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Wealth creators

Written By: - Date published: 7:48 am, August 27th, 2011 - 79 comments
Categories: capitalism, class war, socialism - Tags: ,

Dr Campbell Jones (Senior Lecturer in Sociology, University of Auckland) had an excellent piece in the Dom Post yesterday.  Some extracts are below, but the whole article is well worth a read.

The secret to making money

Who creates wealth?

Last month we learned that the “wealth creators” of this country have done remarkably well, in spite of the global economic situation. We were told in the National Business Review’s annual rich list that this is cause for celebration, given the wealth of the 151 richest individuals “has climbed a pleasing $7 billion from last year to sit at $45.2 billion, the highest ever”.

We also learned that over the last year incomes for most fell in real terms, and that 17 per cent of primary school children sometimes or always miss breakfast.

How best to understand that these things are possible at the same time? For some, there is nothing that can be done. We must simply live with this situation. Indeed, those concerned about these increasingly unequal distributions of wealth, income, power and privilege have been dismissed as “tall poppy bashers” or as being motivated by “envy”.

Central to such dismissal is the idea that whoever has wealth has created it by and for themselves. This sounds like meritocracy, that is, the idea that whoever puts in an effort merits reward. But this is meritocracy on its head. It assumes that just because someone is rewarded, they deserve that reward. This false meritocracy need not look at what anyone actually does. It reads reality backwards, imagining that those who have wealth are by definition the ones who have created it. …

Wealth is not created out of nothing. Wealth is not produced merely by the ideas or actions of isolated individuals. We produce things of value through our action on the material world and through the application of science and technology and the skill of social cooperation to that action. And as anyone who works knows, we work with others and for others in order to produce things of value. …

79 comments on “Wealth creators”

  1. whistlerspa 1

    It’s seems pretty obvious to me. Living in a finite world with limited resources, if one person or group becomes more ‘wealthy’ and has more, others must become poorer and have less

    • mik e 1.1

      Speculative investing is not covered in his naive spin

    • aerobubble 1.2

      People demand goods and services, they enter into contract with suppliers of these
      goods and services, on the basis of both parties benefit by giving up something they
      want less. The buyer gives up cash, and the sellor the time or resources they have spent.
      Everyone wins.

      In a cheap oil world people lost touch with how much cash was worth, they fooled
      themselves thinking that it was cheaper than it really was, so cheap they borrowed
      heavily believing they could pay it all back. The speculators then hoarded this money
      and got very wealthy. This debt is now stinking up the western world, because the
      Chinese, and the Mother Earth are now suggesting that they can’t pay it all back.

      we all lose when the wealthy didn’t earn their wealth. Which they haven’t.
      Since people were conned, and are now far worse off.

      • mik e 1.2.1

        France right wing govt increases taxes on the wealthy maybe Key might do the same here ha ha!Italy to Right wing running out of excuses to pander to small minority

        • aerobubble 1.2.1.1

          Italy is run by someone very close to be indicted, he has good reason to do the
          right thing. Unlike our b@rstools parliament.

    • Thomas 1.3

      if one person or group becomes more ‘wealthy’ and has more, others must become poorer and have less

      When was the last time you went shopping? Obviously the shop owner became wealthier because you gave him/her your money. So who got poorer? who has less? Was it you? If you did get poorer or now have less, why did you go shopping? Why didn’t you just stay home and stay wealthier?

      Or is it possible that both you and the shop owner are better off because of your shopping trip?

      • whistlerspa 1.3.1

        I’m not talking about money here but real tangible assets and commodities. Of course you can ‘make’ as much money as you like – it isn’t real

        • Thomas 1.3.1.1

          But both you and the shopowner are better off as a result of your trade. That’s a basic law of economics: people don’t trade unless both expect to be better off because of it. It isn’t a zero-sum game as you suggest.

          Also, only governments “make” money.

          • Draco T Bastard 1.3.1.1.1

            Actually, the economy is a zero-sum game. There is only a limited amount of resources available at any point in time (Some resources such as oil are limited in total mass). Setting up the economy so that a few have full control of those resources preventing everybody else from having them, which is what capitalism does, results in the poverty that we see about us.

            And it’s the private banks that print money through the fractional reserve banking system.

  2. randal 2

    Unless you sell a nuclear aircraft carrier at $15,000,000,000 a piece then most wealth is accumulated by selling many items to many people. therefore wealth is created by taking money from the many. and selling them stuff they never knew they wanted till it was waved in front of their noses on the teevee.

    • In Vino Veritas 2.1

      Ergo, randal, the old saying “a fool and his money are easily parted”

      • Colonial Viper 2.1.1

        Yeah and the elite 1% take the rest of us all as being fools.

        • In Vino Veritas 2.1.1.1

          Colonial, having read a good few of your comments, I doubt that you money would be that easily parted from you. For a good few out there, “if the cloth cap fits – wear it”.

          Jeepers. Pithy sayings are as true today as they were 100 years ago.

  3. BlairM 3

    You need to think a bit harder whistlerspa. Wealth is created when people think up smarter and more efficient ways of doing things. If you can provide a good or service cheaper than anybody else, that’s not a finite resource, that’s something that you created which wasn’t there before. Your brain is an infinite resource, and when people come up with new ideas, it contributes to collective wealth. It makes money for the people that sell it, and it leaves those who buy it with more time and more money than they would otherwise have. The only people it might make poorer are competing companies, but competition generally spurs further innovations from those companies.

    Just because the 150 wealthiest people are $7B wealthier, it doesn’t mean they are getting wealthier at others’ expense. Quite the opposite. If anything, it means that there is a cartel situation developing, to which the answer is always to reduce government intervention and regulation, not increase it.

