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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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    Our forests are a very dangerous place to work. Between 2008 and 2013 there have been 32 fatalities and more than a thousand serious harm incidents in this industry. The Council of Trade Unions and First union have been doing...
    frogblog | 30-10
  • Ghost Dancing?
    Ghost Dancing circa 1890: With the buffalo effectively exterminated, the material basis for the Native American cultures of the Great Plains was destroyed. The Ghost Dance, it was believed, would reconstitute the basis for an independent indigenous existence. Has the...
    Bowalley Road | 30-10
  • I have seen one future, and it is bleak
    . . Way back in March, 2012,  I wrote this story regarding a march to support striking workers at Ports of Auckland. It appears there was some prescience about some of my observations at the time… . | | 18...
    Frankly Speaking | 30-10
  • WINZ: Bureaucratic Befuddlement and Confustication
    Yeah, I know. Confusticate isn’t a word, unless you’re quoting Urban Dictionary. Definition: This word is the coalescing of the English words “confuse” and “complicate”. It refers to anything of, or relating to the process of being both confused and...
    On the Left | 30-10
  • The idiot
    Here’s why this Steffan Browning/Ebola/Homeopathy thing is a really big deal for the Green Party. (a) Historically they’ve been stereotyped by their opponents as a bunch of nutters (b) The main focus of the party for the past five years –...
    DimPost | 30-10
  • The idiot
    Here’s why this Steffan Browning/Ebola/Homeopathy thing is a really big deal for the Green Party. (a) Historically they’ve been stereotyped by their opponents as a bunch of nutters (b) The main focus of the party for the past five years –...
    DimPost | 30-10
  • Climate change and New Zealand cities
    Environmentalists sometimes have an uneasy relationship with cities. Because they concentrate a lot of people and economic activity in relatively small places, they also concentrate a lot of negative environmental effects. All that concrete, all that energy being consumed, the...
    Transport Blog | 30-10
  • Got a mystery? Just ask John!
    Tuesday, November 24, 2009John Key has learned the identity of the entertainer guilty of an indecency charge through the grapevine of people circumventing the suppression order....
    Pundit | 30-10
  • Shameful attack on all workers
    The Government has passed the Employment Relations Amendment Act slashing the rights of all Kiwi workers. “These changes are shameful. New Zealand now has some of the worst employment protections in the OECD....
    CTU | 30-10
  • Blocked
    It is safe to say before the election last month I was fairly prolific in the blogosphere as we headed to an election. Was it because there was a glimmer of hope for we on this side of the coin?...
    My Thinks | 30-10
  • Blend with the Bruntletts Group Ride
    While Vancourerites Chris and Melissa Bruntlett are here for their Auckland Conversation talk, Generation Zero, Frocks on Bikes and TransportBlog have organised a slow, family friendly ride around the city centre. The map is below. The ride is designed to be self-directed so...
    Transport Blog | 30-10
  • New research quantifies what’s causing sea level to rise
    There have been a number of studies that have come out recently on ocean warming and sea-level rise. Collectively, they are helping scientists coalesce around an emerging understanding of climate change and its impact on the Earth. Most recently, a...
    Skeptical Science | 30-10
  • Rawshark – Is she Maori or Pakeha?
    Cameron Slater blamed someone for being behind the hacking of his emails and passing them on to Nicky Hager. And then he named someone he thought was Rawshark. John Key says someone told him who Rawshark is but he ain’t telling. @B3nRaching3r is...
    Te Putatara | 30-10
  • Employment law: it’s toasted
    In an early episode of Mad Men, when the company’s going for the Lucky Strike account, sleazebag antihero Don Draper asks the client exactly how cigarettes are made. They talk through the process, mentioning the tobacco is toasted – and...
    On the Left | 30-10
  • Owners of the wind
    Thirty-odd years ago in the Kingdom of Denmark lived some brave people who disliked nuclear power and loved renewable energy. Determined to keep their country clean and safe, they began building their own wind turbines. Today, thanks to these passionate...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 30-10
  • Te Wakaputanga – What we did not learn at school
    This week saw the 179th anniversary of the signing of Te Wakaputanga, the Declaration of Independence of the United Tribes of Niu Tireni. Most of us did not learn about this fundamentally critical document at school, we barely learned about...
    frogblog | 30-10
  • NZ goes backwards on gender equality
    It is no coincidence that in the same week New Zealand is singled out for going backwards on child poverty under National,  we’ve also dropped in global rankings for gender equality. In one year New Zealand has dropped from 7th...
    frogblog | 30-10
  • TPPA Bulletin #58
    NATIONAL DAY OF ACTION 8 NOVEMBER 2014 Auckland, Hamilton, Raglan, Tauranga, Rotorua, Gisborne, New Plymouth, Napier, Palmerston North, Levin,Wellington, Nelson, Christchurch, Timaru, Dunedin,Invercargill. REGIONAL UPDATES Auckland (1:00 pm at Aotea Square): speakers include Robyn Malcolm (Actors Equity), Bunny McDiarmid (Greenpeace), Dayle Takitimu...
