status quo.

                • McFlock

                  Nice. You base that on?
                   
                  Personally I agree with CV, I don’t get WFF credits, and passenger trains don’t operate in my area.
                  I do have a large student loan though. Although I just view it as a way to pay a level of tax approaching what I probably should, i.e. 10% extra over $20-oddk.

                • felix

                  burt has a sudden change of heart and decides that “rational self-interest” is a heinous crime against humanity.

                  • McFlock

                    It’s funny how some tories seem to think it works for markets but makes a mockery of democracy, isn’t it?

          • felix 2.2.1.1.2

            “1. Working for (other peoples) families.”

            Why do you think it’s so awful to work for other people’s families? (Hypothetically of course, in your case)

    • RedLogix 2.3

      You can clearly see the reforms in 1984 starting to take effect

      burt…. you seem to be reading the graph upside down. Unless of course you are trying to tell us that the massive drop in wage share over that period was a good thing.

      Which is it?

      • burt 2.3.1

        Well actually given GDP wasn’t keeping pace with inflation from about 2002/2003 and then we went into recession late 2007 (early 2008 if you can’t face reality) and given wages generally had CPI increases the rise through 2002-2008. The perceived increase 2002-2008 is probably just reflecting our economy slowly stagnating into recession.

        Hard to celebrate a stagnating economy relative to CPI but I guess Labour needs to find some positive somewhere to deflect attention away from the reality that pretty much every time they get more than 1 term they stuff the economy into recession with high taxes and poor quality govt spending to stay popular.

        • mik e 2.3.1.1

          Brainless Burt statistics show national grew the economy by only 8.7% 1990 to99 labour28% from 2000 till2008.National had a small growth spurt 97/98 on the back of unaffordable tax cuts most of 98 & 99 their was negative growth Borrowing Bills English was finance minister.After 2008 wage disparity grows again Under the triple downgrade double dipping dipstick,Spreading wealth is what creates growth tax cuts for the rich slows the economy.Bills English has barely managed 1% growth in five years as finance minister the worst finance minister this country has ever had.

          • burt 2.3.1.1.1

            Yes, the economy in recession prior to the global economic crisis – 10 years of deficit forecast when they took office… what else do you expect ? Of course growth was shabby when National took office – we had just had 9 years of increasing welfare, increasing taxes and increasing govt spending. Actually govt spending was growing faster than GDP – but I know, Labour=good and National=bad…. keep taking the pills.

      • burt 2.3.2

        Oh and before you flip you lid, look at 2008-2010 when we were in hard core recession – the same trend as Labour thinks is great – but sharper…

        Now if you want to say a National govt is bad for wages then you can’t have it both ways…. the ‘positive’ trend under Labour must either be the GDP shrinking or National have better results with wages compared to Labour… Which is it ?

        • RedLogix 2.3.2.1

          burt ….I’ve been bafflled as to what you are noncing on about, but it seems you are reading the graph wrong. The vertical axis is the “Wages Share of GDP” which is a ratio. You’re talking about GDP itself…something the graph is completely silent on.

          • burt 2.3.2.1.1

            Yes, that’s right RedLogix.

            So if wages were static and GDP was falling then the trend would be up. Which apparently is a good thing ????

            So if wages have been falling under National, which seems to be the claim of myopic Labour supporters, and GDP was static then the graph would trend down.

            Do you see it trends up more sharply just after 2008 ? Was that because GDP shrank sharply while wages changed piss all or was it because wages actually grew in real terms ?

            • Roger 2.3.2.1.1.1

              “Do you see it trends up more sharply just after 2008 ? Was that because GDP shrank sharply while wages changed piss all or was it because wages actually grew in real terms?”

              Option one: GDP shrank while wages changed piss all. It’s all here:
              http://www.rbnz.govt.nz/keygraphs/Fig2.html
              http://www.stats.govt.nz/browse_for_stats/economic_indicators/prices_indexes/LabourCostIndexSalaryandWageRates_HOTPJun11qtr.aspx
              http://www.stats.govt.nz/browse_for_stats/economic_indicators/CPI_inflation/ConsumersPriceIndex_HOTPJun11qtr.aspx

              It is good that you are finally getting a grip on why we are unhappy with this National Government’s economic management and why this neoliberal nonsence is a failed experiment.

              • burt

                Excellent, so the graph going up is good and what we should be aiming for…. we micro analyse a portion and it’s bad that it’s going up…. but otherwise going up is good ????

                As I started out at 6:47, between 2002 and 2008 wages ‘just’ kept pace with inflation yet they grew as a percentage of GDP…. so GDP was slowing shrinking (not keeping up with inflation) till it started shrinking sharply early 2008 (recession) – and “we” are unhappy with National for that – Go figure.

                • RedLogix

                  As I started out at 6:47, between 2002 and 2008 wages ‘just’ kept pace with inflation yet they grew as a percentage of GDP…. so GDP was slowing shrinking

                  Ahh come on burt….that was the period of one of the most extended business booms this county has ever seen. And you are trying to tell us GDP was shrinking in that period?

                  Rather than making shit up like this you might want to go to the source data that Roger has linked for you and get your facts right.

                  • burt

                    Ahh come on burt….that was the period [2002-2008] of one of the most extended business booms this county has ever seen. And you are trying to tell us GDP was shrinking in that period?

                    Well, yes actually it was it fell (overall) about 2% in that period. The only boom NZ had was a tax haul bonanza from fiscal drag creating faux surpluses. Even Cullen said they were not real, you seem to selectively remember that fact.

                  • burt

                    This is a better graph for observing GDP ’02-’07

                    http://www.rbnz.govt.nz/keygraphs/fig2b.html

                    Boom – pfft!

                    • McFlock

                      Um, Burt – your graphs seem to be talking about the annual percent change in real (i.e. inflation adjusted) GDP, not the real GDP level itself.
                      So when you say “GDP fell”, your graphs seem to indicate that only the % change fell – as long as it is above the zero (i.e. GDP was the same one year to the next), then GDP was still increasing. As it seems to have done throughout Labour’s term in office. And the annual % change seems to be largely in line with Australia and the USA – except when National is in government.
                       

                    • burt

                      Right, so falling growth is a boom time when Labour are in charge – I’ll remember that.

                    • burt

                      And the annual % change seems to be largely in line with Australia and the USA

                      In the reference period RedLogix has fantasies about a boom time for (00-07) we started with the pretty red line above all others pretty colours and ended below them all. “largely in line” – why not just go the whole hog making shit up and say we were booming !

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Burt, moron, you are cheerleading for a National Government who thinks that a global recession is a good time to lay off thousands of public sector workers.

            • RedLogix 2.3.2.1.1.2

              Because GDP and wages do not move in lockstep there will be short-term changes in the ratio. You can if you wish get obsessed with these up and down blips, after all GDP is a fairly volatile number, while wages react more slowly to economic conditions …so what you are pointing to is perfectly expected but not very meaningful.