    • mik e 3.1

      ACT rubbish Chicago BS Blair M its a pyramid scheme the money ends up at the top while the ones at the bottom get crushed.Afew would like your model it would hurry the end game faster.Most of the major innovations of modern times have come from taking money of the rich to do research and then hand it back for them to make a profit.Modern wealth spread would not have happened if not for unions forcing the wealth creators to pay better wages and make better conditions for them through political activism.So if we followed your ideology their would be less consumers able to buy less product that would fit right into afews ideology.The bottom is getting crushed now because the capitalists are moving their labour costs to the cheapest market damaging local economies for bigger profits, when more is manufactured by mechanization as is rapidly happening their are going to be even less consumers .So while you understand how companies can make a profit thats where your understanding ends .Association of Consumers and Taxpayers Ideology.Thats your shortsighted rhetoric .Thats why they have only 2% support.

      • BlairM 3.1.1

        Mik -e …. Unions have no interest in wealth redistribution, if they did, they wouldn’t support protection for their own workers against competition ie. the unemployed. Unions are about creating a wealthy elite. If you really want to redistribute wealth, abolish the minimum wage and employment regulations so that everyone who wants a job can get one. Competition for labour will then drive wages up fairly quickly as a result of the increase in productivity.

        The rest of what you said assumes so many things which just aren’t so, without any real substance to back it up. You should try rebutting my arguments rather than putting a label on me and treating that like it negates what I have to say.

        • Georgecom 3.1.1.1

          Blair. A nice attempt however reality doesn’t quite bear out your claim about deregulation, productivity and wage increases. Over the past quarter century in NZ, during a period of labour market deregulation, productivity growth occured however most of the fruits of that productivity increase did not materialise in the form of wages. Rather it went into profits. Market was deregulated, productivity increased, profit growth outstripped wages.

        • Colonial Viper 3.1.1.2

          Mik -e …. Unions have no interest in wealth redistribution, if they did, they wouldn’t support protection for their own workers against competition ie. the unemployed. Unions are about creating a wealthy elite.

          Gawd you Righties are full of shit

          Corporations and capital have systematically destroyed unions over the last 30 years (Governor Scott Walker in Wisconsin being only the latest in a long line). They moved massive amounts of revenues away from wages into corporate earnings, CxO salaries and shareholder dividends.

          They did this through various wage suppression tactics and the offshoring of jobs.

          You really are a moron, but please don’t treat us the same.

          • jbc 3.1.1.2.1

            I think he does have a point about self-interest in the unions. Recall NZEI and PPTA.

            The PPTA were not happy when NZEI got pay parity with secondary teachers and there has been quite a bit of tension between those groups if I recall. I find it odd that unions should be competitive with one another.

            The way I see it it all comes down to human nature: there is a base instinct that does not like to see someone else getting more for the same or less effort or perceived value of contribution.

            There is a similar base instinct that does not like to pay more than someone else for the same product or service.

            Both of these base instincts go into overdrive when you consider the rich listers though, where everything appears to be way out of proportion. Extremely wealthy people paying less tax proportionally than salaried employees, while earning huge money with little effort by leveraging money they already have. It permits escalation of wealth well beyond what any individual effort could produce.

            Personally I think that sucks. Not out of greed or envy but simply out of those two base instincts. If I want to give those instincts a nice label then I’d call them fairness.

        • mik e 3.1.1.3

          Blair M you haven’t read the history of economics. Just some act party comics!

    • Afewknowthetruth 3.2

      Do you mean converting nature into some previously unthought-of waste or converting nature into watse a bit more efficiently?

      PS the entire economic system is predicated on converting oil and coal into CO2

      • BlairM 3.2.1

        If you really consider your computer, and the breakfast you ate this morning “waste”, then yes. If you consider the people who provide your internet service “waste”, then again, yes. If you think it’s such a terrible thing, I suggest you stop wasting oxygen for the rest of us.

        • Colonial Viper 3.2.1.1

          BlairM: planned obsolescence is waste e.g. the making of items which are so fragile they simply break after a handful of uses. Or where you are forced to “upgrade” for no reason in particular, even when the old item was working fine.

    • Colonial Viper 3.3

      Wealth is created when people think up smarter and more efficient ways of doing things.

      Wealth (for the few) is created faster, more easily and with less risk by breaking down existing assets and monetizing them (selling them off). Nothing smart or efficient about that.

      Your brain is an infinite resource, and when people come up with new ideas, it contributes to collective wealth. It makes money for the people that sell it, and it leaves those who buy it with more time and more money than they would otherwise have.

      What if the “new ideas” are focussed on taking wealth from the many and channeling it to the few? Eg. ripping off worker pension funds by selling them toxic securities and then pocketing all the cash as it all crashes and burns? Or closing down your local factory laying off the staff and offshoring all production? The staff and local community are all poorer but the shareholders all get richer for their “innovation”.

      Just because the 150 wealthiest people are $7B wealthier, it doesn’t mean they are getting wealthier at others’ expense. Quite the opposite. If anything, it means that there is a cartel situation developing, to which the answer is always to reduce government intervention and regulation, not increase it.

      LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL

      The answer to breaking up cartel situations is to make sure that the Government doesn’t do anything about it and leave the cartel be?

      I finally decided that you are a fucking loser.

      • BlairM 3.3.1

        “Wealth (for the few) is created faster, more easily and with less risk by breaking down existing assets and monetizing them (selling them off). Nothing smart or efficient about that.”

        On the contrary, that is very smart, and the whole point is efficiency. You get rid of assets that are not creating wealth, you cash up, and you reinvest in assets (or people) who can. That’s what Graeme Hart does. That’s why he’s New Zealand’s richest man. You seem to have this image of rich people as Uncle Scrooges sitting on a big pile of their loot and swimming in it while the poor suffer. There are a small number of wealthy people who are cashed up, but the vast bulk have all their wealth sunk into their businesses – y’know, things which employ people and provide homes and food and clothing. Even the cashed up ones have their money sitting in a bank, who presumably do not sit on the money either, but reinvest it. The wealth of the very wealthy does not deprive others of it. Quite the opposite. If you wiped out Graeme Hart’s wealth and took it all off him, thousands of people would suddenly lose their livelihood.