    NZ – Not for sale | 30-10
  • Contact’s big solar buy-back drop bad news for Kiwis with solar
    The Green Party are calling for a law change to establish an independent umpire to set fair and reasonable buy-back rates after Contact Energy announced, from today, new small scale solar and wind generators will receive 50 percent less for...
    Greens | 01-11
  • John Key’s asset sales outed by his own Minister
    National needs to come clean about the motivations behind selling state houses after Paula Bennett's asset sale admission, said the Green Party today.On Saturday, Paula Bennett, the Minister for Social Housing admitted, in a televised interview, that the sale of...
    Greens | 01-11
  • James Shaw speaks on the four Bills formerly known as the Accounting Infras...
    The assurance industry is a critical component of our economic framework. The idea that there is a trusted independent watchdog of the public interest underpins investor confidence and ensures financial probity on behalf of our country's leading institutions. New Zealand...
    Greens | 31-10
  • ANZ needs to look after its workers after another super profit
    The ANZ bank needs to acknowledge the super profits it makes are coming at the expense of its workers, the Green Party said today.Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited (ANZ) 2014 full year results show a lift in performance...
    Greens | 31-10
  • James Shaw’s maiden speech
    Tena Koe, Mr Speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to speak a little of the past, the present and the future. The privilege to serve in this Parliament was given to me by all those who gave their...
    Greens | 31-10
  • Feed the kids members bill
    Education is the best route out of poverty. But hungry kids can't learn and are left trapped in the poverty cycle. Let's break that cycle lunchbox by lunchbox. We can feed the country's hungry kids, if we work together.I have...
    Greens | 31-10
  • Feed the kids members bill
    Education is the best route out of poverty. But hungry kids can't learn and are left trapped in the poverty cycle. Let's break that cycle lunchbox by lunchbox. We can feed the country's hungry kids, if we work together.I have...
    Greens | 31-10
  • National’s “Auckland housing boom” a fizzer
    Falling Auckland consent numbers show the Government’s housing policy is going backwards contrary to wild claims by Building and Housing Minister Nick Smith that we are on the cusp of a massive construction boom, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    Labour | 31-10
  • Job losses major blow to Bay community
    Job losses at Wattie’s Hastings plant will hit families and the community hard, Hawke’s Bay-based Labour MP Stuart Nash and MP for Ikaroa-Rawhiti Meka Whaitiri say. “I know a number of the Wattie’s staff and these job losses will be...
    Labour | 31-10
  • Local job losses major blow to Bay community
    Job losses at Wattie’s Hastings plant will hit families and the community hard, Hawke’s Bay-based Labour MP Stuart Nash and MP for Ikaroa-Rawhiti Meka Whaitiri say. “I know a number of the Wattie’s staff and these job losses will be...
    Labour | 31-10
  • Zero tolerance for forestry accidents a must
    The Government must adopt a zero tolerance approach to workplace accidents in the forestry sector to stop people being killed, Labour’s Forestry spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “It is time for the Government and the forestry sector to put an end...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Return to less holidays on the cards?
    John Key needs to lay his cards on the table regarding the Government’s intentions around holiday pay and annual leave entitlements, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “A day after National pushed through laws that take away the legal...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Forest Safety report first step in making our forests safe to work in
    Our forests are a very dangerous place to work. Between 2008 and 2013 there have been 32 fatalities and more than a thousand serious harm incidents in this industry. The Council of Trade Unions and First union have been doing...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Catherine Delahunty Speaks on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill
    Kia ora, Mr Assistant Speaker. He mihi nui ki te Whare Paremata. Welcome to the glorious 19th century, dressed up in the not-so-new flexibility-speak. At the final moment of this bill, let us drop the charade. The Government has a...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Ruataniwha Feds refuse to present a balanced view
    A bid to sell the Ruataniwha water project to Hawkes Bay farmers has turned in to an incredibly one sided affair, says Labours spokesperson on Water Meka Whaitiri.  “It’s being promoted as ‘Ruataniwha it’s now or never’ and it promises...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Worker’s rights dealt severe blow with Bill’s passing
    The passing of the Employment Relations Amendment Bill is another blow to workers' rights in New Zealand, the Green Party said today.This afternoon, National's Employment Relations Amendment Bill passed with the support of Act and United Future."This bill will force...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Barriers to reporting sex crimes must go
    Both the Government and police need to take action to ensure that, in future, sexual abuse victims know they will be taken seriously, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “The young women involved in the Roast Busters case, and...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Te Wakaputanga – What we did not learn at school
    This week saw the 179th anniversary of the signing of Te Wakaputanga, the Declaration of Independence of the United Tribes of Niu Tireni. Most of us did not learn about this fundamentally critical document at school, we barely learned about...
