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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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  • Can fracking save the climate?
    Blogging is a great way MPs can communicate and engage with citizens about the issues facing us. I have joined The Daily Blog blogging team and have so far posted on Anadarko’s failure to find oil and a piece outlining...
    frogblog | 17-04
  • New Fisk
    A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A forgotten naval victory in which even Nature played a part...
    No Right Turn | 17-04
  • Labour’s manufacturing plan
    David Cunliffe has launched Labour's policy to get more manufacturing jobs back in New Zealand: Labour leader David Cunliffe launched the policy to an Auckland business audience this morning, adding the depreciation and procurement policies to the known suite of...
    Polity | 17-04
  • Easter PT shutdown
    It’s Easter weekend and that invariably means the rail network is shut down for works. Auckland Transport advises the rail network will be closed for Easter and there are changes to timetables for buses and ferries during the holiday break....
    Transport Blog | 17-04
  • Another perspective on the postgraduate allowance cuts
    I have already shared two stories from psychology students about how the postgraduate allowance cuts have affected them. These stories demonstrate the widespread impact the changes are having. Here is yet another story I have received, this one giving the...
    frogblog | 17-04
  • Against secret "justice" in NZ
    Last year, in response to a series of court cases challenging its control orders or claiming compensation for human rights abuses by its intelligence services, the UK passed the Justice and Security Act 2013. The Act introduces a "Closed Material...
    No Right Turn | 17-04
  • Massey chancellor sets up company in opposition to university
    Massey Chancellor Chris Kelly will chair the board of a company that intends to be New Zealand’s largest private training provider (PTE)...
    TEU | 16-04
  • Gibbs, Hayek, Canterbury and the free market for degrees
    The New Zealand Herald notes that philanthropist Alan Gibbs is about to receive an honorary doctorate from the University of Canterbury today. One of the many institutions Alan Gibbs has donated his money to...
    TEU | 16-04
  • Hard News: Friday Music: Record Store Day
    As readers will know, I have long embraced the internet music revolution. The ability to discover and download new things pretty much as they're being made has reinvented and refreshed my lifelong relationship with popular music. But I still really...
    Public Address | 16-04
  • Great Sorkin Parody
    Aaron Sorkin (SportsNight, The West Wing, The Newsroom) makes a very particular style of TV. Some good parts to that, some really silly parts. Amy Schumer' Comedy Central parody of Sorkin is pitch-prefect and hilarious. Enjoy: Inside Amy SchumerGet More:...
    Polity | 16-04
  • Photographic proof
    Deborah asked for a picture of my bicycle, after I wrote about it, and there is now one in existence which even includes me riding it along Mt Albert Rd, thanks to a dear friend who drove past me and...
    The Hand Mirror | 16-04
  • Our future lies in science
    This is not a column on global warming, climate change or whether humans are or aren’t having an impact....
    Pundit | 16-04
  • Gordon Campbell on drone strikes and Judith Collins‘ last stand
    Reportedly, US drone operators refer to their kills as “bug splat” – mainly because when the carnage is viewed on their screens thousands of kilometres away at home, it looks like an insect strike on a windscreen. The name has...
    Gordon Campbell | 16-04
  • Revealed: Steven Joyce’s select committee submission
    Dear Education Select Committee, Well, there are less than two weeks for people to get their submissions in to you on my proposals to remove staff and students from university and wānanga councils. You...
    TEU | 16-04
  • World News Brief, Thursday April 17
    Top of the AgendaTensions Rise in Ukraine’s East Ahead of Talks...
    Pundit | 16-04
  • Northern Europe looks to end fixed-term agreements for academics
    Long strings of fixed term employment agreements are not just a problem here in New Zealand but Sweden too, according to Education International. But the Swedish Association of University Teachers (SULF) has a plan to solve this. It is turning...
    TEU | 16-04
  • At Last: A Manufacturing Policy
    Date of Release: Thursday, April 17, 2014Body:  FIRST Union congratulates Labour on the release of its Manufacturing policy today.The union represents workers in the wood, food and textile manufacturing sectors. “In a week that has seen another manufacturing company, Christchurch Yarns, go into...
    First Union Media | 16-04
  • Collins: More contemptible lying
    Yesterday, Judith Collins treated New Zealand's media and people as if we were all complete fools. Here is what she said (via this morning's Herald): Ms Collins said she was unaware Oravida was having any problems getting its products into...
    Polity | 16-04
  • The Downside of Park and Ride
    Flicking back through older Atlantic Cities posts led to one from last year about Park and Ride catching my eye. It’s a fairly well reasoned cautionary tale which highlights the pitfalls and potential perverse outcomes from something that would appear...
    Transport Blog | 16-04
  • Storm fans fire service commitment
    Further damage from the huge storm that battered the West Coast was prevented by the great work of our volunteer Fire Service and locals will be extremely grateful, Labour’s MP for West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says. “Our region has been...