              But what of course matters is the long-term trend, and even more importantly, the fact that compared to most other OECD countries our wages share is miserably low. Given that New Zealanders work some of the longest hours in the OECD the slice of the cake we are paid for that effort … is pretty damned mean.

              • burt

                Sure

                But the graph means shit all when you get down to it.

                You could find an up that is good, an up that is bad and a trend that tells you nothing unless you look at what actually happened with a raft of factors to determine if it was good or bad for us.

                • RedLogix

                  No it means that the Wages Share of GDP is very low. The business owners and bankers get more than HALF of all the productive effort of New Zealand workers.

                  It only means shit to you because you don’t want to admit the bleedingly obvious fact staring you in the face.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  But the graph means shit all when you get down to it.

                  And there you have it – the normal RWNJ denunciation of reality.

                • burt

                  Draco T Bastard

                  Perhaps you could explain then how the graph is meaningful when it is now higher now than it was at any point in Labour’s 9 years of fixing the problem ?

                • burt

                  RedLogix

                  The graphs do show the effect of different policy setting being implemented in NZ and Aussie circa ’84-86. If you look at the graph Aussie generally tracks behind us by a few years, which us being smaller etc makes sense. We react quicker… Nothing to unconventional about that thinking.

                  What is evident though is that post ’86 we went the wrong way… we turned away from our changes and Aussie continued with theirs. Now I don’t argue that the graph shows the proportion of GDP falling into workers hands.

                  I think the graph, if anything, shows that Labour policies in the last govt were a failure. They didn’t cement growth – actually the reverse.

                  We need a bigger change than a return to tax and spend. It didn’t work last time, or the time before that and it won’t work (long term) next time Labour try it.

              • burt

                In all fairness RedLogix, little alarm bells should have been going off for Zetetic when he produced a graph that showed an upward trend when we were in recession…

                I wonder if he contemplated then when putting together this post about how we need to get it trending up…

                • RedLogix

                  n all fairness RedLogix, little alarm bells should have been going off for Zetetic when he produced a graph that showed an upward trend when we were in recession…

                  Your getting obsessed with a tiny 2% rise followed by an even smaller decline.. It’s exactly what you would expect… as GDP declines due to the 2009 GFC the ratio rises a little because wages are somewhat slower to react.. most people only negotiate their pay annually and most people strongly resist falling wages.

                  However the GDP pressure eventually exerts it’s influence and in the last year on the graph the wage share flattens off again, showing how wages do react, just more slowly.

                  All this short-term stuff is exactly what you would expect and confirms for you that the data is real. This isn’t something Zet pulled out of his arse.

                  • burt

                    It’s still higher now than in the last 9 years under Labour… If I were Zetetic I’d be going oops – big time.

                    An upward trend that sharpens in a major recession cannot be a reliable indicator that an upward trend is good.

                    Sure there is a lag etc, but really – this shows we need a Labour govt ? F-Me I’ve seen blinkers before but that’s just stupid.

                    • RedLogix

                      I’ll repeat myself one last time. The short term variations that you are obsessing about are really just noise. They tell you nothing useful and talking about them is just a deflection.

                      The long-term trend is however perfectly, bleedingly obvious.. but that of course is the one you don’t want to see. None so blind eh?

                    • burt

                      Did you see my comment comparing the graph to the Reserve Bank Real Gross GDP chart.

                      The long term trend is bleeding obvious and it’s making Zetetic’s graph look more and more ridiculous.

                  • burt

                    RedLogix

                    One more thing… That tiny 2% rise (over two years) … is just a tiny bit less than the rise 2003-2008 …

                    The rate of climb gets sharper on a graph were going up is good and that’s bad…

                    I think you need a cup of Tea RedLogix, I’ll put the kettle on… drop over and lets have a laugh about this.

                    • RedLogix

                      A slow sustained 2% rise in Wages Share during a major business boom while GDP was rising rapidly is a pretty good result.

                      A sharp 2% rise in Wages Share during a massive global financial crisis when GDP was sharply falling is a total fail.

                      Have a long hard think about it over your gingernuts.

                    • burt

                      GDP never rose rapidly under Labour. Taxes and spending did. Govt spending growth out stripped GDP growth and CPI – the economy tanked – who would have guessed.

                    • burt

                      RedLogix

                      Roger supplied a good graph;

                      http://www.rbnz.govt.nz/keygraphs/Fig2.html

                      It shows GDP basically trending down from about ’00 till about ’08 where it dived. ( ’00 – ’07 what happened then…. apparently we were booming !)

                      Put that graph next to Zet’s, and he seems to be saying falling GDP is good. Your comments that a sharp rise when National came into office is bad because it turns down again seems to be saying that GDP recovering is bad.

                      Please explain.

                    • McFlock

                      lol.
                      It shows the average annual % growth in GDP decreasing, in line with Aus and US real GDP trends.
                      It does not show GDP “trending down”. It shows an internationally comparable trend.

                    • burt

                      McFlock

                      It shows the average annual % growth in GDP decreasing, in line with Aus and US real GDP trends.

                      That pretty red line (that’s NZ) starts above the other lovely colours and ends below them over that period. Yes we won the race to recession – guess we need to celebrate something…

                    • McFlock

                      Burt. Look at it again.

                      Firstly, 1% growth =/= “recession”. If it did, Beemer Blinglish triple-downgrade double dipton would be “Beemer Blinglish triple-downgrade double-dipping double depression”.

                      Secondly, You’re cherry-picking the one dip in 06-07, when really the full term in office counts. Plus the economic context, so that would include the bit under National around ’98 when the NZ economy stagnated but Aus and USA were on around 5% annual growth. It would also include the bit over the last couple of years under national when the economy shrank by almost 3%.

                    • burt

                      The bit around ’98. Yes, appalling GDP results from National, oh look Zetetic’s graph looks better there than under Labour till somewhere 2004-2006.

    • mik e 2.4

      less than 1% economic growth per annum Burt

  3. Colonial Viper 3

    Keiser Report – watch from 11:20 mins

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vs5wcj0IXnU

    Watch and weep peeps. Between themselves, the multi-millionaires and billionaires know exactly what they are doing.

  4. BLiP 4

    Remind me – how much money has the John Key led National Ltd™ government borrowed on our behalf over the last three years, and from whom?

    • Blighty 4.1

      $38 billion net.

      The amount of government debt held by foreigners has increased by over $22 billion (partially offset by growth in the foreign assets of the Cullen Fund and ACC Fund)

      • BLiP 4.1.1

        Cheers mate.

        So, $38 billion dollars, eh? I’ll bet the money changers were pleased. The interest on that tidy sum (plus the peripheral “set up costs”) will be titanic. And all this make-believe money to fund tax cuts for the rich at the outset of a significant and sustained international economic downturn; long-ago disproved, broken, and dangerous economics from last century trotted out at the behest of CrosbyTextor’s “network partners” and fronted by finance whizz John Key.