        “What if the “new ideas” are focussed on taking wealth from the many and channeling it to the few? Eg. ripping off worker pension funds by selling them toxic securities and then pocketing all the cash as it all crashes and burns?”

        You mean the funds that were invested in junk mortgages which left wing US politicians encouraged financial institutions to offer?

        “Or closing down your local factory laying off the staff and offshoring all production? The staff and local community are all poorer but the shareholders all get richer for their “innovation”.”

        Yes, but the workers in your new factory in China are wealthier -ooh look! WEALTH REDISTRIBUTION! The product is cheaper, and consumers save money. They use that money to purchase other products, which create jobs. The shareholders reinvest their extra profit, and that creates jobs. While some individuals are less well off, there are a greater number of individuals who are better off.

        “The answer to breaking up cartel situations is to make sure that the Government doesn’t do anything about it and leave the cartel be?”

        Ummm… well the Government is the one creating the cartel through protectionist legislation, so of course the government has to do something – it has to get rid of their protection of these companies. If you have a shrinking economy, but a wealthy elite, it is usually because your regulatory structures are set up to protect that elite. Get rid of that structure, and you will have people getting rich for the right reasons.

        “I finally decided that you are a fucking loser.”

        Ad hominem insults make you look like you know you don’t have a decent argument.

        • neoleftie 3.3.1.1

          @BlairM – you state
          Yes, but the workers in your new factory in China are wealthier -ooh look! WEALTH REDISTRIBUTION!
          But in a global sense taking the job from a higher paid worker in one location to allow one cheaper worker to do the same job in another global location, to allow for your global wealth redistribution system, is just plain dumb as that original worker now has an limited income stream to buy products, so overall net total demand goes down while profit levels go up which only benefit the few.
          If the same buying power and rules and regulation where consistant throughtout the global system then global repositioning of productivity would make sense as all workers then would be in realitive term be paid the same but this isnt the case…once again to generate increased profits, to benefit the owner class, cheap labour is necessary.
          real meaningful productivity is not about worker working better, faster or more effort but utilising non labour components such as better ideas, better management, better technology and scales of economy and now distance to market or even availaibility of resources and infrastructure.
          What happens when a globally connected world runs outa cheap pools of labour i.e 100 years time…where do we get the growth or productivity then.
          Do you think the chinese peasant class ( or NZ one ) will stand for limited and unfair income distribution when compared globally?
          Do you think it is at all clever in this day and age to rely on cheap labour and then crow about it?
          Weak, lazy and easy theory on how to increase growth and productivity.
          Pax Roma had slaves as there base class, we have the newly created and artifical poor labour countries propping up a lopside and disfunctional gloablly connected system.

          Sure a connected global system is necessary in the long term so as to utilise resourses and infrastructure in a holistic manner but in the short term the social cost is unbearable.

        • Colonial Viper 3.3.1.2

          On the contrary, that is very smart, and the whole point is efficiency. You get rid of assets that are not creating wealth, you cash up, and you reinvest in assets (or people) who can. That’s what Graeme Hart does. That’s why he’s New Zealand’s richest man.

          I am talking here about people who create nothing, but acquire and break up, perhaps find “value” (for themselves) by laying off whole communities, or perhaps move the income stream from the public purse to the private sector – making the rest of us poorer by forcing us to pay into foreign toll booths on a daily basis.

          Fay Richwhite for instance, whom you kowtow to because they are rich.

          Their screwing with TranzRail was indeed very smart. For them that is. Detrimental to the rest of the country’s wealth. But what do you care.

          Ad hominem insults make you look like you know you don’t have a decent argument.

          You little Right Wing fucker, I don’t particularly give a damn what you think.

          • In Vino Veritas 3.3.1.2.1

            Now, now Colonial, take a couple of deep breaths or surely you’ll be moderated – I think I got copped for mentioning Muldoon……

            I would point out the NZ rail is not a great analogy. It was a dog when owned by the Crown, a dog when owned by Fay, a dog when owned by Toll and a dog again, owned by the Crown. Stripping it and binning the whole lot would free up plenty for redistribution to the 50% of kiwi households that are net beneficiaries.

            take it easy….

        • mik e 3.3.1.3

          Blair M Don’t bring Graeme Hart into this argument with out knowing what his business model is.Breaking the monopoly of unions has left this country a lot poorer, the jobs have gone to china Asia where there is an over supply of labour they are working 60to70 hr weeks for $20 to $30 a week and haven’t seen a pay rise yet in 30 years, their living costs are sky rocketing to so that blows your theory right out the door.So who’s got wealthier since rogernomics the top 2to5% Capital investors and speculators at who’s expense the other 95% of us.And Blair I doubt very much if you are in the top 5% especially with your lack of Knowledge on economics.You have been reading to many Act party comics.

          • In Vino Veritas 3.3.1.3.1

            hello Mik e. May I just say “socialism is great until you run out of other peoples money”. Now with that out of the way, on to monopolies. I would have thought breaking up a monopoly would have been right up your alley. Or is it that the only monopolies that may exist are those created under your political model? My word of the day for you is “hypocrisy”.

            And in terms of the top 5%, I’m there, does that qualify me in terms of economics? It’s probably pertinent to mention that the threshold for being in the top 5% isnt that high.

            If you’ll forgive me, when was the last time you were in Beijing, Guangzhou or Shanghai?

    • whistlerspa 3.4

      And goods and services aren’t finite?

  4. Afewknowthetruth 4

    Nobody creates wealth.

    All wealth in the world was created millions of years ago by geochemical systems -rocks, metal ores, coal, oil, gas etc.- or is created now by living things.

