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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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    frogblog | 23-10
  • Surrounded sex offender still won’t come down from roof
    While they would still appreciate him coming down, police say they’re confident the man has “nowhere to hide.” After an agonising 54-year wait, it is beginning to appear as though a notorious sex offender dressed as Santa may not, in...
    The Civilian | 23-10
  • Stuart’s 100 #46 On the Way or Already There?
    46: On the Way or Already There? What if we dropped the pseudo-word “roading” from Auckland’s vernacular? Roads are on the way somewhere; streets are already somewhere. This simple difference in understanding and perspective between movement and place often results...
    Transport Blog | 23-10
  • Fed Farmers defend GE Agriculture
    Federated Farmers, which represents a minority of farmers, appears to be captured by a pro-GE clique hell bent on increasing unsustainable technologies for the benefit of the herbicide and patent controlling seed companies. That there are better more sustainable farming...
    frogblog | 23-10
  • More police misconduct
    Another day, another IPCA report - this one into a police officer who unjustifiably set a police dog to savage a surrendering suspect:A police dog was set on a man who had his hands in the air in what is...
    No Right Turn | 23-10
  • Media Link: The revolution will not be televised.
    I had the opportunity to do a long interview with Olivier Jutel, host of the Dunedin Radio One show “The revolution will not be televised.” It is a rare occasion when one gets to converse at length about a variety...
    Kiwipolitico | 23-10
  • Key spoke to Cameron Slater ‘not as Prime Minister’, but as a sponge
    Cameron Slater (left), and John Key (right), presumably in his capacity as a kitchen sponge. Facing fresh criticism about the details of his relationship with Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater, Prime Minister John Key today claimed that, on the occasions...
    The Civilian | 23-10
  • No freedom of speech in Turkey
    Musa Kart is a Turkish cartoonist. In February he published a cartoon criticising Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's cover-up of a corruption probe. Now, he's being prosecuted for it:Turkish prosecutors have filed an indictment against a famous cartoonist working for...
    No Right Turn | 23-10
  • Workers’ rights under attack
    Now that 51st Parliament has been officially opened and sworn in, the government’s first order of business is to ram through an amendment to the Employment Relations Act. These legislative changes represent a massive assault on the rights of everyday...
    On the Left | 23-10
  • Assaulted for protecting olive trees
    Villagers and activists were assaulted, handcuffed and hospitalized today while protecting olive trees at the site of a proposed coal plant in Turkey.The Kolin Group wants the olive trees cut down to make way for a new coal power plant....
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 23-10
  • Shell Oil Cowboys Caught Drilling Illegally in New Zealand
    “There be trouble in town sheriff, some cowboys is coming into town”. It could be a line from a grainy old western from our childhood (well, mine anyway) when the good, clean living people of a well to do town...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 23-10
  • Freedom of information: How it works in Norway
    While we're all wailing and gnashing our teeth about the corruption of our Official Information Act, the Open Government Partnership has a great piece on how Norway does it better. Key to their approach is proactive publication of the metadata...
    No Right Turn | 22-10
  • Low inflation – time for meaningful wage increases
    With inflation low, now is a good time for workers to negotiate for pay increases that outstrip price rises and deliver real increases in wages and salaries. “For too many people, real pay increases have been missing for several years...
    CTU | 22-10
  • There appears to be an off button
    John Key’s ability to turn his Prime Ministership on or off as he pleases raises a number of troubling issues for the general public....
    Imperator Fish | 22-10
  • The 500 hats of Bartholomew Cubbins – the John Key edition
    It’s standard practice for Ministers and Prime Ministers to wear different “hats” in the course of their work. Work done as a Minister can obviously be separate and distinct from an MP’s ordinary functions on behalf of the constituents in their electorates....
    Occasionally erudite | 22-10
  • The many hats of John Key
    ...
    On the Left | 22-10
  • Want lower rates? Cut back on urban sprawl
    Suburban sprawl is a radical, government-led re-engineering of society, one that artificially inverted millennia of accumulated wisdom and practice in building human habitats. Charles Marohn In the recent article The Conservative Case Against the Suburbs Charles Marohn (@StrongTowns) takes on the awkward relationship...
    Transport Blog | 22-10
  • Ebola Fear outstrips risk
    It's not just that Ebola sounds like a modern day black plague and probably originated from blood sucking bats living in dark caves - reason enough for people here in the United States to react like there's a Zombie-Vampire apocalypse...
    Pundit | 22-10
  • National lets Shell drill illegally
    Back in 2012, National passed the Exclusive Economic Zone and Continental Shelf (Environmental Effects) Act. At the time, they made a lot of noise about how this was the first legislation to properly protect the EEZ, and that it would...
    No Right Turn | 22-10
  • The crime is not being rich, the crime is we don’t tax all the income tha...
    In our last blog we looked at whether the claims of ‘rock star’ economist Thomas Piketty held any water or not. Short answer is that some did, some didn’t. In this blog we turn to what we should do about...
    Gareth’s World | 22-10
  • National’s failed commodities export strategy exposed
    National's strategy to rely on commodities such as milk powder and logs has been exposed in the September trade figures released today, the Green Party said."National's strategy to hang all economic hope on exporting ever-increasing volumes of milk powder and...