        Now, in 2011, I don’t know that there’s really that much to take back. Our Parliament has become the plaything of liars and incompetents, the only export that’s showing sustained growth is in the repatriated profit spreadsheet cell, and things are looking bleaker “going forward”. And it was all so painfully inevitable.

        Nah – never mind taking anything back: its not worth having. Time for something new.

        • Draco T Bastard 4.1.1.1

          I’ll bet the money changers were pleased.

          Them and the rich who got a risk free return for doing nothing.

      • mik e 4.1.2

        Blighty the Debt is going to peak at nearly $78billioon 2013 its going up at about a Billion a month barely keeping ahead of the amount that Bills English is borrowing

        • mik e 4.1.2.1

          At $1 and a 1/2 billion + a month actually faster than they are borrowing

          • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 4.1.2.1.1

            So you are now advocating no government spending? Finally, we are getting somewhere.

  5. Afewknowthetruth 5

    GDP is a faux measure of economic activity put in place by economists and elites who are completely detached from reality. GDP = Global Destruction Process, GDP = Global Deceit Paradigm (as explained in TEW).

    The constant references to GDP on The Standard have become utterly tiresome, particularly when the truth is pointed out repeatedly.

    GDP is irrelevant and needs to go. Of course those who have a vested interst in the extraction of wealth by ‘slaves’ and the transfer of that wealth to themselves will continue to promote the use of GDP. That starts to make me wonder just what the agenda of those who post articles is.

    Is The Standard just another outlet for promotion and promulgation of maintream dysfucntion?

    The only good thing we can say about GDP is that, despite all the manipulation to make it look much bigger than it actually is (as explained by Chris Martenson in Crash Course), it is falling as the economy shrinks.

    The other thing I find extraordinarily tedious is the constant comparison between NZ and Australia. The only reason Australia is able to obtain more bits of worthless paper and digits in computer systems than NZ is because Australians are digging up huge amounts of it, hauling it away on trucks and rail systems to the ports and exporting it to China etc. …. effectively fucking the planet we live on and fucking the environment locally.

    The entire economnic systems is fraudulent and is broken. We are currently witnessing the last desperation attempts to sustain the unsustainable via fracking, deep sea drilling, extraction of oil from tar sands etc., all of which severely exacerbate the environmental predicament.

    • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 5.1

      If you don’t like it, why don’t you stop coming?

      • Afewknowthetruth 5.1.1

        Gormless Fool

        For some of us there is a moral imperitive to challenge lies and tell the truth.

        I see from your well-chosen online name (Gormless = stupid or slow witted, Fool = a person who acts unwisely, jester or clown) you are incapable of comprehending the concept of moral imperitive.

        For you, life seems to be all about making inane, mocking comments. It’s all rather pathetic, of course, but I suppose we should show some pity on you if that is all you are capbale of.

        • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 5.1.1.1

          Well, at least I wasn’t such a prig as to choose a name which suggests I am one of the only people in the world who knew the truth.

          Which (apparently) is that George Bush blew up the WTC.

          • Ari 5.1.1.1.1

            It is actually possible for 9/11 truthers to have cogent opinions on other subjects, much the same way there are a few right-wingers with decent ideas on social policy.

            • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 5.1.1.1.1.1

              Ari, you fucking idiot. Can’t you see the truth?

  6. RedLogix 6

    And just to put this in perspective you want to keep in mind that the figures for New Zealand are especially low by international comparison.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wage_share

    or for an even more interesting read:

    http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/weo/2007/01/pdf/c5.pdf p.8

    In other words our wages share of GDP in the low 40% range is already miserably low compared to much of the rest of the world … the usual figure is something in the 55-70% range …or more.

  7. Jim 7

    I’m going to take issue with the idea that New Zealanders were ‘keeping up with the Joneses’. 

    One of the most noticeable things about economic comment in NZ is an ambivalence at best, about personal debt. The politics of personal debt is that it replaces wages as part of the trend to concentrate income (and wealth) in the pockets of the most wealthy.

    The political message of the paid banking voice heard on TV and radio pretends exactly that NZers have borrowed to keep up with the Joneses. But finance has swapped wages for credit as the way of diverting working people’s share of economic output to the most wealthy. People are being forced to shop in the company store, are getting their wages as truck, have been forced into debt peonage to put the mechanism into historical context. 

    Personal debt has, with continuing support from all of the political parties, returned as the most important way to extract rent from peoples’ work. We may well have borrowed to ‘buy’ our house, but there are few other choices to house ourselves other than ‘renting from the bank’. We may well have used our credit cards to buy a TV – such luxury. But credit cards are also used day-by-day hour-by-hour to buy food, transport to work, clothing, medicine, dental care, hospital care and everything else we need.

    Credit is how part of our wages get paid. Credit is the other side of forced rent collection pursued by banking. Unemployment and low wages have created the aggregate conditions that have let this happen.

    Political economists will have to start seriously talking about banking and finance. The trend to discard full employment as a central political aim and concentrate political attention on ‘doing the national accounts’, of prudent fiscal behaviour, simply reverses political energy away from the 99% to the collection of rents by the 1%. Occupy Wall Street is merely a political expression in the face of failure to do something about this by democratic politics.

    • aerobubble 7.1

      I don’t disagree. But the extract rents althought real isn’t what motivates the rich,
      rather the rich are like parasites who grow in times of excess to add pressure
      on the host and select better breed organisms. Oil has peaked, excess is over,
      the domiance of the parasite is over, they don’t select the best breed when they
      breed more of the organism – i.e. plague proportions. Debt was a con, yes,
      sure, but it was essential for western governments to soak up the Arabia
      gold flowing into western economies. Neo-liberalism is a product of its times.
      The old adage always applied, even at the height of expoitation by the wealthy,
      never be a debtor be. The rich can sure get rich by borrowing but they did so
      in very managed fashion with breaks to keep their hoard from being harmed.
      That battle is over, until a new form of cheap high energy fuel is found.
      We can feed, cloth, provide healthcare into old age of the whole human
      population and not make lots of excessive luxury yachts, fast cars, pollution,
      but this requires government that interfere in the market and aren’t
      distorted by lobby groups peddling specific interests… …but this won’t
      change until we have a crisis, a massive one that teaches a generation
      to grow the frak up. It never lasts, the youth will always rebel, and
      its certainly note worthly that the generation who did rebel againsts
      the war generation are the ones that have led neo-liberalism to its apex
      and refutation. Boomers.

      • Jim 7.1.1

        I’m a boomer. I’m one of the people born when the birth rate for a while moved upwards out of trend. The birth rate is returning to trend I hear. That’s not got a lot to do with neo-lib politics. Not when for example, many neo-libs were born outside of the years of upward trending birth rate. Being a boomer I guess was caused by my dad’s sperm entering my mum’s egg & her pregnancy being brought successfully to term. I’ve never been a neo-lib. I’m glad. I’m much more shaped by Keynes and welfare thinking, which is quite a paradox for you to explain.