    Labour | 19-04
  • Time for Ryall to fix mistakes and help families
    Families who won a long and lengthy Court battle for financial help to support their disabled daughters and sons are now facing a new battle with health system bureaucracy and need the Health Minister's help, Labour's Disability Issues spokesperson Ruth...
    Labour | 18-04
  • Time for greater ministerial accountability
    The Green Party has today released a proposal to introduce a ministerial disclosure regime in New Zealand to improve the transparency and accountability of government.The proposal, based on the system used in the United Kingdom since 2010, would require all...
    Greens | 18-04
  • Power prices soar on the eve of winter
    On the eve of winter as New Zealanders are turning on their heaters, power prices have soared sky high, Labour’s Energy spokesperson David Shearer says. “Energy Minster Simon Bridges claimed in Parliament that prices were estimated to rise 2.4 per...
    Labour | 18-04
  • Workers can kiss goodbye to Easter Sunday off
    The Government’s decision to “reprioritise” scarce labour inspector resources by abandoning the enforcement of Easter Sunday Shop Trading laws means workers can kiss goodbye to a guaranteed day off, says Labour’s Associate Labour Issues spokesperson Darien Fenton. “The Labour Minister...
    Labour | 18-04
  • Businesses need to respect workers this Easter
    Businesses intent on flouting Easter shopping laws should face stiff penalties, Green Party industrial relations spokesperson Denise Roche said today. This Easter, at least one major garden centre chain intends to open on Good Friday despite this being in breach...
    Greens | 17-04
  • Time to deliver on 26 weeks Paid Parental Leave
    Today marks two years since Labour MP Sue Moroney's Bill extending paid parental leave to 26 weeks was drawn from the members' ballot. “It’s time the Government acted in the interests of families,” Sue Moroney says. “National has tried every...
    Labour | 17-04
  • Taxpayers robbed of $130m in Genesis sale
    Kiwi taxpayers have been robbed of $130 million by the Government in its final failed asset sale, says Labour’s SOEs spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove. “National set the price for Genesis far too low in a desperate attempt to beef up demand....
    Labour | 17-04
  • Work visa problems need monitoring
    The Government is handing out temporary work visas to migrants to work in jobs that could easily be filled by unemployed Kiwi workers in the Christchurch rebuild, says Darien Fenton, Labour’s Associate Immigration spokesperson. “In the past 12 months, temporary...
    Labour | 17-04
  • Resignation rates among cops soar
    The number of frontline officers quitting the police force is at a four-year high, with more than 350 walking off the job in the past year, Labour’s Police spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. “Since 2009 resignation rates among sworn staff have...
    Labour | 17-04
  • Service for victims of sexual violence pushed out in cold
    The Green Party is calling on Housing New Zealand to revisit its decision to evict an essential community organisation in Christchurch with only eight weeks notice.Yesterday at the Select Committee inquiry into funding for sexual violence support services the organisation...
    Greens | 17-04
  • Legal high ban worthy of wider pick-up
    Auckland Council’s ban on using legal highs in a public place is an excellent idea that should be replicated around New Zealand, says Labour’s Associate Health Spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “Auckland Council has implemented a by-law banning the use of psychoactive...
    Labour | 17-04
  • Smith sells state P-houses to first home buyers
    Nick Smith must reassure worried first home buyers that any Housing NZ houses sold under his First Home policy will be tested for P contamination after revelations that three out of seven properties sold in Wanganui tested positive for methamphetamine,...
    Labour | 17-04
  • PM’s China visit assisted Oravida, not Fonterra
    Questions must now be asked whether it was Fonterra or Oravida who really benefited from the Prime Minister’s recent visit to China, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “Before his departure, John Key said he would wait until all...
    Labour | 16-04
  • New Zealand’s use of ozone depleting gases increases
    A new Government report highlights that the amount of ozone depleting gases New Zealand is using is increasing, the Green Party said today.The report tabled in Parliament yesterday shows that total use of ozone depleting gases in New Zealand has...
    Greens | 16-04
  • Manufacturing Upgrade
    Labour is determined to support and grow our manufacturing sector. These policies grew out of the findings of the 2013 Parliamentary Inquiry into Manufacturing.  ...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Collins must admit misleading Parliament
    ACC Minister Judith Collins must front up and admit she has misled Parliament over ACC’s policy to stop paying compensation to clients who refused to fill in its privacy form, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. “Judith Collins claimed Labour...
    Labour | 16-04
  • English confirms he has no plan to raise wages
    Finance Minister Bill English has confirmed he has absolutely no plans to lift wages, Labour’s spokesperson on Labour Issues, Andrew Little says. “Bill English told the Chamber of Commerce yesterday that workers could expect a rise in average income of...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Govt careless and callous about threatened birds
    The National Government is increasing the threat to two of the world's most threatened and unique birds by opening up Victoria Forest Park to petroleum drilling, the Green Party said today.Scientists have recently published a ranking of the 100 most...
