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‘What crisis?’ Rudderless ship, stormy seas

Written By: - Date published: 8:03 am, October 14th, 2012 - 132 comments
Categories: business, capitalism, david parker, david shearer, economy, employment, exports, greens, jobs, labour, monetary policy, nz first, russel norman, vision, winston peters - Tags:

The EPMU Job Crisis Summit provided ample evidence that there is indeed a crisis. In the delusional world of Planet Key it doesn’t exist, while the country drifts.  Russel Norman quoted Brian Easton who likened the New Zealand economy to a sailing ship In Stormy Seas.  Norman said the storm has intensified recently, and no-one is at the tiller.

I’m really pleased to see such enthusiasm for co-operation and dialogue across many kinds of organisation. There was widespread agreement at the summit that leaving it to the markets has failed.  Rachel McIntosh, political panel chairperson, summed up:

  • There is a crisis
  • There is an alternative
  • It is political
  • And it involves policy settings

This summit brought people together, opened a conversation, launched a Joint parliamentary inquiry into the crisis in manufacturing and invited us to participate.  The EPMU look to be trying very hard to get as many organisations as possible focused on finding solutions.

It’s extremely heartening that the EPMU has stepped up in the face of devastating job losses, and I was expecting the workers’ struggle to be at the centre of the day’s discussions. However, the summit mainly focused on economics and financial policy, which still seems to be predominantly men’s business: the tough and powerful framing of contemporary politics. While my knowledge of economics and finance is pretty limited, I do recognise that, for the workers’ situation to improve, the wider industry also needs to be re-invigorated.  And in doing this, the broader economic, monetary, fiscal and social policies need attention.

(Part of) Business Panel: Peter Conway, Nick Inskip, Prof Hugh Whittaker.

The speakers in both panels stressed the necessity of boosting exports in order to stop the decline of manufacturing and “rebalance” the NZ economy.  Once the rot sets in, it will be harder to re-build important manufacturing industries.   Furthermore, to rebalance the economy, it was argued, it’s the high value end of the manufacturing industry that needs to be developed. One speaker argued that this would benefit from attention being given to the needs and desires of high value consumers, for instance in South East Asian markets.  However, I still don’t follow the logic that the route to a more sustainably productive, fair and inclusive society, is through every country selling stuff to each other.

Business Panel: Conway, Inskip, Whittaker, Selwyn Pellett, John Walley

Many at the summit argued that, to stop the rot, the unfavourable exchange rage needs to be addressed.  For them as Sel Pellet said,  “It’s the dollar stupid.”  There was much talk about the Reserve Bank, it’s role, and whether the government needs to take more direct control over the economy and monetary policy.

Politics Panel (not Peters’ wine box, but an improvised lectern)

Even though this was a job crisis summit, the workers that keep the manufacturing industry going seemed to get limited mention. An exception was the chairwoman for the first (Business) panel who expressed concerns for workers in her union who get dealt the redundancy card: something that she is witnessing too often these days. The most powerful voice for ordinary workers, was Trevor Bolderson (about 50 seconds into this One News video), who had traveled up from Greymouth to speak for the Spring Creek miners.  The EPMU had worked hard on a plan to keep the mine open, and went to the government for funding. The government didn’t look at the plan.

While several participants said they are open to exploring all possible solutions,  many at the summit, including Labour and the Greens, do not seem to have the courage to fully jettison the neoliberal agenda.  Many were talking about the old paradigms of “growth”, rather than changing course towards a steady state economy.

For many, a new direction seemed to be to follow the recent interventionist, but ultimately still market-driven, and bankster-friendly policies of other countries (David Parker mentioned the UK, US, Germany, China and Switzerland).  They seem to be resigned to NZ always being at the mercy of turbulent storms generated elsewhere on the globe. Maybe they are right…?  Is it possible for NZ to decouple from this system, and develop a new direction, independent of the main havoc wreaked by the international capitalist elite?

The summit ended with the EPMU saying they want to talk with the government, to take a participatory approach, and to carry on talking to people around the country.  They outlined a 3 point plan:

  • a government led strategy to act on the high dollar
  • an active procurement policy (e.g. re- tendering contracts locally or internationally)
  • call on the government to actively support manufacturing and keep jobs

In spite of my misgivings, I am glad the conversations begun on Friday open up the possibility of input from ordinary people: workers and unemployed. And I do hope some of their ideas will be taken up.

And (to the MPs) what of beneficiaries who very often contribute to the economic and social well-being of the country in ways that are rarely calculated?

If you want to participate in developing solutions, see here for information on making submission to the parliamentary inquiry on the crisis in manufacturing.

132 comments on “‘What crisis?’ Rudderless ship, stormy seas”

  1. Ad 1

    This an unalloyed joy to read.

    Such a practical relief from the sideshows of late.

    Looking forward to writing a submission.

    Just fantastic to see the prominence of that EPMU banner in the media – they so deserve it.

    Agree about Parker. Need a really thorough alternative economy to survive the next 2 decades of really low growth.

    Congratulations to the organisers.

  2. just saying 2

    Thanks for this report Karol.

    Is it possible for NZ to decouple from this system, and develop a new direction, independent of the main havoc wreaked by the international capitalist elite?

    I don’t know. But I’m pretty sure that, if we continue leaving all the power in the hands of those of the comfortable middle-class and above, with their vested interest in the status quo, however noble their expressed, and maybe heartfelt egalitarian sentiments, things, (for them anyway) will continue to be pretty much the same. While the lives of working class get progressively harder, and our democratic rights and freedoms are dismantled before our (mostly unseeing) eyes.

    I was reading a backlog of columns by Owen Jones (when ‘the Independent’ changed its format I couldn’t find him anymore). He, probably naively, believes that the British Labour Party can be changed though pressure from the bottom up.

    ….That is no reason to despair. It is up to Labour party activists, trade unionists and a broader movement to flesh out this coherent alternative, and build pressure from below on the leadership to accept it. Since World War II, we have had two transformative governments that forced their oppositions to accept their fundamental key tenets: one led by Clement Attlee, the other by Margaret Thatcher. This historic and never-ending crisis demands a new, radical Labour government to establish a new settlement. Ed Miliband is more likely than not to end up in Number 10 – but it is up to us to make sure he leads a genuine break from the national tragedy of Tory austerity….

    Here,while the Greens hold out a bit more hope than Labour, to the likes of me, I don’t believe either will change much more than the window dressing without a major powerbloc of the silenced majority, forcing their every step in the right direction.

  3. lprent 3

    I am getting more and more glad that I didn’t have time to go. The release phase of 2 and a half year projects is one that you spend time on. – I was revising the 2 hour build process for the code.

    Karol went instead and is doing a better set of posts than I would. Such interesting questions.

    Personally because of my background, I am into building new markets offshore seeking the incredible oddball ideas that our people seem to generate and selling into global micro niches. This generates the income to purchase resources that NZ either doesn’t have or where the economies of scale make it difficult to produce here at an required quality level or price.

    Massively multilayered tiny PCB boards for instance. Quite simply what we can get from China or Taiwan or one of the countries that is geared up for producing this type of gear in quantity is just outstanding in all respects. Same with the chips that populate the boards.

    But assembling here makes a lot of sense. Just about everything we do is at the near custom run level. Production runs of a mere thousands need to be as close to the testers and the design engineers as possible. It may require actual production hardware hacks for the parts that the software can’t fix.

    But to do that requires an infrastructure of local companies that can provide those flexible services. That base of skills is steadily disappearing mostly because of politicians and economists who appear to not understand that manufacturing is an integrated ecosystem. Letting capabilities die because of mere economic vagaries and then expecting them to reappear under the magic invisible hand is simply daft. They don’t.

    Skills and equipment either atrophy into uselessness or they leave the country. It isn’t like real estate or money laundering or graphics design which can startup rapidly after a downturn. Once a manufacturing industry cluster dies here, then it usually takes decades to get back if it ever recovers. But you sure as hell can’t build new manufacturing based industries including hitech ones when you don’t have the local precursor industries to draw on. You may as well find somewhere else that does.

    • Ad 3.1

      Well fair enough LPrent, Pye isn’t going to set up onWaihi again anytime soon and make complex boards.

      But altnative histories indicate that alternative futures are possible. Let me turn you back to the late1990s with Porter, then to the early years of the Clark government and Skilling and the Growth and Innovation Framework. For a time, all major budget bids had to show how they contributed to this framework. Niche manufacturing in specific sectors was confirmed, including screen production, and of course food and beverage (witha large task force of its own).

      Government and business agreeing on sectors that would get most support, and ignoring those we had no forecast competitive advantage in.

      The results of manyof the programmes from GIF as sectors and as manufacturers, have been strong. Of course the Clark government had its faults particularly with regulating overseas investment. But the main problem to growing these manufacturers here egboatbuilding was not not lack of industry will, it was the gradual decrease in commitment to the GIF plan politically.

      Rod Oram’s previous book showed examples of some of the results. Even in its weak and uneven form, GIF made a lasting difference. Alternative futures for manufacturing are possible.

      In an alternative world, what we could have seen on Friday was the stirrings of another GIF.

    • geoff 3.2

      I used to work for a company that did short runs of custom electronics assembly. The changes in production volume across a single year were large. Around 80% of the labour force were on temp contracts. People were treated poorly and the work was tedious and repetitive and everyone was worried each week that it would be their turn for their respective temp agency manager to sidle up to them and and have a quiet word about not bothering to turn up the following week.

      I really didnt like those work conditions but in retrospect I’m not sure how you could operate such a business without the ability to hire and fire people as the demand lifted and fell.

      What’s your idea for handling the labour for this sort of work?

      • Draco T Bastard 3.2.1

        I really didnt like those work conditions but in retrospect I’m not sure how you could operate such a business without the ability to hire and fire people as the demand lifted and fell.

        That’s one of the benefits of a Universal Income and a lot of state housing that I see. It allows people to be more creative with their time than the old fashioned 40 hours per week in the same job. I’m not a fan of permanent work.

        Besides, WTF is electronics assembly still done manually?

      • lprent 3.2.2

        The biggest thing to do would be to increase the numbers of companies needing the work done. Ultimately that is what smooths out all oft this type of work. It was the same in injection moulding shops back in the 60’s and early 70’s

    • Draco T Bastard 3.3

      Massively multilayered tiny PCB boards for instance. Quite simply what we can get from China or Taiwan or one of the countries that is geared up for producing this type of gear in quantity is just outstanding in all respects. Same with the chips that populate the boards.

      Bollocks

      If we did (Yes, I’m talking about government here) the same amount of investment in the factories that China or Taiwan did then we’d be able to produce them for the same price. And remember, they’d be fully automated factories so the labour requirements would be minimal.

      • lprent 3.3.1

        A. They aren’t fully automatic for anything we would want to do. You can only do that for really long runs for which there is no local demand and crazy offshore competition to compete against.

        B. It is a myth that such plants are full automatic anyway. They may have minimal production staff. However they have a lot of maintenance and quality testing staff. They also have a lot of staff working on upgrades.