    • Colonial Viper 7.2

      But finance has swapped wages for credit as the way of diverting working people’s share of economic output to the most wealthy.

      Indeed, this is the scam as described by Marxian economist Richard Wolff.

      rdwolff.com

      Corporates and capitalists divert a larger share of national income to themselves by suppressing wages and employment.

      They then lend that extra money (which they would previously have had to pay in wages) back to workers and the underclass and charge interest on it.

      In addition, the extra financial resources gives the capitalist class even more influence over the media and politics of a country, while the working class and under class have ever less time and resources to participate in political life.

      In other words, wage and employment suppression don’t just fuck ordinary people once or twice, it screws them down over and over and over again.

      Time for democratic ownership of our economy by workers.

  8. queenstfarmer 8

    Instead of “us versus them” sloganeering (e.g. the title of this post) I would like to see a party propose real incentives for employee ownership schemes. At the moment, there are huge barriers in place for such schemes.

    Employee ownership can be a real win-win, because it gives workers a direct stake in the business, provides an investment besides just a wage, promotes financial literacy, etc. They are very common in tech startups overseas. With the right laws in place, they could be really encouraged here.

    The previous and current Govts have made modest improvements but more should be done.

    • mik e 8.1

      So youll be voting UF QSF thats been their policy since 1996 peters to it would be far simpler to adopt the aussie super scheme

      • queenstfarmer 8.1.1

        Did not know it was UF policy. If so, Peter Dunne has been pretty useless in implementing / promoting it – he’s been Revenue Minister for ages, which is the right portfolio to do this kind of thing.

    • insider 8.2

      Yes I’m sure all those employees with ownership of Enron were really glad they had them….

      As an employee I would have to balance the risk of investing and working within the same enterprise with the opportunities I see for it and willingness to contribute more. Eggs in the one basket vs high reward for effort. But maybe I’d prefer cash up front instead so that I can do with what I will.

      • queenstfarmer 8.2.1

        Yes I’m sure all those employees with ownership of Enron were really glad they had them

        And I’m sure those employees who opted for shares in Microsoft, Apple, Google, Facebook, Twitter, etc are really unhappy.

        It’s about giving employees the choice to invest in the place they work. Like all investments, there is always some risk (unless you are David Cunliffe, who wants the Govt to borrow millions to invest in shares because he thinks shares are guaranteed to outperform the interest costs).

        The point is that the Govt should make it easy for those firms and employees who want to take a stake. Marx was on to something when he talked of workers to having some ownership of the means of production.

  9. joe90 9

    Seems like record corporate profits are killing small businesses too.

  10. Oligarkey 10

    Gormless – but there are only a few thousand of us who know what’s going on. Want to become one of them? Here’s the picture in a nut shell. Wall stret banks and CIA are hand in glove – most of the CIA’s heirachy over the last 50 years has been hand-picked from one of the main wall street banks. The CIA uses international crime cyndicates to distribute arms for their dirty covert wars, mostly in exchange for drugs (mostly heroine and cocaine) which are sold domestically to protected US-based crime syndicates. The money raised from the sale of the drugs, which is estimated to be about $700 billion per year, is laundered through CIA affiliate Wall St banks, which are exempted from auditing.

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

    The diplomatic, intelligence and security heirachy of all western countries are international in character, and all belong to the same secret societies as the CIA-wall street cabal.

    Over the last 80 years they have been consolidating their power to the degree that they will soon have the ability to overtly sieze absolute power. All the while, slack jawed lollie gagers such as yourself piss in the wind with your silly litte games. But it won’t be funny when you’re just another slave with no civil liberties.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c6ZD4HqxQIY

    That’s enough information to show you what’s happening. Read ‘em and weep.

    • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 10.1

      K.

    • Lanthanide 10.2

      What is their motivation for overtly claiming power when they are apparently the power behind the throne that 99.99% of people have no clue about anyway?

      Where’s the reward for that huge risk?

    • higherstandard 10.3

      Rogernome having a foam ?

  11. johnm 11

    Yes, Workers have taken a permanent pay cut so that the shareholders and business owners do really well. Then there is a gargantuan wealth and cash surplus what to do with it? Well invest in property and other bubbles and lend the money back to the workers as credit so you get richer with interest added on! Meanwhile start dismantling the social wage and quality of life with tax cuts making the sucker workers happier for awhile while they start to pay with reduced services and amenities.

    NOW! When the Ponzi scheme goes bust don’t take the hit reducing your precious wealth get your government mates(Who are in the same rort with you) to bail you out using the taxes paid by those same sucker workers. Brilliant!!! The workers pay 3 ways (Like Porn!) 1. Lower wages 2. reduced social provision 3. reduced investment for them as they have to pay for the rich’s cock ups!

    All the while our lords and masters ponce around as if they have some divine right which many of the sucker masses suck on with relish!

    Maybe the rich do have more brains after all!?

  12. Afewknowthetruth 12

    We need a new tab for ‘Occupy’ updates.

    Today’s Daily News item on the NP awareness group attempted to downplay the size of the group (just two when in fact there are many) and to portray the people involved as misguided no-hopers.

    The editorial by Gordon Brown was nothing short of appalling -essentially a whole load of neuro-linguistic programming, social labeling, marginisation, a version of how dare they challenge the hand that feeds them corporate bullshit, followed up with some promotion of off-shore oil drilling and corporate rugby. No surpirses there, eh Gordon?.

    NPDC attempted to get heavy with the group this morning, threatening eviction on the basis of ill-defined breaches of ill-defined regulations. I went to the council offices with a couple of the group today and deflected the bullying tactics, pointing out the ‘Awareness Group’ are not breaching any regulations, whereas the council had been when it authorised certain RWC activities. Needless to say, no surprises at the hypocrisy of NPDC.

    The focus right now is to move away from the ‘protester’ stereotype label and develop an ‘awareness/provider of information ‘ label and point out that these people are raising awareness of issues that are affecting EVERYONE and will affected everyone much more in the near future.

    Andrew Little was well received by the group.

    Jonathan Young (National sitting MP) on the other hand, proved to be a tosser he always is, and quickly ran for cover, avoiding all inconvenient questions -the coward that he is. No surprises there. In that respect he lis just like all the National MPs; happy to parade around town with their minders but when it comes to anything of substance their gone in a flash. Indeed, I’m yet to see any Natioanl MP or district councillors front up to any proper discussion of the issues of our times.

    • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 12.1

      We need a new tab for ‘Occupy’ updates.

      Fuck you are bossy. Is this what paradise will look like once you are in charge?

  13. big bruv 13

    Ah yes, payback time.

    Labour taking NZ back to the [Deleted] days of compulsory unionism.