    Greens | 23-10
  • Caution needed on calls to arm police
    There is no justification for routinely arming our police and doing so would change forever the way officers interact with their communities, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “As one of the few organisations distinguished by its unarmed status,...
    Labour | 23-10
  • Govt strains to get tea break law through
    The Government has been left with egg on its face - failing to get its much-vaunted, but hugely unpopular, meal break law passed in the first week of its new term, Labour spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says.“National desperately...
    Labour | 23-10
  • How low can you go? Mining the depths
    The company says there will be economic benefits, which the EEZ Act says the EPA must consider, but even these benefits are in doubt. The royalties while not set will be tiny, the profits will flow offshore, and whatever phosphate...
    Greens | 23-10
  • Fed Farmers defend GE Agriculture
    Federated Farmers, which represents a minority of farmers, appears to be captured by a pro-GE clique hell bent on increasing unsustainable technologies for the benefit of the herbicide and patent controlling seed companies. That there are better more sustainable farming...
    Greens | 23-10
  • Government loses the affordable housing race
    Nick Smith is dreaming if he thinks he can deliver affordable housing to Cantabrians on his current figures, says Labour’s Associate Housing spokesperson Poto Williams. “The Minister’s announcement that the Government will build 237 new homes, most of which will...
    Labour | 23-10
  • Labour’s thoughts with Canadians
    Labour has offered its sympathies to the family and friends of the Canadian soldier who died in what appears to be a premeditated and unprovoked attack while standing at guard at the Ottawa National War Memorial. “Our thoughts are also...
    Labour | 23-10
  • What next for TVNZ? Outsourcing the news?
    Television New Zealand’s decision to outsource Māori and Pacific programming is a real blow to the notion that our state broadcaster is a public broadcaster, says Labour. “CEO Kevin Kenrick has said today that TVNZ has ‘a very long and...
    Labour | 22-10
  • Green Party expresses sympathy for Canadian shooting victims
    The Green Party expressed its solidarity with Canadians and the Canadian Parliament today, offering its sympathy for family and friends of the soldier killed in the attack. "Our thoughts are with all those caught up in the shooting in Canada...
    Greens | 22-10
  • Prime Minister must honour his promise
    It’s time for John Key to honour his promise to the Pike River families, says Labour MP Damien O’Connor.  “International mine experts have confirmed the view of WorkSafe New Zealand and many miners on the West Coast that it is...
    Labour | 22-10
  • Kevin Hague questions the Minister of Health about Katherine Rich’s c...
    KEVIN HAGUE to the Minister of Health : Is he satisfied that there is no conflict of interest in the head of the Food and Grocery Council, Katherine Rich, being a board member of the Health Promotion Agency; if so,...
    Greens | 22-10
  • Kennedy Graham to the Prime Minister on the Deployment of New Zealand Speci...
    Dr KENNEDY GRAHAM to the Prime Minister: Does he stand by his statement that the risks to New Zealand from any commitment of military assistance to counter Islamic State militants in Iraq would be "no greater than I think the...
    Greens | 22-10
  • EPA finds Shell Oil illegally drilled two wells
    The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has concluded that Shell Todd Oil Services (STOS) broke the law by drilling two wells without a marine consent off the coast of Taranaki, the Green Party said today. The EPA conducted an inspection of...
    Greens | 22-10
  • Soaring rail use in Auckland shows need for rail link now
    News that Aucklanders overtook Wellingtonians as the biggest train users is further evidence the Government needs to start work on the Auckland City Rail Link now, the Green Party said today.Auckland Transport said today that in the year to September,...
    Greens | 22-10
  • Tea breaks gone by lunch time
    Labour is calling for an eleventh hour reprieve to employment law changes which could see thousands of Kiwi workers not covered by collective agreements lose their smoko breaks, its spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says.“How cynical that on the...
    Labour | 21-10
  • Metiria Turei to lead fight on feeding hungry children
    Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei is urging all political parties to support the Feed the Kids Bill which she inherited today from Mana leader Hone Harawira.Mrs Turei, who leads the Green Party's work on child poverty, will pick up Mr...
    Greens | 21-10
  • Otago dairy farms fail basics
    I’m really privileged to take on the responsibility of the water portfolio. Eugenie Sage has done excellent work in this area in the last term of parliament and provided a great platform for further work. Last Parliament my bill to...
    Greens | 21-10
  • A mighty totara has fallen across the Tasman
    The New Zealand Labour Party expresses deep sadness at the death of former Australian prime minister Gough Whitlam, aged 98. “Today a great totara has fallen across the Tasman,” Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says....
    Labour | 21-10
  • Note to National: Must deliver on child poverty
    John Key and his Government will be held to its promise to make child poverty a priority, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “In its priority-setting speech today the Government stated child poverty would be a major focus for...
    Labour | 21-10
  • New Analysis show Government cut tertiary education funding
    New analysis done by the Green Party today shows the Government has made cuts to funding of tertiary education since 2008.Figures compiled by the Parliamentary Library show that between 2009 and 2015 Government funding to Tertiary Institutions dropped by 4...