    All that happens is that people use energy to take what already exists and convert it into something else which they regard as being more useful at the time, e.g. cutting down trees, sawing them up and constructing dwellings; mining ores and converting them into metals; killing animals and converting them into meals. The vast majority of human constructions erode or become obsolete, and the undigested components of meals end up in sewage works where energy is used to dispose of them.

    In modern western-style economies huge amounts of unearned wealth are accumulated in the form of computer digits by the banking sector, via the charging of interest (which is both immoral and unsustainable).

    Every day that passes the real wealth of the planet diminishes because all the natural systems that generate REALLY USEFUL STUFF like healthy food and breathable air are under attack by the industrial system, which simply sees nature as a resource to be converted into waste for short term profit, i.e. conversion into computer digits in banking systems or fancy-looking pieces of ‘paper’ that can be exchanged for something esle.

    Needless to say, the whole economic system is in the process of crashing because all the fundamental assumptions are incorrect. In particular, the mineral resources base is severely depleted, and without an energy supply nothing happens: the prime energy source for all modern industrial activity, cheap and readily extractable oil, is in decline.

    In this ‘shrinking cake’ world many at the top believe they are entitled to a bigger share of the cake simply because they have pieces of paper that provide them with the right of ‘ownership’ of resources previously stolen from the commons.

    It will take a while for the cake to get sufficiently small to trigger widespread revolt in NZ because there are plenty of Africans and Asians who can be starved out in order that resources can contunue to flow to NZ. The day of reckoning is coming to NZ, of course (probably a few months after the oil and phosphate rock deliveries cease).

    People generally do not revolt until driven to desperation. The elites know this and are pushing towards more overtly fascist states almost everywhere (though I believe the Icelanders have won a temporary victory over the money-lenders).

    I see that the tribal system which has underpinned Libya for centuries is currently being smashed by NATO, so that Shell and BP can get the oil and ship it off to Europe and the US to prop up their failing economies for a little longer. This latest smashing and grab exercise is being couched in terms of ‘delivering freedom and democracy’, as ususal.

    These are very interesting times, as we watch it all slowly implode.

    Sadly it is the next geenration who will pay the horrendous price for all this madness.

    • Bazar 4.1

      “Nobody creates wealth.”

      Maybe in your case, i certainly do, and charge accordingly.

      “All that happens is that people use energy to take what already exists and convert it into something else which they regard as being more useful”

      Which can be called, creating wealth.
      Perhaps you should read the definition.

      “The vast majority of human constructions erode or become obsolete, and the undigested components of meals end up in sewage works where energy is used to dispose of them”

      Everything dies, everything. But just because things die, don’t mean there isn’t purpose and meaning in their life.

      “In modern western-style economies huge amounts of unearned wealth are accumulated in the form of computer digits by the banking sector, via the charging of interest (which is both immoral and unsustainable).”

      The charging of interest is immoral… I suppose you believe working for profit is also immoral. As they are one and the same.

      “Every day that passes the real wealth of the planet diminishes because all the natural systems that generate REALLY USEFUL STUFF like healthy food and breathable air are under attack by the industrial system, which simply sees nature as a resource to be converted into waste for short term profit, i.e. conversion into computer digits in banking systems or fancy-looking pieces of ‘paper’ that can be exchanged for something esle.”

      The stupidity of that statement both shows how accustomed you are to modern life, and out of touch with how dangerous and unforgiving mother earth is.

      Really useful stuff generally boils down to food, water, health, and housing. Mother nature isn’t willing to support a fraction of our population/life-style without the industrial farming we use today, and the industry that supports it.

      Reading this site makes me think that one day i’ll see a communist party spawn. “No one is entitled to anything, especially those who have plenty of things”

      • Draco T Bastard 4.1.1

        Mother nature isn’t willing to support a fraction of our population/life-style without the industrial farming we use today, and the industry that supports it.

        Mother Nature isn’t willing to support our over population at all. She will destroy industrial farming. Even now it’s starting to decrease from it’s peak a few years ago as top soil is eroded and the land becomes saturated in salt as a result of chemical fertilisers and irrigation. Throw in Climate Change from burning fossil fuels and most of what we have today that we consider “normal” will be gone by the end of the century.

  5. Draco T Bastard 5

    History teaches us that it is always possible that the real creators of wealth might decide they have had enough of the arrogance of elites who look down on them, dismiss them as envious and deny them their due role as wealth creators. And then it will be time to really get stuck in.

    We are most definitely heading in this direction courtesy of the capitalist system that has been designed to take the wealth off the wealth creators and give it to a few bludgers.

    • Colonial Viper 5.1

      The crony capitalist system which has been rampant since the late 1970’s has been particularly galling.

      The hyperfinancialisation which has occured since the mid 1990’s has made it 10 times worse.

      • Afewknowthetruth 5.1.1

        CV

        It looks like the entire system is on the cusp of imploding. Bernanke has now admitted he’s ‘run out of ammunition’ and doesn’t know what to do.

        According to the article below the markets will delay the implosion ‘for another three weeks’. (No admission of the role of energy in propping up present arrangements, of course). It is truly surreal.

        Yahoo7Finance:

        Bernanke offers no new stimulus for US
        ..Topics:Economic News.On Saturday 27 August 2011, 8:02 EST

        US central bank chief Ben Bernanke called on political leaders to do more to boost jobs and the housing market, saying the Federal Reserve could do little at this time to support economic growth.

        In a speech much-awaited for news of new stimulus moves, Bernanke on Friday offered no hints that the Fed would adjust monetary policy to give the near-stagnant economy a shot of adrenalin.

        Instead, he pushed the ball back to the government and fiscal policy, while adding a warning that politicians should not reprise their months-long political battle over spending and debt which he said could “seriously jeopardise” future growth.