        C. Building a local plant makes no sense. They are essentially uncompetitive within a few years as the layers in the PCB’s increase and the densities get tighter. Thye are headingbthe same way as chips did. You’d only do it for strategic reasons – if we wound up in a cuba situation.

        • Draco T Bastard 3.3.1.1

          A) Then we need to develop better factories

          B) That’s what I would expect. The total would be far less than a fully manual factory though.

          C) See A) and your B).

          You’d only do it for strategic reasons – if we wound up in a cuba situation.

          At some point in time every country in the world is going to realise that they don’t need to trade and that they can get a better living standard for their people if they don’t (well, minimise it anyway). This is going to be especially true of the countries which presently have huge amounts of resources and poverty. They will realise that if they processed those raw resources into computers/copper wire, etc and then exported the finished product that they’re going to be better off. At that point the world will be massively over supplied with everything and there’s no way you’ll be able to compete anyway.

          You’re still thinking in a capitalist/growth mindset where we need to make a financial surplus rather than in real terms where we need to supply our society with what it needs from the limited resources we have to maintain a reasonable living standard for everyone.

          • Colonial Viper 3.3.1.1.1

            DTB

            You’re still thinking about having access to the latest and greatest during decline. Not going to happen, sorry.

            The washing machines of 2060 aren’t going to be gee-whiz made in NZ F&P and Samsung style models with clever microprocessors and circuit boards and LED lights.

            They are much more likely to be similar to the old fashioned F&P ones of the 1970’s and early 1980’s, with a spring loaded timer mechanism ticking away to progress through the stages of the cycle.

            I believe Lprent is correct. We’re not going to have state of the art SMT lines, but we could run some smaller scale older lines very economically. For CPUs and microprocessors the capital cost of 130nm design and fabrication tools (what the Pentium III and IV were made on) is fuck all on the secondary market.

            And when we make stuff onshore it’s much more likely to be of the older washing machine variety (because they are easy to make, easy to fix, and can last for decades) rather than the new beeping flashing all gizmo type.

            • prism 3.3.1.1.1.1

              CV
              Our old ‘analogue’ FP washing machine was better than the new FP one on a number of points.

              • Colonial Viper

                Yep. You’re seeing it in a number of areas. “Improvements” which aren’t really improvements. “Progress” which isn’t really progress. “Growth” which isn’t really growth.

                Some people, still not enough, are starting to see beneath the societal hype and marketing.

            • Draco T Bastard 3.3.1.1.1.2

              We’re not going to have state of the art SMT lines, but we could run some smaller scale older lines very economically. For CPUs and microprocessors the capital cost of 130nm design and fabrication tools (what the Pentium III and IV were made on) is fuck all on the secondary market.

              Why would we use old, inefficient tech like that when we can produce newer more efficient stuff more efficiently? Really do wish I could find that article that came out a few years ago about Canterbury Uni manipulating atoms/molecules with lasers.

              And when we make stuff onshore it’s much more likely to be of the older washing machine variety (because they are easy to make, easy to fix, and can last for decades) rather than the new beeping flashing all gizmo type.

              Actually, it’s more likely to be the new flashy stuff cheaper to produce, maintain and still lasts decades. Advantage of all that metallurgy and learning stuff between then, now and later.

              The only thing we won’t have is oil and that’s not a problem. All that does is get of the bloody cars.

              • “The only thing we won’t have is oil and that’s not a problem. All that does is get of the bloody cars.”

                Wow, I didn’t know that the only that required oil were cars. Here I was stupidly thinking that trucks, ferries and most every fucking mechanical device we utilise in daily life to supply us with the things we need used oil.

                Silly me. Lucky NZ has ample supplies of pixie dust.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Trucks can use electricity. Ferries can use bio-diesel. Most other mechanical devices can use vegetable oil.

                  For what’s left we may have to pull up uneconomic oil or look to refining mineral oils from coal.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Still too complicated mate. Plus biofuels are only good if you have organic material going to waste anyways. We certainly don’t want to go down the wasteful, inefficient US route of converting food to liquid fuels.

                    Yes there will be plenty of electric transport but for the really big stuff: coal and wood powered steam.

                    You can build a steam engine these days which is as efficient as the most modern diesel engine. Except the steam engine will last 50 years.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Still too complicated mate.

                      Not necessarily. If we only produce what we need then the complexity shouldn’t be an issue.

                      Plus biofuels are only good if you have organic material going to waste anyways.

                      I’m not fond of bio-fuels and would prefer not to use them but I think we may have to in some limited places. Ferries are likely to be one of those places. All other shipping would be sail.

                      Yes there will be plenty of electric transport but for the really big stuff: coal and wood powered steam.

                      Nope, electric trains. Just need those wind farms and solar panels.

                      You can build a steam engine these days which is as efficient as the most modern diesel engine. Except the steam engine will last 50 years.

                      Actually, that’s the other way around. Steam engines have always been more efficient than diesel (the efficiency of heat engines has to do with the temperature ratio between the engine and the atmosphere). Diesel is easier to store than wood or coal which is why diesel won out over steam. Diesel engines are also safer (less likely to explode).

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Nope, electric trains. Just need those wind farms and solar panels.

                      only good on flat land and lower loads unfortunately. Remember, with steam you get maximum torque at zero RPM. That’s how you move ten thousand tonnes of shit up a hill with rail and back down again. You can’t do that with electric.

                      Diesel is easier to store than wood or coal which is why diesel won out over steam.

                      That and the fact the IMF would only give us a development loan in the 1970’s if we agreed to scrap a fleet of perfectly good steam engines to go with diesel.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Remember, with steam you get maximum torque at zero RPM.

                      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Torque#Machine_torque

                      Steam engines and electric motors tend to produce maximum torque close to zero rpm…Reciprocating steam engines can start heavy loads from zero RPM without a clutch.

                      Steam engines have the advantage but I suspect it’s not as much as you think.

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

                      This system is particularly advantageous in mountainous operations, as descending locomotives can produce a large portion of the power required for ascending trains.

                      Can’t do that with steam.

                      That and the fact the IMF would only give us a development loan…

                      The only question we need to ask there is WTF were we taking out a development loan in the first place?

                      In fact, I’m pretty sure we never did take out such a loan.

    • karol 3.4

      Thanks, Lynn.  Not being an economist or a business person, I tried to flag up the main areas of discussion, while also trying not to make the post too long.  People here clearly know more about a lot of these issues than I do, and have been able to explain them far better.
       
      I think I understand how specific niche products are best traded with other  countries.
       
      John Walley was big on the serious difficulty withing to re-build areas of manufacturing once the skills and products/technologies have been lost.  It takes decades to get the investment required for rebuilding. And Walley claimed that we will lose the necessary elements quicker now than at the beginning of the GFC.  In fact several speakers reckoned we have worse yet to come from the GFC.
       
      Walley reckoned that in the last decade the growth has been in post primary production and skills.  Whereas, the areas we need to develop are in simple and elaborate production. (I’m not sure what sort of manufacturing that would be – I take pretty good notes, but not always that detailed. :)

      • Colonial Viper 3.4.1

        “Simple production” probably refers to activities such as the assembling of prefabricated parts, or the manufacture of items requiring only one or two special relatively well understood processes, using relatively few materials and commodity components. Making a plastic bucket, stamping and bending sheet steel, drawing wire, extruding plastic pipe etc.

        “Elaborate production” likely refers to production requiring highly designed, highly specified inputs, multiple complex components/components, precision manufacturing processes, integrated software/firmware, and significant ongoing R&D.
        Look to Tait, PEC, Scott Automation and F&P Healthcare as examples.

    • RedLogix 3.5

      Letting capabilities die because of mere economic vagaries and then expecting them to reappear under the magic invisible hand is simply daft. They don’t.

      That is SO damn true.

  4. BM 4

    So lots of gas bagging, no solutions.
    What a waste of time.

    • Te Reo Putake 4.1

      You’re remarkably self aware this morning, BM!

    • ianmac 4.2

      BM. Are you talking about Steven Joyce’s often given contribution to non-policy or Bill English’s habit of talking in circles. Please do be more polite about these two because they do not know how to care for the people.

    • freedom 4.3

      BM
      why bother commenting if that is all you have? Does it satisfy some inane ego issue? Do you get a purile emotional kick that you have just wasted zero point two seconds of people’s lives making them skim your contribution?

      At least the project is starting a dialogue, which is more than the big blue gnats are willing to attempt.

      !!! NZ NEEDS JOBS !!!
      DO YOU UNDERSTAND THE CONCEPT?

      Seriously BM you are becoming the new Pete George but without the sense of depth and reason

      • BM 4.3.1

        Off course NZ need jobs, bit of a no brainer that one.
        How we create those jobs is another matter.
        Personally the idea of the government creating a huge widget factory that employs 100,000 people doesn’t really appeal to this voter.

        • muzza 4.3.1.1

          I think the real question is

          “Will NZ be allowed to create any jobs”

          The answer of course is, NO!

        • freedom 4.3.1.2

          so BM, instead of being monotonously derisive of the efforts of others . . . suggest something

          • BM 4.3.1.2.1

            Rejoin with Australia.
            Power in numbers.

            • felix 4.3.1.2.1.1

              Re-join? Eh?

              • BM

                Rejoin, as in become a state of Australia again.

                • lprent

                  We never have been a state of Aussie. You have to look back past 1840 for any kind of governance from Aussie, and that was largely a diplomatic job from new south wales – not from any other part of Aussie.

                  • BM

                    Back in the 1820’s I thought we were, could be wrong though.

                    • mike e

                      Blind Monetarist your always wrong!

                    • felix

                      You would be.

                      NZ was for a time treated by the British as part of the colony of NSW (which was also not part of Australia at the time) until around the time of the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi when NZ officially became a distinct colony (yay! a colony of our own!)

                      In fact there was no such country as “Australia” until about 1900, over half a century later.

                • OneTrack

                  Sounds good BM but I doubt the aussies would have us.

            • TheContrarian 4.3.1.2.1.2

              Rejoin with Australia?

              Would this be via plate tectonics?

              • lprent

                +1
                I was going to answer that. But yours was so much better…

                And shorter – which appears to be what BM requires. But I have to ask, while he appears to have calcite in his brain and probably is rocky in parts of his anatomy, do you think he will know what plate tectonics is? Maybe a link o Wikipedia.

              • Might be the “Trans Tasman highway” idea re surfacing :-)

            • Colonial Viper 4.3.1.2.1.3

              “power in numbers” is your strategy for taking on China (pop 1300M) and Indonesia (pop 238M)?

              Maybe you should rethink that.

              You haven’t even added in the fact that Australia has started a prolonged economic downturn and are becoming increasingly unfriendly towards Kiwi workers.

        • felix 4.3.1.3

          “Personally the idea of the government creating a huge widget factory that employs 100,000 people doesn’t really appeal to this voter.”

          And I’m not overly keen on the government turning all the red-haired children into sausages.

          So?

          • BM 4.3.1.3.1

            So, we’re relying on the market to create these jobs?

            • felix 4.3.1.3.1.1

              What, the jobs in the giant widget factory?

