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You’ve got to know to understand (and be able to talk about it)

Written By: - Date published: 1:15 pm, March 1st, 2009 - 56 comments
Categories: economy, Media, national/act government - Tags: , ,

In the greatest economic crisis in a lifetime, we remain the only country in the world whose government has done nothing to try to stimulate the economy. In fact, the net effect of National’s policies is de-stimulatory, taking money out of the economy when it most needs an injection of spending. And I blame the media. You might think that’s unfair, after all National’s in charge but National is just following its ‘put your head in the sand and cut spending’ instincts (the same instincts that aggravated and prolonged the early 1990s and Asian crisis recessions). The only way we could force the Government to act (rather than hold Jobs Summits, which is merely a mask for inaction) is by having an informed national debate on how to handle the crisis. But we can’t do it because the conduit of that debate, the media, isn’t up to the task.

We are so ludicrously under-equipped to hold proper national debates on important issues that when Bill English says he will bring forward spending that is seen as countering the recession and when he says he will cut spending, that is also seen as countering the recession. Not one journo seems to go ‘hey, how can both increasing and cutting spending be tackling the recession?’ or ‘hey, isn’t every other country in the bloody world injecting stimulus into their economy? Why the hell are we cutting spending?’ If you want to see any good commentary on the Government’s recession policies, you have to go to the business sections of the papers, and it’s not favourable reading. The political journos seem unable to sit down and think about macroeconomic situation we are in and what the Government’s actions mean in that context. Many are so economically illiterate that they think running an economy is like running a household budget, and, even then, show they don’t understand the microeconomics of how households budget (John Roughan, don’t you realise that households and businesses borrow to acquire long-term investments all the time? What do you think a mortgage is?).

Look at this cycleway idea. It would be great for me, I could cycle the length of NZ like I’ve cycled through Europe but will it make a blind jot of difference to the economy? Fuck no. $50 million over 2 years. $25 million a year? That’s 0.015% of GDP. It’s like if every man woman and child bought one extra Big Mac a year. It’s supposedly meant to employ 4000 people but what the journos miss is that they would only be employed for a few months each. Even if half the money went to employing workers the number of work hours it would buy is only 1 million over two years, and we lost 17 million work hours from the economy in the December quarter alone. It’s less than a pittance, smaller than an irrelevancy.

Let’s have some context: Obama’s stimulus package is $1.1 trillion – 8% of GDP! He’s talking investment to not only give a mammoth dose of confidence to the economy but also to revolutionise it by building useful infrastructure. He’s delivered a true Green New Deal to not only help the US recover but also to begin to future-proof it against peak oil and work to mitigate climate change. The US and other countries are not spending these vast sums lightly, they are doing it because it is necessary to stop the recessionary spiral before it gets much, much worse. All we’re going to get is a cycleway that no bugger will use and provide no measurable stimulus and yet the media reports it like the Government represents it, as some recession-busting move.

It’s a lack of sophistication in our media analysis that is crippling our politics, preventing any serious discussion over whether the Government is doing anything meaningful to counter the recession, and whether what they are doing are the right things to be doing. If your analysis is no more sophisticated than ‘the Nats say this, Labour says this, and I reckon this’, it’s useless. I can get ‘I dunno, but I reckon’ from any joker in the street. I’m looking for analysis that arises from journos sitting down and thinking about the substantive impacts of policies, that is based on what the research says, what the studies say, what the experts say (the real experts, not the stalking horses like Michael Littlewood); analysis that comes to wise, nuanced conclusions. Informed commentary implicitly recognises the value of knowing what you’re talking about before spouting off. Unfortunately, we rarely get it. Vernon Small’s piece on the Cullen Fund was an oasis that shows the desert around it; the guy actually wrote about the economics of long-term investment, it was informative (well, informative to those who hadn’t already read the same points two days earlier on The Standard). The tragedy is that Small’s piece stands out so much in its exceptionalism. Not one of the other journos has got beyond ‘they say this but the others say this, and the public will feel (ie. I guess) this’.

While our fourth estate remains for all practical intents and purposes incapable of understanding complex issues, explaining them to the public, and challenging our leaders on them, our nation will suffer from poor policy decisions. While the foreign owners of our print media continue to slash and burn our stock of journos and the capable TV journos like Campbell continue to favour entertainment over information, things aren’t going to change.

56 comments on “You’ve got to know to understand (and be able to talk about it)”

  1. coge 1

    Ditto the proposed cycleway. It’s just an very expensive sideshow. It would just take money out of the economy, for uncertain return. Plus big money to maintain. With very dubious preliminary costings.
    Whoever came up with with that idea I wonder?

  2. SP You say a lot by what you leave out.

    For a start, NZ doesn’t have the same economic or finanicial problems in the US or UK or other areas ie on terms of cause. We haven’t had threats to our trading banks nor sub prime issues in particular.

    I’ve see you blame the Nats for lengthening the early 90′s recession. Yet looking at the GDP stats, NZ was 3 and no more than 6 months behind Oz who in turn mirrored the upturn in the US – in other words, our recovery was consistent with our trading partners and our reliance on trade.

    Not once have you mentioned that there is a massive downside to the spending in the US which will take debt to GDP close to our over 100%.

    On the one hand you preach that we should invest in our long term (Cullen Fund) but you are equally happy to gift future taxpayers significant debt.

    To a large extent, NZ’s recession is linked to the success of the spending in other countries, not NZ’s.

  3. oob 3

    Can you can imagine the response if the Greens has suggested the the Route 1 Cycleway ?

  4. RedLogix 4

    On the one hand you preach that we should invest in our long term (Cullen Fund) but you are equally happy to gift future taxpayers significant debt.

    Well of course you leave out the obvious alternative, defer or cancel the planned tax cuts. NZ already has one of the lower total tax takes in the world, and by lowering it even further at this critical juncture, all Bill English would achieve is to further restrict the ability of his govt to respond to the crisis.

    Yes I can hear the objection already, that in difficult times tax cuts would help individual budgets, but try and bear in mind that a tax cut means absolutely nothing to an individual without a job. Once someone has lost their job, they don’t give a rat’s patui about tax cuts, all they want is to see some action from their govt to get things moving again.

  5. What about the multiplier effect of the cycleway: wayside tyre air filling stations, cafe stops (non fast food), shower heads (solar powered), bunk rooms, restrooms, rain shelters, support transport services (so you don’t have to cycle with a backpack) etc.
    I’m surprised the National Government didn’t suggest to uproot the railways, as those tracks would make excellent cycling roadways (cfr Central Otago former rail tracks). And that’d save on future Kiwirail investments too.

    • There is no going to be any tourists other than some lost Kiwi’s. The entire global economy is collapsing that means nobody has any money to go anywhere let alone to New Zealand.
      That whole project is going to be some monumental waste of time

    • the sprout 5.2

      “I’m surprised the National Government didn’t suggest to uproot the railways, as those tracks would make…”

      those sleepers would make lovely raised pottager beds for Parnell gardens too.