        “In the short term, putting people back to work reduces the hardships inflicted by difficult economic times and helps ensure that our economy is producing at its full potential rather than leaving productive resources fallow,” Bernanke said in prepared remarks for a meeting of central bankers in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

        “Notwithstanding this observation… most of the economic policies that support robust economic growth in the long run are outside the province of the central bank.”

        At the same time, Bernanke said the Fed did have policy tools to help out and would be reviewing them at an expanded meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) policy board on September 20-21.

        The Fed “is prepared to employ its tools as appropriate to promote a stronger economic recovery in a context of price stability,” he said.

        Bernanke said he expected growth in the second half of the year to improve after a first half in which expansion was nearly stagnant, at a rate of less than one per cent.

        But, against deep hopes in markets that he would at least hint that the Federal Reserve would adjust monetary policies to add some fuel to the economy, he stressed that the work would have to be done by politicians using admittedly tightly constrained budgetary resources.

        “Although the issue of fiscal sustainability must urgently be addressed, fiscal policymakers should not, as a consequence, disregard the fragility of the current economic recovery,” he said.

        Some analysts and investors had hoped that, with worries that the economy was sinking into recession, Bernanke might repeat what he did in a speech at the same venue almost exactly a year ago.

        At that time, with the economic recovery also appearing stalled, he signalled that the Fed would move to ease monetary conditions, in what became the “QE2″ “quantitative easing” program, which injected $600 billion into the economy via Treasury bond purchases.

        That move sent markets into a nine-month bull run, but ultimately failed to generate a self-sustaining recovery.

        While not offering up a “QE3″, on Friday Bernanke suggested he was more confident that growth was resuming, after a second-quarter expansion estimated at just 1.0 per cent.

        He did not repeat the sober description of the FOMC of August 9 when it forecast growth at a “somewhat slower pace” over the coming quarters than it had earlier estimated, and warned of increasing “downside risks” to the economic outlook.

        Stock markets took the news in stride, falling first but then moving into positive territory within a hour.

        Analysts said Bernanke’s speech had mainly served to put off expectations for another three weeks, giving time to see what economic data shows about growth.

        “Bernanke affirmed that policy is not made on the hoof at Jackson Hole but at the FOMC, by adding to the importance of the September meeting, that will now be a two-day meeting discussing alternative tools,” said economist Alan Ruskin of Deutsche Bank.

        • Colonial Viper 5.1.1.1

          I always thought you were a bit too much on the grim side AFKTT, but lately after looking into a few things, I can definitely see where you are coming from. Damn.

        • fatty 5.1.1.2

          in 50 years we are going to look back at capitalism and laugh.
          We’ll equate it to a stag night at the rugby club

        • neoleftie 5.1.1.3

          The only thing keeping new zealand afloat is offshore commodity prices and open access to overseas markets at the moment. Every night i praise H1 and Cullen for free trade agreements and lowering the Govt Debt ratios during the 90’s.
          Now the ‘wealth creators’ set is all well and good in the old fashion sense of production but the artificial creation of wealth from, as CV states, hyperfiancial methods of money creation has done exactly nothing to benefit the many and if anything bastardised the present economic system by creating artifical bubbles in housing, land and even extending to resources now.
          Time we had a new look at the system construct and determined if this new hyperfinacial wealth creation method can be harnessed for the betterment of the state and masses. In tangient we have a system wide resource crunch coming just when global liquidity is lacking.
          Within the labour party during the late 90’s the global fiancial numbers coming via treasury indicated this very problem and still 5 years on we still dont have, within labour, meaningful and direct dialogue to correct the imbalances, namely massive short term influxs of investment money.
          More micro focus on fringe social policies – were is the vision and boldness, the passion and conviction on what labour stands for…we champion the masses but no the party elite accept the staus quo and are nothing more than centre right on fiscal and monetary policies.
          Talk about John Key’s power block being labour lite our guys are gutless…A wimper from clare that her electrorate and the people are suffering and shot down.

          I say down with the elite wealth creators before its too late.

      • neoleftie 5.1.2

        CV you might call it galling; more likely in creating the gains for the elites from the system they have in fact wreaked the system in the process.
        What we need is stability, security and access to opportunities across the board.

  6. lefty 6

    The wealth creators are the workers who provide surplus value to their employers.

    The employers who steal the surplus value off workers are supposed to at least bring capital,labour and good management together effectively to produce value and wealth in return.

    In New Zealand they are piss poor at doing this because too many of the stupid bastards spend their time on speculation, greed, selfishness, union bashing, arrogance, pettiness and avoiding tax instead of playing their part.

    Despite (or maybe because of ) marginalising unions, driving down wages and having their governments reduce the workforce to a meek and submissive shadow of itself in earlier days, our employers are not even up to playing the traditional capitalist role of building successfull businesses and providing jobs for their exploited workers.

    The real wealth creators are leaving for Aussie in droves because of this.

    Eventually those of us who are left will have to make a stand against capitalism and its stupid bosses if we are going to halt the slide into poverty and environmental destruction.

    • In Vino Veritas 6.1

      “The wealth creators are the workers who provide surplus value to their employers.

      The employers who steal the surplus value off workers are supposed to at least bring capital,labour and good management together effectively to produce value and wealth in return”.

      Thats why they have a job lefty, to provide surplus value. If they dont like it, find another job.

      Driving down wages? What planet are you on? Wages have never been higher. You must be a youngster.

      “The real wealth creators are leaving for Aussie in droves because of this.”

      Oh, here we go. Its not enough to throw the old “exploited workers” into the equation, you have to come out with this drivel. Though I guess they are making a choice to not provide surplus value to NZ employers, and instead provide surplus value to Australian employers. Excellent. (that’s if these “wealth creators” can actually get a job in Aus). And as a very famous PM once said “those NZ’rs who go to Australia raise the IQ of both countries”.