    Greens | 30-10
  • NZ goes backwards on gender equality
    It is no coincidence that in the same week New Zealand is singled out for going backwards on child poverty under National,  we’ve also dropped in global rankings for gender equality. In one year New Zealand has dropped from 7th...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Kevin Hague questions the Minister of Health on management of Katherine Ric...
    Is he satisfied that all conflicts of interest that arose by the head of Food and Grocery Council Katherine Rich being a member of the Health Promotion Agency were managed in accordance with the provisions of the Crown Entities Act...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Bennett parks numbers on social housing
    Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett admitted today that well over 1000 families have been subsidised through the accommodation supplement to stay in the Ranui campground, somewhere she has previously described as not the right place for children to be growing...
    Labour | 30-10
  • 50,000 sign petition against anti-worker law
    More than 50,000 Kiwis have signed Labour’s petition against the Government’s scrapping of tea break entitlements, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “That’s the equivalent of five people signing our petition every minute for a week. It shows the...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Address in Reply Debate – Dr Kennedy Graham on UN Security Council- 2...
    In the Speech from the Throne last week the Prime Minister identified the usual domestic goals for his Government. I counted 17. They are not my subject today. I wish instead to focus on matters beyond our shores. In the...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Climate change harming ocean health
    New Zealand is responsible for one of the largest areas of sea in the world – an area 14 times the size of our land area. The National Government is promising new marine protected areas legislation with a discussion document...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Key misled public over Jason Ede
    Information contained in a new chapter of the book Key: Portrait of a Prime Minister, that Jason Ede stopped working for the National Party on the night the book Dirty Politics was released, shows Mr Key and senior ministers hid...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Greenpeace report highlights better path for NZ agriculture
    A Greenpeace International report highlights a better way forward for New Zealand agriculture than the GE and chemical mutation technologies supported by Federated Farmers, and the National Government through its research funding packages, the Green Party said today. "This report...
    Greens | 29-10
  • BNZ post record profits while leaving savers vulnerable
    A small part of the $850 million record profit posted by the Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) today needs to be set aside to protect savers' deposits in the future, said Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman today.Dr Norman was...
    Greens | 29-10
  • RBNZ U-turn shows monetary settings were wrong
    The Reserve Bank's U-turn on interest rates today shows monetary policy settings were wrong and New Zealanders have suffered unnecessarily through the loss of jobs and having to pay higher interest rates, the Green Party said today.Reserve Bank Governor Graeme...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Ports must take responsibility for shameful death toll
    Port companies must step up and take responsibility for a shameful toll of seven deaths and 133 serious accidents in the past three years, Labour MP Iain Lees-Galloway says. The frightening figures – released by the Rail, Maritime and Transport...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Please help me get my Feed the Kids Bill to Select Committee
    Last week I took over the Feed the Kids Bill that Hone Harawira had introduced to Parliament. If passed, my Bill will provide government-funded breakfast and lunch in all decile 1 and 2 schools. Hungry kids can’t learn and are...
    Greens | 29-10
  • TVNZ Outsourcing Pasifika and Maori Programmes
    I’ve always been a big fan of our state broadcaster and I’ve particularly liked their range of current events programmes. But after Friday’s announcement that TVNZ will be sacking up to 40 staff by contracting out the Pacific and Maori...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Labour urges iwi leaders to meet with National
    Labour’s Māori Caucus has called on iwi leaders and national Māori organisations to seek urgent meetings with the National Government to directly express their concerns about employment law changes which will harm Māori workers. In an open letter sent today...
    Labour | 29-10
  • ACC’s reputation needs fix, not glitz
    Restoring public trust and confidence in ACC will take a lot more than a new communications strategy or social media blitz, says Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “Under National, ACC has come to be perceived as insensitive, difficult to deal...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Lessons to be learned from police investigation
    The outcome of the so-called Roast Busters case should not put victims off reporting sexual crimes, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “This case has been mishandled from the start. Within days of police initially saying no charges had...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Anti-worker legislation is anti-Pacifica
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga, will go down in history as being part of a Government that harmed his own people through anti-worker legislation, says Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio.  “Pacific people are among...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Five-year tax holiday for overseas tax dodgers
    National has just gifted a five-year tax holiday for foreign companies dodging their tax payments, says Revenue spokesperson David Clark. “Todd McClay has pretended he is doing something about overseas companies dodging their tax duties by joining an international initiative...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Traffic Jam Tax must be given the red light
    Auckland Council’s proposed Traffic Jam Tax could cost some households thousands of dollars a year just to use roads they had already paid for with their taxes and must be rejected, says Labour’s transport and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford....