  6. sdm 6

    So you would rather the government do as Obama seems to be – debt laden the cousntry for generations to come. How does he pay for the “stimulus” (pork) bill?

    • Pascal's bookie 6.1

      That would be the same way the shrub paid for his stupid fucking wars sdm. Future taxes. He’s been quite open about it. In fact, he’s finally moved the US towards a proper accounting for how their government spends money.

  7. gingercrush 7

    In the greatest economic crisis in a lifetime, we remain the only country in the world whose government has done nothing to try to stimulate the economy.

    That is the most stupid thing I’ve ever read. I love how the left attack the media. You don’t want a critical media. You want media that agrees with your viewpoint. But perhaps its your viewpoint that is incorrect. And that the huge stimulus packages other countries are delivering will only put those countries further and further into debt. And when Obama is talking about cutting the US deficit in half. One can only assume there is going to be plenty of cutting to public services. Something I would have thought you would disagree with.

    As for borrowing for the super fund. Its rather surprising that the Greens the party which aligns closest to you, also agrees with the suspension of funding the Cullen fund. It makes no sense to borrow money to invest largely in sharemarkets at a time when those sharemarkets are going down, down and down.

    And its pleasing to see, The Standard is quickly going down the same route as Tumeke. It looks so professional to see swearing in an analysis piece.

  8. Ianmac 8

    The cycleway gets a great deal of debate BUT I can find no mention of it in the official report on the official Govt Summit website nor on Tracey Watkin’s front page Dominion. (Wouldn’t it be Wonderful to be able to bike the lengh of NZ safely. Wow! Loved the Otago bike trail.)

  9. Ianmac 9

    Cullen Fund: Doesn’t it make sense to invest when the value is low so it is ready for the long-term recovery

  10. gingercrush 10

    Ianmac – No. It is generally advised that you never borrow money to invest in liquid stocks. And the best time to invest in stocks is when you’re starting to see a recovery. That insures that your stock doesn’t drop too low. Of course we could always borrow 20 billion dollars + but the only thing that will do is make the Cullen Fund irrelevant in 20 years or so since the country will paying for all it takes to pay off debt. That is why it is the best interest of this country, to ensure that government debt remains low. So a fund that is suppose to pay for future Super isn’t used to pay off Government debt. If we’re indeed looking at a future where a large number of people are retired. Then surely by anyone’s thinking its best to ensure government debt remains low? Or do you people really think a fund of lets say 20 billion dollars but a debt of 30%+ of GDP is going to ease financial constraints?

  11. spot 11

    “He’s delivered a true Green New Deal to not only help the US recover but also to begin to future-proof it against peak oil and work to mitigate climate change….”

    That has to be worthy of a post on its own, quite some claim when you look at the category breakdown of that package.

  12. Daveski 12

    RedLogix

    Isn’t SP clamouring for what they’re doing? So doesn’t that mean tax cuts (cause that’s what they are doing)?

    The philosophical point is that you and SP want to see the Govt spend and make the decisions … even tho govts have a terrible success rate. Likewise the enthusiasm for the Cullen fund.

    Wouldn’t it make sense for the Govt to give this money back to taxpayers and only have to worry about supporting those in genuine need. FFS social welfare for families earning $100K +!!!

    • Ari 12.1

      The reason tax cuts don’t work well as stimulus is twofold:

      1) They’re inefficient- you have to spend an enormous amount on them for a relatively small stimulus, because tax cuts go to everyone in the economy.
      2) They’re poorly targeted- tax cuts also give money to the wealthy and those secure in their jobs, and often it’s a lot more money than for everyone else. These people are almost guaranteed to bank the extra cash rather than invest it, which is about the worst possible use of money if your goal is to get out of the recession.

    • Draco T Bastard 12.2

      If families with an income over 100k need social welfare then it’s most likely that they don’t have a high enough income. Now, it would be nice to see businesses actually paying enough for the families to thrive but I really can’t see it happening. WfF – just another business subsidy courtesy of the taxpayer.

  13. Pascal's bookie 13

    “FFS social welfare for families earning $100K +!!!”

    Daveski.

    I think it’s fair to say that, of late, many of your comments here have been along the lines of;

    ” Goodness me (Standard writer), your comment “x” is rather partisan, and is hardly an objective statement that could be accepted as true by everyone, and your credibility is in grave jeopardy.”

    Given your above quote, please desist with the concern trolling.

    • Daveski 13.1

      I got riled when I pointed out comments that had been trotted out as fact were proved to be wrong and banged on about it for a while. Even I got bored so I desisted.

      Ironically, Ari’s comments are along the same lines as the point I’m making – a lot of the current transfer payments aren’t well targetted at all.

      I’ve moved on from the boring line of attack – point taken – but the comment about targeting welfare payments is a first for me and not trolling action.

  14. Rex Widerstrom 14

    I couldn’t agree more with the main thrust of your post, SP – the media in NZ aren’t equipped for a national debate of any depth. But then you go on to say:

    capable TV journos like Campbell continue to favour entertainment over information

    Sorry, but it’s journalists like Campbell who are equally responsible, along with the owners, for the malaise that infects our media. Certainly the jobbing journo in the Herald newsroom whose value to the company is measured in column centimetres, not the quality of the words therein, can’t do much to change things. They’re not given the time or resources for any analysis.

    But when one reaches the exalted heights of being handed 30 or 60 minutes of prime time TV a night, or a bylined column, or is promoted to head of news or whatever, then one wields considerable influence.

    If you’re so wrapped up in your own celebrity you’re bereft of a decent idea, then there are plenty of good overseas examples you’d do well to copy.

    It’s easy to blame the media owners, and they certainly don’t make it easy. But once a program is allocated a budget, then the decision on whether to spend that budget on recipes, interviews with aging rockstars and lightweight “lifestyle” pieces, or serious current affairs, is in the hands of the program makers.

    And they’ve consistently let us down.

    • Pascal's bookie 14.1

      spot on. (now there was a show. never mind the top-town, re-make that for the kiddies)

    • Ag 14.2

      The internet has exposed how useless most journalists are. To be a journalist one has to be able to package either the conventional wisdom, or something close to it, in a non-threatening package. Now anyone with an internet connection can fact check and publish objections immediately, and the journalists don’t like it. But why on earth would someone take a journalist’s opinion on any subject when there are any number of blogs by real experts that anyone can read?

      No wonder newspapers are going out of business.

    • the sprout 14.3

      True RW, Campbell disappeared up his own arse a long time ago. No amount of carefully staged Everyday Johno marketing eating fish and chips on the couch is going to change that.

  15. mike 15

    “The entire global economy is collapsing that means nobody has any money to go anywhere let alone to New Zealand.”

    Yes and we’ll all be wearing goat skins huddled around the camp fire… just what the country needs at this time – more paranoid freaks like eve

    • Mike,

      You might not like what I’m saying but to date 50 million people lost their jobs in the last six months and it’s only just beginning.
      Every major city in Europe has riots and strikes, government are falling and the people are angry. The way this is going to go down you might be lucky to have a goat skin and a fire. Asshole.