    Greens | 21-10
  • Students doing it tough as fees rise again
    The Government is making it increasingly difficult for Kiwis to gain tertiary education as fees continue to rise and access to student support becomes even more restricted, Labour’s Tertiary Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Steven Joyce is shutting a generation...
    Labour | 20-10
  • Key misled New Zealand on Iraq deployment
      John Key was misleading New Zealanders prior to the election when he ruled out New Zealand special forces being deployed to Iraq, says Labour Defence Spokesperson Phil Goff.  “Post-election he has cynically disregarded that by saying that deployment of...
    Labour | 20-10
  • Swearing about swearing the oath
    Yesterday, I was swearing. Swearing the Parliamentary oath, that is. But, under my breath, I was also quietly swearing about the archaic, colonial form of that oath and its inappropriateness for today’s Aotearoa New Zealand. To be permitted to speak...
    Greens | 20-10
  • Kevin Hague speaks in the 2014 Address and Reply debate
    Thank you very much, Mr Deputy Speaker, and, like others, can I begin my contribution by congratulating you and the others in the Speaker's team: the Rt Hon David Carter, Lindsay Tisch, and the Hon Trevor Mallard. I also want...
    Greens | 20-10
  • Damning report on Ruataniwha dam numbers
    When I presented my submission to the Board of Inquiry on the Tukituki Catchment Proposal I compared the proposed 83 metre high Ruataniwha dam with the Clyde Dam and noted the risk of cost blowouts in the construction process.  The...
    Greens | 20-10
  • Church congratulated on child poverty stand
    The efforts by the bishops of the Anglican Church to ensure that the issue of child poverty is not forgotten is a call to all New Zealanders to take action, says Labour’s Interfaith-Dialogue Spokesperson, Su’a William Sio.   “I think...
    Labour | 19-10
  • Labour names Review Team
    Labour’s New Zealand Council has appointed Bryan Gould as Convenor of its post-General Election Review.  He will be joined on the Review Team by Hon Margaret Wilson, Stacey Morrison and Brian Corban (see further biographical details here). The Review Team...
    Labour | 19-10
  • Labour backs urban development plans
    Auckland Council’s plan to set up an urban development agency is to be applauded and central government should get behind it to make it a success, Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says. Auckland Council CEO Stephen Town has indicated plans...
    Labour | 18-10
  • New Zealand can be rightly proud of seat on Security Council
    Gaining a seat on the United Nation’s Security Council shows the sort of standing that New Zealand has in the world and the quality of the long campaign that we ran over nearly a decade, says Foreign Affairs spokesperson David...
    Labour | 16-10
  • NZ has opportunity on UN Security Council
    New Zealand has an opportunity to make a major contribution to the strengthening of international law and institutional capacity through its upcoming two-year tenure on the United Nations Security Council, Green Party spokesperson on global affairs, Dr Kennedy Graham said...
    Greens | 16-10
  • MPI still dragging the chain over causes of food bug
    The Ministry of Primary Industries’ release of Environmental Science and Research’s initial reports regarding the sources of a nasty stomach bug will be little comfort to the 127 people affected by it, Labour’s Food Safety spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “This...
    Labour | 16-10
  • Treasury officials should try working without food
    The Green Party is challenging Treasury officials to work for a week without eating properly, in light of their advice to Government that a food in schools programme is not needed."Treasury's advice was that providing food for children in schools...
    Greens | 15-10
  • Councils need to better protect our drinking water
    Environment Canterbury (ECan) is proposing several variations to its regional land and water plan that will allow for increased nutrient and other pollution from irrigation and intensive agriculture on the Canterbury Plains. Commissioners are hearing submissions on Variation 1 to...
    Greens | 15-10
  • National needs to commit to making NZ workers safe
    The National Government must do more to help make New Zealand workplaces a safer place to work in, Green Party industrial relations spokesperson Denise Roche said today.Data released by Statistics New Zealand today showed that workers in the fishing and...
    Greens | 15-10
  • Key commits to deployment before consultation or analysis
    John Key’s offer to consult Opposition parties on whether to deploy New Zealand forces against ISIS looks increasingly like a PR exercise only, says Labour’s Defence spokesperson, Phil Goff. “The presence of New Zealand’s Chief of Defence Force at a...
    Labour | 15-10
  • National must end ideological opposition to raising income
    If John Key is serious about tackling child poverty he must approach it with an open mind, and overcome his ideological block to raising incomes as a solution, the Green Party said today.Papers released to Radio New Zealand today show...
    Greens | 14-10
  • Pentagon links climate change and terrorism
    Yesterday the Pentagon launched a plan to deal with a threat that “poses immediate risks to national security”; one that “will affect the Department of Defense’s ability to defend the nation”. It wasn’t referring to Ebola or ISIS. It was...
    Greens | 14-10
  • Four Nominees for Labour’s Leadership
    As at 5pm today four valid nominations had been received for the position of Labour Leader, as follows: Andrew Little(nominated by Poto Williams and Iain Lees-Galloway) Nanaia Mahuta(nominated by Louisa Wall and Su’a William Sio) David Parker(nominated by Damien O’Connor...
    Labour | 14-10
  • Green Party calls for consultation over terrorism law changes
    The Green Party has today written to the Prime Minister asking him to engage in wider consultation prior to changing any laws as a result of the recently announced terrorism law reviews, said the Green Party today. In a letter...