    Thank goodness we will not see this policy become law.

    [You haven't earned enough respect around here to use that word...RL]

    • Draco T Bastard 13.1

      Ah, and here’s BB complaining about the possibility that everyone be treated with respect and be paid adequately for the work that they do.

      • big bruv 13.1.1

        Those who work well are treated with respect.

        NZ does not need union scum stuffing up the workplace and sending us back to the bad old days of the 70′s.

        Need an example?, how about Qantas and they way the … unions are threatening that airline.

        [You simply don't have enough runs on the board around here to get away with pointless abuse. ...RL]

        • big bruv 13.1.1.1

          Still trying to silence those who dare speak out against the corrupt left are you RL?

          BTW, been around to see your mate Philip Field have you?

          [You've had any amount of oxygen here to express your ideas. However much of what you deliver is pointless, nasty bullying abuse that derails and shouts down the discussion. But the moment you are called on to moderate your behaviour you start whining about being 'silenced'. This is not your site, you can express yourself however you wish elsewhere, but here at The Standard I'm offering you a choice. Control yourself or I will impose a long ban. It's up to you...RL]

  14. Herodotus 14

    So we need a radical change – and what do we get from Labour ? Status quo.
    mondayising holidays- How many workers does this exclude from receiving a holiday as they do not work Mondays. From Labours site the EPMU gives us some examples.. those in hospitality and retail. From searching there is no link to what % of our workforce do not work Mondays,. I can think of more reasons to split the days that a holiday is observed and still achieve a long weekend than just going for the easy solution of Mondayising. For a start splitting allows for a greater variety of occupations to benefit from some of the stat days. Instead of an all or nothing basis. At least Grant Robertson approached the subject.
    Of the 1 stat days there is potential for 8 of these to be on a Monday. Only Good Friday and one of the 2 days Christmas/Boxing and New Years and the Day after cannot be on a Monday. Lets be fair and share the stat days around.
    http://blog.labour.org.nz/index.php/2010/05/29/mondayising-anzac-day-and-waitangi-day/

    • Draco T Bastard 14.1

      You’re a bit behind the times.

      • Herodotus 14.1.1

        I read that- Just I still cannot see any reason why “Mondayising” these 2 days is any improvement that Fridayising? I am open to being persuaded as to why Monday is any better.
        In anly year 4 days are definetely Mionday (Easter, Auck Anni,Labour and Queens B’day) with the potential of 2-3 others . And like this year there is only 9% of them falling on a Friday.
        Also Lab wanted $15/hr last year should in not now be more than $15 as 2 years will have passde (at least?) before Lab has any influence?
        Also if I was being mischievous nat has kept the % of GDP higher than at any time than the last Lab govt !! This is where stats can be used to misinformation !! 8-) But I do know better !! haha

        • Draco T Bastard 14.1.1.1

          Also if I was being mischievous nat has kept the % of GDP higher than at any time than the last Lab govt !!

          WTF are you smoking?

          Red Alert

          Yeah, see that big graph at the top? It shows GDP down by 3.2% per capita.

          As for the Mondayising – well, there’s actually a lot that needs to be done with statuary holidays and they have to start somewhere.

          • Herodotus 14.1.1.1.1

            DTB the graph associated with the post shows that since around 08 the % of wages to GDP has grown, from around 42% in 08 to over 45% currently. So the pie has shrunk, but we the workers are have increased our share !!! We still starve !!!
            And re the redalert graph- Review the breakdown of where this growth occurred and what was of a substainable nature. Approx 5% of GPD is building/construction, after the bubble has (almost) burst with housing starts about 35% of what they once were – due to obscene price increases for a home, what did you expect. that alone accounts for the drop in GDP. At least the houses, schools etc currently being built wont rot as quick as those that were previously built and assisted in the GDP growth.
            We in NZ imported low inflation and imported growth in the building industry with immigration not scene since the early 70′s. We cannot just keep importing short term solutions, it is the same as continual borrowing to pay for today. NZ requires a momential change in our outlook and solutions. Lab still follows ther same neolib as Nat except we keep our power coys ( so a tick for Lab there) using some common sense at least.

  15. John 15

    The whole work contract is stale, employees (the majority) are confused and unhappy. The stats pretty solidly for the last 10 years have around fifty percent of employees (the majority of the participants of our economic struggle ) looking to move to a better workplace. That’s a stat that is worringing on so many levels, the modern workplace is a place of bullying and ego and most want a place to work but not under such thoughtless and dim conditions.

    • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 15.1

      Yet it never occurred to the employees to start their own businesses? Too hard I guess.

  16. Anton 16

    Great for workers – that’s good. But where’s Labour’s social security policy? Can we expect more nasty Brashkey-like attacks on the poorest of the poor like we had between 1999 and 2008? Deathly silence yet again from our gutless hypocrites Goff, King, Mallard and Dyson. Off with their heads, lying gutless bastards.

    • Afewknowthetruth 16.1

      Anton.

      ‘gutless hypocrites Goff, King, Mallard and Dyson. Off with their heads, lying gutless bastards.’

      Well said. I’m in total agreement. Labour needs to start from scratch with some people who have knowledge and integrity -both of which are missing from the criminals you have named. Add Parker to that list.

  17. randal 17

    more garbage from the geeks who think being in power is the ability to fix parking tickets.

    the Right has the nasty habit of inflicting legislation on the whole population that takes much effort to roll back and repeal.
    iTS not as easy as it seems. Even boscawen had to give up because it was too hard.

  18. Jum 18

    Can you believe the crap they come out with on TV1?

    Giving workers a minimum wage of $15, cancelling the destructive 90day sacking employment bill and signalling other sensible and fair working conditions for working people is, according to the idiot on TV1 news just now, the ploy for Goff to get the top job!!

    That’s odd – I thought that was just the usual thing for Labour to help working people.

  19. randal 19

    Well the ggeks at TV1 have all got nice jobs with locked in pay and conditions and here they are complaining because others want the same.
    No wonder they shill for John Keys and the national party.
    They just greedy f*ckers.

    • burt 19.1

      They are mad, the crazy mothers don’t agree with such a credible leader that the Labour party can rearrange, regulate, control and well manage the workings of the wage economy for half the population – without stuffing it all up. Fools, idiots of little faith – they are not comrades of ours randal.