              Why on earth would we want anyone running such a pointless enterprise when there is plenty of real work to be done?

              • freedom

                staggering isn’t it felix

                we have all the wood ( and once had all the wool) in the world , all the tradespeople you could need, a housing crisis, technical ability to create new products and train new people, a local market hungry for the result and a global market that would readily take whatever we can muster . . . We used to build things, remember.

                add to this a sea of unemployed people desperately needing a new direction . . . yet . . . the halls of power are filled with windbags of self interest that were duped into thinking Dairy and the destruction of our primary industries was going to help NZ
                Well thirty years on i think we can safely say they fucked it up, they fucked it up big time. Now before the ” well come up with something then ” brigade harp on i do have an idea: Use kiwi wood to make kitset homes that kiwis build and then when kiwis have enough we can sell more to the world. We used to build things, remember.

                With minimal revison we revert to farming sheep instead of poisoning our country and prostituting our land growing dairy. Wool becomes insulation and fuel and clothing etc. We have a current glut in woodchips, with a bit of Plant rejigging Wood becomes wallboards. Using a generic range for the kitset system ( that a first year design student could work out) we have a smooth running high-productivity factory within a year that would employ a few hundred people, that ships product ( another few hundred ) to the builders ( a few thousand there) then the decorators etc ( thousand more) and the sparkies and plumbers etc etc etc . We would quickly produce a range of associated products the world would want. It used to be what we did. We used to build things, remember.

                as i said , it is just one idea, and as i am at work a very quickly thrown together one. The Government has had four and a half years and has nothing even close to a coherent practical plan. It may only be one step but that is what you do when starting a journey. You take one step, then when the foot is stable, you take another, before you know it you are running towards horizons you only imagined.. There are so many reasons that NZ know-how should be at the front of the queue instead of selling assets and importing second rate crap and sentencing kiwis to retail and hospitality jobs. We used to build things, remember.

      • Draco T Bastard 4.3.2

        Seriously BM you are becoming the new Pete George but without the sense of depth and reason

        QFT (I LOL’d :twisted:)

  5. freedom 5

    Billy Bragg talked strongly about these subjects just last night in Wellington, and did so with such mirth you almost forgot how dangereous a concept it is to some and why big business has worked so very hard to destroy them . .

    Unions of the people are the only way to achieve any prosperity for the many. Unions of the people are the only way to wrestle back the leashes held by the few.

    p.s. The Woody Guthrie set was a giant super sundae of amazinglygreat topped with fanbloodytastic !

    • tc 6.1

      Rebbit rebitt says the frog, just stay in that water like the hollowmen want there’s a good leeming.

      • BM 6.1.1

        I thought it was the Lizard men, have they been replaced?

        • muzza 6.1.1.1

          9.3bn deficit….

          Where would you like the funding to come from

          1: Cutting of essential services
          2: Higher taxes on the poor/middle class
          3: Off-shore borrowing at undisclosed rates of interest

          Whats your thoughts on the foreign owned RBNZ/OoDM – Do you understand basics, or are you as asinine as your words indicate!

          • BM 6.1.1.1.1

            Offshore oil drilling
            Mining
            Cuts to the public service.
            Tax breaks for businesses that take on more staff.

            • muzza 6.1.1.1.1.1

              Offshore oil drilling – How will that fund the deficit?
              Mining – I doubt it
              Cuts to the public service.- You like that one?
              Tax breaks for businesses that take on more staff.- How will that fund the deficit?

              The deficit has happened, and needs funding now, try again!

            • chris73 6.1.1.1.1.2

              Sounds like a good start. I’d add getting tough on welfare fraudsters (no we aren’t tough enough not even close) and targeting and slamming tax evaders

              • Colonial Viper

                Raise income taxes on the top 5%, institute an asset tax, FTT and CGT. Reintroduce an estate tax (formally death duty).

                And a corporate supertax of 59% on any company making more than $100M pa.

              • felix

                Anyone who thinks the 9 billion dollar deficit will be addressed in any way whatsoever by “getting tough on welfare fraudsters” is drunk.

                • Bloody well said Felix.

                • chris73

                  Too early in the day for that.

                  I don’t think there is any one policy that can fix the deficit and increase jobs, however I do believe that there is a number of policies that can.

                  Cracking down on welfare fraudsters and tax dodgers is one of those policies that can help.

                  There ain’t no magic bullets.

                  • “There ain’t no magic bullets.”

                    Yet you keep looking for them, by judging others.

                    The total welfare budget for nz is approx 287.5Million.

                    Lets say using statistical analysis that 5% are fraudulent …..

                    14.15Mill max buddy.

                    Which means bad economic policy is 620 times more important and costly.

                  • Poission

                    Cracking down on welfare fraudsters and tax dodgers is one of those policies that can help.

                    There ain’t no magic bullets.

                    Globally there is not a monetary crisis,the money is just in the vehicles,and in the wrong areas for all the wrong reasons.

                    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-18944097

                    If we observe the above example,most of the developing countries would move from being net debtors to net creditors.

                    If the benefits from trusts removed there would be increased transparency,and greater opportunity to audit.This was where Dunnes defense of funny money needs to be clearly identified.The foreign tax haven status we provide is essentially only an offshore coin operated laundry-mat.

                    The NZ local trusts are more a relic of the past (to avoid inheritance tax),now they are being used to minimize risk for bad or criminal decision making eg Petrovich.

              • Foreign Waka

                Chris we are not talking about the “small fry” here. Corporate Welfare, guaranties for Banks to bail them out with taxpayer money and yet the bonuses paid to Excecs make your eyes water. In fact it was just a few days ago reported that banks are back where they were but the general population has been left in the dust.
                International Companies taking profits offshore without reinvestment and improvement of NZ interest required (don’t get me wrong, but it is not oil companies as they do reinvest – funny that!) Third world country wages being used to peg pay rates in regards to manufacturing (Fisher & Pykel will be the next one). Treaty claims that are logged with some sinister undertones and ever more inventions to make NZlanders pay (ownership of the water, air).
                The general support of the mentality that someone owes one a living etc…. And yet, the ones who really (really, really) need help and have earned their keep (pensioners) are being constantly marauded. Manipulation at its finest.This has not been a NZ tradition until the recent past. Perhaps people won’t like what I say here, however it will not diminish the underlying causes for the distinct problem NZ is facing and the challenges that will not go away.
                http://www.treatyofwaitangi.net.nz/ReadtheTreaty.html

            • Colonial Viper 6.1.1.1.1.3

              Tax breaks for businesses that take on more staff.

              Wages paid are exempt from company tax already, moron.

              • BM

                Aren’t we trying to create more jobs?.
                More carrot less stick, anything that encourages employers to take on more staff is good.

                • Colonial Viper

                  I agree. A super tax on corporates should create funds to help NZ based SMEs.

                  Your idea that cutting taxes has anything whatsoever to do with new jobs is just stupid, however. All it does is put more money into owners’ pockets for doing nothing different than today.

                  • BM

                    Creating incentives for small business to take on more staff, that has legs.
                    Your idea is pie in the sky and is never going to happen

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Of course it will happen. Have more faith. NZ can do a better job of selling and implementing it than Gillard did.

                    • Although the rates CV states are high, and would kill most businesses overnight, they are a worthy goal.

                      If things go well, then we’ll never need too approach those high levels, but the turnover/stability/options they’d create would be phenomonal.

                      Companies pay 28% at the mo, they can’t afford anything over +0.25% a year, CVs’ plan is a long one.

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      BM

                      Companies take on more staff when they are expanding right? Due to not being able to meet market demand for their products?

                      Otherwise, are we saying that currently they are not taking on staff even though there is demand not being met?

                      So the problem is not enough demand. We have excess labour because there is not enough demand for goods and services. Why is that? Is it because companies are paying too much tax? Is it because wages are too high? Is it because the govt is spending tooo much money?

                      So where does demand come from? And how can the Government encourage it?

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      Re tax rates.

                      It’s worth bearimg oin mind that taxes act in unusual ways.

                      If profits at a certain level are taxed highly, or income over a e certain amount, that can effect decisions around investment in staff and expansion. ie, paying your staff more can become a more attractive proposition when high taxes on the alternative are taken into account.

                      Or to look at the same thing another way, the incentive to pay lower wages and scimp on investment in productivity increasing plant, can be reduced by taxing the alternatives.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      And PB has hit the nail on the head. Thanks mate.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      PlanetOrphan said

                      Companies pay 28% at the mo, they can’t afford anything over +0.25% a year, CVs’ plan is a long one.

                      No, implement it tomorrow, actually.

                      I’d propose dropping the company tax rate for small businesses down to 26% (profits < $500K pa).

                      For medium sized companies keep the rate at 28% (profits <$10M).

                      For largish companies raise the rate to 33% (profits < $100M).

                      For major corporates, introduce the super-profits tax of 49% (profits over $100M pa).

                      In other words, progressive taxation for businesses.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    A super tax on corporates should create funds to help NZ based SMEs.

                    Nope. Just put businesses and trusts on PAYE and make dividends (also on PAYE) tax deductible for businesses. The resultant increase in the tax take could be used to boost SMEs as well as pay for the very large, very expensive factories that the SMEs need.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      yeah could do. Going to a Greens system and scrapping GST for SMEs would be good to.

                • Foreign Waka

                  BM unfortunately, empirical evidence does not support your argument. Any tax break is used to give some hefty bonuses to the shareholders as they expect ROI in line with profitability. Less tax means more profit and only a few will benefit and they may not even be in NZ. We should start restricting raw material being shipped out without being processed at its point of origin. I think this would create jobs, income, tax and well being for a lot of people.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    We should start restricting raw material being shipped out without being processed at its point of origin.

                    Yep. A complete ban on the exportation and importation of raw resources is needed.

                    • “Yep. A complete ban on the exportation and importation of raw resources is needed.”

                      Ban importation? Going to have a hard time getting by without any zinc.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      It’s the same coin. If we ban exportation of raw resources then we have to ban importation as well.

                    • Foreign Waka

                      Just something to make you think: we logging trees and send these unprocessed overseas to produce: wait for it! – toothpicks. So who says we cannot produce these here? Same with wood pallets for heating. Export them and you have one of many possibilities of a value added business. Ooops, too much work I hear? Bucks not coming quick enough (for some)?

                    • “If we ban exportation of raw resources then we have to ban importation as well.”

                      Going to have a hard time getting by without any zinc.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Why, doesn’t it come in a processed form?

                    • NZ has small amounts of Zinc but in no economic quantities. Mining it would be counter productive. So we have to import it.

                      What’s the difference between importing processed zinc, ready for use, and raw zinc? Why does it matter?

                      You seem to think, Draco, that NZ can be self-sufficient, but we don’t have enough of some minerals to be able to be so and still keep our current way of life.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Why does it matter?

                      Because it’s the processing that adds value which means a greater return for processed resources. That would be both for us and the other resource exporting countries. Also, it gives cause for the importing countries to look for other solutions.

                      You seem to think, Draco, that NZ can be self-sufficient,

                      I tend to go for minimalist trade rather than maximising it as the current failed paradigm calls for.