    Greens | 14-10
  • MPI must name product and supermarket chain
    The Ministry of Primary Industries must name the product responsible for severe gastroenteritis affecting people around the country, and the supermarket chain distributing it, Labour’s Food Safety spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “The Ministry seems to be more concerned about protecting...
    Labour | 13-10
  • John Key dishonest about reasons for wanting to change terrorism law
    John Key is misleading the public to push through terrorism law changes under urgency, the Green Party said today. On Sunday, John Key stated that it is not illegal for someone to fight overseas for a terrorist group, such as...
    Greens | 12-10
  • Law changes shaping up to be worse than first thought
    The Prime Minister needs to be up front about exactly what changes he is planning to make to the Employment Relations  Amendment Bill, Labour's spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says.Interviewed on Q&A yesterday John Key said he did not...
    Labour | 12-10
  • Rapists, not Tinder, the threat to women
    Blame for rape and sexual assault should only ever be laid at the door of the perpetrator, not dating services or the actions of women themselves, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “Tinder is not the problem and women...
    Labour | 09-10
  • Safer Journeys For People Who Cycle
    You have a rare opportunity to tell the people who are making the decisions on cycling how to make it better. The Cycling Safety Panel is seeking feedback on their draft recommendations for improving the safety of cycling in New...
    Greens | 08-10
  • Subsidising more pollution will undermine water clean-up plan at Te Waihora...
    In 2010, NIWA found Canterbury’s Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere had the worst nutrient status of 140 lakes around New Zealand that it measured. In 2011, the National Government committed to spending $15 million across the country through the Fresh Start for...
    Greens | 08-10
  • Adding value not herbicides
    The HT swedes, and other brassicas, might seem like a good idea to farmers struggling against weeds but like the GE road, is this the path we want our agriculture to be treading? The Federated Farmers President, Dr William Rolleston...
    Greens | 07-10
  • ‘Blame the Planner’ bizarre approach to child poverty
    The National Government is stooping to a bizarre new low in blaming "planning processes" for poverty and inequality, after spending six years doing nothing about either the housing market or child poverty, the Green Party said today. Finance Minister Bill...
    Greens | 07-10
  • Media Advisory
    MANA Leader, Hone Harawira will not be available to speak with media today regarding his release “Recount Just One Step To restoring Credibility”. He is however available for media comment tomorrow, Tuesday the 8th of October, all media arrangements are...
    Mana | 07-10
  • RECOUNT JUST ONE STEP TO RESTORING CREDIBILITY
    “I have applied for a judicial recount of the votes in the Tai Tokerau election because it is one step in trying to restore credibility to the electoral process in the north, and, I suspect, in all other Maori electorates...
    Mana | 07-10
  • MANA SEEKS TAI TOKERAU RECOUNT
    The MANA Movement is supporting Leader Hone Harawira’s application for a judicial re-count in the Te Tai Tokerau electorate for the 2014 general election. President Lisa McNab says there are a number of serious issues of concern regarding the ability...
    Mana | 07-10
  • 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
  • Review: Perfect Place
    I went to a Perfect Place on Tuesday night, and what a delight it was. The marshmallows sweetly (and forcefully) handed out pre-show, set the tone for the next hour. Walking up the stairs at The Basement was a complete...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • 5AA Australia – NZ on UN Security Council + Dirty Politics Lingers On
    5AA Australia: Selwyn Manning and Peter Godfrey deliver their weekly bulletin Across The Ditch. General round up of over night talkback issues: Thongs, Jandals and flip-flops… ISSUE 1: New Zealand has been successful in its campaign to become a non...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • When I mean me, I mean my office & when I call whaleoil I mean not as m...
    This. Is. Ludicrous. Green Party co-leader Russel Norman put the first of what are likely to be many questions about Mr Key’s relationship with Slater, asking him how many times he had phoned or texted the blogger since 2008. “None...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • A brief word on describing the Government as ‘boring and bland’
    The narrative being sown is that this Government will be a boring and bland third term. Boring and bland. Since the election, Key has announced he is privatising 30% of state houses without reinvesting any of that money back into housing society’s most...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • More Latté Than Lager: Reflections on Grant Robertson’s Campaign Launch.
    BIKERS? SERIOUSLY! Had Grant Robertson’s campaign launch been organised by Phil Goff? Was this a pitch for the votes of what few Waitakere Men remain in the Labour Party? Was I even at the right place? Well, yes, I was....
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • About Curwen Ares Rolinson
    Curwen Ares Rolinson – Curwen Ares Rolinson is a firebrand young nationalist presently engaged in acts of political resistance deep behind enemy lines amidst the leafy boughs of Epsom. He is affiliated with the New Zealand First Party; although his...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • About Kelly Ellis
    Kelly Ellis.Kelly Ellis – As a child, Kelly Ellis didn’t so much fall into the cracks, but willfully wriggled her way into them. Ejected from Onslow College – a big job in the 70s – Kelly worked in car factories,...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • About Kate Davis
    Kate Davis.Kate Davis – Having completed her BA in English and Politics, Kate is now starting her MA. Kate works as a volunteer advocate at Auckland Action Against Poverty and previously worked for the New Zealand Prostitutes Collective. Kate writes...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Parker does a Shearer – oh for a Labour Leader who can challenge msm fals...