  7. Afewknowthetruth 7

    Bazar

    You have just shot yourself in the foot: ‘Mother nature isn’t willing to support a fraction of our population/life-style without the industrial farming we use today, and the industry that supports it.’

    Exactly! We are in gross population overshoot as a direct consequence of industrial farming and the industry that supports it. And since the oil supply that makes industrial farming is in decline that does mean we will soon witness population collapse, probably via starvation, plus the eventual collapse of industrial civilisation.

    I do hope you are not going to tell us that Peak Oil has not yet arrived, since the International Energy Agency, supposedly the official body that all governments listen to when it comes to energy planning, admitted in Novermber 2010 that Peak Oil was 2005-6..

    Of course you could suggest, as many people do, that we can run tractors, harvesters, planes, ships and delivery trucks on magical thinking. I am not into magical thinking, but I know that a lot of people are; it seems to help them blot out reality in the short term while compounding their long term predicament.

    These forums are very intersesting because I discover that every time I write the truth that there is always some uninformed fool who wants to dispute it.

    By the way, I’d like to hear exactly how you ‘create wealth’ without using natural resources supplied by the Earth and without using up rapidly depleting fossil fuels.

  8. Afewknowthetruth 8

    DTB

    ‘Mother Nature isn’t willing to support our over population at all. She will destroy industrial farming. Even now it’s starting to decrease from it’s peak a few years ago as top soil is eroded and the land becomes saturated in salt as a result of chemical fertilisers and irrigation. Throw in Climate Change from burning fossil fuels and most of what we have today that we consider “normal” will be gone by the end of the century.’

    I am sure you are being wildly optimistic when you say ‘ gone by the end of the century’. Everything I have read in recent years [from reputable sources] indicates most of the things the majority of people consider normal will be gone by 2020 and that industrial civilisation will largely over by 2030. I have seen nothing to refute that.

    http://guymcpherson.com/2011/08/three-paths-to-near-term-human-extinction/

    What happens is that people on blogs totally ignore anthing connected with reality and carry on with discussions founded false paradigms and delusions.

    Even as we discuss the collapse of industrial civilisation, New York is on track for its ‘New Orleans’ moment, with Irene forecast to hit in a couple of days. This is unprecedented, of course, as all ‘Black Swan’ events are. Not long ago we had unprecedented snow in the North Island of NZ.

    One of the more interesting questions is this: which will get us first, collapse via Peak Oil or collapse via Climate Instability?

    There is not a word from our politicians on any of this stuff, of course; bad for business.

    • Draco T Bastard 8.1

      I am sure you are being wildly optimistic when you say ‘ gone by the end of the century’.

      Generally speaking I figure that the shit has hit the fan by 2020. At that point, nobody will be able to deny that our present civilisation* is headed for the dustbin of history. Things go down hill from there but not everything will be gone by then. Some places will fall harder and faster than others. Sure, some of those places will be unrecognisable by 2030 but other places won’t be. By 2100 even those places that had maintained present systems will have dropped them as well.

      One of the more interesting questions is this: which will get us first, collapse via Peak Oil or collapse via Climate Instability?

      They’re both coming at the same time which brings about that Perfect Storm feeling.

      * I really don’t think that we could call a society based upon war, colonisation, competition and massive over consumption civilised.

      • Afewknowthetruth 8.1.1

        DTB.

        Please don’t think I was criticising. It’s good that are a few other people who recognise reality and are willing to speak the truth.

        Here is an interesting concept: collapse occurs one person at a time, one family at a time, one city at a time via redundancy, foreclosure and environmental/economic/military-induced collapse.

        Detroit was a thriving centre of industrial activity in the 1950s; it has lost half its population and most of its industry, and local officials are considering demolishing 1/4 of the city to make it more manageable.

        Bagdhad was the ‘Paris of the Middle Eas’t till the Americans started bombing it.

        New Orleans was a thriving cultural and tourism centre until Katrina and Rita hit.

        Christchurch much the same before the ‘quakes.

        The Fukishima region was a ‘powerhouse’ and an important agricultural region prior to the ‘quake. Now it could be the site of a ‘China syndrome’ event.

        It will be interesting to see what happens to New York if it gets hit by full-force Irene.

        Yes, civilisation is anything but civilised. Of course there are two narratives: one for domestic consumption, which is full of high-minded ideals of truth, justice and democracy etc. (most of it fabrications), and another for overseas consumption, which is based on reppression, murder, looting etc. as has been going on in Nigeria for decades and is commencing in Libya, under the auspices of NATO ‘protecting the civlian population’. Gotta get that oil out as cheaply as possible and make sure the ‘right people’ can burn it. That’s a really smart move on behalf of the western powers, using Middle East oil to bomb the shit out of people living in the Middle East to get access to more Middle East oil.

  9. Thomas 9

    The author lists “truth” as a research interest and is writing a book entitled “Can the Market Speak?”.
    http://artsfaculty.auckland.ac.nz/staff/?UPI=cjon018

    His article makes no constructive comments (not that I think his suggestions would be constructive). It is just whinging about wealth not being distributed the way he wants it to be.

    So here is a question. Why don’t all you socialists form a club and run your own socialist economy? You can distribute wealth within that club however you want. All the people getting screwed by capitalism will join that club, right? The rich bastards will be left outside the club with no one to screw right? Getting initial capital will be a problem, but once it gets started things will run fine, right?

    So why does no one do that?

    • Colonial Viper 9.1

      So why does no one do that?

      Because TPTB won’t allow it. Duh.

      Also – the masses of people don’t recognise the fact that they are currently being royally screwed. Essentially they’ve bought into the propaganda that:

      – Working even harder for longer hours
      – Smashing their own unions
      – Voting for Toff serving politicians
      – Saving their money
      – Kicking the weakest and most vulnerable in society

      Is going to fix things. (No need for a socialist revolution at all haha)

      • In Vino Veritas 9.1.1

        Sorry Colonial, can’t let this one pass.