    Greens | 16-04
  • Genesis: The biggest fire sale of them all
    National has finished its asset sales with a massive bonfire of a fire sale, showing once and for all how much of a disaster this programme was, says Labour’s SOEs spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove. “Just 68,000 Kiwis bought shares in Genesis,...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Interest rates rise but only smokes increasing
    Mortgage rate rises are making life harder for homeowners, and many of them will be surprised the latest CPI figures show inflation would be zero were it not for tobacco tax hikes, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “New Zealanders...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Term One Report Card for Hekia Parata
    Assignment Teacher’s Comments Grade      ...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Hekia Parata kept exam book errors from schools
    Schools will be appalled to learn Education Minister Hekia Parata knew since January that hundreds of exam booklets had been returned to the wrong students but said nothing about it, Labour’s Education Spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Exams are stressful enough...
    Labour | 15-04
  • What has ACC Minister been doing?
    The ACC Minister needs to front up and explain what, if any, changes she has made to the broken culture of ACC rather than denying that she has any part to play in the dysfunction of her Ministry, the Green...
    Greens | 15-04
  • Promise of jam tomorrow takes the cake
    A claim by Minister of Finance Bill English that average wages will climb by $7,500 over the next four years is a cynical promise of jam tomorrow by a government whose record on wage growth is atrocious, Labour spokesperson on...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Judith Collins has to fess up on ACC blunder
    ACC Minster Judith Collins must front up and tell New Zealand how many people who refused to hand over their private details to ACC have been denied cover, says Labour’s ACC Spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “The legality of ACC’s privacy waver,...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Board of Inquiry conditions will save rivers in New Zealand
    The Ruataniwha dam decision released today has protected the Tukituki River and dashed the Government’s hope of the “one nutrient model” (TRIM) being adopted nationwide, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson. “It is a massive victory for those in the...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Labour turns wheels for cycling safety
    With more than a million New Zealanders now using cycling as an attractive alternative means of transport it is past time their safety was taken seriously, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Darien Fenton says. Due to speak to a cycling rally at...
    Labour | 15-04
  • SPEECH: Institute of Directors
    LEADING AND MANAGING OUR ECONOMIC FUTURE David Cunliffe MP, Labour Leader Speech to the Institute of Directors 15 April 2014, Auckland It's a privilege to be speaking here. The Institute of Directors has a proud history of developing New Zealand's...
    Labour | 15-04
  • More Oravida endorsements from John Key
    The use of a picture of John Key in an advertisement for Oravida’s scampi products in a Chinese airline magazine is further evidence of an unhealthily cosy relationship between the National Party and this company, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says....
    Labour | 15-04
  • Workers at Canterbury Yarns need redundancy support
    Workers faced with redundancy at Canterbury Yarns need a redundancy support co-ordinator, Green Party industrial relations spokesperson Denise Roche said today.Last week, Canterbury Yarns was placed in receivership. Canterbury Yarns joins a long list of New Zealand manufacturers who have...
    Greens | 14-04
  • Making the holidays easier for Kiwi drivers
    The next Labour Government will make the holidays easier and journeys quicker for Kiwi families driving on the roads, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “There’s nothing Kiwis like more than getting on the road and going on holiday. But on...
    Labour | 14-04
  • Ae Marika! 15 April 2014
    Our MANA AGM down in Rotorua on the weekend was a sold-out affair – even the media were struggling to get in! Political conferences can be very dull, but not this one. We had a great line-up of speakers including...
    Mana | 14-04
  • Green light from Labour for cancer screening programme
    Labour Leader David Cunliffe has today committed to a national bowel screening programme, starting with extending the current service to the Southern and Waikato districts. “Around 3000 New Zealanders develop bowel cancer each year and about 1200, or 100 a month,...
    Labour | 14-04
  • Adequate resourcing needed for victims’ advocate
    The establishment of a victims’ commissioner role will only be meaningful if it is properly resourced to do the job of advocating for victims’ interests, Labour Justice spokesperson Andrew Little says. Justice Minister Judith Collins has just recently indicated her...
    Labour | 13-04
  • IPCC report shows Government ignoring climate experts
    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) report into climate mitigation, just released in Berlin, shows the National Government is ignoring the pleas of the world's best climate scientists.The report says deep and fast emission cuts are vital from all...
    Greens | 13-04
  • Japan’s quick turnaround on whaling disappointing
    News that Japan plans to recommence some form of “scientific” whaling programme so quickly after the International Court of Justice’s ruling against it is very disappointing, says David Shearer, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson. “New Zealanders expected the ICJ ruling -...
    Labour | 13-04
  • Reviewable tenancies will increase risks for vulnerable children
    Instead of kicking families out of their homes if they can pay their rent, parents with young children should have the opportunity to purchase equity in a state-built home over time, the Green Party said todayFrom July, Housing New Zealand...
    Greens | 13-04
  • 48,000 New Zealanders drinking faecally contaminated water
    Some 48,000 people were provided with water that had issues with faecal contamination, 18,000 of whom were from Canterbury, the Green Party said today. The Ministry of Health's Annual Report on Drinking-Water in New Zealand for 2012/13 shows that 48,000...