    Sigh. It seems David Parker has done a Shearer… Like a cult and too red – Parker on LabourLabour leadership contender David Parker says Labour borders on feeling like “a cult” and must look at its branding – including its...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • A brief word on the hundreds of millions NZ is spending on the secret intel...
    The enormity of the mass surveillance state NZ Government’s have built carries a huge price tag… Kiwis pay $103m ‘membership fee’ for spyingThe $103 million taxpayer funding of New Zealand’s intelligence agencies is effectively a membership fee for joining the...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Where. Is. Jason. Ede?
    Where. Is. Jason. Ede?...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Labour’s Din of Inequity
    Watching Labour’s leadership candidates on Q+A on Sunday, I noticed the ongoing use of terms like “opportunity” and “aspiration”, and “party of the workers”. What do these mean? We glean much from Labour, and from the media about Labour, but not...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • “Blue-Greenwash” fails the test when it comes to endangered dolphins
    National’s pre-election promises saw some wins for the environment – perhaps as the party sought to appease its “Blue-Green” voters and broaden its popular appeal. Some of the ecological gains were a long time in the making, overdue even– such...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Reasons not to be cheerful, Part #272b
    Why don’t you get back into bed? The next few years — the rest of this century — are not going to be pretty. There is an obvious disconnect between any remaining political ambition to fix climate change and the...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • OIA protocols and official advice ignored to hide Child Poverty
    It might not seem so now, but child poverty was a major election issue. What a pity we did not have the full debate. In that debate it would have been very helpful to have seen the Ministry of Social...
    The Daily Blog | 20-10
  • Previewing the 4 candidates for Leader of the Labour Party
    The extraordinary outbursts by Shearer last week highlights just how toxic that Caucus is. Shearer was on every major media platform as the ABC attack dog tearing into Cunliffe in the hope of diminishing Cunliffe’s support of Little by tearing...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – the sudden explosion of ‘left’ blogs
    Time to Teach or more people will suffer from P.A.I.D. Political And Intellectual Dysmorphia.I was on the Twitter and a guy followed me so of course I did the polite thing and followed him back. He wrote a blog so...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Ego vs Eco
    Ego vs Eco...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • We can’t let the Roastbuster case slip away
    Those of us (like me) left with hope that the police would aggressively follow through on the large amount of evidence on offer to them (let’s not forget they forgot they even had some at one point) in the Roastbusters...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Food, shelter and medicine instead of bombs and bullets
    The on-going conflict across the Middle East – due in large part to the US-led invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq – has created another humanitarian crisis of biblical proportion. The essentials of life are desperately needed in Iraq and Syria...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • The politics of electorate accommodations
    National’s electorate accommodations with ACT and United Future were a big factor in it winning re-election. Interestingly, there is another electorate accommodation scenario whereby the centre-left could have come out on top, even with the same distribution of party votes....
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Why you should join the TPPA Action on 8 November
    On 8 November 2014, thousands of Kiwis will take part in the International Day of Action to protest the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA). The rally cry for us is TPPA – Corporate Trap, Kiwis Fight Back. Why should you join...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • GUEST BLOG – Patrick O’Dea: no new coal mines
    Green Party and Mana Party policy is “NO NEW COAL MINES!” Auckland Coal Action is trying to put this policy into action on the ground. ACA after a hard fought two year campaign waged alongside local residents and Iwi, in...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Comparing Police action – Hager raid vs Roast Buster case
    This satire had the NZ Police contact TDB and threaten us with 6months in prison for using their logo.   The plight of Nicky Hager and the draconian Police actions against him has generated over  $53 000 in donations so...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • Malala Yousafzai, White Saviour Complexes and Local Resistance
    Last week, Malala Yousafzai was the co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. Since her exposure to the worldwide spotlight, her spirit, wisdom and strength have touched the hearts of people everywhere. However, there have been cynics who have argued that...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • Jason Ede is back – but no media can interview him?
    Well, well, well. Jason Ede, the main figure connected to John Key’s office and the Dirty Politics black ops is back with a company with deep ties to the National Party. One thing you can say about the right –...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – Leadership Transitions In Other Parties: A ...
    As cannot have escaped anyone’s attention by now, the country is presently in the grips of an election and campaign that will help determine the fate of the nation for years to come. It’s gripping stuff – with clear divides...
    The Daily Blog | 17-10
  • SkyCity worker says she faces losing her house
    SkyCity worker Carolyn Alpine told the company annual shareholder’s meeting today that she faced the prospect of losing her house because the company had cut her shifts from two a week to one without consultation. The solo mother, has worked...
    The Daily Blog | 17-10
  • Greg O’Connor’s latest push to arm cops & 5 reasons not to
    I was wondering at what point within a 3rd term of National that Police Cheerleader Greg O’Connor would start trying to demand cops be armed. O’Connor must have thought to himself, ‘if bloody Key can get us and the GCSB vast new...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • You can’t have crisis without ISIS
    So the new scary bogeyman ISIS might have chemical weapons that the US secretly found in Iraq, but America didn’t want to expose this find because the WMDs were actually built and made by the US and Europe, the two powers...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • NZ WINS UN SPIN THE BOTTLE! Privately sucking up to America for a decade me...