        “the masses of people don’t recognise the fact that they are currently being royally screwed”

        Surely you are overreaching yourself? You are saying that you are the seer of all things right and that the masses cannot detect right from wrong? Please tell me you have not taken on a god complex?

        Could you not admit that the masses do recognise right from wrong and make decisions accordingly? That in fact, it might just be that your views are out of kilter?

    • Afewknowthetruth 9.2

      Thomas.

      ‘So why does no one do that?’

      Do you know no history at all?

      The American War of Independence, the French Revolution, the Russian Revolution, the Chinese Civil War, the Korean War, the Vietnam War …… even the Co-operative movement in Britian were all attempts to throw off the power of elites, money-lenders and capitalists.

      A century ago there were dairy co-operatives and community banks in NZ.

      In practically every case international capitalism sponsored by money-lenders managed to take over/demolish/hi-jack/destroy socialist arrangemenets and re-impose ‘trickle up’ arrangements.

      ‘A slave in irons cannot work well and usually harbours thoughts of escape. A better kind of slave is one that has full use of his/her body, but knows that attempting to escape will incur terrible retribution and is effectively impossible. An even better kind of slave is one that is bound by ‘invisible chains’ that the slave has put on himself/herself and, thinking that ‘life is good’, does not contemplate escape. The very best kind of slave is one that has been brought up in a system of covert slavery and knows no other form of existence. Such a slave is utterly bound by ‘invisible chains’ which were imposed at the moment of birth. Knowing no other form of existence and not seeing the ‘chains’, the slave believes he/she is free. Such a slave may well unwittingly defend to the death the slave-master’s ‘right’ to own and exploit slaves.’

      We now have a general populace that has been bought-off by the trinkets of consumerism and ‘enjoys’ slavery …. but only for the moment. They won’t be enjoying their slavery for much longer because the trinkets of consumerism are going to disappear soon, as is the bulk of their food supply. A syste that is totally depemndent on a rapidly declining resouce has no future.

      I amazes me that so many people are so completely blind to common sense these days. I suppose it is because people in western societies have been carefully trained to behave stupidly, so the majority of them do.

      • Thomas 9.2.1

        A century ago there were dairy co-operatives and community banks in NZ.

        In practically every case international capitalism sponsored by money-lenders managed to take over/demolish/hi-jack/destroy socialist arrangemenets and re-impose ‘trickle up’ arrangements.

        How does capitalism manage to take over socialist arrangements? In the free market no one can force you do to anything; they can only offer you a deal.

        • Colonial Viper 9.2.1.1

          *Shakes head*

          A recent example is how Governor Scott Walker has crushed public sector unions in Wisconsin.

          • Thomas 9.2.1.1.1

            *Public* sector unions. The socialist club can have as many private unions as it wants.

            • Colonial Viper 9.2.1.1.1.1

              Bullshit. Private sector unions were the first to be destroyed. Steel mills and car companies closed down, production offshored.

              • Thomas

                CV: No. I asked you “How does capitalism manage to take over socialist arrangements?” and I was referring to private cooperatives. But you gave an example in the public sector.

    • Thomas 9.3

      CV, Afew: I’m sorry, I don’t see the obstacle. In a free market system, you are free to start your own socialist subsystem (but good luck doing it the other way around). That’s the great thing about the free market: you don’t have to participate.

      Why don’t you guys advocate this? Why do you demand that the government forces everyone to join the socialist club?

      Surely there are enough people who realise the failure of capitalism to start this thing up, right? Once it gets going, the masses will join, right?

      • Colonial Viper 9.3.1

        Exactly. And $100M in start up capital is all that is needed to kick it off.

        From that point onwards, democratic socialist enterprises will begin to grow in the economy at the expense of capitalist enterprises.

        Why do you demand that the government forces everyone to join the socialist club?

        Don’t be a little liar fucker.

        • The Voice of Reason 9.3.1.1

          I suspect Thomas’s world view will change the day he gets a job, CV. Or the day he gets fired, more likely.

        • Thomas 9.3.1.2

          CV: So why doesn’t it happen? If you get 100k supporters and each contributes 1k, you can get started.

          Don’t be a little liar fucker.

          How so? Whenever socialists get in power they demand that everyone participate in their little experiment.

          • Colonial Viper 9.3.1.2.1

            How so? Whenever socialists get in power they demand that everyone participate in their little experiment.

            You attributed that statement to me, a statement which was not mine, therefore you are a little liar fucker

            I stand for democratic socialism, not some kind of centrally planned authoritarian throw back to the USSR, go look it up.

            By the way, the capitalist free market experiment is coming to an end whether you like it or not. (Actually it already ended a few years ago, thanks to the actions of the US Fed and others).

            • Thomas 9.3.1.2.1.1

              CV: Democratic socialism is not voluntary. 51% of the people can vote to steal from the other 49%. Those 49% are compelled to participate.

              • KJT

                51% can require those who have been advantaged by the society, others have built up with their taxes, to pay their share.

              • Draco T Bastard

                Ah, I see a RWNJ is here defending the theft that the rich participate in to become rich.

      • Afewknowthetruth 9.3.2

        Thomas.

        The free market is one of the greatest myths of all time. It is totally Orwellian, as per ‘freedom is slavery’.

        There is nothing free about the free market, other than the freedom of global corporations to loot from the commons at will and sell what they loot back to the people at a trremendous profit, the freedom of money-lenders to destroy people’s lives through debt slavery and the freeedom of the advertising sector to mislead a huge segement of the populace via fabrications and illusions.

        Anyone who attempts to do anything that challenges the power structures and money rorts of the status quo is set upon by the system. I have spoken with many innovative people who get nowhere because they are ‘assassinated by the system. Of course, presidents Lincoln, Garfield and Kennedy were literally assissinated because they challenged the freedom of the money-lenders to enslave the populace (and the economy).