    Labour | 29-10
  • National has chance to show leadership on limos
    The National Party has the opportunity to show leadership by transitioning our vehicle fleet towards renewable electricity when a new contract to supply Government limousines for VIPs goes to tender next month, the Green Party said today. "This is a...
    Greens | 29-10
  • The Māori Party can’t have it both ways over labour laws
    The Māori Party has to fess up over its voting record on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill, says Labour’s Māori Caucus.  “It’s simply not good enough to oppose the bill at the same time  as they helped speed up its progress through...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Equal pay and the aged care sector
    Today the High Court upheld the historic ruling by the Employment Court that our Equal Pay Act could be used to consider work of equal value cases; the government has been telling the UN and ILO that it could for...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Court case perfect opportunity for Government to improve gender pay gap
    If the Government wants to halt New Zealand’s slump in international rankings on the gender pay gap it should act on the court finding that women deserve equal wages, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “The World Economic Forum’s...
    Labour | 28-10
  • All Auckland transport options should be considered
    All options for meeting Auckland's transport needs should be considered, including reprioritising the transport budget away from wasteful spending on motorways, the Green Party said today.Auckland mayor Len Brown is today releasing a transport report by the Independent Advisory Board,...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Another report highlights Govt failure on child poverty
    An international report measuring the impact of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) on child poverty rates, showing children in New Zealand have done worse than children in other countries, is further proof the Government needs to urgently take additional steps...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Child poverty: No more wake-up calls
    A new report which shows the National Government has made no inroads whatsoever into child poverty should do more than just set alarm bells ringing, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “UNICEF’s  latest Innocenti Report Card highlights the fact...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Eugenie Sage speaks in the 2014 Address in Reply Debate
    I congratulate you, Assistant Speaker Mallard, as Assistant Speaker and look forward to your knowledge, your fairness, and your light touch in being a referee of proceedings in this House. I congratulate also the other Assistant Speaker, Lindsay Tisch; the...
    Greens | 28-10
  • James Shaw’s Maiden Speech
    Tena Koe, Mr Speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to speak a little of the past, the present and the future. The privilege to serve in this Parliament was given to me by all those who gave their...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Govt airs real views on public broadcasting
    An admission by the Government that it is happy to experiment with Pacific and Maori audiences shows just how weak its vision for public broadcasting in New Zealand is, Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. “National today admitted it doesn’t...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Does Judith Collins have a get out of jail card?
    Former justice minister Judith Collins appears to have been gifted a get out of jail free card based on the Prime Minister’s answers in Parliament today, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “Judith Collins claimed in an Official Information...
    Labour | 28-10
  • The Final Fifth: The Last Great Task for Progressive New Zealand.
    MOST OF NEW ZEALAND’S social problems are concentrated among those living at the margins of what is otherwise a relatively wealthy society. Recently released international data on child poverty has exposed an acutely stressed social strata encompassing roughly 20 percent...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • Myth Busting Rape Boasters
    In just one week a case that galvanised a nation into discussing rape culture is now being reframed as mischievous teen hi-jinx. One year ago the Roast Busters case came to the attention of the media and the public. This...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • Workers rights weakened by new laws – fightback needed
    The government’s changes to the employment laws are designed to weaken workers bargaining power – at both the individual and collective level.   30-day rule The old law required an employer with a collective agreement in place to employ new...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Simon Buckingham – Where are Labour Candidates on disability?
    For the few people who know me (hello Mum), I am proudly New Zealand’s first Autistic Spectrum Lawyer, as well as being the very bottom Candidate on the Labour Party List. (64 out of 64). Being honoured like this is...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Blockade the Budget
    The ‘Independent’ Police Conduct Authority’s report into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash The report released by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash riddled with inaccuracies....
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • When National claim new anti worker laws provide ‘flexibility’ they mea...
    And so it comes to pass. The first law National ram through as part of their victory march are new anti worker laws they pretend will generate ‘flexibility’. The new law denigrate the unions ability to protect workers and provide...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • City Transport: A Taxing Matter
    This week the prospect of paying tolls on Auckland motorways became a hot topic. (See Mathew Dearnaley:Motorway tolling could hit some hard, NZ Herald, 30 Oct 2014.) As we might expect, the kneejerk response has been quite negative. But, as with...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Open Letter to Amy Adams: Please Reopen The Review Into Sexual Violence Cou...
    Ms Amy Adams, Justice and Courts Minister, Right now in this country it seems that although rape is illegal, it is not being prevented by the agents who uphold the law. It almost feels like rape is only illegal on paper,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Things That Make You Go Hmmmmmmm
    Every so often in politics, a public figure comes out with something so absurd and so outlandish … that it really does just make you go “Hmmmmmmmmmm”. We’re accustomed to this from certain quarters – by mid point through the...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Poverty & inequality don’t need protest marches – they need a riot:...