    Oh, we are loved! Little old NZ, the 53rd state of America after Israel and Australia, gets to sit at the adults table for the special dinner party that is the UN Security Council. How delightful, a decade of privately...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • MEDIA BLOG – Myles Thomas – A World Without Advertising
    Non-commercial broadcasting and media. It’s a solution for all manner of problems ailing our tender nation… voter engagement, unaccountable governance, apathy, stupefaction, public education, science in schools, arts appreciation, cultural cringe… But no-one could’ve guessed that non-commercial media might solve...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • March against war – 2pm Saturday 25th October
    March against war – 2pm Saturday 25th October...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • Whack a mole as US govt foreign policy
    Whack-A-Mole was a popular arcade game from my youth.  It consisted of a waist high cabinet with holes in the top. Plastic moles seemingly randomly pop out of these holes. The purpose of the game was to hit as many...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • In Paean of Debt
    This week is ‘Money Week’. It’s an opportunity to promote to the middle classes, and anyone else who will listen, the virtues of wise ‘investment’. The aims are to promote the mystical (and indeed mythical) virtues of saving for the...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • The last 48 hours – Poverty denial, war denial and unapologetic abuse of ...
    The bewildering speed of events that simply end in Key shrugging and proclaiming he doesn’t really give a shit is coming think and fast as the Government suddenly appreciate the full spectrum dominance they now enjoy. Here is Radio NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Pat O’Dea – Mana 2.0 Rebooted
    Internationally the news is that Evo Morales of Bolivia won big with Left Wing policies But what are the chances that the Left will make a resurgence in this country? As the internecine struggles between the Left and the Right...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • The Blomfield IPCA letter – Has Dirty Politics leaked into the NZ Police ...
    It’s difficult to know what to make of the IPCA letter to Matthew Blomfield over Slater’s continued insistence that the hard drive taken from Matthew wasn’t stolen.  Slater has selectively cherry picked the Police referring back to his claim that Blomfeild perjured...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • ​Media release: Rail and Maritime Transport Union – Auckland move for K...
    The Rail and Maritime Transport Union is questioning a KiwiRail proposal to progressively relocate its Zero Harm personnel from Wellington to Auckland. “The purpose of the Zero Harm team is to drive KiwiRail’s performance in health and safety.  Rail is a...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • Amnesty International – Friend request from an IS militant
    There’s always that one person, that one Facebook friend, usually a musician or event promoter, who, when you so foolishly accept their friend request, will completely inundate your news feed with copious event invitations and promotions. The person who, despite...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • NZ should follow the UK and recognize the Palestinian state
    Over the past two weeks, the United Kingdom and Sweden have made headlines through their decisions to recognize the state of Palestine. They are hardly the first nations to do so. Indeed, 134 countries have, in various ways, given formal...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • The Discordant Chimes of Freedom: Why Labour has yet to be forgiven.
    WHY DOES THE ELECTORATE routinely punish Labour and the Greens for their alleged “political correctness” but not National? It just doesn’t seem fair. Consider, for example, the Crimes (Substituted Section 59) Amendment Act 2007 – the so-called “anti-smacking legislation” –...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • Hosking or Henry – Which right wing crypto fascist clown do you want to w...
    So Mediaworks are finally going to make some actual money from their eye watering contract with Paul Henry by launching a new multi-platform Breakfast show over TV, Radio and internet. This is great news for Campbell Live who have dodged...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Families need more money to reduce child poverty
    Prime Minister John Key is mistaken to rule out extending the In Work Tax Credit to all poor children (The Nation 11th Oct) and Child Poverty Action Group challenges government advisors to come up with a more cost effective way...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kelly Ellis – Don’t shit on my dream
    Once were dreamers. A large man, walks down the road and, even from 200 yards there’s light showing between his big arms and bigger body. It’s as if he’s put tennis balls under his arms. Two parking wardens walk out...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Pike River Families Group Press Release
    The Families can now but hope that Solid Energy will consider closely the response of the Families’ expert mining advisers, Bob Stevenson and Dave Creedy, and the independent legal advice by Hugh Rennie QC as to why re-entry to the...
    Scoop politics | 24-10
  • On The Nation this weekend
    This weekend on The Nation… with dairy prices falling, China growing its agriculture sector, and the environmental costs piling up, we ask the Fonterra chief executive Theo Spierings if New Zealand is too dependent on milk powder and if we’ve...
    Scoop politics | 24-10
  • NZ Government Urged to Do More to Fight Ebola
    As Ebola continues to tear through West Africa, Save the Children NZ is urging the government to do more in the fight against the deadly virus....
    Scoop politics | 24-10
  • Korero Mai Ki Ahau – Saturday 25 & Sunday 26 October 2014
    Broadcast on Waatea 603AM Saturday 12.00 - 12.30pm Sunday 12.00 - 12.30pm Both shows repeated 5.00pm – 6.00pm On Sunday...