Links to post

Important links

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Can fracking save the climate?
    Blogging is a great way MPs can communicate and engage with citizens about the issues facing us. I have joined The Daily Blog blogging team and have so far posted on Anadarko’s failure to find oil and a piece outlining...
    frogblog | 17-04
  • New Fisk
    A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A forgotten naval victory in which even Nature played a part...
    No Right Turn | 17-04
  • Labour’s manufacturing plan
    David Cunliffe has launched Labour's policy to get more manufacturing jobs back in New Zealand: Labour leader David Cunliffe launched the policy to an Auckland business audience this morning, adding the depreciation and procurement policies to the known suite of...
    Polity | 17-04
  • Easter PT shutdown
    It’s Easter weekend and that invariably means the rail network is shut down for works. Auckland Transport advises the rail network will be closed for Easter and there are changes to timetables for buses and ferries during the holiday break....
    Transport Blog | 17-04
  • Another perspective on the postgraduate allowance cuts
    I have already shared two stories from psychology students about how the postgraduate allowance cuts have affected them. These stories demonstrate the widespread impact the changes are having. Here is yet another story I have received, this one giving the...
    frogblog | 17-04
  • Against secret "justice" in NZ
    Last year, in response to a series of court cases challenging its control orders or claiming compensation for human rights abuses by its intelligence services, the UK passed the Justice and Security Act 2013. The Act introduces a "Closed Material...
    No Right Turn | 17-04
  • Massey chancellor sets up company in opposition to university
    Massey Chancellor Chris Kelly will chair the board of a company that intends to be New Zealand’s largest private training provider (PTE)...
    TEU | 16-04
  • Gibbs, Hayek, Canterbury and the free market for degrees
    The New Zealand Herald notes that philanthropist Alan Gibbs is about to receive an honorary doctorate from the University of Canterbury today. One of the many institutions Alan Gibbs has donated his money to...
    TEU | 16-04
  • Hard News: Friday Music: Record Store Day
    As readers will know, I have long embraced the internet music revolution. The ability to discover and download new things pretty much as they're being made has reinvented and refreshed my lifelong relationship with popular music. But I still really...
    Public Address | 16-04
  • Great Sorkin Parody
    Aaron Sorkin (SportsNight, The West Wing, The Newsroom) makes a very particular style of TV. Some good parts to that, some really silly parts. Amy Schumer' Comedy Central parody of Sorkin is pitch-prefect and hilarious. Enjoy: Inside Amy SchumerGet More:...
    Polity | 16-04
  • Photographic proof
    Deborah asked for a picture of my bicycle, after I wrote about it, and there is now one in existence which even includes me riding it along Mt Albert Rd, thanks to a dear friend who drove past me and...
    The Hand Mirror | 16-04
  • Our future lies in science
    This is not a column on global warming, climate change or whether humans are or aren’t having an impact....
    Pundit | 16-04
  • Gordon Campbell on drone strikes and Judith Collins‘ last stand
    Reportedly, US drone operators refer to their kills as “bug splat” – mainly because when the carnage is viewed on their screens thousands of kilometres away at home, it looks like an insect strike on a windscreen. The name has...
    Gordon Campbell | 16-04
  • Revealed: Steven Joyce’s select committee submission
    Dear Education Select Committee, Well, there are less than two weeks for people to get their submissions in to you on my proposals to remove staff and students from university and wānanga councils. You...
    TEU | 16-04
  • World News Brief, Thursday April 17
    Top of the AgendaTensions Rise in Ukraine’s East Ahead of Talks...
    Pundit | 16-04
  • Northern Europe looks to end fixed-term agreements for academics
    Long strings of fixed term employment agreements are not just a problem here in New Zealand but Sweden too, according to Education International. But the Swedish Association of University Teachers (SULF) has a plan to solve this. It is turning...
    TEU | 16-04
  • At Last: A Manufacturing Policy
    Date of Release: Thursday, April 17, 2014Body:  FIRST Union congratulates Labour on the release of its Manufacturing policy today.The union represents workers in the wood, food and textile manufacturing sectors. “In a week that has seen another manufacturing company, Christchurch Yarns, go into...
    First Union Media | 16-04
  • Collins: More contemptible lying
    Yesterday, Judith Collins treated New Zealand's media and people as if we were all complete fools. Here is what she said (via this morning's Herald): Ms Collins said she was unaware Oravida was having any problems getting its products into...
    Polity | 16-04
  • The Downside of Park and Ride
    Flicking back through older Atlantic Cities posts led to one from last year about Park and Ride catching my eye. It’s a fairly well reasoned cautionary tale which highlights the pitfalls and potential perverse outcomes from something that would appear...
    Transport Blog | 16-04
  • Heartland logic: More people have heard of Fidel Castro than Michael Mann, ...
    This is a guest post from Narahani.   Or is happening and is good for you, or has stopped happening, or is caused by CO2 but only a little, or is about to reverse due to lots of yet-to-be-discovered negative...
    Skeptical Science | 16-04
  • Submission
    Below is my draft submission on the Environmental Reporting Bill. I'm primarily interested in the freedom of information issues; I expect other groups to be focused on the reporting itself. I support the aims of the Environmental Reporting Bill of...
    No Right Turn | 16-04
  • Government’s ‘rock star economy’ throws hospital staff ou...
    The Public Service Association says administrative staff at hospitals around the country are missing out on Bill English’s ‘rock star...
    PSA | 16-04
  • Lip service: it’s all climate action ever gets from Key & Co
    As expected, the New Zealand government’s response to the IPCC’s Working Group 3 report on mitigating climate change pays lip service to the science, while maintaining that NZ is doing all that can be expected. Climate change minister Tim Groser’s...
    Hot Topic | 16-04
  • Progress of FCV “slave ships” Bill is good news – but much work remai...
    The Maritime Union of New Zealand says the progress of the “slave ships” Bill in the New Zealand Parliament is good news – but much work remains to be done....
    MUNZ | 16-04
  • Judith Collins’ reputation dependent on Slater’s scandals
    Judith Collins' reputation as the possible next leader of the National party is in shreds. Her reputation as a minister of the crown in the Key owned National party caucus is in tatters. A resignation is the only honorable thing...
    the Irascible Curmudgeon | 16-04
  • Photo of the Day: Red III
    Learning Your Stripes, 2013, Regan Gentry, Papatoetoe. Commissioned by Auckland Council aer  ...
    Transport Blog | 16-04
  • The cost of tax cheats
    How much do corporate tax cheats cost? In the US, over US$180 billion a year:US taxpayers would need to pay an average of $1,259 more a year to make up the federal and state taxes lost to corporations and individuals...
    No Right Turn | 16-04
  • Cats cavorting through capital – Morgan
    The capital’s cats are cavorting through Wellington properties at a rate of 49 million trespasses a year, according to a new study by anti-cat campaigner Gareth Morgan. Island Bay and the rest of the Southern Ward turned out to be...
    Gareth’s World | 16-04
  • “Stick to your knitting”…Gratuitous insult from Minister Groser to NZ...
    Climate Minister Groser continues to insult the New Zealand people – this time through our leading scientists. On Monday the IPCC released Working Group III’s section of its 5th Assessment Report.  Building on Group I (science) and II (impact), this...
    frogblog | 16-04
  • Needlessly shitty
    Parliament has been rejecting select committee submissions for not being written in English or Maori:The Health Select Committee is rejecting 60 submissions against plain packaging legislation because they were made in neither English nor Maori. [...] Committee chairman, National MP...