                    • So you agree then that NZ can’t be self-sufficient while keeping the same quality of life due to us lacking the necessary minerals?

                      Or are you still going to maintain your weird delusion that we can make everything here and still have plasma screens and a laptop/PC in every home?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      yeah because everyone having a new laptop and a new flat screen TV is what determines the “quality of life” in our society.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Or are you still going to maintain your weird delusion that we can make everything here and still have plasma screens and a laptop/PC in every home?

                      I’m pretty sure that we can make PCs and LED screens from resources here in NZ.

                      Steel – got it
                      Ceramics – got it
                      Silicon – got it
                      Gallium – got it
                      Copper – got it
                      Aluminium – yep, got that too (although, it’s possible we actually have more titanium)

                      There is some stuff we don’t have or, rather, have very little of, which it would be worth trading for.

                      yeah because everyone having a new laptop and a new flat screen TV is what determines the “quality of life” in our society.

                      Everyone having access to a computer and the internet is what helps maintain our democracy. Maintaining our democracy helps maintain our quality of life, ie, not as slaves or serfs.

                    • McFlock

                      don’t we import the bauxite for the aluminium?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      yeah we do

                      and DTB 100% import substitution is not going to work. Some shit we are either going to have to go without, still source from overseas and use sparingly, or simply recondition/repair/salvage what we already have here.

                    • “There is some stuff we don’t have or, rather, have very little of, which it would be worth trading for.”

                      So then banning imports/exports of materials won’t work

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      don’t we import the bauxite for the aluminium?

                      Yep, we do but there’s a 20 million tonne deposit of the stuff up in the north.

                      So then banning imports/exports of materials won’t work

                      /facepalm

                      I said raw materials. Example: We produce ~1m tonnes of steel annually of which we export most but we export 40 million tonnes of raw iron sand. The latter export would be banned but not the former.

    • Jim Nald 6.2

      “No crisis here”
      And don’t forget to pair that up with “There is no alternative”!!

      That brings to mind this recent piece from the UK:
      (http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/sep/30/miliband-has-got-answers)

      “[UK] Labour is talking of a badly damaged economic system which requires not just a leader, and not even just an election, but a national transformation to put it right. It needs companies run more democratically, rather than by a tiny clique of bonus-addicted executives. It needs banks that go back to their main social function – protecting savers’ money and lending to productive businesses. It needs public sector institutions such as hospitals to be more responsive to their users. …

      “It also needs a lively sense of the changing priorities and demographics of the country. That means shifting attention and resources to older people and those who care for them …

      “Starting to shift Britain in the right direction isn’t a matter of taking over ministries and nudging policy, or even just rewriting departmental budgets. Instead, it’s about changing the institutions people work in and rely on in their daily lives.

      “It’s about pushing and cajoling companies to pay their workers a decent wage, rather than depending on the state to make up the difference through tax credits – a corporate dependency culture allowed to flourish in the good years, when the tax receipts flowed in, but not affordable now. It’s about helping consumers to band together to force energy prices down by buying in bulk. It’s a vision of government as the reshaper and enabler of corporate responsibility, rather than as doler-out.

      “As one shadow minister put it to me yesterday, “Our model of capitalism has broken but, rather than abolish capitalism, we have to reform it, remake it, and democratise it.” That’s why so many of the lazier expectations of what a Labour opposition should be – laundry-lists of new spending pledges and detailed promises about tax – are simply beside the point. …

      “Almost everywhere one looks at this conference, one sees new thinking about how to reform the economic system without radical new spending commitments. Don’t get me wrong. It will be confrontational and sometimes scary. When the big corporate tycoons threaten to clear off, Miliband and the rest of the team cannot flinch. When executives on millions warn that they can’t pay decent wages without harming profits, there will be arguments to be had.

      “Obviously, there is still a long, long way to go. But you can see the ground plan for a new centre-left politics taking shape, and a few lines of brick rising from the mud. We don’t yet have the language to describe it properly – civic socialism?

      “… none of it will come to anything if millions of people cannot be persuaded that a better economy and society are possible. The quiet despair about anything ever really changing is the single most lethal threat to British democracy.

      “Ed Miliband’s biggest task will be to shift that, to convince the disillusioned that Britain can develop a less short-term, less unequal economy, in which companies can again be admired. Simply voting Labour, and expecting Miliband to fix it for us, isn’t grown up. He has got answers for those who will listen, but only for reasonable questions.”

      p.s. Apologies if the excerpts are a bit long but I have edited most out to leave these in. Moderators are welcome to remove as much as they wish since the link is already there. Cheers.

      • Colonial Viper 6.2.1

        Ah very nice, I’m liking Ed Milliband more and more.

      • Ad 6.2.2

        It’s really good to hear language changing like that.but what Labour UK might find is what Labour found in 1999: the public sector and the sum total of direct levers to pull has substantially shrunk. Labour governments need to be able to coordinate levers to increase their economic agency. But with the telco’s gone, banks gone, and soon power companies gone from state control, it will take more than changes in descriptors to change the economy.

        As the state and public service continues to shrink fast, actual bully-pulpit leadership becomes the main lever left. Does Miliband have that force of will? Does Shearer? They can’t be worse than the Tory Prime Ministers. just remember how hard it was to breakTelecom – they were happy to help betray the whole of Cabinet.

        This sounds a bit messianic I know, but it will take at least a whole term to develop and operate the new required levers of power over capital. I sincerely hope this will exists.

        • Colonial Viper 6.2.2.1

          This sounds a bit messianic I know, but it will take at least a whole term to develop and operate the new required levers of power over capital. I sincerely hope this will exists.

          Yeah don’t see much of that will around currently.

          • Ad 6.2.2.1.1

            Agreed, but one either works with the redeemable bits of the current leadership as EPMU has done, or be consigned to a further decade of stagnation as a new generation of leadership ascends. Nasty choice but opposition politics shouldn’t ever be about waiting for the other lot to fail.

          • Jim Nald 6.2.2.1.2

            Shearer is, I must admit, so anaesthetically pleasant. I might not even bother to get out of bed to vote, come election day.

            At least the comical pair of Johns would get my moral fibres fired up, thanks to their convenient memory loss, selectively characterised ignorance, and resistance to reading vital reports.

    • Poission 6.3

      As one of the commentators posed,( it is the dollar stupid ) the problem is reduced to a statement where debate is required.

      As we need a trade surplus to pay for imported goods and services,an accumulated debt we can identify that a high TWI (trade weighted index) does seem to decrease our Balance of payments eg.

      http://s1250.beta.photobucket.com/user/Poission/media/a984d297.gif.html

      If as a number of analysts suggest,the sept deficit (trade balance) is looking to be around 800m-1.1 billion it may be time to look at what we can do soon rather then later.

      When the Govt spokesman Joyce,tries to distort the problem and suggest that it is endogenous problems mostly to do with policy eg.

      “There is no doubt that economic conditions in the post GFC- world are challenging for some firms. The role of Government is to do things that help make firms more competitive and that is what our Business Growth Agenda is all about.

      “The Government would welcome opposition support in areas that make a real difference for firms – thinks like reforming the RMA, supporting employment law changes to increase flexibility, and controlling ACC’s costs.

      If we examine the last 2 points,labour flexibility bears NO relation to productivity growth anywhere in the world during economic contraction anywhere on this planet ie a fallacy eg Broadbent 2012 Bank of England.

      During the 61 banking crises covered by Bordo and Eichengreen’s dataset[ across 35 countries since 1980] , annual productivity growth is on average 1.4% points lower than at other times. Table 1, which plots the results of a regression on the same dataset, shows that, for given output growth, inflation is higher during financial crises

      The second point is also a fallacy as the independent review on NZ osh tells us that NZ has accidents rate around 4x the UK and Aus.ie a systemic problem with a no fault system.

      It is increasingly obvious that Joyce is a bit thick.

      • PlanetOrphan 6.3.1

        Very well said poisson,

        Those people that say “post GFC” should be saying “Post Iranian Oil Embargo”

        Which they new about, and did nothing about.

    • lprent 6.4

      BM: Tell me, do you ever read past the headline? Or are short sentences your limit? In which case even the following from that same article am be too long.

      Core Crown debt increased by $10 billion to around $50 billion…

      Despite the nice headline, all that meant was the rate of increase in debt was slowed. If you looked you will find that most of the better tax take was attributed to last years prices for agriculture. That is hardly likely to continue after the bump in the exchange rate.

      Everyone I run across in business is expecting a much harder year to June 2013, we’re a already seeing it.

    • Dr Terry 6.5

      BM – I am reluctant to waste time and space on one of your king, only to repeat “there are none so blind as those who will not see”.

  6. Great Article Karol :-)
    How about we introduce Salary caps ? (Thanks QoT)
    (We’ll have too legislate, the Unions can’t enforce it anymore)

    The Gnats’ “Free Market” is bleeding us dry.

  7. Dr Terry 8

    Thanks Karol. I can see that, for all the good things about this conference (like Russell Norman!), you would have a few reservations. Men must learn that their interests are more than financial and economic. Men too, like women, must look hard toward the human issues and the humane. Once we are “back in surplus”, what marvels are likely to happen then? All government energies will likely go into maintaining the status quo. Nobody, other then the already well-off, is going to receive any hand-outs, for sure! A “steady state economy” will probably offer no promise to those in poverty, or the poor. Somehow it will have to be maintained that way. No hand-outs!! Again, forget not humanitarian concerns.

  8. Draco T Bastard 9

    However, I still don’t follow the logic that the route to a more sustainably productive, fair and inclusive society, is through every country selling stuff to each other.

    That logic is based upon the micro economic principle of specialisation. An individual can’t learn everything and so they specialise. Unfortunately, the mainstream economists have taken that principle and applied it to whole societies which shows the total stupidity of mainstream economics. It’s obvious that a society always has enough people in it to cover everything that the society needs. What happens when a society specialises in a limited number of areas is a) the people who don’t want to work in those areas have to leave to work where they want and b) the society actually stops changing and thus becomes a backwater with limited culture (which probably encourages even more people to leave).

    While several participants said they are open to exploring all possible solutions, many at the summit, including Labour and the Greens, do not seem to have the courage to fully jettison the neoliberal agenda.

    People tend to be afraid of change even when it’s obvious that change is needed.

    Is it possible for NZ to decouple from this system, and develop a new direction, independent of the main havoc wreaked by the international capitalist elite?

    Yes, it’s possible but it’s going to take more input from the general populace rather than just listening to the capitalists and the politicians who want to keep the present system.

  9. karol 10

    People tend to be afraid of change even when it’s obvious that change is needed….

    Yes, it’s possible but it’s going to take more input from the general populace rather than just listening to the capitalists and the politicians who want to keep the present system
     
    Yes, that’s what I thought.  This was indicated to me when some speakers referring to countries like the US and UK providing “new” interventionist models that NZ should either follow or respond to.  Also there was a question/suggestion from the floor that I didn’t catch (lousy hearing?), but that the (politicians’?) panel said would be a “step too far”. 
     