    The global level of inequality continues to skyrocket… Number of billionaires doubled since financial crisis The number of billionaires has doubled since the start of the financial crisis, according to a major new report from anti-poverty campaigners. According to Oxfam,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • If Key knows who Rawshark is…
    I’m sorry, what? John Key ‘given Rawshark’s name’The Prime Minister believes he knows who hacked Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater’s computer and produced the source material for Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics, according to a new edition of a recently published...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Child Poverty stats in NZ
    Child Poverty stats in NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Crimes Act + Police Investigation = WTF
    Just to frame the farce that is the Roastbuster’s investigation and conclusion – here are the parts of the Crime Act http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1961/0043/latest/whole.html#DLM329057  the Roastbusters are proven to have violated – that the police (and some suspects!) themselves acknowledge occurred: Crimes...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Publishing Journalists’ Home Addresses Is A Tactic Of The Right, Not The ...
    I think I’m starting to get rather annoyed with the conduct of some pro-MANA people over this ongoing Parliamentary Services crew complement issue. Yes, we get that there are legitimate issues to be raised with how some political reporters in...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Aucklanders caught between a tarseal-addicted government and a weak mayor
    Len Brown’s proposal for motorway tolls to reduce congestion and provide funding for better public transport is a weak response to a critical issue. The $12 billion dollar shortfall on transport funding he talks about is mainly for projected new...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • A Very Weird Story: Deconstructing Darren Aronofsky’s Noah.
    NOAH is a curious movie. Conceived as a biblical epic, it’s target audience was originally the millions of Americans who regard the Bible as God’s inerrant word. With the sin-filled works of Hollywood forbidden to these true-believers, Christian movie-makers have developed...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • You Can Get Away With Rape In New Zealand
    Jessie Hume with last years petition against rape     The police have sent a strong message today.  In fact they’ve been sending a strong message for a while; a message that our government supports. “You can literally get away...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Roast Buster case – no charges. In the immortal words of NWA…
    Roast Busters case: No prosecutions Police are to make an announcement this afternoon on Operation Clover, the investigation into the “Roast Busters” allegations. The Herald understands the victim has been told that the alleged offenders will not be prosecuted due...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Key’s flag change distraction to cost $26million!
    No. Way. Bid to change NZ flag to cost millions The cost of holding two referendums and consulting on a change of flag has been estimated to be just under $26 million. Look. We all appreciate that the sleepy hobbits...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Why NZ Herald’s Labour Party crocodile tears are so audacious
    The front page the NZ Herald would use if they thought they could get away with it No one can take the recent columns by NZ Herald seriously… John Armstrong: Shadow lingers on National John Roughan: Labour’s leadership vote matters...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • The beginning of the end of Cameron Slater?
    Slater postings on man bizarre, court told A businessman has changed his appearance and had to install extra security at his home after Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater posted his business and personal documents online, he says. Mr Slater has...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • We are a milk power republic and Fonterra our unelected senate
    Wow. Just wow… Deputy mayor says he’ll be sacked South Taranaki deputy mayor Alex Ballantyne says he expects to be sacked because he has spoken out about the impact gasses coming from dumped Fonterra dairy products have had on his...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: “…But *actually* this is about ethics in political-game jo...
    Yesterday, a piece of mine on the recent revelations about Hone Harawira employing several gentlemen either accused or convicted of sex offences was published on The Daily Blog. Predictably, given the fierce loyalty which Hone inspires in his party faithful and...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Privilege cheque
    There was no race problem in my childhood. Living in central Wellington I was well-insulated from what was going on not so far away. This was the 60s and 70s, where the teachers enjoyed free love in the staff room...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • A brief word on Key’s claim that it will be raining carnage
    Isis will ‘rain carnage on the world’ – John Key Left unchecked Isis would “rain carnage on the world”, Prime Minister John Key says, but he has yet to make a decision on whether New Zealand troops will join a...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Meanwhile…
    ...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • How does Andrew Little win Labour Leadership and unify the caucus?
    Audrey Young’s excellent column on how the Caucus vote  is shaping up shows how Andrew Little becomes the next leader of the Labour Party. She identifies the factions as the following… Andrew Little 6: Andrew Little, David Cunliffe, Iain Lees Galloway,...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Joe Trinder – Right of response to Curwen
    You have asked that Hone Harawira deserves to explain what happened, how would he explain when his next door neighbour is an alleged sex offender. What explanation can Hone offer he wasn’t involved, Hone had no idea this offending was...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: That Hella-Weird Feeling When You Defend Tova O’Brien
    Oh dear. Yesterday morning I blogged that Hone deserved a chance to explain what exactly had happened as applies his office’s Parliamentary Services crew complement – and, importantly, that we deserve to be able to judge him on the strength of...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Canadian Green MP warns against harsh anti-terror measures
    Canada’s Green Party has provided a welcome counterpoint to Prime Minister Harper’s call for tougher anti-terrorism laws in the wake of a soldier outside the Canadian Parliament. On October 22, while she was still locked in her parliamentary office, Green...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • When is an asset sale not an asset sale? When it robs from the poor and ste...