    Greens | 12-04
  • Labour will move to save the Kauri
    Labour will spend $20 million over the next 10 years to stop the spread of Kauri dieback disease, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “We are facing an ecological disaster with over 11 per cent of the Kauri trees in the...
    Labour | 12-04
  • SPEECH: Saving our Kauri
    Seech notes Good morning. Thank you for joining us here today. As a West Auckland MP I am very aware the kauri is an important part of this place. The Waitakere Ranges with their thousands of kauri, are a taonga....
    Labour | 12-04
  • MANA to continue negotiations with the Internet Party
    The MANA AGM has decided unanimously tonight to continue negotiaitions with the Internet Party. Within a month further negotiations, further consultation with MANA branches and a final decision on whether to proceed with a relationship is expected....
    Mana | 12-04
  • National’s tax dodge
      National’s insistence that it is cracking down on tax dodgers is little more than a bit of election year chest beating, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “Revenue Minister Todd McClay surely doesn’t believe collecting $100 million of an estimated...
    Labour | 12-04
  • Housing prices go up – Gens X & Y give up
    Today’s REINZ report shows house prices continue skyward while first home buyers are dropping out of the market, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “According to the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand the national median house price has risen...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Do Key and Adams support Chorus appeal?
    John Key and Amy Adams must tell New Zealanders whether they support Chorus’ appeal of the High Court’s ruling in favour of the Commerce Commission, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “Chorus’ appeal is a waste of time. The company is...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Is Judith Collins unapologising
    Judith Collins appears to have retracted her apology for failing to disclose her meeting with her husband’s fellow company directors and a senior Chinese border control official just weeks after being ticked off by John Key for not doing so, Labour...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Media Advisory
    There have been a few minor changes to the MANA AGM agenda. Moana Jackson is unable to attend due to family commitments. Speaking in his place on Saturday morning MANA is pleased to welcome Georgina Beyer and Willie Jackson. MANA...
    Mana | 10-04
  • Green Party requests inquiry into Peter Dunne and Trust
    Green Party MP Denise Roche today wrote to the Parliamentary Registrar of Pecuniary Interests requesting an inquiry into whether Peter Dunne should have included his involvement as chair of the Northern Wellington Festival Trust on the Register of Pecuniary Interests...
    Greens | 10-04
  • Veterans short-changed
    The Veterans’ Support Bill reported back to Parliament today rejects a key recommendation of the Law Commission Review on which it is based and ignores the submissions of veterans and the RNZRSA, says Labour’s Veterans’ Affairs Spokesperson, Phil Goff. “A...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Tribute for Maungaharuru- Tangitu settlement
    Labour Member of Parliament for Ikaroa-Rāwhiti, Meka Whaitiri paid tribute to Maungaharuru-Tangitu today as their Treaty of Waitangi settlement became law. “The Bill acknowledges Treaty breaches that left Maungaharuru-Tangitu virtually landless. Today we were reminded of the history, mamae, loss...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Why punish the parents of the disabled?
    Parents who have adult children with disabilities saw a glimmer of hope when the promise for payment for caring for their children was given. But like most things, the complicated and relentless bureaucracy of the whole process shows a completely...
    The Daily Blog | 19-04
  • Our government: still no idea
    Happy Easter everyone, bad weather aside. A previous post of mine was called “The Government with no ideas”.  Unsurprisingly, the theme of the piece was of a current government thoroughly absent of any creative ideas or solutions to assist more...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • 12 things Forbes has to say about NZs about to burst economic bubble
    Forbes is not known for their socialist or left wing activism, so when they predict a grim economic failure, we should should collectively poo ourselves a little. National often get given this perception that somehow they are better economic mangers....
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • That Sinking Feeling: Labour’s urgent need for persuasive words and coura...
    THE LATEST ROY MORGAN POLL has Labour on 28.5 percent (down 3.5 percent) and the Greens on 11.5 percent (down 1.5 percent). At 40 percent, the combined vote of the two main centre-left parties has fallen 5 percentage points since...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • Why the Labour movement should support a Universal Basic Income
    The Mana movement’s support of the idea of a universal basic income is a welcome development. It could become one of the litmus issues that define the party and prove extremely popular. If Mana are in a position to do...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • Legal high and cannabis regulation
    I marched through Henderson last month with my fellow Westies to express our concern about the impact of so called “legal highs” on our community. Some people chanted loudly calling for banning, some expressing anger at the parliamentarians who voted...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • Know your Tory fellow travellers and ideologues: John Bishop, Taxpayers Uni...
    . . On 19 March, I reported on the Board members of the so-called “Taxpayers Union”. With one exception, every single member of the Taxpayers Union Board was a current (or recent) card-carrying member or supporter of the National and/or...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • GUEST BLOG: Daniel Bruce – Internet Party: What Seems Ridiculous To The O...
    Imagine you’re a 18-21 year old, from a working class family. You’ve never had a landline phone at home, because your parents can’t afford the fixed monthly bills, so everyone in your familiy has a pre-pay mobile phone. Because of the same tight...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Greens to push for housing standards in MOU with Government
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Greens to push for housing standards in MOU with Government Tuesday, 28 Aug 2012 | Press Release We don’t need any more official reports. We know the problem and we have the plans....