    It might have been this one as mentioned by Bomber:
     

    The Financial Transaction tax was discussed at length and best question of the day had to go to economist Dr Ganesh Nana who wanted to know that if the panel was serious they should be advocating politicians taking the levers of power off the faceless technocrats and make political decisions with the economy.

     
    I thought the question might have been about totally doing away with the Reserve Bank – but I could be wrong.
     
    I didn’t think the FTT was discussed extensively, or at least, not more than some other stuff.  I thought it was Minto that asked the Business Panel about an FTT.  Walley said half a % would raise more than GST.
     
     
     

  10. karol 11

    Another couple of points that I didn’t fit into my post (as it was already quite long).
     
    Peter Conway was keen on the “Manufacturers’ Strategy” that South Australia is about to launch. (I know nothing about this, but would be interested to learn.)
     
    Chris Trotter asked the Business Panel if they thought now was the time for politicians to re-look at the policies of 80 years ago.  He asked if we should go back to politics leading over economics?  Something that has been reversed since the 1980s.
     
    Whittaker said, “Yes”.  Walley said, “It’s a political issue…. the GFC will get worse.”
     
    Conway said ,”Yes”, there should be a political economy approach, not a market approach.

    • Jokerman 12.1

      oh Joe, always sobering.
      (sooner “they” get over themselves and their blind hypocrisy in this country, the sooner we can all eat a ‘banquet’ )

  11. karol 13

    And Mana is a late entry in publicly supporting the Parliamentary Inquiry:
     

    “MANA fully supports a parliamentary inquiry into manufacturing” says MANA Leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau Hone Harawira.
     
    “MANA did attend the manufacturing summit on Friday, but due to a communication error that did not see us included in the political press conference it was reported that we were absent. MANA accepts the invitation that was issued by the Greens, Labour and NZ First to participate in the inquiry. We believe the initiative is desperately needed to save an important sector in our economy and we look forward to exploring solutions with other political parties”.
     
    “One solution that could assist with the crisis is the Hone Heke Tax (Financial Transaction Tax).

     
    Good to see so many opposition parties working together.
     
     