      • TC 15.1.1

        @Travellerev,

        Every major city in Europe has riots and strikes??

        Which Governments are falling??

        Maybe the sky is falling!!

        • Travellerev 15.1.1.1

          TC,

          This is about Eastern Europe.

          This one is about Europe

          Iceland”s and Latvia’s governments have fallen, Greece’s government is under severe pressure.
          Germany is facing huge strikes

          For details about the collapsing banking system check the bank implodometer

          Yep, the sky may be falling and ignorance is an ugly thing in these times. TC, you might want to educate yourself because the only country in the world which was dumb enough to vote an actual banker in, instead of throwing him in front of a car is little old really, really dumb New Zealand and my guess is you’re one of those dumb fucks who actually voted for him.

  16. Rex. oh, I totally agree with you. It is a personal as well as institutional failing that people like Campbell have wasted their potential.

    Daveski. Only very large families (6 kids) get any WFF on incomes over $100K, and the payments are small. It came out a while back that the government was spending only a million a year on WFF for these families, $1000 each. Do the maths and stop being a dick, the only way your can avoid having small payments into high incomes is a greater abatement rate or lower rates at low incomes. Remember Bill English’s secret tape? He said Key didn’t understand that simple fact but there’s no getting around it.

    • Daveski 16.1

      My comment has been taken somewhat out of context. The point I was trying to make is that the “safety net” provision of social security which I completely support has been replaced by a complex web of transfer payments that will never be efficient. The broader point I obviously failed to make was around better targetting of govt payments rather than the Government throwing money at every problem in the short term – it hasn’t worked in the past.

  17. Walt 17

    According to this ODT article the proposal is to spend $6 million finishing Te Araroa which is a walkway from Cape Reinga to Bluff due to be completed in 2010 and then build a mountain biking trail alongside of it for a cost of $50 million.

    I know that at (at least) parts of Te Araroa are accessible by mountain bikers: the parts of the trail near Twizel have been mentioned in the last two editions of the Kennett Brother’s Classic New Zealand Mountain Bike Rides guide book (i.e. since 2005) and I found this information about sections of the trail in the Auckland area.

  18. tsmithfield 18

    SP “when Bill English says he will bring forward spending that is seen as countering the recession and when he says he will cut spending, that is also seen as countering the recession”

    Yip. We need to spend on useful things and cut spending on stupid things. So, it is possible to be increasing spending and cutting spending at the same time.

    Think about it. It as actually cheaper for taxpayers to be paying former government employees the dole than to have them paid high salaries from the public purse. So, cutting the fat at of the public service, as National is doing at the moment, is actually good for taxpayers as a whole.

  19. the sprout 19

    Good commentary SP. agreed on all points.

    Our ‘Fourth Estate’ is a bad joke if you think what that’s supposed to mean – a citizens’ watchdog on the powerful interest of the State. Only the conglomerates that now own our media are more powerful than probably our state, definitely more powerful than any political party or bloc.

    Our print media in the past have pretty much always been owned by wealthy families, but at least they lived in the same country and had to wear some of the consequences of theri decisions. Now the offshore owners of our private media couldn’t give a toss about what happens in the far off Antipodes.

    The NZ msm were desperate to downplay the seriousness of the Global Crisis during the election because they didn’t want to risk the public getting cold feet about trading a competent government on a whim for a change. With that level of concern for the democratic interests of New Zealanders it’s hardly surprising they’re not going to bother too much about hiring staff that are sufficiently competent to provide adequate journalism.

  20. rave 20

    The reason that there is no stimulus package in NZ is that National are not Keynesians. They are not interested in boosting consumption to increase demand and hence supply. They are supply siders. They will take their tax cuts and subsidies and only invest if labour and other costs of production are cut to the bone via the 90 days fire at will, gut the RMA, dispense with ETS blah blah and suck Cullen’s fund dry.

    Obama’s so-called stimulus is a mixed package and it barely qualifies as a New New Deal. Most of the public spending is a direct subsidy into the pockets of the bosses (no guarantee of stimulus) much less goes into increasing consumption. Mind you that was true of the original New Deal anyway.

    What Key and Obama have in common in a concern that if they don’t present their package as pro-jobs first then popular unrest will mount and destablise actual pro-boss policies. As I pointed out on another thread, the 9 day fortnight is not pro-worker but pro-boss because it is in fact a form of creeping dole paid for by the labour and taxes of workers. But Key hopes that it will cool out the union heads and keep the lid on worker discontent more than 1000s of unemployed queuing up at WINZ.

    I thought the The Standard contributors really believed that Key’s centrist posing was designed to mask a real right wing hidden agenda. Why question that conclusion when the evidence is piling up in its favour?

    Sooner or later you’ll get it that this is a capitalist crisis that they want workers to pay by cutting wages and cutting all unproductive and unprofitable investment.

    I think its a bit weak to blame the corporate media who have been sold out for years, bullshitted us before the election and are playing Key’s little game consistently now.

    • This is what the man had to say about the financial collapse at APEC

      So now the party is over and the taxpayers of the world are left to underwrite in one form or another the liabilities and obligations of banks and, by extension, their hedge-fund clientele.

  21. rave 21

    How Obama plans to rescue Citibank without nationalising it.
    http://doughenwood.wordpress.com/2009/02/26/obama-coddling-bankers-indeed/

  22. deemac 22

    top stuff Steve, thanks. Can you remind us of the percentage of GDP that various govts are devoting to rebooting economies? then we can see how truly clueless our sorry lot are.

  23. vto 23

    rave you almosy made compleye sense again.

  24. sweeetdisorder 24

    Deemac

    “Australia’s stimulus spending announced since September 2008 now totals A$78 billion and adds to a raft of packages developed in major economies, including $819 billion in the United States and $586 billion by China.”
    http://www.cnbc.com/id/28985020

    ****
    Hon David Cunliffe

    Has the Minister seen any reports on the comparative size of the stimulus injected by the so-called rolling maul of announcements, of which today’s infrastructure package was one; if so, can he confirm that although the Australian Government has introduced stimulus initiatives of about 4.5 percent of GDP, and the US of about 5.5 percent of GDP, this Government’s stimulus initiative in this package makes up less than 1 percent of GDP?

    Hon BILL ENGLISH

    As the member will know, New Zealand has a significant fiscal stimulus—at least in comparison with the Australian and the US Governments—of around 4 percent of GDP over the next couple of years. The difference is that New Zealand went into recession 12 months earlier than those Governments, under the previous Government. The 2008 Budget cut taxes increased spending significantly, which means that by now, when the recession is deepening, the New Zealand Government unfortunately has a lot fewer options than those Governments.
    http://theyworkforyou.co.nz/portfolios/infrastructure/2009/feb/11/economic_challenges
    ****

    NZ’s is reported to be around $NZ9bil, about 4% of GDP
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/4844707a6160.html

  25. oob 25

    Merrill Lynch CEO Thain Spent $1.22 Million On Office
    http://www.cnbc.com/id/28793892/site/14081545

    unbelievable

  26. Tim Ellis 26

    I don’t know what National’s tax cut programme is, if it isn’t a stimulus package. You know, the same tax cut programmes that Labour said was only marginally larger than their own, but Labour have since said they would scrap and are proposing that National scraps theirs.