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Mighty River squanders $3.8m preparing for sale
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Mighty River squanders $3.8m preparing for sale Tuesday, 28 Aug 2012 | Press Release New Zealanders do not want asset sales and they do not want the Government wasting millions of dollars on...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Government’s economic agenda on shaky ground
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Government’s economic agenda on shaky ground Monday, 27 Aug 2012 | Press Release Instead of betting on a boom and bust industry and selling off assets the government needs to invest in a...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • National’s tax cuts haven’t cut tax avoidance
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: National’s tax cuts haven’t cut tax avoidance Sunday, 26 Aug 2012 | Press Release It is not fair that many rich New Zealanders are cheating on their tax. National’s 2010 tax cuts, that...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Waitangi Tribunal report adds to crisis in asset sales agenda
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Waitangi Tribunal report adds to crisis in asset sales agenda Friday, 24 Aug 2012 | Press Release In its rush to sell our assets, National has found itself in a crisis of its...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Privacy across all departments needs checking
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Privacy across all departments needs checking Friday, 24 Aug 2012 | Press Release “People don’t have a choice about giving their information to the state so the Government has an absolute duty to...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Reports show Government role in driving ACC dysfunction
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Reports show Government role in driving ACC dysfunction Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release Restoring public trust and confidence is an essential goal and will require very major change starting from the...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Government must front up on full costs of asset sales
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Government must front up on full costs of asset sales Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release It’s time for the Government to front up over just how much these asset sales are...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • New report: middle NZ worse off, inequality grows
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: New report: middle NZ worse off, inequality grows Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release Our society has never been as unequal as it is today. New research from the Ministry of Social...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Government to delay addressing climate change indefinitely
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Government to delay addressing climate change indefinitely Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release “It would be a shock for any other Government to introduce such a self-defeatist piece of legislation but unfortunately...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Time to deliver on 26 weeks Paid Parental Leave
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Time to deliver on 26 weeks Paid Parental Leave Today marks two years since Labour MP Sue Moroney’s Bill extending paid parental leave to 26 weeks was drawn from the members’ ballot. “It’s...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Taxpayers robbed of $130m in Genesis sale
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Taxpayers robbed of $130m in Genesis sale Kiwi taxpayers have been robbed of $130 million by the Government in its final failed asset sale, says Labour’s SOEs spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove. “National set the...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Service for victims of sexual violence pushed out in cold
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Service for victims of sexual violence pushed out in cold Thursday, 17 Apr 2014 | Press Release Christchurch cannot afford to lose this agency The Green Party is calling on Housing New Zealand...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Resignation rates among cops soar
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Resignation rates among cops soar The number of frontline officers quitting the police force is at a four-year high, with more than 350 walking off the job in the past year, Labour’s Police...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Work visa problems need monitoring
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Work visa problems need monitoring The Government is handing out temporary work visas to migrants to work in jobs that could easily be filled by unemployed Kiwi workers in the Christchurch rebuild, says...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Legal high ban worthy of wider pick-up
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Legal high ban worthy of wider pick-up Auckland Council’s ban on using legal highs in a public place is an excellent idea that should be replicated around New Zealand, says Labour’s Associate Health...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Smith sells state P-houses to first home buyers
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Smith sells state P-houses to first home buyers Nick Smith must reassure worried first home buyers that any Housing NZ houses sold under his First Home policy will be tested for P contamination...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup     Protests in Brazil:Brazil Franciscan friar kneels in front of Brazilian riot police officers asking for calm during confrontation with Landless...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup     Protests in Brazil:Brazil Franciscan friar kneels in front of Brazilian riot police officers asking for calm during confrontation with Landless...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce     Saif al-Islam al-Gaddafi will face the courts on 14 April. © IMED LAMLOUM/AFP/Getty Images         Read...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce     Saif al-Islam al-Gaddafi will face the courts on 14 April. © IMED LAMLOUM/AFP/Getty Images         Read...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights ...
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights record     Freedom of expression, association and assembly are under threat ahead of elections in Algeria. © FAROUK BATICHE/AFP/Getty Images    ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights ...