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    Polity | 20-11
  • $4.8 billion gone
    As readers know, the NZ Super Fund now contributes around $27 billion to our net position as a country, It will help us pay for the wave of baby boom retirements. Sadly, it is now clear that National's decision to...
    Polity | 20-11
  • Secondary teachers vote IES into collective
    21 November 2014 PPTA members have voted to include two teaching roles central to Investing in Educational Success (IES) in their collective agreement.At paid union meetings held throughout the country over the past two weeks 80.3% voted to include the...
    PPTA | 20-11
  • Labour’s Hercules?
    Hero? Saint? Both? Neither? In making Labour an electable proposition by 2017, Andrew Little faces a challenge of Herculean proportions. Then again, Hercules was presented with twelve impossible tasks. Little can succeed by successfully completing a more modest (but equally...
    Bowalley Road | 20-11
  • Roger Sutton and deja vu all over again
    What to say about the Roger Sutton story? Well, Andrea Vance has done some amazing work setting out the basic facts behind the carefully stage-managed whitewashing of Roger Sutton’s pseudo-departure. And stargazer at The Hand Mirror has responded to the...
    On the Left | 20-11
  • MoT acknowledge changing trends and future funding issues
    Last week the Briefings to government ministers (BIM) were published. I’ve already looked at what the Ministry of Transport (MoT) and NZTA have said about transport in Auckland and so in this post I’m going to look at some of the other points...
    Transport Blog | 20-11
  • Why we need to talk about the scientific consensus on climate change
    An interesting sequence of events followed the publication of a scientific paper the Skeptical Science team published in May last year. The paper found a 97% consensus that humans were causing global warming in relevant scientific papers. Finding an overwhelming...
    Skeptical Science | 20-11
  • 2014 – Ongoing jobless tally
    . . Continued from: 2013 – Ongoing jobless tally So by the numbers, for this year, January OceanaGold/Macraes Mine: 146 redundancies Fitzroy Yachts: 100 redundancies OceanaGold: 76 redundancies Tenix: 15 redundancies February Goodman Fielder: 125 redundancies Pacific Steel Group: 70-90 redundancies...
    Frankly Speaking | 20-11
  • 2014 – Ongoing jobless tally
    . . Continued from: 2013 – Ongoing jobless tally So by the numbers, for this year, January OceanaGold/Macraes Mine: 146 redundancies Fitzroy Yachts: 100 redundancies OceanaGold: 76 redundancies Tenix: 15 redundancies February Goodman Fielder: 125 redundancies Pacific Steel Group: 70-90 redundancies...
    Frankly Speaking | 20-11
  • Stuart’s 100 #56: More Dignity for Daily Users
    56 More Dignity for Daily Users What if there was a moment of civic dignity outside the Auckland District Court? The Auckland District Court on the corner of Albert and Kingston Streets is I think at last count the busiest...
    Transport Blog | 20-11
  • Prime Minister’s warped view of history
    Students who sat NCEA level 3 history exams last week might be very worried to hear the Prime Minister tell a Radio Station that New Zealand was one of the few countries that was settled peacefully by Europeans. Those students who wrote...
    frogblog | 20-11
  • The greatest tragedy of our time
    This is going to ruffle a few feathers. We are parasites. Yes you read that correctly – humanity is a giant collective parasite sucking the life juices from dear Mother Earth. I’m not a nihilist. I still believe there’s plenty...
    On the Left | 20-11
  • Proving anecdotes are reliable
    Here’s one to go with Let’s rely on anecdotes instead! Something I picked up on Facebook Similar articles  ...
    Open Parachute | 20-11
  • Proving anecdotes are reliable
    Here’s one to go with Let’s rely on anecdotes instead! Something I picked up on Facebook Similar articles  ...
    Open Parachute | 20-11
  • Class warfare in the UK
    Surprise, surprise! An independent study has shown that the UK's conservative government has been driving a massive transfer of wealth from the poor to the rich:A landmark study of the coalition’s tax and welfare policies six months before the general...
    No Right Turn | 20-11
  • That didn’t take long
    National's new teabreak law isn't even in force and employers are already abusing it:Yesterday a union member, who prefers to remain anonymous for fear of retribution, emailed Hotel Organiser Shanna Reeder. “This morning in the briefing our manager declared that...
    No Right Turn | 20-11
  • Justice is more important than international relations
    Yunus Rahmatullah is a Pakistani citizen. In 2004 he was disappeared by British forces in Iraq. The British then gave him to the Americans who rendered him to Afghanistan and kept him there without charge or trial for ten years,...
    No Right Turn | 20-11
  • The Sutton debacle
    Sexual Harassment in the Workplace: it’s not a good thing, except when you’re playing Frank Zappa’s 1988 instrumental album Guitar, in which case ‘Sexual Harassment in the Workplace’ is the opening track, and it’s a stonker. However, setting aside the...
    Occasionally erudite | 20-11
  • The dangers of ignoring context
    Here’s a 22 point plan for peace in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.Entrench Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestinian lands.Never let a chance go by to duplicitously conflate Hamas and some in Fatah with the Islamic State/ISIS/ISIL so as to gild the imperiled-Israeli...
    Pundit | 19-11
  • Rapid transit has passed the acid test
    I recently ran across a New Zealand Herald article from 2000 on the region’s plans to start building good rapid transit infrastructure. (Which, as Patrick highlighted in a recent post, is exactly what is holding Auckland back relative to its...
    Transport Blog | 19-11
  • Plan for mega factory farm ruffles feathers
    Not long ago I wrote about the proposal to build a mega factory farm in the small township of Patumahoe that would confine over 300, 000 hens to colony cages. This week the resource consent hearing for the proposed factory...
    Greens | 21-11
  • National opens door further to Chinese property speculators
    National has further opened the door to Chinese property speculators with the registration of a third Chinese bank here that will make it easier for Chinese investors to invest in New Zealand properties, the Green Party said today."As well, former...
    Greens | 20-11
  • National restarts logging in West Coast forests
    “Dead wood also contributes by providing nutrients to soils, supporting the agents of wood decay such as fungi and invertebrates and it is a key habitat for the regeneration of some trees.” Annual Report 2013/14, page 29. The National Government has...
    Greens | 20-11
  • Lab plan the beginning of slippery slope?
    It’s time for new Health Minister Jonathan Coleman to show his hand on plans to privatise lab services which doctors are warning could put patients’ lives at risk, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Clinicians have sent the Government some...
    Labour | 20-11
  • A-G called on to look into flagship ‘cost-saving’ programme
    New health Minister Jonathan Coleman has some serious questions to answer following a decision to wind up the Government’s flagship health savings provider HBL just a fortnight after giving it the green light to implement its plans, Labour’s Health spokesperson...
    Labour | 20-11
  • Prime Minister’s warped view of history
    Students who sat NCEA level 3 history exams last week might be very worried to hear the Prime Minister tell a Radio Station that New Zealand was one of the few countries that was settled peacefully by Europeans. Those students who wrote...
    Greens | 20-11
  • Climate of fear needs addressing
    It is hugely concerning that community and volunteer groups feel they are being gagged from speaking out against the Government, Labour’s Community and Voluntary Sector Spokesperson Louisa Wall says.  A Victoria University survey of 93 sector groups has found 50...
    Labour | 20-11
  • Mandatory code of conduct needed for supermarkets
    Labour has drafted legislation to establish a mandatory code of conduct for supermarkets to ensure New Zealand suppliers are not affected by anti-competitive behaviour. “Even though the Commerce Commission found no technical breaches of the law through some of Countdown’s...
    Labour | 19-11
  • National softening public up for 7th successive deficit
    Finance Minister Bill English is softening the public up for an announcement that National is going to fail in even its very limited goal of achieving a budget surplus, the Green Party said today."No finance minister in a generation has...
    Greens | 19-11
  • National caught out on state house porkies
    Housing NZ’s annual report out today directly contradicts the Government’s claim that one-third of its houses are in the wrong place and are the wrong size, said Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The annual report states 96 per cent of...
    Labour | 18-11
  • Damning report on Department of Conservation restructure
    The restructuring of the Department of Conservation (DOC) following National's severe funding cuts has been revealed as failure, the Green Party said today.The Taribon report has reviewed the new structure of DOC after 12 months. The restructuring, one of the...
    Greens | 18-11
  • Greens welcome Xi, but human rights need to be on agenda
    The Green Party welcomes the visit to New Zealand of Chinese President Xi Jinping and wishes to congratulate him on his recent announcement regarding China capping emissions for the first time.The United States and China recently unveiled a deal to...
    Greens | 18-11
  • Backing New Zealanders to get ahead
    New Labour Leader Andrew Little says it is an immense privilege to have been chosen to lead the party and to be given the task of ensuring it once again becomes a powerful force that backs New Zealanders in getting...
    Labour | 18-11
  • Andrew Little Elected Leader of Labour Party
    “The Labour Party congratulates Andrew Little, who has been elected as party leader in a robust and highly democratic process,” says Labour Party President Moira Coatsworth. “Andrew’s leadership will have the full support of the whole Labour Party.”...
    Labour | 18-11
  • Report into Brownlee security breach should be released
    The Government and Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) should release the report into former Minister of Transport Gerry Brownlee's airport security breach, the Green Party said today."The actions of a Minister of Transport breaching security at an airport are a matter...
    Greens | 17-11
  • Brownlee must ask CAA to release the report
    Gerry Brownlee must ask the Civil Aviation Authority to release the report that finds he broke the law in breaching airport security, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “It is inexcusable for any minister, let alone the then-Transport Minister, to...
    Labour | 17-11
  • G20 climate comment increases pressure on NZ
    The G20 decision to include climate change in its communiqué despite Australia's attempt to ignore it, increases pressure on New Zealand to come up with a credible plan to cut emissions, the Green Party said today.The G20 Leaders Communiqué from...
    Greens | 17-11
  • NZ joins G20 climate problem
    Confirmation this morning by John Key that his Government plans to do nothing to turn around NZ's rapidly rising greenhouse emissions means that New Zealand joins Australia as one of the problem children at the G20 meeting in Brisbane, the...
    Greens | 16-11
  • IRD joins Corrections in Phillip Smith failure
    It is incomprehensible that IRD and Corrections were not able to stop Phillip Smith from rorting the tax system out of $50,000 until it was too late, given that he was a notoriously manipulative prisoner stuck in jail, says Labour’s...
    Labour | 13-11
  • The Government has to listen to Olly
    When even hard boiled property investors like Olly Newland  say first home buyers have been shafted by Loan to Value Ratio lending restrictions, surely it is time for the Government to listen, says Labour's housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  "Auckland landlord...
    Labour | 13-11
  • Key used GCSB for political ends prior to 2014 election
    New documents released to the Green Party show that Prime Minister John Key used New Zealand's intelligence services for the National Party's political ends a few days out from the 2014 election, the Green Party said today.Documents released to the...
    Greens | 13-11
  • Government not meeting its climate target
    The Government must front up to the fact that its own advisors are now saying that New Zealand is off target in any transition to a low carbon future, says Labour’s spokesperson on Climate Change Nanaia Mahuta.  “A briefing to...
    Labour | 12-11
  • Briefing reveals Defence facilities ‘increasingly unfit for purpose’
    The Defence Briefing to the Incoming Minister reveals a deteriorating state in Defence facilities that are no longer fit for purpose, says Labour’s Defence spokesperson Phil Goff.  “The briefing is heavily censored but still reveals that Defence camps, bases and...
    Labour | 12-11
  • New projections show New Zealand missing climate target
    Briefings to Incoming Ministers released today reveal the Government's climate policy is failing with projected emission more than double what is needed to meet National's 2050 target, the Green Party saidProjections released by the Ministry for the Environment, as part...
    Greens | 12-11
  • National’s highways far less efficient
    National’s new state highways have a far lower cost-benefit ratio than motorways built under the last Labour Government, making a mockery of the Government’s bluster that its road building will boost the economy, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “New...
    Labour | 12-11
  • Governor points finger at National on supply
    The Reserve Bank Governor has admitted he had to keep loan to value mortgage restrictions in place because the Government’s attempts to increase housing has fallen ‘a long way short’, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The thousands of first...
    Labour | 12-11
  • Did Collins cover up Slater’s OIA requests?
    Disgraced former Cabinet Minister Judith Collins must explain why she appears to have tried to hide Official Information Act requests she fulfilled for Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater, Labour MP Megan Woods says. “New documents obtained by Labour show Judith...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Reserve Bank’s dairy warning must be heard
    The Reserve Bank’s warning that falling dairy prices are creating greater risks for the New Zealand economy must be taken seriously by Bill English and John Key, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “Dairy prices have nearly halved since February...
    Labour | 11-11
  • National’s housing failure keeps LVRs in place
    The Reserve Bank’s decision to leave loan-to-value ratio mortgage restrictions in place is further confirmation of National’s housing policy fiasco, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Reserve Bank would have lifted LVRs if they had seen any increase in...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Let’s see if it is plane sailing Mr Bridges
    Comments by Transport Minister Simon Bridges that Far North residents' anger over cutbacks to regional flights will be allayed by larger planes and cheaper fares out of Kerikeri, are just pure arrogance, says Labour’s Te Tai Tokerau MP Kelvin Davis....
    Labour | 11-11
  • Commerce Commission inquiry needed into building supplies monopoly
    The Commerce Commission must stop dragging the chain and urgently investigate the anti-competitive practices in the building industry that are driving up the cost of building materials, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Competition in the building materials market is...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Air New Zealand grounds Far North
    The announcement by Air New Zealand to close services from Kaitaia to Auckland will be an absolute disaster for the Far North, Labour MP for Te Tai Tokerau Kelvin Davis says.  “Air New Zealand is sending a signal to the...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Pulling West Coast flights a savage blow
    Air New Zealand’s decision to withdraw its Westport service is another kick in the guts for an already struggling community, West Coast-Tasman MP, Damien O’Connor says.   “Having been involved in the West Coast’s efforts to get Air Nelson to return...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Air NZ cuts economic lifelines to neglected regions
    Air New Zealand’s plans to cut its Eagle Air regional services to already struggling regions is a hammer blow to Westport, Whakatane and Kaitaia, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The regions of New Zealand are being abandoned by this...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Christchurch on the rent rack
    A jump of 20 per cent in weekly rents in the past year is a disaster for Christchurch, says Associate Housing spokesperson Poto Williams. “The Trade Me Property Rental Price index has rightly described the city as being a ‘...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Past time to act on warnings about palliative care
    Health officials have been warning the Government about a critical shortage of palliative care specialists for years, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader and Health spokesperson Annette King says. A stocktake carried out for the Ministry of Health shows New Zealand’s end...
    Labour | 10-11
  • Report must spur Government into action
    The soaring cost of domestic violence and child abuse highlight the need for the Government to prioritise and act on the issue, says Labour's spokesperson for Social Development, Sue Moroney.“Findings from the Glenn Inquiry that show the problem is estimated...
    Labour | 10-11
  • Family safety paramount, then urgent review