    No Right Turn | 16-04
  • Fiji: Hoist by his own petard?
    Last year Fijian dictator Voreqe Bainimarama tried to ban political parties in an effort to limit opposition in the lead-up to promised elections. A key part of the crackdown was a ban on political campaigning by anyone who wasn't a...
    No Right Turn | 16-04
  • The first victim!
    It is well established that the first victim in war is truth. Mind you the dispatch of truth usually comes well before the shooting starts. I have a personal interest in Ukraine and the dispatch of truth occurred for me...
    Open Parachute | 16-04
  • Key makes it up on “fat tax”
    Today John Key rejected suggestions that a tax on sugary drinks could save dozens of lives a year. Why? Read on: The New Zealand Medical Journal reported in February that a 20 per cent tax on sugary soft drinks would...
    Polity | 16-04
  • Workers support plain packaging of tobacco
    The CTU have today presented to the health select committee in support of plain packaging of tobacco. Photo:  ...
    CTU | 16-04
  • Labour focuses on minor transport issues
    Labour released a small part of their transport policy yesterday and frankly it’s absolute rubbish with it seemingly designed just to target a handful of complainers. You can get a good feel for what they’re aiming at when the policy...
    Transport Blog | 16-04
  • Lincoln cleaners outsourced
    Lincoln University will outsource its staff to an as yet undecided cleaning company, but TEU organiser Cindy Doull says it’s not worth it, and what money the university might save is negligible. “We’re disappointed... The post Lincoln cleaners outsourced appeared...
    TEU | 15-04
  • Gordon Campbell on the life and ACC work of Sir Owen Woodhouse
    With the death of Sir Owen Woodhouse, the founding father of the Accident Compensation Scheme, New Zealand has lost one of the titans of its post-war social policy. In its original incarnation in the early 1970s, ACC had been a...
    Gordon Campbell | 15-04
  • Cat cameras reveal surprising results
    Remember Gareth Morgan calling your cat a natural born killer or Zealandia a pet food factory? Well, he’s not backing down on his campaign to rid or restrain cats.  He wanted to prove that your property is visited by lots...
    Gareth’s World | 15-04
  • Access: Disability, identity and the internet
    The internet has enabled communication on a level that could never have been imagined before the "digital era". Individuals with even the most complex identities and niche interests can find like-minded people with whom to virtually congregate. People with disabilities...
    Public Address | 15-04
  • 2014 SkS News Bulletin #3: IPCC Report (WG III)
    Averting catastrophe is eminently affordable Climate experts sound the alarm Climate protection a 'task that can be solved' Climate report finds UN emissions target not out of reach IPCC report summary censored by governments around the world 'Modest hope' to...
    Skeptical Science | 15-04
  • Collins: The charade is getting silly
    via your New Zealand Herald this morning: Justice Minister Judith Collins' Beijing dinner with Oravida boss Stone Shi and a senior Chinese border control official came after the company made a formal request to New Zealand ministers to intervene with...
    Polity | 15-04
  • ‘Dr N’ Case Raises Question about NZ’s Abortion Laws
    By Sabrina Muck Dr N, a doctor working in a rural area with 30 years’ experience, was suspended for six months for illegally prescribing the medication misoprostol (Cytotec) to four patients in a manner contrary to legal pregnancy termination procedures...
    ALRANZ | 15-04
  • Safer driving will lead to cheaper insurance
    Warning, this post may sound a bit like an advertisement. Last week I got invited to find out a new product from Tower insurance that’s launching today that they hope will not only lower car insurance costs but also help...
    Transport Blog | 15-04
  • A statement from David Cunliffe
    Labour's leader talks about the issues that matter....
    Imperator Fish | 15-04
  • Feed: Grandpa’s Kitchen
    A huge dog-leg of a section,  2 Saulbrey Grove, off White's Line West in Woburn, is the largest remaining piece of the old Saulbrey family farm and the site of the magnificent red-brick house built by my grandfaher, Jack Saulbrey. When I used...
    Public Address | 15-04
  • Miss out on tickets to the EMU launch?
    Did you miss out on tickets to be one of the first to ride electric trains next weekend and do you want some? If so then you may be in luck. Auckland Transport have given me three double passes to...
    Transport Blog | 15-04
  • Photo of the Day: Red II
    Eyelight Lane by Swedish artist David Svensson, commissioned by Auckland Council. Photographs by Patrick Reynolds....
    Transport Blog | 15-04
  • Touting for the donors
    Judith Collins has been coming under renewed pressure in Parliament over her endorsement of (and secret meetings with Chinese customs officials on behalf of) her husband's company Oravida. Meanwhile, John Key says he's perfectly comfortable with it. No wonder -...
    No Right Turn | 15-04
  • Divert excessive weapon spending to achieve clean energy future
    According to new figures released on Monday, last year a whopping US$1747 billion was spent on armies across the world. Modest decreases in spending in austerity hit Western Europe and reduced spending in the US, which is still the biggest spender...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 15-04
  • Whaleoil dishonestly accuses Helen Clark of dishonesty
      I suppose dishonestly reporting that someone else has behaved dishonestly could be regarded as a wonderful example of irony. But if the dishonesty of the reporter is transparent then it’s also a wonderful example of crass stupidity. Either way,...
    Brian Edwards | 15-04
  • Smith sells state P-houses to first home buyers
    Nick Smith must reassure worried first home buyers that any Housing NZ houses sold under his First Home policy will be tested for P contamination after revelations that three out of seven properties sold in Wanganui tested positive for methamphetamine,...
    Labour | 17-04
  • PM’s China visit assisted Oravida, not Fonterra
    Questions must now be asked whether it was Fonterra or Oravida who really benefited from the Prime Minister’s recent visit to China, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “Before his departure, John Key said he would wait until all...
    Labour | 16-04
  • New Zealand’s use of ozone depleting gases increases
    A new Government report highlights that the amount of ozone depleting gases New Zealand is using is increasing, the Green Party said today.The report tabled in Parliament yesterday shows that total use of ozone depleting gases in New Zealand has...
    Greens | 16-04
  • Manufacturing Upgrade
    Labour is determined to support and grow our manufacturing sector. These policies grew out of the findings of the 2013 Parliamentary Inquiry into Manufacturing.  ...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Collins must admit misleading Parliament
    ACC Minister Judith Collins must front up and admit she has misled Parliament over ACC’s policy to stop paying compensation to clients who refused to fill in its privacy form, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. “Judith Collins claimed Labour...
    Labour | 16-04
  • English confirms he has no plan to raise wages
    Finance Minister Bill English has confirmed he has absolutely no plans to lift wages, Labour’s spokesperson on Labour Issues, Andrew Little says. “Bill English told the Chamber of Commerce yesterday that workers could expect a rise in average income of...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Govt careless and callous about threatened birds
    The National Government is increasing the threat to two of the world's most threatened and unique birds by opening up Victoria Forest Park to petroleum drilling, the Green Party said today.Scientists have recently published a ranking of the 100 most...
    Greens | 16-04
  • Genesis: The biggest fire sale of them all