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights record     Freedom of expression, association and assembly are under threat ahead of elections in Algeria. © FAROUK BATICHE/AFP/Getty Images    ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed     Vietnamese activist Nguyen Tien Trung was one of the prisoners of conscience released this week. © Private      ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed     Vietnamese activist Nguyen Tien Trung was one of the prisoners of conscience released this week. © Private      ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • PM’s China visit assisted Oravida, not Fonterra
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: PM’s China visit assisted Oravida, not Fonterra Questions must now be asked whether it was Fonterra or Oravida who really benefited from the Prime Minister’s recent visit to China, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • New Zealand’s use of ozone depleting gases increases
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: New Zealand’s use of ozone depleting gases increases A new Government report highlights that the amount of ozone depleting gases New Zealand is using is increasing, the Green Party said today. The report...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • The issues behind the possible MANA-Internet Party Alliance
      Last weekend Kim Dotcom spoke at MANAs AGM to discuss the possibility of the Internet Party and MANA Party working together to defeat John Key this election. As someone who knows both Hone and Kim, I have a unique...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Manufacturing Upgrade
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Manufacturing Upgrade   Labour is determined to support and grow our manufacturing sector. These policies grew out of the findings of the 2013 Parliamentary Inquiry into Manufacturing.   – The claims and opinions...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Get work on 29th and the ANZAC spirit deserts the TPPA
      Groser and co would have been spitting tacks last week as the ANZAC spirit deserted the TPPA negotiations. Australia has done a deal directly with Japan which undercuts the demand for Japan to opening all agriculture in the TPPA....
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • No fracking solution to climate change
    Some British tabloids and oil lobbyists have jumped on comments made by an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change author that fracking could play a role in addressing climate change as an argument for it here in Aotearoa, so is fracking...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • At Last: A Manufacturing Policy
    Source: First Union – Press Release/Statement: Headline: At Last: A Manufacturing Policy Date of Release:  Thursday, April 17, 2014 Body:  FIRST Union congratulates Labour on the release of its Manufacturing policy today. The union represents workers in the wood, food and...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Drone murder of New Zealander “justified” by Prime Minister
    Yesterday Prime Minister John Key justified the extrajudicial killing of a New Zealander in a US drone strike in Yemen with a few cynical, callous words at a stand-up press conference. Key said he’d been briefed by our spy agencies...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Secret Policeman’s Ball
      Amnesty International’s Secret Policeman’s Ball is back in New Zealand for one night of some of the best stand-up comedy from both national and international comics The freedom to provoke and in some cases offend is essential to the...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • So the US has assassinated a NZ citizen – what did Key know?
    A non judicial assassination by the US on a NZ citizen raises questions. Key made the idea that NZers were training with terrorists part of his farcical defence for the GCSB mass surveillance legislation. I say farcical because even if...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Something Better Than Something Worse: Why John Key could become our longes...
    IN HIS MEMORABLE holiday-home encounter with the host of Campbell Live, the Prime Minister, John Key, did not rule out running for a fourth term. Were he to be successful, the long-standing record of Sir Keith Holyoake (11 years and 2...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • GUEST BLOG: RIO TINTO WINS 2013 ROGER AWARD
      Sky City Casino Second, Chorus Third  The seven finalists for the 2013 Roger Award for the Worst Transnational Corporation Operating in Aotearoa/New Zealand were: ANZ, Chorus, IAG Insurance Group, Imperial Tobacco, Rio Tinto, Sky City Casino and Talent 2. The criteria for judging are...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • National drowning in an ocean of poisoned milk
    It is becoming difficult to keep up with which National Party MP is bleeding the most at the moment. Simon Bridges is being crucified by Whaleoil almost as much as Greenpeace are attacking him, suggesting Cam is seizing the moment...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Want to get rid of synthetic cannabis? Legalize real cannabis
    Have we managed to appreciate the madness that synthetic cannabis is legal yet more harmful than organic cannabis which is illegal? I find the current moral panic over synthetic cannabis difficult to become concerned with when alcohol is FAR more...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Save our homes – stop the evictions!
    “We will keep on fighting because it frightens me to think my grandchildren could become homeless,” Tere Campbell told me. Tere is a member of Tamaki Housing Group. In September 2011, tenants in 156 state homes in Glen Innes received...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • The daily humiliation of women and the constant policing and shaming of our...
    The last few months have been particularly bad for the shaming and policing of women’s bodies in the media, both in New Zealand and globally. First we had NZ Newstalk ZB presenter Rachel Smalley referring to women weighing over 70kgs...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • A case study of racism by Police at Auckland Airport
    A couple of days ago I returned from Samoa after attending a family matter and some contract work. Spending a few days in the warmth of our homeland was welcome relief from the cold weather starting to make its presence...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Manufacturing Matters to New Zealand – 17 April
    The Labour Party announcement today recognises the simple truth that the manufacturing sector really matters to New Zealand’s economy as a whole, based on the part manufacturing plays in the growth of the added value element in the tradable sector,...
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Young Kiwi to Represent New Zealand at Premier Youth Forum
    Young Kiwi to Represent New Zealand at Premier Youth Forum FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Commonwealth Youth New Zealand Executive Director, Aaron Hape, has been selected to represent New Zealand at 33Fifty, the Commonwealth Youth Leadership Programme,...
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Lisa Owen interviews Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei
    Greens propose new ministerial disclosure regime based on British rules, requiring quarterly declarations of ministers' meetings, travel and hospitality....
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Politicians Should Maintain Workers’ Easter Break
    Family First NZ is rejecting calls for any liberalisation of Easter trading laws and says that workers deserve a break to spend time with their families. “This is not an issue about choice as has been argued. For many workers,...