  27. Pascal's bookie 27

    Jeez Tim. National have been banging on about tax cuts for nearly a decade. It’s ideological for them.

    When there is a surplus, National wants tax cuts to ‘pay it back’.

    If there is recession, tax cuts become stimulus.

    If there is a govt deficit, but no recession, supply side laffer curve nonsense about ‘cutting taxes to increase revenue’ gets trotted out.

    IOW ‘what National’s tax cut programme is’, depends on what they are justifying it by this week.

    As you yourself once said, but couldn’t really explain, it’s about ‘believing in tax cuts’.

    • Felix 27.1

      As you yourself once said, but couldn’t really explain, it’s about ‘believing in tax cuts’.

      Oh come now Pb, you can’t hold him to that – it was before the election!

  28. Chrisburger 28

    Hang a tick.

    Didn’t right-wing, neo-liberal parties win a majority of the vote at the 2008 election? Forgive my ignorance, but I think that kinda translates into the majority of New Zealanders choosing an ideological approach geared towards fiscal restraint, even in the hard times (we had been in a recession for almost a year at the time of the 2008 election).

    So to bang on now about our government not spending up large like other countries is a little like refighting the last election, which the Left lost. It’s pointless – Kiwis made their decision.

    What’s impressive about the reaction by the government so far has been its remarkable restraint amid the temptation (primarily for electoral gain) to lavish money here, there and everywhere, further burdening future generations with an enormous load of debt just when they are supposed to be funding the boomer’s retirement (not to mention pay off their student loans).

    I do, however, beleive that contributions should continue to the Cullen Fund. Money going in now will be purhcasing shares aborad at much lower prices than the money put in 3 years ago (terrible timing by Cullen, again – is this guy really that bright?), illustrating the wisdom of the mantra of buying in a bear market.

    • Felix 28.1

      Didn’t right-wing, neo-liberal parties win a majority of the vote at the 2008 election?

      Yes, by promising not to be right-wing neoliberals.

      …but I think that kinda translates into the majority of New Zealanders choosing an ideological approach geared towards fiscal restraint, even in the hard times…

      No. See above.

      Forgive my ignorance…

      You are forgiven.

  29. Tim Ellis 29

    That’s not the point though, is it, PB? The point is that tax cuts are stimulatory (and one of Cullen’s excuses for not pursuing with tax cuts earlier was that it would provide too much stimulation in a hot market), and should be considered as part of National’s stimulatory package. National’s tax cuts are more aggressive than what Labour promised. Given Goff has now said that National should cancel tax cuts, what he’s saying is that the stimulatory effects of the tax cuts should be removed, which is the very opposite of what Steve is advocating here. If you’re going to consider the stimulatory package then that includes both tax cuts and additional spending.

    Goff has called for super contributions to remain. That also removes stimulus from the economy.

    [The NZSF contributions are not destimulatory because they're not coming at the cost of spending in the economy. Removing the tax cuts would be destimulatory but I'm adovating using the moeny on spending instead, whcih would be more stimulatory than tax cuts for the rich. SP]

  30. Pascal's bookie 30

    It’s often hard to tell what your point is though Tim. As far as I can make out, it’s “Tax cuts are good, National believes this, therefore vote National”. Everything else seems to be sophistry in service of that claim.

    (and one of Cullen’s excuses for not pursuing with tax cuts earlier was that it would provide too much stimulation in a hot market)

    And he was right. Now that you are lauding the keynesian effects of tax cuts, I’m sure you’ll be happy to admit as much.

    National’s tax cuts are more aggressive than what Labour promised.

    They are slightly bigger, and differently targetted. Whether or not they are more stimulatory than Labour’s depends at least as much on the latter as the former. Which is the point.

    I don’t really care what Goff is saying.

  31. RedLogix 31

    The point is that tax cuts are stimulatory

    Only if they are spent. But in the current environment, with asset values collapsing, the highest priority for most people will be to reduce debt. Which has no stimulatory value at all. The rest of your train of thought falls apart after that.

    We are at the beginning of a massive debt deflationary period. These things are rare, occuring only once ever 70-80 years or so. Most of what we know from our recent past will prove misleading or wrong in the next decade.

    Goff has called for super contributions to remain.

    I never thought I would say this, but increasing debt by borrowing expensive money to buy depreciating assets is probably counterproductive at this point in time. National could get away with suspending the Fund (as the legislation explcitly allows), if it also laid out acceptable conditions that had to be met in order to restart them. Simply suspending the Fund with open-endedly would be widely perceived as killing the political accord around Super, and added to their already long list of reprenhesible moves in this area.

  32. Tim Ellis 32

    SP wrote:

    The NZSF contributions are not destimulatory because they’re not coming at the cost of spending in the economy.

    That isn’t true SP. Governments have three options: adjust tax, adjust spending, and adjust savings/debt levels. Increasing savings levels as the super contribution does removes spending on the economy.

    PB, I’m not strictly speaking a Keynesian, but I take your point. Yet I’ve never said that the only positive effect of tax cuts, or that the only time to do it, is when there are large surpluses. I would argue that one of the positive effects of tax cuts is that they stimulate the economy in a downturn. Yes that’s a Keynesian argument but it’s not the only one. Labour claimed that the main motivation for its tax cuts were that surpluses were “structural”. That’s turned out to be patently wrong.

    I should clarify I’m not asking you to justify Labour’s policy. My point is though that the electorate has two broad political options in Labour or National. We don’t have a lot of an idea of what Labour would do in the current climate, except for the statements made by Phil Goff: cancelling tax cuts and maintaining super contributions, both of which probably have a more destimulating effect on the economy than anything else. I haven’t heard much of what positively stimulating policies Labour might have pursued, but given the options it seems to me that National’s plan has a more stimulating effect than Labour’s.

  33. Chrisburger – National got 45%, ACT 3.65%. Not a majority, a plurality.

    Anyway, just because the majority of people back something does not mean it is correct or above question. I’m certain you have views that the majority disagree with but that doesn’t stop you making your arguments.

  34. Snail d' silver trail 34

    some bright remarks in there, rave.. like “supplyside”.. bang on before election, government and recession responsbilities at any rate.. a reagan coining as you’ll know.

    Media deficiency.. insuffociency..? The solution to which lies in how they can be made to think about and write sensible, sensitive and intelligent copy for folks to take up..

    Well, here’;s something. I’ll relate it as a start: a way of figuring things.. of stating a progessive line.. futures.. sustainable and not fall-overs..

    Governing Labor (Labour) has a name of being control freaks. National need a different mindset. Control… what?

    The new National – whether they like it or not, know it or not – operate twixt price and risk. Best risk is the priced risk. No price = uncertainty. Uncertainty is too much risk. Recession is risk!