    Scoop politics | 24-10
  • Putting whānau foremost in Family Dispute Resolution
    Dispute resolution company, FairWay Resolution, has developed a uniquely New Zealand approach to family dispute resolution (FDR) that is underpinned by the cultural needs and values of the parties to a family dispute. In support of its role as a...
    Scoop politics | 24-10
  • Anglican Family Care staff to rally industrial action rises
    Public Service Association (PSA) members working at Anglican Family Care (AFC) in Dunedin will hold two rallies in Dunedin next week as they seek a fair pay offer, following a week of low-key industrial action....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Flying Visit for Adventuring Kiwi Socialpreneur
    12 Months on, this former Alexandra barista is changing lives in Buenos Aires Slums with free lunches, music, art, drama and toothbrushes...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • March in Solidarity with Kurdistan Against ISIS Attacks
    The New Zealand Kurdish Community will march in solidarity with Kurdistan in light of the heinous genocidal attacks in Kobanê by ISIS. We will begin with silent demonstrations then commence marching. We will start from Britomart, Queen Street (outside Dick...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • No Problem for Henare & Jones, But “No Way” for Harawira
    “Just before the election I broke the story about the gutting of Maori Television’s News and Current Affairs department by MTS’ new CEO Paora Maxwell. I pointed out that Carol Hirschfeld and Julian Wilcox, two of the country’s most experienced...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Corruption: Positive developments for NZ but more to be done
    Global anti-corruption group Transparency International today released a report on OECD Anti-Bribery Convention enforcement and called for New Zealand to implement draft legislation to ratify the United Nations Convention against Corruption....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Government to Blame as Much as Council for Marryatt Payout
    The Taxpayers' Union is calling on the Government to fix the employment law regime that has forced Christchurch ratepayers to fork out $800,000 to former Council boss Tony Marryatt....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Unanimously Call for Commissioner to Arm Police Full Time
    In the wake of a series of recent armed offender incidents, delegates to the Police Association Annual Conference today called unanimously on the Commissioner to arm Police full time....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Bank gets behind NZ wildlife icon with sizable donation
    It will be easier than ever this summer for holiday-markers to dip into their pockets to support the yellow-eyed penguin....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • WorkSafe report raises concerns about asbestos
    The union representing construction workers in the Canterbury rebuild is surprised at WorkSafe’s conclusion that no action needs to be taken against EQC and Fletcher EQR over asbestos exposure in Canterbury homes. “This report was an opportunity...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Union accuses SkyCity CEO of misleading public
    Unite Union has accused SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison of misleading the public over the cut in hours for a staff member who raised the issue at the company's AGM....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Last Hurrah on the Taxpayer
    Responding to the NZ Herald report that Hone Harawira spent up $54,000 on the taxpayer in his last three months as an MP, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “It is absolutely disgraceful that an MP managed to rack...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Press statement in relation to search of Nicky Hager’s home
    On 2 October 2014, Nicky Hager's home in Wellington was searched by police. Mr Hager asserted that documents kept at his house were protected by privilege, including because they contained information that might identify confidential sources....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • The Sam Simon arrives into Auckland for new campaign
    This morning Sea Shepherd ship, the Sam Simon, arrived into Auckland harbour after its journey from Melbourne. The ship and its 25 crew from around the globe have come to New Zealand to source supplies and prepare for the upcoming...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Low inflation – time for meaningful wage increases
    With inflation low, now is a good time for workers to negotiate for pay increases that outstrip price rises and deliver real increases in wages and salaries. “For too many people, real pay increases have been missing for several years...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Auckland Rates Rises Out of Control
    Responding to the NZ Herald report that Auckland ratepayers will face an average of a 29 percent rates increase, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “These rate rises show that Len Brown's spending is out of control.”...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Protest at New Plymouth Oil and Gas Expo
    About 30 protesters from Climate Justice Taranaki, Frack-free Kapiti, Te Uru Pounamu Action Group, Oil Free Wellington, Frack-free Manawatu and the east coast protested yesterday outside New Plymouth's biennial Oil and Gas Expo at the TSB Stadium....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • FMA warns consumers about cold-calling investment offers
    The Financial Markets Authority (FMA) is warning New Zealand consumers and investors to be wary of cold-calls asking them to buy shares or put their money into offshore firms....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Comprehensive plan needed to end child poverty
    Child Poverty Action Group says it is vital the newly re-elected National government takes a planned and comprehensive approach to reducing child poverty in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Metiria Gets Feed the Kids
    Yesterday the Speaker of the House advised that he had accepted my request to transfer my Feed the Kids (Education (Breakfast and Lunch Programmes in Schools) Amendment) Bill to Metiria Turei of the Green Party....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • DIA undercover investigation leads to jailing
    An undercover Internal Affairs investigation has led to a Hastings man being jailed for three and half years....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Call on Minister McCully to pursue the case of Balibo Five
    Media Information: Call on Minister McCully to pursue the case of journalist Gary Cunningham and the Balibo Five...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Australia and NZ actions on press freedoms alarming
    Global support for investigative journalism in Australia and New Zealand is a welcome response to law changes and a police raid, says the Pacific Freedom Forum...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Call for release of French journalists in West Papua
    West Papua Action Auckland, the EPMU Print and Media Council and the NZ Media Freedom Network call on the Minister of Foreign Affairs to speak out in support of the two French TV journalists whose trial has just begun in...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Court of Appeal: Dotcom v 20th Century Fox Film Corporation
    A The appeal is dismissed. B The 20 August 2014 order of the High Court dealing with confidentiality and the 29 August 2014 order of this Court dealing with confidentiality are set aside. C The confidentiality orders set out in...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Glassons Blasted For Glamourising Animal Cruelty
    Clothing brand Glassons have found themselves embroiled in another controversy after launching a new advert featuring a girl riding a bull. Animal advocacy organisation SAFE have asked them to remove the ad immediately as it glamourises animal cruelty....