        Each month that passes the saboteurs in central government and local government increase the indebtedness of communities and impose ever greater restrictions on the general populace while they personally loot the till. Every system that is put in place is to make it more and more difficult for people tolive freely. Every system that is put in place is to give greater power to corporations and money-lenders who control the government and to reduce accountability of those who run the system.

        I cannot even burn garden rubbish -something people have been doing for cneturies- in my own garden these days! The system is awash with fees for permits and fines.

        Fascisim has always had its advocaters. Every society has greedy, psychotic sociopaths. Right now we have greedy, psychotic sociopaths running most of NZ, as per the money-lenders plan for total world domnation through debt slavery and control of food and energy supplies. (And I suspect many of our so-called leaders are alcoholics.)

        As I said, some people are totally blind to the truth (or have a selfish vested interest in the present system). They are quite ‘happy’ to see the world looted and lpollued, and probably made uninhabitable for their grandchildren, just so long as they can continue live affluently in the short term.

        • Thomas 9.3.2.1

          Afew: You sound a bit like an ACT supporter. You want the government to leave you alone—i.e. no permits or fees. You want the government to stop indebting the people. We have a lot in common.

          There is nothing free about the free market, other than the freedom of global corporations to loot from the commons at will and sell what they loot back to the people at a trremendous profit, the freedom of money-lenders to destroy people’s lives through debt slavery and the freeedom of the advertising sector to mislead a huge segement of the populace via fabrications and illusions.

          How do they loot? Seriously, I don’t understand where you are coming from. You say corporations steal, but everywhere I look they are just trading and people trade voluntarily. The only organisation that steals and is involuntary is the government.

          • Colonial Viper 9.3.2.1.1

            Your view of the world is a lie. Look at the wikileaks documents which show the coercive strategies corporates use in concert with the US Govt (there is no true difference between the US Government, the bankers and the corporates nowadays) to ensure that countries fall into line.

            Sure, NZ could choose not to sign FTAs. But we would then be sanctioned by powerful forces.

            That kind of payment is as “voluntary” as one to the mafia, eh.

            • Thomas 9.3.2.1.1.1

              CV: You have changed to arguing against government intervention. That’s exactly what I want. We should be free to do what we want with our time and money. Even if that includes joining a socialist cooperative. So I take it that you will vote ACT too in November?

              • Colonial Viper

                You’re advocating a “freedom” based on a laundry list of bad choices. Should an employee have a choice between being shot, stabbed or poisoned? Between having their job outsourced or their wages suppressed and conditions cut?

                That’s real “freedom of choice” right?

                This is a similar trap the US electorate has fallen into. They espouse freedom, like the fact that 46M of them are “free” to “choose” Food Stamps.

                Sorry mate, your deregulated free markets have failed world wide and central intervention in the markets has been the norm for several years now.

                As for ACT: might as well go vote for your tory undead great grandpa.

          • joe90 9.3.2.1.2

            How do they loot?

            >

            Corporate ownership of my local lines company has seen a 400% increase in my daily connection charge, asset stripping of inventory and a skills exodus means blue sky low voltage low cost equipment failures cause 15 hour consumer outages and the cutting of maintenance programmes and staffing levels has resulted in a network that’s less reliable than it was a decade ago.

            • Colonial Viper 9.3.2.1.2.1

              At least returns to major foreign and faraway shareholders will be up. What’s there to complain about? :P

              • joe90

                The way corporate’s protect their assets with their own compliance policies, costs passed on to the monopolised consumers, is the real eye opener.

      • mik e 9.3.3

        Thomas the biggest unions around are the business barons they cooperate to keep costs down workers are merely a cost they don’t look upon a worker as a human being these days labour is purely a commodity. to be perchased at the least amount

  10. KJT 10

    IT IS NOT THEIR, MONEY!

    http://kjt-kt.blogspot.com/2011/08/it-is-not-their-money.html

    “For most of the wealthy though IT IS NOT THEIR MONEY! It is basically stolen money.
    Do you really believe it is right that 50% of the richest people in NZ pay little or no tax despite being the biggest beneficiaries of the society we have created over decades”.

    http://kjt-kt.blogspot.com/2011/08/wealthy-deserve-their-wealth.html

    “Those at the top, got there, mostly, because of A) inherited wealth, B) the old boy network. (The real advantage of private schooling). C)total psychopathic self interest and disregard for others. (Called theft when done by those at the bottom).
    They would have us believe that they have some special talent or superiority that justifies their wealth”. Even though they themselves do nothing to earn it.

    No one grudges, proportionate, extra income for those who have earned it because of extra effort, talent, benefit to society, or risk.
    We have a problem with those who get massive incomes for such things as rorting the NZ currency, gambling in finances which require taxpayer bailouts when it fails, huge salaries for managing duopolies (While they cut staff pay) or have inherited accumulating wealth. Who then do not think they owe anything to the society which enables them to live the way they do..

  11. Afewknowthetruth 11

    Thomas

    ‘How do they loot? Seriously, I don’t understand where you are coming from.’

    If you don’t understand how the system works, and you genuinely want to know, you need to read this book urgently.

    http://www.publishme.co.nz/shop/theeasyway-p-684.html

    The system is rapidly progressing to the crash point, and most people are going to get ‘wiped out’ because they have no idea what is going on.

    If it is not in you local library you could put in a request (or buy it).

    .

  12. Crashcart 12

    What amazes me is that the initial article stated the fact that figures show the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer yet you will still get RWNJ’s claiming that the system works and that those rich people are actually making everyone richer, they just don’t realise they are richer cause they can’t pay the power bill this month.

    It is the same as Nationals plan for selling asset sale to the public. Don’t tell people why it is good, just tell them over and over again they don’t understand why it is good and eventually they will come to believe that they right.

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