    Corrections Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has some serious questions to answer over why a dangerous prison escapee, convicted of further crimes while in jail, managed to abscond while he was on approved temporary release, Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.“Phillip...
    Labour | 09-11
  • LVRs a failed experiment from Bill English
    Loan to value mortgage restrictions are a failed experiment from Bill English to tame Auckland house prices, that have caused collateral damage to first home buyers and other regions, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The possible end of LVR...
    Labour | 09-11
  • Govt books getting worse as economy slows
    National’s economic credibility is under serious scrutiny with its search for surplus becoming harder due to an economy far too reliant on the dairy industry, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “National promised New Zealanders would get into surplus by...
    Labour | 06-11
  • Kiwis in pain because of Government underfunding
    New research showing one in three people needing elective surgery are being denied publicly-funded operations shows the Government must properly fund the health sector, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “For almost two years Labour has been warning about the...
    Labour | 06-11
  • National’s promised surplus looking doubtful
    Budget figures for the first quarter of the financial year released today by Treasury show the Government's goal of achieving a budget surplus is looking doubtful, the Green Party said today."National has staked its credibility on achieving a budget surplus...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Kevin Hague speaks on the Gambling Amendment Bill (No 3)
    I rise to give this speech on behalf of Denise Roche, who handles the gambling portfolio for the Green Party. This bill deals with class 4 gambling—pokies in pubs and clubs—and it is the result of changes that were suggested...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Kevin Hague speaks on the Health (Protection) Amendment Bill
    I would like to start off where the previous speaker left off, on the issue of balancing rights or balancing harms. All law is in some way a restriction of personal liberty. That is the point of law. When we...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Joyce backs away from yet another target
    Steven Joyce has backed away from two targets in two days, refusing to acknowledge that his Government has an unambitious aim to get unemployment down to 4 per cent in 11 years’ time, says Labour Associate Finance spokesperson David Clark....
    Labour | 06-11
  • Pacific peoples incomes and jobs falling under National
    The Minister of Pacific Peoples is attempting to bury the ugly facts of Pacific unemployment and income levels worsening since National took office in 2008, said Labour’s Pacific Affairs spokesperson, Su’a William Sio. “If the Minister doesn’t acknowledge how bad...
    Labour | 06-11
  • The Block NZ doing a better job than Nick Smith
    Nick Smith should consider calling in producers of The Block NZ with participants in the TV series completing more houses in two seasons than the Government’s failed Special Housing Area policy, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The Block NZ...
    Labour | 06-11
  • Meridian moves to kill competition from solar homes
    Big electricity companies are using their power to make it harder for families and businesses wanting to go solar and the National Government is doing nothing to help them, the Green Party said today. Meridian Energy announced today a 60-72...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Has John Key done all he could for Pike families?
    It will be forever on the conscience of John Key whether he did all he could to recover the remains of the 29 miners who died in Pike River, Labour’s MP for West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says.  “The Prime Minister...
    Labour | 05-11
  • National further dashes hopes of new parents
    The National Government has once again shown its disdain for working parents by voting down proposals to extend paid parental leave, Labour MP Sue Moroney says.  “The Government vetoed an amended proposal that substantially reduced the cost of extending PPL...
    Labour | 05-11
  • Honouring the Ampatuan massacre victims as fight for justice goes on
    A grim reminder of the Maguindanao, or Ampatuan, massacre on 23 November 2014. Photo: DanRogayan A TOP Filipino investigative journalist will be speaking about the “worst attack” on journalists in history and her country’s culture of impunity in a keynote...
    The Daily Blog | 23-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – what are they afraid of: the erosion of democ...
    Today the Hamilton City Council has put on a big party to celebrate the 150th anniversary of European colonisation of the area.  There have been a series of events during the year to mark this event, including a civic ceremony. ...
    The Daily Blog | 22-11
  • #JohnKeyHistory
    John Key has done it again. This week our lovely Prime Minister has showed us how little he knows about the history of the country he is supposed to be running. Apparently “New Zealand was settled peacefully”. Was it really?...
    The Daily Blog | 22-11
  • G20 growth targets and growth model offer more problems than they solve
    At the recent G20 in Brisbane, member countries agreed to accelerate growth to an additional 2% on top of current trajectories. But ongoing public sector cuts, asset sales, and reducing workers’ rights indicate that at least part of the growth...
    The Daily Blog | 22-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Bill Courtney – Charter Schools: The Shroud of Secrecy Contin...
    The Ministry of Education yesterday released another batch of information relating to the five existing charter schools and the four new ones proposed for opening in 2015. As we have seen before, the release of such information, often requested under...
    The Daily Blog | 22-11
  • EXCLUSIVE: Campaign reflection, Laila Harré reaching out for radical minds
    Today I’ve announced that I will be stepping down from the Internet Party leadership in December. This will happen once options for the future have been developed for discussion and decision among members. My absolute focus in this election was...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • The Ebola crisis, capitalism and the Cuban medical revolution
    “Ebola emerged nearly 40 years ago. Why are clinicians still empty-handed, with no vaccines and no cure? Because Ebola has been, historically, geographically confined to poor African nations. The R&D incentive is virtually non-existent. A profit-driven industry does not invest...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • MEDIA WATCH: TVNZ Reveals Insane Deadlines For Māori and Pacific Island Pr...
    Last Tuesday, November 18th, TVNZ requested proposals from producers for the four Māori and Pacific Island programmes they will no longer be making in-house. Marae, Waka Huia, Fresh and Tagata Pasifika will keep their existing names, existing formats and existing...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • The Daily Blog Breakfast Club Ep. 1
    TDB Video, Live from Verona Cafe on K-Rd, Auckland – a weekly current affairs show with TDB Editor Martyn Bradbury. This week’s panel: Chris Trotter & Selwyn Manning.The issues: 1 – What now for the New Labour leader? 2 –...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • Performance-demonstration at Auckland’s High Court to demand justice for ...
    People outraged at the lack of justice in the so-called ‘Roast Busters’ case and 99% of other rape cases in this country are holding a visually powerful mass action at the Auckland High Court at 1 o’clock on Saturday. They...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • IES vote may weaken defense of public education
    PPTA announced today that secondary teachers have voted to include the IES (Investing in Education Success) as a variation to their collective employment agreement with the government. At one level it’s an understandable decision by PPTA members because through engaging in a consultation...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • NZ History lesson on Planet Key – the lies white people tell themselves
    John Key’s bizarre claims about our ‘peaceful history’ comes across like the apartheid history of South Africa where white people discovered Africa first… New Zealand ‘settled peacefully’ – PM New Zealand was “settled peacefully” by the British, the prime minister...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Universal Basic Income and Labour Policy
    On Radio New Zealand’s None-to-Noon on Wednesday (19 November), new Labour leader Andrew Little intimated that he would like to put Universal Basic Income (UBI) on his policy agenda (What policy changes will Andrew Little usher in?) Predictably Kathryn Ryan, despite being...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • The New Notes : They Ain’t Mint
    Hulk Queen Angry. Hulk Queen smash.   Yesterday, the Reserve Bank announced its new designs for our banknotes. Now, I’ve historically been pretty sketch about this entire process; variously feeling affronted that the government could find eighty million dollars to fund a...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • MSM under-mining of new Labour Leader already begun?
    . . It did not take long. In fact, on the same day that Andrew Little won the Labour leadership*, the first media reporter was already asking if he would be stepping down  if Labour failed to lift in the...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Simon Buckingham – invisible disability voices
    Today I am ranting. The Disability Advisory Group has been announced by Auckland Council. This is the body that represents the interests and views of people with disabilities in Auckland. Whilst I would not have applied this time as I...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Andrew Little
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Andrew Little...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Why labelling Little as a ‘Unionist’ is a joke and how he beats Key in ...
    The line being used to attack Andrew Little as a ‘Unionist’ is just an absurd joke, and it comes from people who clearly don’t understand the modern NZ Union movement. Andrew ran the EPM Bloody U, they are easily one...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • 5AA Australia – Labour’s New Leader + China’s President In New Zealan...
    Recorded on 20/11/14 – Captured Live on Ustream.tv. 5AA’s Peter Godfrey and Selwyn Manning.ISSUE ONE: The New Zealand Labour Party has elected its new leader, the vote going to a third round after no clear outright winner was found in...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Did Roger Sutton think he was running the Rock Radio Station?
    Visible G-String Fridays? Full body hugs? Jokes about who you would and wouldn’t have sex with? Honey? Sweety? It’s like Roger thought he was running the Rock Radio Station, not a Government Public Service department set up to rebuild a...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • US Politics
      US Politics...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Amnesty International – The conversation that needs to be had with China
    Caption: Police officer watching Hong Kong pro-democracy march, 01 July 2014 © Amnesty International    Yesterday’s edition of The New Zealand Herald features an open letter to all New Zealander’s from Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China. Along...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Patrick O’Dea – “Liar”
    LIAR! ‘Privatised social housing to benefit tenants’ English “Housing Corp was a poor performer and about a third of its housing stock was the wrong size, in poor condition and in the wrong place. That stock was worth about $5...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Too Close For Comfort: Reflections on Andrew Little’s narrow victory over...
    THE TRAGIC SCREENSHOT of “Gracinda” in defeat bears eloquent testimony to the bitter disappointment of the Grant Robertson-led faction of the Labour Party. And, yes, ‘Party’ is the right word. The Robertson machine has now extended its influence well beyond...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • How to defeat child poverty
      How to defeat child poverty...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Little’s Shadow Cabinet
    Now the horror of trying to pacify the factions begins. The only thing Little’s new shadow cabinet must do is create the pretence of unity. The reason voters didn’t flock to Labour wasn’t the bloody CGT or Superannuation, it was...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • A pilgrimage with my sister – Rethink the System
    We’ve both wanted to do a pilgrimage for many years. But, unlike many modern pilgrims, we wanted to be pilgirms in our own country and get closer to our communities, rather than seek greater distance from them. We are both...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Lack of policy ambition is Andrew Little’s main problem
    I’ve met Andrew Little a few times and he’s a pleasant man who will make a reasonable job leading what the Labour Party has become in recent decades. He will preside over a much less divided caucus and will be...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Journos, film makers, media freedom advocates join Asia-Pacific political j...
    A candlelight vigil for the 58 victims of the 2009 Maguindanao massacre – 32 of them media people. Still no justice for them today. Renowned investigative journalists, film makers, academics and media freedom campaigners from across the Asia-Pacific region will...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • And the new Labour Leader is ZZZZZZZZZZ
    The victory lap by Caucus over the members choice of Cunliffe has ended and the new leader of the Labour Party is Andrew Little. Yawn. The dullness and caution of the latest Leadership race will be served well by Andrew,...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Allow the Facts to Get in the Way of the Neolib Stories
    One of the weaknesses of the political left in New Zealand over the last 30 years has been to allow the neoliberal storytellers to get away with lots of fibs and half-fibs. On TVNZ’s Q+A on 16 November, in a...
    The Daily Blog | 17-11
  • Defending The Boomers: A Response to Chloe King
    THE BABY-BOOM GENERATION (49-68 year-olds) currently numbers just under a quarter of New Zealand’s population. Even so, there is a pervasive notion that the generation of New Zealanders born between the end of World War II and the mid-1960s exercises...
    The Daily Blog | 17-11
  • This weeks Waatea news column – Waitangi Tribunal ruling enshrines Treaty...
      This weeks Waatea news column – Waitangi Tribunal ruling enshrines Treaty as a living document...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Key now says SAS will be needed to protect ‘trainers’ behind the wire
    Well, well, well. What do we have here? Government could send SAS to Iraq New Zealand’s elite Special Air Service (SAS) could be deployed to Iraq to protect Kiwi troops sent to train local forces. Prime Minister John Key confirmed...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Do You Want to Build a Meth Lab? (Frozen x Breaking Bad Parody)
    Do You Want to Build a Meth Lab? (Frozen x Breaking Bad Parody)...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Soft soap for the rich – harsh taxes for the poor
    It’s no surprise to see New Zealand has one of the world’s lowest tax rates for the rich and the superrich. A survey by the global accounting network UHY shows New Zealand’s highest tax rates are lower than even Australia,...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Phillip Smith and the rehabilitation process
    The dominant media narrative in horrible murder cases is that the perpetrator is unlikely ever to be rehabilitated. When it appears the offender may get parole the media turns first to family members of the victim who commonly (and understandably)...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • The Nation review: Finlayson’s terrifying definition of who is on terror ...
    Terrifying Nation today on TV3. Chris Finlayson is on justifying the Government’s Muslim fear mongering and extension of even more surveillance powers. It was jaw dropping. Finlayson says ‘alienated people with a chip on their shoulder’ is the threshold to get...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • A brief word on The Block NZ
    Is it just me or did The Block manage to sum up everything that is wrong about our culture and economy? Fetishised property speculation as mass entertainment in a country of homelessness & poverty. I wonder if State House tenants...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • Waitangi Tribunal ruling
    That spluttering choking sound of a thousand rednecks being informed Maori still have sovereignty is a hilarious cacophony of stupid… Crown still in charge: Minister Chris Finlayson on Waitangi Treaty ruling The Waitangi Tribunal’s finding that Maori chiefs who signed...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • A brief word on Phillip Smith
    We can arrest student loan & fine defaulters at the airport – but not convicted child molesting killers? Before we ban manufactured ISIS ‘terrorists’ from having passports, how about we just manage to stop child molesting killers from fleeing first?...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • Free Me From Religion
          The meeting begins – or at least it’s supposed to begin – but someone interrupts proceedings. She wants everyone to pray with their heads bowed while she can “thank our Father who art in Heaven.” I close...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • Key capitulates on TPPA while big money NZ set up propaganda fund
    So Key has capitulated on the ‘gold standard’ of free trade deals… The primary objective for New Zealand at Apec was to see some urgency injected into the TPP talks and to keep leaders aiming for a high quality deal....
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Why Phillip Smith is the least of our worries