    National have turned state housing on its head. At no time during the 2014 election did the Key Government even hint that they were going to privatise 30% of the Housing NZ stock of state homes. Not once. Key even...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part To...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Rua) . Bill English comes clean on National’s intentions for HNZ privatisation . On 14 October, in a report on The Daily Blog, I wrote, In...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • The Questions Have Been Asked – They Deserve An Answer
    A few days ago, allegations that had been percolating for some time about Hone Harawira employing three either accused or convicted sex offenders on his Parliamentary pay-roll came to light. (one imprisoned before working for MANA; one who found himself convicted and...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • I have seen one future, and it is bleak
    . . Back in  March 2012, I wrote this story regarding a march to support striking workers at Ports of Auckland. It appears there was some prescience about some of my observations at the time… . | | 18 March...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • US air strike war Key wants us in has killed a civilian a day so far
      The US air strike war that John Key wants us to join has killed a civilian a day so far. From the Washington Post... The United States launched its first airstrikes on militants in Syria on Sept. 23, and has continued...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • The instant Jihad syndrome
    My favourite new term is ‘self-radicalised’ – it suggests the reasons for terrorism are totally divorced from the actions of the West. This need to suddenly ramp up terror laws because of lone wolf, self-radicalised Jihadists seems convenient and counter-productive....
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • We have nothing to fear from Ebola but fear itself
    I suspect most Americans perceive Ebola like this   I can’t work out if the fear being spread within the media about Ebola is deliberate or just ignorance. Yes Ebola is a terrible plague that kills a large percentage of...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – “Meritocracy? I wish.”
    I’d like to start by linking to a post I had published at another site in support of Nanaia Mahuta for the Labour Party leadership election.  She has a reasonable chance, given that she already has the endorsement of Te...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Chocolate milk shortage and creepy Santa? Let’s talk about real news
    Child poverty is still a scarily serious problem in this country and house prices are soaring through the roof to the point where it is simply impossible for the average New Zealander to buy a home. There is also little...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • It’s time to celebrate Kiwi schools and teachers
    Some would have you believe that New Zealand’s schools are in a state of collapse, that your children are not being educated well and that things are going to hell in a hand basket.  That there is no innovation, no...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Ideological Blitzkrieg – Privatization of state housing, more charter sch...
    Pundits in pundit land will tell you that this Government is boring, that Key is the great pragmatist and that it is his ability to create elegant solutions that keeps him the firm favourite in many Kiwi eyes. This ability...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • Hegemony rules but resistance is fertile
    The Prime Minister is a puppet. Not just our current Prime Minister, but given the forces of multinational globalisation, the role of any head of state, is less as independent actor, and more as a puppet of international trends and...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • An open Letter to Sir Bob Jones: demanding a ‘liveable wage’ is not “...
    How out of touch with reality is Sir Bob Jones? You know, that white dude who invested in privatised SOEs after the selling off of our assets in the eighties and made a ludicrous and disgusting amount of money and is...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • My insecurity about the Security Council
    As I write this (on 24 October) it is international UN Day. Of course, you all knew that already, right? Well, the day celebrates the entry into force of the UN Charter in 1945. With the ratification of this founding...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Catherine Delahunty – Back in That House
    Parliament opened this week and I still find it a very odd place. Most of the people are reasonably courteous and friendly, but the rituals are archaic and the rules around issues like the swearing in oath are oppressive and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Marae Investigates No More
    TVNZ yesterday announced the closure of their Māori and Pacific programmes department. That means they’ve chosen to stop making Fresh, Tagata Pasifika, Waka Huia and Marae Investigates to let independent producers get their hands on these lucrative contracts. This is...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • BLOGWATCH: An Un-Civil War in Labour, eh?
    Earlier today, my attention was directed to an entry that’s just recently appeared on the Slightly Left of Centre blog. It purports to contain the ‘inside word’ from a highly placed NZF source – which is funny, because I’m pretty sure...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Santanomics 101
    Santanomics could mean a number of things. It could be the study and practice of giving. Or it could mean the study and practice of rampant end-of-year commercialism. However, for me today it is the economics of erectingAuckland’s giant Santa...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • SkyCity boss misleads public over workers lost shifts
    SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison has defended the employment practices at his company in an “Opinion” piece entitled “Human Capital key to corporate success” in the NZ Herald on Thursday. A number of his claims are misleading, contain only partial truths...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Patrick Gower interviews Social Housing Minister
    Bennett says National could sell off “thousands” of state houses but Housing NZ will still be the “dominant force” in providing social housing in NZ....
    Scoop politics | 01-11
  • The Nation: Lisa Owen interviews Mike Moore & Chris Liddell
    Lisa Owen interviews NZ Ambassador to the US Mike Moore and corporate high-flyer Chris Liddell about the US midterm elections....