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Lisa Owen interviews experts on Antacrtica
    Lisa Owen interviews Chuck Kennicutt and Gary Wilson on Antarctica Headlines: Top Antarctic scientists warns New Zealand "not ready" for worst as ice shelves and sea ice in Antarctica retreat and the climate changes Gary Wilson: "Can...
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Beyond the State – NZ State Houses from Modest to Modern
    As part of the our 'Active Hand of Government' series for 2014, we present Bill McKay, Senior Lecturer, School of Architecture and Planning, speaking to his new publication....
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Global unions applaud NZ ‘slave ships’ progress
    Global unions the ITF (International Transport Workers' Federation) and IUF (International Union of Food, Agricultural and Hospitality Workers) today applauded the steps forward made in preventing often shocking abuse of crews on fishing vessels in New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Families before commerce at Easter
    Families before commerce at Easter The retail workers’ union has hit back at critics of New Zealand's modest Easter trading restrictions. "Some things are more important than going to the mall, and for just three and a half days each...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Easter trading laws archaic, in need of overhaul
    Press release: ACT New Zealand Easter trading laws are outdated and in need of a major overhaul, said ACT leader Jamie Whyte today....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • ALCP welcomes Campbell Live poll result
    The Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party welcomes last night's Campbell Live poll, saying it is an overdue reality check for public opinion on personal cannabis use....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Q+A This Week 20/4/14
    Q+A This Week SUNDAY 20 APRIL, 9AM ON TV ONE The latest on the US-NZ relationship from the US military’s top man in the Pacific, Admiral Samuel J. Locklear . Deputy Political Editor Michael Parkin asks him whether we’re allies,...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Community detention for pokie theft
    A 67-year-old former company director, convicted of stealing pokie machine profits, was today sentenced to six months community detention, 160 hours of community work and ordered to make reparation of $6,000....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Waitangi National Trust Board Amendment Bill
    The Māori Affairs Committee is inviting public submissions on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Wednesday, 14 May 2014....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Collaboration stops drugs from crossing borders
    Collaboration between Hong Kong and New Zealand Customs has stopped millions of dollars worth of drugs coming into New Zealand this year, with a number of seizures and arrests in both countries....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Call for public enquiry into the future of farming
    Fish & Game NZ is calling for a public enquiry “to examine the future of agriculture in New Zealand”....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Comment on Labour Policy Announcement by NZMEA President
    “This policy release from the Labour Party is so important that if it becomes government policy it would define a shift in New Zealand’s culture,” says Brian Willoughby President of the NZMEA and Managing Director of Plinius Audio and Contex...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Manufacturing policy makes sense but….
    On the surface much of Labour's prescription for manufacturing is sound though questions remain over some of the detail not yet announced, the Employers and Manufacturers Association says....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Where Are The 15,000 Jobs?
    “Paula Bennett is today proudly telling New Zealand that beneficiary numbers have decreased by 15,000 in the past year. There is no proud declaration that 15,000 jobs have been created in the same period,” says Auckland Action Against Poverty spokesperson,...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Change of approach to government procurement needed
    The rail engineering industry has been totally let down by National’s lack of manufacturing policy, and Labour’s measures outlined today represent a marked shift in approach to supporting domestic industries, the RMTU said today....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Depreciation Policy Shouldn’t Be Just for Pet Industries
    The Taxpayers’ Union is welcoming Labour’s announcement to beef up rates of depreciation in the manufacturing sector, but is questioning why David Cunliffe is picking winners rather than applying the policy across all sectors. Jordan Williams,...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • FIFA U-20 World Cup NZ 2015 Kick Off Times Announced
    An array of kick-off times to suit football fans of all ages has been confirmed for the FIFA U-20 World Cup New Zealand 2015. With 52 matches spread across the nation, the public will be able to enjoy a collection...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • “Legitimate purpose” provides no protection under 167 form
    On Radio New Zealand today, the Privacy Commissioner indicated that ACC could only request information that was "relevant" for a "legitimate purpose". His view was therefore that the ACC167 form is not a "blank cheque" or...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • State: still keeping you safe on the road this Easter
    The long-awaited Easter/ Anzac break is nearly upon us while the weather may have taken a turn for the worse in several parts of the country, many Kiwis will still be packing up their cars to take a road trip....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Govt plan for community input into residential red zone
    Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel has welcomed Prime Minister John Key’s announcement today of a community participation process for the public to have a say on the future use of the residential red zone....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Governor-General to visit Turkey
    The Governor-General, Lt Gen The Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae, is to visit Turkey next week to lead New Zealand’s representation at the annual Gallipoli commemorations....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Actions of Police prior to death in custody were justified
    A report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority on the death of Adam Palmer while in Police custody found the actions of Police were justified during the arrest. The report also found that Police took all possible steps to try...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • New Electorate Boundaries Finalised
    New boundaries for the country’s 64 General and seven Māori electorates have been finalised – with an additional electorate created in Auckland. The 2014 Representation Commission has completed its statutory role of reviewing and redrawing electorate...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Save The Children Welcomes Strengthening Children’s Rights