    Yep, do more than just think about this.

    ps: once was northpaw, but I was ‘touched’ the other day and henceforth until further notice my monicker here shall be Snail.. One thing is for sure.. folks will always know where I have been nights by following the silver trail by day. :-)

    pps: has anyone else noticed how the enzed bonds market is shaping out..

    .

  35. The really sad thing about this debate is that Barack has set aside US$100b on green measures. China has decided to put a third of its stimulus package in sustainable energy projects. And our wise leadership has chosen to reverse the ban on energy inefficient lightbulbs…

    It really feels like the stupid members of your third form class have taken over and are deciding what in intellectual terms is right and wrong ..

  36. MsMac 36

    “…a true Green New Deal to not only help the US recover but also to begin to future-proof it against peak oil and work to mitigate climate change.”

    Yeah, right. For example, our lovely stimulus package has $1.7 million dollars for pig odor research in Iowa. Everyone knows that stinky pigs are absolutely prohibitive to a US recovery!

    This is only a very small example of all the great stuff (AKA PORK!) in the US stimulus package.

    I’m moving to Canada!

    • Ianmac 36.1

      Isn’t that part of the urgent need to deal with the huge problems associated with the mammoth USA pig farms? A decade or so the 1000s of pig farms were small family type concerns. Vast pig farms, I think about 50 now, have the entire production wiping out all the small units. But the environmental impact; smell, effluent pigshit, heavily poluted rivers downstrea, was catastrophic for many miles around. imagine a pigfar the size of entire Auckland city! (The Bush Admin removed environmental restrictions and hey! Here we have the reform of the RMA????) .

      • MsMac 36.1.1

        The project is truly about reducing the odor, not the environmental impact. Non stinky pig poo is just as bad on the environment. This isn’t some much-needed project that’s going to fix the nation or even the environment. It’s a wasteful pet project aimed at getting some Democratic in Iowa re-elected. That is what the US Stimulus package is all about keeping the Democrats in power.

  37. expat 37

    [lprent: deleted - troll comment]