    Scoop politics | 01-11
  • David Parker event – the future of work, Sun 2 Nov
    Labour leadership candidate David Parker, an experienced lawyer and businessman as well as a former senior government cabinet minister in the Helen Clark Government, will join three prominent New Zealanders in a panel discussion on Sunday to address...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Roast Busters: Turn Indignation into Action
    People raged about the Roast Buster case. The indignation was justified – it was horrible. “Where were their parents!?” Fair question. I am sure the Roast Busters’ parents and the victims’ parents all wish they had been more proactive in...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Stats NZ only have themselves to blame for postponement
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says Statistics NZ only have themselves to blame for the indefinite postponement of the release of the Food Price Index: November 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • NZ Diversity Survey – benchmarking workplace diversity
    AUT University’s New Zealand Work Research Institute (NZWRI) has released a report on diversity in New Zealand workplaces....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Māori Language (Te Reo Māori) Bill
    Tutehounuku Korako, Chair of the Māori Affairs Committee, is inviting further public submissions on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Friday, 5 December 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • ERA amendments a mixed bag
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act has the potential to put vulnerable workers in a more precarious position, says Equal Opportunities Commissioner, Dr Jackie Blue. However, the commissioner says the right for all to request flexible work hours is...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Sensible Sentencing calls for appeal of judicial activivism
    The Sensible Sentencing Trust is appalled that Justice Jill Mallon has today refused to apply the Life without Parole (LWOP) provisions of the Three Strikes law as enacted by Parliament....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Global Rally against ISIS – for Kobanê – for Humanity, Nov 1
    The New Zealand Kurdish Community will march in solidarity with Kurdistan as part of the “GLOBAL RALLY AGAINST ISIS – FOR KOBANÊ – FOR HUMANITY” on 1 November 2014, 2pm....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Safer roads are better for everyone
    Recent pedestrian versus vehicle incidents highlight the real issues being addressed by delegates as the 2Walk and Cycle conference concludes....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Law change creates more flexible labour market
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act, passed yesterday, will bring new flexibility to the labour market and will reduce the ability of unions to organise and to recruit....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Bumper ANZ profits mean no excuse for insecure hours
    A big rise in profits at New Zealand's largest bank needs to be reflected in a better pay offer and more security around hours of work, the bank workers’ union said today....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Count down to lowered alcohol limit
    With just a month to go until a new lower alcohol limit for adult drivers comes into effect, Police and road safety agencies are reminding drivers of the impending change....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • WorkSafe Supports Forestry Review Findings
    WorkSafe NZ says the Independent Forestry Safety Review has clearly identified the problems facing an industry in which ten workers were killed last year. “The Review’s analysis matches our own view and leaves no doubt about the need for comprehensive,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU welcomes forestry review recommendations
    The CTU is welcoming the today's release of the independent forestry safety review panel findings. "These recommendations must be implemented to ensure that everything possible is done to make forestry safer." CTU President, Helen Kelly said....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Activists will confront animal abusers
    Today animal rights activists will confront a group of wealth advisers who want to build the biggest egg factory-farm in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Turia: Women’s Refuge Conference 2014
    This is a milestone moment in my life. This will be my last official address as Co-leader of the Maori Party. On Saturday night at our Hui-a-Tau, I will be standing down from that role and enabling a new co-leader,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rodeo Code of Welfare ‘Sick Joke’
    Animal advocacy organisation SAFE says the revised Code of Welfare for Rodeos just released is nothing but a sick joke. “Rodeo animals are goaded, tormented and forced to endure needless suffering and gross mistreatment, all for the sake of so-called...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Conservative Party applauds binding referenda on flag
    The Conservative Party are congratulating the Government on the decision to hold two binding referendums to decide the fate of New Zealand’s flag – and believes it will pave the way for binding referenda to form part of New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Walk the Talk – Opposing violence against women
    Soroptimist International of Auckland have organised a walk on 22 November from Silo Park at the Wynyard Quarter through the Viaduct and back to Silo Park, to show their opposition to violence against women. This event hopes to raise awareness...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Recommendations on the Design of Pecuniary Penalties
    The Law Commission has reviewed the use of pecuniary penalties as a regulatory tool. Pecuniary penalties are financial penalties that policymakers are increasingly opting to use in place of criminal sanctions in order to punish and deter misconduct in...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Every worker will be affected by employment law changes
    Every worker will feel the effects of the government’s new employment laws and should join a union if they want to maintain and increase their wages and conditions, says New Zealand’s largest private sector union, the EPMU....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Shameful attack on all workers
    The Government has passed the Employment Relations Amendment Act slashing the rights of all Kiwi workers. “These changes are shameful. New Zealand now has some of the worst employment protections in the OECD. It is embarrassing that a country which...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Unnecessary law changes more to do with ideology
    The government’s employment law changes are simply ideological and are at odds with its approach in the related areas of health and safety and immigration law, FIRST Union said tonight....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU Runanga calls on iwi leaders