    Save the Children New Zealand welcomes a new treaty which allows children to complain directly to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child about alleged violations of their rights....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Labour takes manufacturing seriously
    Labour takes manufacturing seriously Manufacturing workers and employers will all benefit from economic policies announced today by the Labour Party leader, David Cunliffe. The Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union has welcomed the announcement...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Manufacturing policy welcomed
    “Today’s announcement of Labour’s manufacturing policy is very welcome,” says CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg. “Just as many other developed countries are realising, having a strong manufacturing sector pays off in good jobs, retaining...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Operation Unite – a Blitz on Drunken Violence
    New Zealand Police are hoping to reduce the number of victims from alcohol related crime by asking the public to say ‘Yeah, Nah’ more often this holiday weekend....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Dunne Speaks
    Dunne Speaks 17 April 2014 There have been a number of harrowing cases presented this week about the impact of psychoactive substances on vulnerable young people. At one level, the tales are deeply disturbing. It is awful to see anyone...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Research announcement welcomed
    A leading Māori researcher has welcomed the announcement of the 2014 Te Pūnaha Hihiko - Vision Mātauranga Capability Fund by Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce and Māori Affairs Minister Dr Pita Sharples....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • At Last: A Manufacturing Policy
    At Last: A Manufacturing Policy FIRST Union congratulates Labour on the release of its Manufacturing policy today. The union represents workers in the wood, food and textile manufacturing sectors. “In a week that has seen another manufacturing company,...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Republic campaigners still positive after royal visit
    "Campaigners for a New Zealand Head of State are still feeling positive after ten days of royal events" says NZ Republic Chair, Savage. "Our polling before the visit showed increased support for a kiwi head of state. We have a...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Selling homes to foreigners benefits New Zealanders
    Winston Peters has apparently convinced David Cunliffe that when foreigners buy New Zealand property they make New Zealanders worse off. Mr Cunliffe has announced his intention to adopt Winston Peters’ policy of banning foreigners from buying...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Taxpayers’ Union Welcomes Key’s Rejection of ‘Fat Tax’
    The Taxpayers’ Union is welcoming Prime Minister John Key’s rejection of fat and sugar taxes ahead of this year's election. Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Union, says:...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Law Commission Paper on a New Crown Civil Proceedings Act
    The Law Commission has released A New Crown Civil Proceedings Act for New Zealand , its Issues Paper on reforming the Crown Proceedings Act 1950. The Issues Paper proposes a new statute to replace the Crown Proceedings Act 1950....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Focus must now go on fishing industry jobs for NZ workers
    Maritime Union says focus must now go on fishing industry jobs for New Zealand workers...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Make the choice to stay safe on the road
    With Easter and Anzac Day giving us two successive long weekends this year there will be a lot of happy families preparing for trips....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Students Welcome Engagement with StudyLink
    The New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations (NZUSA) has welcomed the improved performance from StudyLink in 2014. There is no doubt that getting their loans and allowances processed on time makes it easier for students to concentrate on being...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Deaf And Hard of Hearing New Zealanders Marginalised
    Deaf And Hard of Hearing New Zealanders Marginalised Imagine if you could not access vital news and information. What would you do?...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Public lose interest in this council, 2016 to be a watershed
    The second term Auckland Council is proving to be an interesting one and very different to the inaugural 2010 – 2013 Governing Body. We are currently going through a budget round to lock in where council’s $3b expenditure is directed...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Labour and National join forces in new Maori confiscations
    Chris McKenzie, former-treaty negotiator and Te Tai Hauauru Maori party candidate, says that the Minister of Primary Industries’ plans to remove temporary exemptions for vessel operators derived from settlement negotiations is akin to confiscation...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • The FCV Bill – Flagging 30 years of failures?
    Paying seafarers at least a minimum wage under the Minimum Wage Act 1983 has applied to the New Zealand fishing industry for more than 30 years. It was, and is, a basic protection which had two universals – it was...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Oxfam’s Morning Tea 2014
    Oxfam’s Morning Tea 2014 Kiwis across the country are getting together over a cuppa to make a difference in the lives of people living in poverty in the developing world. They’re getting involved in Oxfam’s Morning Tea, a fun and...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • 1 in 4 Want to Improve Financial Literacy But Don’t Know How
    1 in 4 Want to Improve Financial Literacy But Don’t Know Where to Go...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Rio Tinto Wins 2013 Roger Award
    Sky City Casino Second, Chorus Third - The criteria for judging are by assessing the transnational (a corporation with 25% or more foreign ownership) that has the most negative impact in each or all of the following categories: economic dominance...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • ACC’s Strategy to stop compensation using ACC 167 Form
    On Radio NZ national’s morning report on 15 April 2014, ACC’s spokesperson Sid Miller denied the non-compliance was just a way for ACC to refuse people....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Workers support plain packaging of tobacco
    The CTU have today presented to the health select committee in support of plain packaging of tobacco. “Any steps that can be taken to lower smoking rates will result in New Zealand workers and their families having healthier and better...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
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