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  • Labour will revive the regions with new fund
    The next Labour Government will co-develop Regional Growth Plans for every region of New Zealand and will invest at least $200 million in a fund to create breakthrough opportunities for jobs and sustainable growth, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says....
    Labour | 21-07
  • GUEST BLOG: Michael Wood: Weekend at Bernie’s lll – ACT in Epsom
    While no one will be surprised by yesterday’s deal to prop up ACT in Epsom, the audacity of it is still astounding. ACT is a political corpse. Their sole MP has been found guilty of electoral fraud and bides his...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • So how’s all the ‘ Labour Party man ban’ hysteria working out for you...
    Remember all the screams from the media at the so called ‘man ban’ of the Labour Party? Labour’s attempt at gender equality was really just more evidence of Labour’s man hate,  feminists were taking over, heterosexual red blooded men burnt at the stake....
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Paul Henry; the issue is you, not flag-burning
    There will always be reductive, dangerous and reactionary responses to different forms of oppressive violence by our western, often biased, mainstream media. These reactionary responses purposefully distract from the real issues and those who are at the root and the...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Oh now John Armstrong and Vernon Small want to talk about policy?
    The audacity of the mainstream media seems to know no end. This week both John Armstrong and Vernon Small had the hilarity to demand a focus on policy and not ‘gotcha’ politics… John Armstrong: The ‘gotcha politics’ disease is afflicting...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • “They put Maori centre stage” – Harawira
    MIL OSI – Source: Mana Movement – Headline: “They put Maori centre stage” – Harawira  Posted on July 24, 2014 by admin in Hone Harawira, Press Releases“I’m sorry I can’t be at parliament for the valedictory speeches of Tariana Turia...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Burning the flag or accepting the evil
    MIL OSI – Source: Mana Movement – Headline: Burning the flag or accepting the evil Posted on July 24, 2014 by admin in Hone Harawira, Press ReleasesBurning the Israeli flag in Auckland in protest over the murder of innocent civilians...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • TAXPAYER UNION “outrageously stupid”
    MIL OSI – Source: Mana Movement – Headline: TAXPAYER UNION “outrageously stupid” Posted on July 24, 2014 by admin in Hone Harawira, Press ReleasesJordan Williams, Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union says a MANA billboard “appears to have been funded by taxpayers”,...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Tōku reo, tōku oho oho, tōku reo, tōku mapihi maurea – MANA launches ...
    MIL OSI – Source: Mana Movement – Headline: Tōku reo, tōku oho oho, tōku reo, tōku mapihi maurea – MANA launches te reo Māori policy  Posted on July 24, 2014 by admin in Annette Sykes, Press Releases, Te Hamua Nikora“MANA...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Green Party launches Solar in Schools policy
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: Green Party launches Solar in Schools policy Thursday, 24 Jul 2014 | Press Release Our Solar in Schools policy will allow them to save money on electricity – money which can be...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Media Release: New report on GP costs for 6-17 year olds
    MIL OSI – Source: Child Poverty Action Group – Headline: Media Release: New report on GP costs for 6-17 year olds 24 July 2014 Free doctor’s visits should be extended to all children under 18 as GP charges are a...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • 3 reasons why I can’t care about Gerry Brownlee’s airport security fias...
    I find it very difficult to get upset about Gerry Brownlee barging through airport security for 3 simple reasons. Firstly I think airport security in this country is a total farce. Why we need to be conditioned to security searches...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • How the Opposition win Epsom now Key has cemented Goldsmith into place
    One fear I had this election would be that National listened to Matthew Hooton and removed Goldsmith from the ballot box to leave the race open enough for David Seymour to ensure an ACT Party victory. Thankfully National Party hubris...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Now Conservative Party has been killed off, is a vote for NZ First a vote f...
    Are Winston and John Key new Best Friends Forever?   Colin Craig and his Conservative Party have been cleverly played and tricked and trapped by National. Whatever promises and flirtations Key made with Craig last year have eventuated into nothing....
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • The front page the NZ Herald would use if they thought they could get away ...
    The front page the NZ Herald would use if they thought they could get away with it...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Best National Party Billboard
    Best National Party Billboard...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Annette Sykes to launch campaign for Waiariki Annette Sykes, MANA candidate...
    MIL OSI – Source: Mana Movement – Headline: Annette Sykes to launch campaign for Waiariki Annette Sykes, MANA candidate for Waiariki Posted on July 28, 2014 by admin in Annette Sykes, Press ReleasesAt midday tomorrow, Annette Sykes will officially launch...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Something Fishy About Nick Smith’s Game.
    NICK SMITH’S crude intimidation of the Fish and Game Council points to the bleakest of environmental futures should National be re-elected on 20 September. It is now considerably clearer than 60 percent of New Zealand’s lakes, rivers and streams that...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Minister shouldn’t stop Fish and Game doing its job
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: Minister shouldn’t stop Fish and Game doing its job Monday, 28 Jul 2014 | Press Release Fish and Game is supposed to advocate for clean and healthy rivers, it’s the law. It...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Key’s odd personal hypocrisy in Epsom, his kiss of death to the Maori Par...
    Aside from tricking Colin Craig into running in an electorate National can crush him in, John Key has announced three things in his election deals that are ill thought out. The first is his deal with the Maori Party. At a time...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Public deserves electoral integrity
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Public deserves electoral integrity National’s deals with spent political forces ACT and United Future will be met with a deepening sense of unease over the manipulation of MMP, Labour Leader David Cunliffe...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Out of control costs raise questions about National Science Challenges
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Out of control costs raise questions about National Science Challenges Amid strong criticism of the value of the National Science Challenges from some of the country’s senior scientists, new figures show administrative...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Low build numbers and faulty repairs: what has Brownlee been doing?
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Low build numbers and faulty repairs: what has Brownlee been doing? Despite being a man in a hurry new figures show just 2160 new homes, thousands fewer than needed, have been built...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • UNEMIG: Disgraced hotel operator still hasn’t learned
    MIL OSI – Source: First Union – Headline: UNEMIG: Disgraced hotel operator still hasn’t learned A publicly disgraced Auckland hotel is still not paying their workers the minimum wage, according to the Union Network of Migrants (UNEMIG). Last week the...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Christchurch CHEP workers walk off the job again
    MIL OSI – Source: First Union – Headline: Christchurch CHEP workers walk off the job again Workers at Brambles-owned CHEP Christchurch have walked off the job again today to protest the employer’s refusal to negotiate an improved pay offer, according...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Why it’s all over for the Conservative Party
    Whatever flirtations were made months ago to Colin Craig by National strategists, the polling must have come back showing them too much of their soft urban vote would walk if Key was in Government with Colin Craig.  The necessary inside muscle to...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Balance in the NZ Herald and has something gone terribly wrong at the Heral...
    So the ‘balance’ in the NZ Herald this year for the election will be… Guest columnists will include the acerbic Cactus Kate from the radical right, former Labour candidate Josie Pagani and broadcaster Mark Sainsbury. Right, so that would be...
    The Daily Blog | 27-07
  • Joyce’s heavy hand stifling innovation
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: Joyce’s heavy hand stifling innovation Monday, 28 Jul 2014 | Press Release “The heavy hand of Steven Joyce is destroying New Zealand’s innovation economy.” The National Government should allow scientists and businesses...
    The Daily Blog | 27-07
  • CERA spends almost $2m on 7000 flights
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: CERA spends almost $2m on 7000 flights CERA has spent $1.8 million on 7286 flights from Christchurch to Wellington in three years – a huge waste of money as Cantabrians still wait...
    The Daily Blog | 27-07
  • Nick Smith oversteps the mark yet again
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Nick Smith oversteps the mark yet again Nick Smith has yet again completely overstepped the mark as a minister – this time with a threat to muzzle Fish and Game if they...
    The Daily Blog | 27-07
  • Phew – National Party hubris seals strategy
    The National Party are bot listening to Matthew Hooton. Phew. Hooton has crunched the numbers and based on past polling National always drops 6 points come election day. National aren’t listening. Barging through the need to cut deals with all...
    The Daily Blog | 27-07
  • Noam Chomsky on the TPPA
    Noam Chomsky on the TPPA...