    Well, it turns out Phillip Smith wasn’t half as clever as he thought he was, and he’s been arrested within a week. If the Prime Minister is through with making tasteless jokes, perhaps we can ramp down the media hysteria...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Constraining Credibility
      Most economists and members of the public – on both the right and the left – believe that economies are constrained by resource scarcity most of the time. In this view, economies are supply-constrained, and that the economic problem...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Migrant Labour, exploitation and free markets
    Once more we read about a horror story of virtual slavery for a migrant worker in a restaurant in Christchurch. The silver lining that in this case compensation should be paid is not assured. Often in situations like this the employer winds up...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • On baby boomers who give my generation unhelpful advice: JUST DON’T
    One of my mum’s colleagues recently told her that there is no money in what her daughter was doing; volunteering at a women’s refuge and writing on politics. This guy, dispensing all his pearls of wisdom, told my mother that...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Morbid Symptoms: Can Labour Be Born Anew?
    THE CHAIRS in the final meeting venue have been stacked away. All that expensive signage, commissioned for the benefit of the television cameras, no longer has a purpose. For the second time in just 14 months, Labour’s Leadership Contest is...
    The Daily Blog | 12-11
  • What’s Small, White, and Having Trouble Attracting New People?
    If your answer was something intimately connected to the person of Peter Dunne … then you’d be right. Last night, P-Dunney decided to bring his comedy and/or hair stylings to the twitterverse; penning a potentially somewhat ill-advised tweet in which he compared...
    The Daily Blog | 12-11
  • LATE at the Auckland Museum review – Slacktivisim: Its not just for Slack...
    Monday night is my yoga night. I’m not really very good it, I don’t really have the bendy, but I made a New Years resolution. This Monday however, I decided to put the yoga on prone and attend a gig...
    The Daily Blog | 12-11
  • Domestic violence problem bigger than Sky Tower
    Domestic violence problem bigger than Sky Tower SKYCITY’s Sky Tower in Auckland will be lit up in white on Monday evening Nov 25th at 10pm, on the eve of White Ribbon Day. The anti-domestic violence network SAFTINET (Safer Auckland Families...
    Scoop politics | 23-11
  • State Services Commissioner ‘unfit for the job’ says Little
    State Services Commissioner ‘unfit for the job’ says Little The new Labour leader Andrew Little has called for the State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie to be stood down after his handling of the Roger Sutton sexual harassment case. "The idea...
    Scoop politics | 23-11
  • Patrick Gower interviews Laila Harre
    Patrick Gower interviews Laila Harre Headlines: Laila Harre to quit as Internet Party leader by Christmas when the party has completed its review, but would love to return to parliament Says party considering options for its future including winding...
    Scoop politics | 22-11
  • Lisa Owen interviews Labour leader Andrew Little
    Lisa Owen interviews Labour leader Andrew Little Headlines: Andrew Little says the shape of his front-bench for the 2017 election may not be clear until the end of next year Indicates next week’s appointments may be temporary: “So I may...
    Scoop politics | 22-11
  • Phillip John Smith – statement
    Police and the New Zealand Embassy in Brasilia are aware of a decision from the Brazil Federal Court requiring the deportation of Phillip Smith within 10 days. Further assessment is required to ensure there is a full understanding of this...
    Scoop politics | 22-11
  • Green’s ‘not speaking out about human rights abuses in China
    Right to Life challenges Russell Norman the co-leader of the Green Party to explain why, he was prepared to ask Prime Minister John Key to talk to Chinese President Xi Jinping about human rights abuses in countries bordering China but...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Goodfellow congratulates Key on IDU election
    Goodfellow congratulates Key on IDU election National Party President Peter Goodfellow has congratulated Prime Minister John Key on his election today as Chairman of the International Democrat Union (IDU)....
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Taxpayers’ Union Congratulates PM on IDU Appointment
    The Taxpayers’ Union is today congratulating Rt. Hon. John Key on becoming the Chair of the International Democrat Union , as former Australian Prime Minister John Howard retires from the role after 12 years. Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • High demand for Consumer NZ’s “Do Not Knock” stickers
    Consumer NZ has distributed nearly 100,000 “Do Not Knock” stickers since the launch of its campaign to fight back against dodgy door-to-door sellers.The “Do Not Knock” campaign was launched on 3 November 2014. Free “Do Not Knock” stickers...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Phillip Smith decision still pending
    Detective Superintendent Mike Pannett is returning to Washington DC where he will continue to closely monitor a pending decision from the Brazilian authorities on the process to return Phillip Smith to New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • High Court demonstration to demand justice
    People outraged at the lack of justice in the so-called ‘Roast Busters’ case and 99% of other rape cases in this country are holding a visually powerful mass action at the Auckland High Court at 1 o’clock on Saturday. They...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • NZ Society Wins Global Award For Fighting Animal Testing
    New Zealand banning animal testing of legal highs has been acknowledged with an award given in London. The New Zealand Anti-Vivisection Society (NZAVS) was awarded the 2014 LUSH Prize for lobbying against animal testing. The prize was given at the...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Poor govt advice to workers on petrol station drive-offs
    The New Zealand Council of Trade Unions has raised concerns with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment ('MBIE') regarding their reported advice to workers about the petrol station drive away issue....
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • New Ombudsman opinion
    The Ombudsman has published his opinion on a complaint concerning the Police refusal to release information about a charging decision....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Kindergarten support staff achieve pay rise in tough climate
    The valuable contribution of kindergarten support staff has been recognised with a pay increase, despite the significant funding cuts that the kindergarten associations are experiencing....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Democracy and Conservative Religion: The Case of Islam
    “Is Islam compatible with democracy?” is a frequently-asked question. Recent rethinking of secularism and democracy have opened up new possibilities to think about religion and democracy. This question is important particularly in the case...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • NZ fiscal watchdog needed to guard the public purse
    New Zealand needs tighter fiscal rules and an independent watchdog to improve the quality of government spending and reduce the risk of a return to deficit spending as the country’s population ages, if not before....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • NZSMI disappointed ANZTPA proposal shelved
    November 20, 2014: Consumer healthcare products industry body, the New Zealand Self-Medication Industry Association (SMI) says it is disappointed Government has once again shelved plans to create one medicines regulatory agency for both New Zealand and Australia....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Democracy Action Welcomes Tauranga Vote
    Responding to Tauranga Council’s unanimous vote not to establish separate Council seats on the basis of ethnicity, Lee Short, Democracy Action founder says: “The establishment of a Maori ward would have damaged the relationship between Maori and...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Employer caught abusing new ‘teabreaks law’
    Employer caught abusing new ‘teabreaks law’ to exploit workers The government passed the controversial ‘teabreaks’ legislation only a few weeks ago and already Unite Union has caught an employer using this law as an excuse for ill-treating their...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • FGC response to Commerce Commission report
    The New Zealand Food & Grocery Council is not surprised by the Commerce Commission’s findings, given New Zealand’s current legal framework....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Bascand: Brighter Money
    Seeing people’s initial reactions to the new banknote designs is a heartening reminder of what an important role currency plays in our lives, and what a sense of pride and heritage our notes evoke....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • RBNZ releases Brighter Money designs
    New Zealand’s banknotes are getting brighter and better, with the Reserve Bank today unveiling more vibrant and secure banknote designs which will progressively enter circulation later next year....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • 25 years of children’s rights
    UNICEF and OFC celebrate 25 years of children’s rights with Just Play Sports Days On Universal Children’s Day (20 November) and as part of the Oceania Football Confederation’s (OFC) inaugural President’s Cup, UNICEF will celebrate 25 years of children’s...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Xiamen delegation to Wellington has business focus
    Stronger business, education and cultural ties with our Chinese partners will be the focus when a 20-strong government and business delegation led by Xiamen Mayor Mr Liu Keqing which visits Wellington tomorrow (Friday) and Saturday as part of the...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Warriors promote White Ribbon Day message
    Warriors promote White Ribbon Day message Shine and Orakei Health Services On Tuesday, the Vodafone Warriors will promote the White Ribbon Day message to the community at Eastridge Shopping Centre, Mission Bay. The Warriors are supporting their charity...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Superannuitants to protest unethical investments
    A delegation of Auckland superannuitants will deliver a protest-card petition and protest letter to the New Zealand Super Fund this Thursday afternoon to call on the fund to divest from companies which support the Israeli occupation of Palestinian...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Manukau job cuts ‘running the place into the ground’
    Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT) confirmed to its staff yesterday that 54 jobs will go before Christmas....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Newcore Looks Pretty Rotten for Ratepayers
    Responding to the NZ Herald report that the IT system commissioned by Auckland Council to consolidate the eight systems the Super City inherited from its precursor councils could be facing a budget blowout of $100 million, Taxpayers’ Union Spokesman Ben...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Accountability following quake response inquiry not achieved
    Lessons still need to be learned from the search and rescue efforts following the February 2011 earthquake in Christchurch, a leading New Zealand lawyer, Nigel Hampton QC, says....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Our kids say: We are failing in our duty to protect them
    Our kids say: We are failing in our duty to protect them More than a quarter of Kiwi kids say children’s right to be safe and protected isn’t being upheld in New Zealand, identifying protection from violence, abuse and murder...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • PARS & Turuki Health Care collaborate on health and services
    Auckland-based PARS (People at Risk Solutions) have partnered with the Turuki Health Care Trust, to offer improved healthcare services to those in need. PARS works closely with former prisoners, providing mentoring, housing, and social services to ensure...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Children’s Plea
    A plea has been sent to all Members of Parliament, regardless of party affiliation, to accord urgency and priority to children's issues. These issues include vulnerability, safety and childhood poverty....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Treasury off track in search for sound policies
    Treasury is unlikely to find the ideas it is looking for to improve outcomes for children while its primary driver is cost-cutting, says Child Poverty Action Group....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Commission calls for answers on handling of CERA harassment
    EEO Commissioner Dr Jackie Blue is deeply concerned about the way in which the State Services Commission has handled sexual allegations made against CERA chief executive Roger Sutton this week and is calling for answers....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Ashley Dwayne Guy v The Queen: Appeal Upheld
    The appellant, Mr Guy, was found guilty by a jury of a charge of sexual violation by unlawful sexual connection. After the verdict it was discovered that, by error, the jury had been provided in the jury room with two...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Zonta Club to Take a Stand Against Gender-Based Violence
    During the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence (25 November – 10 December), the Zonta Club of Wellington, along with members of the local community, will join nearly 1,200 Zonta clubs in 67 countries for the Zonta Says NO...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • New UNFPA report links progress and power to young people
    A UN report launched today calls for investment in young people as they are essential to social and economic progress....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • The Resignation with the Golden Handshake?
    Commenting on the settlement the State Services Commission has reached with former CERA CEO Roger Sutton, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says: "Only in the public sector do you receive a payout for ‘resigning’....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • NZ must not turn a blind eye to China’s human rights record
    Amnesty International is calling on New Zealand’s Prime Minister John Key to raise China’s shameful human rights record during President Xi Jinping’s visit to New Zealand this week....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • The Resignation with the Golden Handshake?
    Commenting on the settlement the State Services Commission has reached with former CERA CEO Roger Sutton, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says:...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Treasury’s covert & extremely odd welfare consultation
    A report this morning that Treasury is ‘crowd sourcing’ ideas on welfare policy is news to Auckland Action Against Poverty, even though we are currently one of the most active groups in the area....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • NZ invites Pacific peers to review development cooperation
    New Zealand has volunteered to be the first development partner in the Pacific region to undergo a review of its aid programme by Pacific island peers. The review will focus on New Zealand’s development cooperation and will give greater insight...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • EPMU joins Pike River families to mark fourth anniversary
    Representatives of the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union are proud to stand with the Pike River families to mark four years since 29 men lost their lives. “This is a particularly solemn day given the recent announcements of Solid Energy...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • 2013 Assessment of New Zealand’s National Integrity Systems
    SPEAKER TUILOMA NERONI SLADE: Former Judge, International Criminal Court in the Hague, former legal counsel at the Commonwealth Secretariat, Secretary-General of the Pacific Islands Forum 2008-2014. Introduced by Helen Sutch, Victoria University Council,...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Green Party ignoring Waimea’s environmental benefits
    Green Party MP Catherine Delahunty has overlooked the environmental benefits the proposed Waimea Community Dam will bring the Tasman community, says IrrigationNZ Chairperson Nicky Hyslop....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Women’s use of violence in violent relationships
    More than 80 percent of women who live with a physically violent partner will not initiate violence when they are not being hit, according to new research....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Poor credit rating linked to poor cardiovascular health
    Poor credit rating linked to poor cardiovascular health A credit score doesn’t only boil down a person’s entire financial history to a single number and somehow predict their credit-worthiness, it might also be saying something about a person’s...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • State Services Commissioner on Roger Sutton Investigation
    State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie today said the investigation into Roger Sutton’s conduct was robust. Roger Sutton chose to resign as Chief Executive of the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA) yesterday....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Predator Free NZ project welcomed
    Federated Farmers and the conservation organisation Forest & Bird are welcoming the Predator Free New Zealand initiative as an ambitious but achievable project that will have real benefits for conservation and the economy....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
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