    National has finished its asset sales with a massive bonfire of a fire sale, showing once and for all how much of a disaster this programme was, says Labour’s SOEs spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove. “Just 68,000 Kiwis bought shares in Genesis,...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Interest rates rise but only smokes increasing
    Mortgage rate rises are making life harder for homeowners, and many of them will be surprised the latest CPI figures show inflation would be zero were it not for tobacco tax hikes, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “New Zealanders...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Term One Report Card for Hekia Parata
    Assignment Teacher’s Comments Grade      ...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Hekia Parata kept exam book errors from schools
    Schools will be appalled to learn Education Minister Hekia Parata knew since January that hundreds of exam booklets had been returned to the wrong students but said nothing about it, Labour’s Education Spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Exams are stressful enough...
    Labour | 15-04
  • What has ACC Minister been doing?
    The ACC Minister needs to front up and explain what, if any, changes she has made to the broken culture of ACC rather than denying that she has any part to play in the dysfunction of her Ministry, the Green...
    Greens | 15-04
  • Promise of jam tomorrow takes the cake
    A claim by Minister of Finance Bill English that average wages will climb by $7,500 over the next four years is a cynical promise of jam tomorrow by a government whose record on wage growth is atrocious, Labour spokesperson on...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Judith Collins has to fess up on ACC blunder
    ACC Minster Judith Collins must front up and tell New Zealand how many people who refused to hand over their private details to ACC have been denied cover, says Labour’s ACC Spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “The legality of ACC’s privacy waver,...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Board of Inquiry conditions will save rivers in New Zealand
    The Ruataniwha dam decision released today has protected the Tukituki River and dashed the Government’s hope of the “one nutrient model” (TRIM) being adopted nationwide, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson. “It is a massive victory for those in the...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Labour turns wheels for cycling safety
    With more than a million New Zealanders now using cycling as an attractive alternative means of transport it is past time their safety was taken seriously, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Darien Fenton says. Due to speak to a cycling rally at...
    Labour | 15-04
  • SPEECH: Institute of Directors
    LEADING AND MANAGING OUR ECONOMIC FUTURE David Cunliffe MP, Labour Leader Speech to the Institute of Directors 15 April 2014, Auckland It's a privilege to be speaking here. The Institute of Directors has a proud history of developing New Zealand's...
    Labour | 15-04
  • More Oravida endorsements from John Key
    The use of a picture of John Key in an advertisement for Oravida’s scampi products in a Chinese airline magazine is further evidence of an unhealthily cosy relationship between the National Party and this company, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says....
    Labour | 15-04
  • Workers at Canterbury Yarns need redundancy support
    Workers faced with redundancy at Canterbury Yarns need a redundancy support co-ordinator, Green Party industrial relations spokesperson Denise Roche said today.Last week, Canterbury Yarns was placed in receivership. Canterbury Yarns joins a long list of New Zealand manufacturers who have...
    Greens | 14-04
  • Making the holidays easier for Kiwi drivers
    The next Labour Government will make the holidays easier and journeys quicker for Kiwi families driving on the roads, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “There’s nothing Kiwis like more than getting on the road and going on holiday. But on...
    Labour | 14-04
  • Ae Marika! 15 April 2014
    Our MANA AGM down in Rotorua on the weekend was a sold-out affair – even the media were struggling to get in! Political conferences can be very dull, but not this one. We had a great line-up of speakers including...
    Mana | 14-04
  • Green light from Labour for cancer screening programme
    Labour Leader David Cunliffe has today committed to a national bowel screening programme, starting with extending the current service to the Southern and Waikato districts. “Around 3000 New Zealanders develop bowel cancer each year and about 1200, or 100 a month,...
    Labour | 14-04
  • Adequate resourcing needed for victims’ advocate
    The establishment of a victims’ commissioner role will only be meaningful if it is properly resourced to do the job of advocating for victims’ interests, Labour Justice spokesperson Andrew Little says. Justice Minister Judith Collins has just recently indicated her...
    Labour | 13-04
  • IPCC report shows Government ignoring climate experts
    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) report into climate mitigation, just released in Berlin, shows the National Government is ignoring the pleas of the world's best climate scientists.The report says deep and fast emission cuts are vital from all...
    Greens | 13-04
  • Japan’s quick turnaround on whaling disappointing
    News that Japan plans to recommence some form of “scientific” whaling programme so quickly after the International Court of Justice’s ruling against it is very disappointing, says David Shearer, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson. “New Zealanders expected the ICJ ruling -...
    Labour | 13-04
  • Reviewable tenancies will increase risks for vulnerable children
    Instead of kicking families out of their homes if they can pay their rent, parents with young children should have the opportunity to purchase equity in a state-built home over time, the Green Party said todayFrom July, Housing New Zealand...
    Greens | 13-04
  • 48,000 New Zealanders drinking faecally contaminated water
    Some 48,000 people were provided with water that had issues with faecal contamination, 18,000 of whom were from Canterbury, the Green Party said today. The Ministry of Health's Annual Report on Drinking-Water in New Zealand for 2012/13 shows that 48,000...
    Greens | 12-04
  • Labour will move to save the Kauri
    Labour will spend $20 million over the next 10 years to stop the spread of Kauri dieback disease, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “We are facing an ecological disaster with over 11 per cent of the Kauri trees in the...
    Labour | 12-04
  • SPEECH: Saving our Kauri
    Seech notes Good morning. Thank you for joining us here today. As a West Auckland MP I am very aware the kauri is an important part of this place. The Waitakere Ranges with their thousands of kauri, are a taonga....
    Labour | 12-04
  • MANA to continue negotiations with the Internet Party
    The MANA AGM has decided unanimously tonight to continue negotiaitions with the Internet Party. Within a month further negotiations, further consultation with MANA branches and a final decision on whether to proceed with a relationship is expected....
    Mana | 12-04
  • National’s tax dodge
      National’s insistence that it is cracking down on tax dodgers is little more than a bit of election year chest beating, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “Revenue Minister Todd McClay surely doesn’t believe collecting $100 million of an estimated...
    Labour | 12-04
  • Housing prices go up – Gens X & Y give up
    Today’s REINZ report shows house prices continue skyward while first home buyers are dropping out of the market, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “According to the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand the national median house price has risen...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Do Key and Adams support Chorus appeal?
    John Key and Amy Adams must tell New Zealanders whether they support Chorus’ appeal of the High Court’s ruling in favour of the Commerce Commission, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “Chorus’ appeal is a waste of time. The company is...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Is Judith Collins unapologising
    Judith Collins appears to have retracted her apology for failing to disclose her meet