    The Daily Blog | 27-07
  • Unacceptable secrecy around labelling people terrorists
    It’s good to see the Sunday Star-Times attempting to get more information from government agencies about Daryl Jones, the Kiwi killed in a US drone strike in Yemen.  The paper is right to complain about the government’s refusal to provide...
    The Daily Blog | 27-07
  • A critical deconstruction of John Key – what’s behind the facade?
    Aspiring national leaders need a popular narrative of their rise to power.  Once in office, the narrative can be refined to fit the requirements of leadership and re-election.  Such is the purpose of John Roughan’s John Key: Portrait of  a...
    The Daily Blog | 27-07
  • Radio Live – off Mark
    The Top Marks lasted five weeks on Mediaworks radio station The Sound. This may have something to do with last being relevant in the mid-1980s when there were only two commercial FM licences in Auckland and they were on one...
    The Daily Blog | 27-07
  • Wellingtonians say ‘No!’ to Israeli aggression
    .   . Wellington, NZ, 26 July – About 600 Wellingtonians, and from further afield, met at the Cuba Mall Bucket fountain under a wintery sunny sky, to protest Israel’s continuing aggression in the Gaza strip, which – at the...
    The Daily Blog | 27-07
  • Greens call for shipping lanes backed by Maritime Union
    MIL OSI – Source: Maritime Union of New Zealand – Headline: Greens call for shipping lanes backed by Maritime Union The Maritime Union is backing the Green Party’s policy to implement compulsory shipping lanes for coastal shipping, announced 27 July...
    The Daily Blog | 27-07
  • Government needs to get Fishing reform bill passed now
    MIL OSI – Source: Maritime Union of New Zealand – Headline: Government needs to get Fishing reform bill passed now The Maritime Union is urging the Government to push through a Bill reforming the fishing industry. Maritime Union of New...
    The Daily Blog | 27-07
  • Georgina Beyer to stand for MANA in Te Tai Tonga
    MIL OSI – Source: Mana Movement – Headline: Georgina Beyer to stand for MANA in Te Tai Tonga  Posted on July 27, 2014 by admin in Hone Harawira, Press Releases“It’s great to have Georgie on board” said Hone Harawira, MANA...
    The Daily Blog | 27-07
  • Israel/Gaza conflict: Questions and Answers
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: Israel/Gaza conflict: Questions and Answers What does Amnesty International think of the resolution passed by the UN Human Rights Council on 23 July? What should happen next?Amnesty International welcomes resolution S-21/1...
    The Daily Blog | 26-07
  • Green Party launches plan to protect our beaches from oil spills
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: Green Party launches plan to protect our beaches from oil spills Sunday, 27 Jul 2014 | Press Release Like New Zealand chose to go nuclear free, we can add to our national...
    The Daily Blog | 26-07
  • GUEST BLOG: Shasha Ali – I am an indigenous person but I will never call ...
    Yesterday was indeed a politically hectic day in Aoteaora New Zealand, especially if you are an activist that cares about both human and non-human animal rights. Protest actions were organised to demand an end to factory farming from about noon, and...
    The Daily Blog | 26-07
  • Pro-Israel, Pro-Palestine or ‘Pro-Peace’?
    Latest protest for people of Gaza in Auckland In the past couple of weeks I have heard a lot of people say that they are neither Pro-Israel nor Pro-Palestine; they are pro-peace. This is a stand that I respect. Everyone...
    The Daily Blog | 26-07
  • So we can’t feed the kids, the poor OR the sick now?
    Let me get this straight. We can borrow $10 billion in tax cuts over the last 6 years for the richest NZers, but we can not feed the kids, the poor or even the sick now? Revealed: Warning over hospital food...
    The Daily Blog | 26-07
  • Kim Dotcom has said it, Laila Harre has said it and now David fisher says i...
    Fascinating piece by David Fisher in the NZ Herald breaking down how many opportunities the Government had to listen to officials and stop KDC entering the country and concludes KDC should never have been allowed in… It prepared papers for the...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • You, Me and the GCSB Public Meetings
      The GCSB and TICS legislation rushed through Parliament by John Key represent the largest erosion of civil liberties this country has seen since the 1951 Waterfront Lockout. In the post Snowden world we now know a mass surveillance state operating...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • A feminist takedown of Whale Oil
    Whale Oil does it again. How many more times is he going to attack and discredit Tania Billingsley publicly? In a short blog published on Wednesday ‘Nothing to be sorry for‘ Whale Oil also known as Cameron Slater, is defending John Key...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Ares Rolinson – New Zealand First – We’ll Be Back
    Earlier this week, Bomber penned a missive which set out in some detail why he thought my people, New Zealand First, wouldn’t be making it back into Parliament later this year. Being a pugnacious, vindictive sort who’d never let such an...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • The changes teachers DO want
    “Oh you teachers, you just want everything to stay the same – what’s wrong with choice?  Bloody teachers.  Typical that you don’t want testing – trying to hide that you’re all useless. What about our poor kids?  Gnash gnash rant rant...” That’s...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • A feminist take down of Whale Oil
    Whale Oil does it again. How many more times is he going to attack and discredit Tania Billingsley publicly? In a short blog published on Wednesday Nothing to be sorry for Whale Oil also known as Cameron Slater, is defending John Key...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • On so called Labour Party ‘distractions’
    The right wing of the Labour Party are constructing a narrative that Labour need to stop chasing distractions and focus on the real issues that matter and not these silly GCSB, inequality, domestic violence, media bias, TPPA issues. It is...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • NZ NGOs respond to the worsening humanitarian crisis in Gaza
    NZ NGOs are responding to the worsening humanitarian crisis in the Gaza strip with news today of an upsurge in violence and an increasing number of civilian casualties....
    Scoop politics | 29-07
  • ACT Candidate for Epsom delighted by second endorsement
    ACT Candidate for Epsom delighted by second endorsement David Seymour, ACT Candidate for Epsom 29/07/2014...
    Scoop politics | 29-07
  • Colin Craig (sic) Launches New Website
    Colin Craig today advised that his web presence was not large enough, especially when compared to similarly polling parties such as the Internet/Mana Party. “After extensive discussion and advice from my full time legal team, and my IT part timer...
    Scoop politics | 29-07
  • Spat between Minister Smith and Fish and Game overdue – ACT
    With the latest spat between Minister Nick Smith and Fish and Games Bryce Johnston hitting fever pitch, ACT Primary Industry Spokesman Don Nicolson says a review of the Fish and Game legislation will be an ACT ambition in the next...
    Scoop politics | 29-07
  • Maori King challenges Ngapuhi leader to front up
    Following his strong condemnation of the Maori King, Tuheitia yesterday, Ngapuhi kaumatua David Rankin has received a challenge this afternoon from prominent Kingitanga [King Movement] supporter Mamae Takerei....
    Scoop politics | 29-07
  • ACT Speech to Waikato Conference: Race has no place in law
    David Cunliffe recently apologised to a Women’s Refuge symposium: “I don't often say it – I'm sorry for being a man … because family and sexual violence is overwhelmingly perpetrated by men.” The Prime Minister accused Cunliffe of being insincere....
    Scoop politics | 29-07
  • Greg Campbell Chief Executive of Wellington Regional Council
    Chair of Wellington Regional Council, Fran Wilde today announced the appointment of Greg Campbell as Chief Executive of the Council. Greg Campbell will take up the role in September following the departure of outgoing Chief Executive David Benham...
    Scoop politics | 29-07
  • We are going to campaign harder
    “It was great news to learn that John Key says I am his recommendation for Epsom. While the Prime Minister is an important person and he is my pick to remain Prime Minister, John Key is just one voter. I...
    Scoop politics | 28-07
  • Why Green isn’t the best colour for water
    Why Green isn’t the best colour for water Ian Mackenzie is Federated Farmers Environment spokesperson and was on the reference group for the National Objectives Framework. An opinion is also running in the New Zealand Herald. The Green Party recently...
    Scoop politics | 28-07
  • Rainbow Wellington General Election Candidates Forum
    In many ways the transgender community is in a similar position now to that faced by lesbians and gay men a generation ago. It is having to face many of the same difficulties, often based on the same ignorance and...
    Scoop politics | 28-07
  • Defence Lawyer Disgust!!!
    “ The Sensible Sentencing Trust is horrified by Defence Lawyer Steven Zindel's comments at the Sentencing of a Man Jailed for the Rape of his 4 year old daughter .”...
    Scoop politics | 28-07
  • Ōhāriu deserves better than a rort
    The National Party's deal with Peter Dunne is a rort and shows the people of Ōhāriu are being taken for granted, Labour candidate Virginia Andersen says. "Peter Dunne has been placed on political life support by the National Party. His...
    Scoop politics | 28-07
  • FMC Backs Fish and Game’s Role on Freshwater
    Federated Mountain Clubs today reinforced its strong support for the New Zealand Fish and Game Council's statutory role in advocating for anglers and hunters interests in freshwater. FMC President Robin McNeill stated that the Federation's 17,000 members...
    Scoop politics | 28-07
  • The Letter: Key Gives Nod for Seymour in Epsom
    This afternoon the PM acknowledged the importance of Epsom to National’s re-election prospects when said he wanted National’s supporters in Epsom to vote for ACT’S David Seymour. We always thought David could win Epsom, for which he has been campaigning...
    Scoop politics | 28-07
  • Forest & Bird supports Fish and Game’s freshwater advocacy