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Smuggling honey into New Zealand isn’t sweet
    Smuggling honey into New Zealand isn’t sweet Federated Farmers Bee Industry Group applauds the tough line taken by Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) Border Staff at Auckland Airport. In deporting the couple found trying to smuggle bee products...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Taxpayers’ Union Responds to Joyce on Corporate Welfare
    Responding to Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce’s defence of corporate welfare , Jim Rose, the author of Monopoly Money , a Taxpayers Union report on corporate welfare since 2008, says:...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Speech from the Throne brings welcome focus on children
    Today’s speech from the Throne confirms the Government’s focus on children, youth and their families in the areas of health, education, youth employment, poverty alleviation and Whānau Ora; now the challenge is to ensure every child in New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • John’s Job Fairs no fix for unemployment and poverty
    “John Key has clearly been looking to the US for his latest bright idea on dealing with employment issues,” says Auckland Action Against Poverty coordinator Sue Bradford. “Job fairs where the desperately unemployed queue in their corporate best to compete...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Speech From the Throne Foreshadows More Corporate Welfare
    Responding to the Governor General’s Speech from the Throne, which outlined that the Government’s intentions for the next Parliamentary term would include further Business Growth Agenda initiatives, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Green MP to speak at panel on Rainbow Mental Health
    Hamilton, New Zealand: Recently re-elected Green Party MP Jan Logie will be a guest speaker at a panel on the mental health of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Trangender, Takataapui and Intersex people taking place on November 1st as part of the...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Evidence Supports GE Moratorium
    Federated Farmers spokesman Graham Smith's call for a 'rethink' on release of GeneticallyEngineered organisms is misguided, and instead it is time for a formal moratorium on GMOs in the environment.(1)...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Chatham Rise mining could have impact on whales and dolphins
    Wellington, 21 October 2014--Mining phosphate on the Chatham Rise, off the east coast of New Zealand’s south island, could potentially have many impacts on marine mammals like whales and dolphins, the Environmental Protection Agency was told today....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Council endorses Nanaia Mahuta as the next Labour leader
    Te Kaunihera Māori, the Māori Council of the New Zealand Labour Party, have passed a resolution to endorse the Hon Nanaia Mahuta as the next leader of the Labour Party...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Kaumatua to organise petition to end Maori seats
    Ngapuhi kaumatua David Rankin has announced that he will be organising a nationwide petition to seek support from Maori voters to end the Maori seats. “These seats are patronising”, he says. “They imply we need a special status, and that...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Announcing a New Voice for The Left
    Josh Forman is pleased to announce the creation of a new force on the Left of politics in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Public services held back by poor workplace culture
    A new report by Victoria University’s Centre for Labour, Employment and Work shows that public servants are working significant unpaid overtime to ensure the public services New Zealanders value are able to continue....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • iPredict New Zealand Weekly Economic & Political Update
    Andrew Little’s probability of being the next leader of the Labour Party has reached 70% and Jacinda Ardern is favourite to become his deputy, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New Zealand’s predictions market, iPredict....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Prison Drug Treatment Unit marks a milestone
    Christchurch Men’s Prison’s Drug Treatment Unit (DTU) celebrated the completion of its 50th six month Drug and Alcohol Programme today, with the graduation of a further twelve offenders....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Security Council seat a chance for NZ to empower women
    The UN Women National Committee Aotearoa New Zealand (UN Women NCANZ) welcomes New Zealand winning a seat on the United Nations Security Council and is calling on New Zealand to use its position to proactively promote effective implementation of the...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Waipareira and ACC sign Partnership
    Waipareira and The Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding at Whanau Centre, Henderson – marking a special day for the West Auckland Urban Maori organisation....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Humanitarian aid desperately needed in Iraq and Syria
    Global Peace and Justice Auckland is calling on the government to provide humanitarian funding for non-aligned NGOs (non-governmental organisations) in the Middle East rather than give any support whatever for the US-led military campaign in the area....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Court Judicial Decision: Dotcom v The USA: 17 October 2014
    The United States of America is seeking the extradition of Messrs Dotcom, Batato, Ortmann and Van Der Kolk. The matter has been before the Courts on numerous occasions, and no further recitation of the facts is needed....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Marshall Island poet speaks at UN climate summit
    “The fossil fuel industry is the biggest threat to our very existence as Pacific Islanders. We stand to lose our homes, our communities and our culture. But we are fighting back. This coming Friday thirty Pacific Climate Warriors, joined by...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Many tourist car accidents preventable
    Simple steps could dramatically reduce the number of accidents involving tourists, says the car review website dogandlemon.com ....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
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