    Maori workers are calling on iwi leaders to speak out against the employment law changes expected to go through today. “Iwi leaders have previously spoken out when workers in Aotearoa have been under attack, we believe they should do so...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Educating children not the best solution to alcohol harm
    Alcohol Healthwatch says we need to look beyond educating children and young people to address deeply embedded attitudes and behaviours concerning alcohol....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • New code of welfare for rodeos released
    New standards to strengthen the animal welfare requirements for rodeos have been issued today by the Minister for Primary Industries, Nathan Guy....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • IPCA report riddle with inaccuracies, say students
    A report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is riddled with inaccuracies, say students who laid the original complaint with the IPCA....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CT v The Queen – indecency convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rameka v The Queen – murder convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Auckland Council Out of Control
    Responding to the NZ Herald article that some Auckland households will face a rates rise of up to 9.6 per cent next year, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “Len Brown’s pledge to cap rates rises at 2.5 per...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Stats NZ staff escalate action with ‘no more meetings’ rule
    Statistics NZ staff have voted to escalate their ongoing industrial action in an effort to get Stats NZ back to the bargaining table with a reasonable offer. The staff, who are members of the Public Service Association (PSA), have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Rape Crisis calls for changes to criminal justice system
    Wellington Rape Crisis has added its voice to the public outcry following the announcement that there will be no charges in the teen rape gang case. Butterworth says the decision not to lay charges will not have been a surprise...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Police action justified in Blockade the Budget demonstration
    Police actions in dealing with a demonstration in Central Auckland known as Blockade the Budget on 1 June 2012 were justified and appropriate, an Independent Police Conduct Authority report released today found....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • NZDF Joins with Australia to Commemorate WWI Centenary
    A contingent of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel will join their Australian counterparts at Australia’s first major commemoration of the First World War centenary in Albany, Western Australia this weekend....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Reserve Bank should reduce interest rate
    “The Reserve Bank should be reducing its policy interest rate, the OCR”, says CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg in response to the Bank’s announcement today that it is not increasing it....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • 2015 Stout Fellow will write about Māori & Criminal Justice
    Kim Workman, founder and advocate for the Robson Hanan Trust, which administers the Rethinking Crime and Punishment and Justspeak initiatives, has been awarded the 2015 John David Stout Fellowship at Victoria University....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • What John Key thought about ‘dirty politics’
    On September 20, John Key swept to victory to become one of New Zealand’s most successful and popular Prime Ministers. Rocked by scandal, the 2014 election campaign was one of the most brutal – and riveting – in recent history....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Trade Deal Threatens Farmers and Food Businesses
    The secret Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations are a direct threat to food businesses and farmers, and a moratorium on the release of GE crops must be enshrined in law before the TPP is signed....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • CTU announces election of new Secretary
    The contested election for the position of CTU Secretary has been won by Sam Huggard. Sam officially takes office on Monday 1 December 2014. Sam has worked in the union movement and brings a wealth of experience and a commitment...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kim Workman awarded 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship
    The Victoria University of Wellington 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship, funded by the Stout Trust, has been awarded to justice reform advocate Kim Workman. Mr Workman (Ngati Kahungungu ki Wairarapa, Rangitaane) is well known for his work on criminal justice,...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • TPPA causing concern
    Concern over the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations is being expressed in two public meetings over the next week; one at a presentation on 5th November by former councillor Robin Gwynn to the Napier City Council, the...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kiwis rally to demand justice for ‘Roast Buster’ survivors
    Over 1,500 kiwis have rallied to demand justice after the announcement of the NZ Police decision not to lay charges in the ‘Roast Busters’ saga....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • New employment law will hurt the most vulnerable NZers
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says changes to the Employment Relations Act, expected to be passed in Parliament tonight, will hurt vulnerable workers and their families more than anyone....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Consultation to close on proposed place names
    The New Zealand Geographic Board (NZGB) Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa today advised that only one month remains before public consultation closes for 18 name proposals for geographic features and places around Te Ika ā Māui (the North Island)....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Operation Clover – Statement from Police Commissioner
    I have taken a close interest in this investigation and I am confident police have conducted a thorough and professional enquiry in what has been a challenging and complex case. The Operation Clover team has ensured that victims have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Better policy would have protected children from recession
    Child Poverty Action Group says an international report released by UNICEF today shows good policy can protect and improve child well-being, even during a recession....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Outcome of Operation Clover investigation
    Police have completed a multi-agency investigation, Operation Clover, into the activities of a group calling themselves “The Roast Busters”. The 12 month enquiry focused on incidents involving allegations of sexual offending against a number of girls...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
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