    The independent conservation organisation Forest & Bird is concerned over allegations the Fish & Game Council has been threatened over its advocacy for freshwater quality....
    Scoop politics | 28-07
  • Time for Epsom to say “no deal”
    “Epsom voters will be disgusted by the deal announced today to try and once again gift their electorate to the ACT Party”, says Labour candidate for Epsom Michael Wood....
    Scoop politics | 28-07
  • Petition for release the of seven Bah
    At the invitation of the Honourable Annette King the New Zealand Bahá'í community is presenting a petition to the House of Representatives asking the NZ government to demand the release of the seven former leaders of the Baha’i community in...
    Scoop politics | 28-07
  • Capital gains in the capital city
    Victoria University will today be hosting a public debate on the merits of more comprehensive capital gains tax—a step which taxation expert Associate Professor Dr David White considers would be beneficial for New Zealand. Organised by student group Beta Alpha...
    Scoop politics | 28-07
  • Te Kupenga supports efforts of anti-violence campaigner
    Te Kupenga Whakaoti Mahi Patunga – National Network of Stopping Violence Services (Te Kupenga) wholeheartedly endorses statements made by DJ, Kickboxer and Anti-Violence Campaigner Richie Hardcore this morning on TV3’s Firstline about the role of men...
    Scoop politics | 28-07
  • iPredict Ltd2014 Election Update #28
    The chances of a fiscal surplus in 2014/15 continue to plunge and are down to 50%, according to the combined wisdom of the 7000 registered traders on New Zealand’s online predictions market, iPredict. The forecast surplus is now just 0.22%...
    Scoop politics | 28-07
  • TPPA is a bad idea
    “Currently New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, Brunei, Vietnam, the USA, Japan, Malaysia, Canada, and Mexico are still negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement. Officially talks finished last August, but the reality is that they keep...
    Scoop politics | 28-07
  • Getting privacy right in our data future
    Privacy Commissioner John Edwards welcomes the release of the New Zealand Data Futures Forum’s report....
    Scoop politics | 28-07
  • Conference on Democracy, Ethics and the Public Good
    Conference on Democracy, Ethics and the Public Good A conference is to be held in Wellington on 1 and 2 August with the aim of starting a NZ-wide discussion about the quality of our democracy. The conference is hosted jointly...
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Paddock to plate, and smart roads possible
    New Zealand’s international brand and exports could grow significantly with the creation of a data sharing ‘eco-system’ according to a paper released by the NZ Data Futures Forum today....
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Ngapuhi wants to overthrow Maori King
    Ngapuhi is planning a hui for the end of the year – organised by iwi leader David Rankin – in which the future of the King Movement will be discussed....
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Housing warrant of fitness little help for sick children
    A housing warrant of fitness has been promoted as a way of preventing sickness among children in poverty. The attached report shows that such a regime would have little impact on health outcomes but would come at a considerable cost,...
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Upcoming Fabian Events in Auckland
    Sue Bradford ’s PhD thesis, 'A major left wing think tank in Aotearoa—an impossible dream or a call to action?' looked at why no major left wing think tank has developed in Aotearoa and whether the left in 2010-2013 was...
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Senior Citizens, Not Senile Citizens
    The Taxpayers’ Union is questioning the merits and costs of the “ No car? No problem! Getting around your community without a car” brochure, released by the Office for Senior Citizens. The brochure’s purpose is to explain to senior citizens...
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • NZ Troops Hone Their Skills in Queensland
    Around 260 New Zealand troops are on a 25-day Australian-led warfighting exercise in Townsville, Northern Queensland....
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Maritime Union backs Green Party call for shipping lanes
    The Maritime Union is backing the Green Party’s policy to implement compulsory shipping lanes for coastal shipping, announced today....
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Auckland Council Bypasses Public, Ditches Rodeo Ban
    Auckland Council Bypasses Public, Ditches Rodeo Ban The Auckland Council has announced that they are abandoning the rodeo ban on council land, put into place in 2008. This was done with virtually no consultation, says SAFE, the animal advocacy organisation....
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Tolley and Coleman urged to meet West Papuan visitor
    Ministers Tolley and Coleman urged to meet West Papuan visitor Police Minister Anne Tolley and Defence Minister Dr Jonathan Coleman have a rare opportunity this week to gain first-hand knowledge about Indonesian police and military activities in West...
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Minister Right to Give Fish & Game a Serve
    Reacting to Radio New Zealand’s report concerning allegations that Conservation Minister Nick Smith warned the Fish and Game Council that it acts like a 'rabid NGO', Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union says:...
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Government needs to get Fishing reform bill passed now
    The Maritime Union is urging the Government to push through a Bill reforming the fishing industry....
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Ivory trade laws look set to tighten following petition
    A petition mounted by an Auckland schoolteacher has won the support of a powerful Select Committee and has moved the New Zealand closer towards a fully enforceable ivory trading ban....
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Bilingual guide a demonstration of leadership
    “Waikato River Restoration: A Bilingual Guide” to the Waikato River that saw Tainui Waikato, Landcare Trust and the Waikato River Authority working together is a demonstration of rangatiratanga or leadership says Race Relations Commissioner...
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Georgina Beyer to stand for MANA in Te Tai Tonga
    "It's great to have Georgie on board" said Hone Harawira, MANA Leader and Te Tai Tokerau MP. "She's strong-minded, stands up to be counted, and has fought for the rights of those who haven't had any - and won. That...
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Q + A: Sir Bob Harvey
    SUSAN Sir Bob Harvey was behind the transformation of Norm Kirk, and one of New Zealand's most popular Prime Ministers. He also advised Bill Rowling, David Lange and Helen Clark, the latter as Labour Party President. Wild Westie a new...
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Q + A: Rod Drury
    Xero boss Rod Drury told TVNZ’s Q+A programme what the political parties are offering at this election is ‘all too small.’ “There's no policy, all it is a bunch of incremental stuff. “All too small. What we want to do...
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Q + A: Gerry Brownlee
    Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee Rules Out Fastracking Auckland’s City Rail Loop Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee told TV1’s Q+A programme this morning that he won’t be bringing forward an Auckland City Rail loop based on new figures showing...
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Owen interviews Australian Treasurer Joe Hockey
    Lisa Owen interviews Australian Treasurer Joe Hockey Headlines: Australian Treasurer Joe Hockey suggests “we can move on some” changes to welfare for New Zealanders in Australia New Zealanders “brothers and sisters” who make “a massive contribution”,...
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • Flavell and Harawira on The Nation
    Lisa Owen interviews Maori Party leader Te Ururoa Flavell and Mana leader Hone Harawira Headlines: Hone Harawira says realistically his Mana Party can take three Maori seats, Te Ururoa Flavell sticks to prediction that Maori Party will win all seven....
    Scoop politics | 27-07
  • The Nation 26,27 July: Flavell & Harawira, Joe Hockey
    On The Nation this weekend…. With the Maori seats primed to play a pivotal role this election, Torben Akel reports from the key battlegrounds and meets the top contenders. Then the Maori Party co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell and Mana Party...
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Announcement of New Zealand First Candidate for Rangitīkei
    New Zealand First has endorsed Dr Romuald (‘Rom’) Rudzki as the candidate for the Rangitīkei Electorate in the 2014 General Election....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Labour Offer Len Brown a Hotel Tax
    The Taxpayers’ Union is slamming the Labour Party's plan to allow councils to levy new 'pillow taxes' and regional petrol taxes. Reacting to this afternoon’s NZ Herald report Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union ,...
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Cell phone evidence a first
    Cell phone evidence a first Evidence gathered solely from a cell phone has been used for the first time to convict a Hastings man for possessing child sexual abuse pictures. Michael Lawrence Worsnop, a 29-year-old orchard worker pleaded guilty to...
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • New Zealand Aid Worker Helping in Gaza
    A New Zealand Red Cross nurse working in Gaza says she has never experienced anything like the current conflict in her long aid work career....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Parking officers deserve safety at work
    The union representing the Auckland Transport parking officer severely beaten on July 17 says everyone has a right to go about their job without fear for their safety....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Caritas Aotearoa NZ to provide Gaza humanitarian aid
    Caritas Jerusalem is providing medical assistance, food and other necessities to the thousands of vulnerable people affected by the escalating conflict in Gaza, and Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand is contributing an initial $20,000 to support the humanitarian...
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • ALCP challenges parties to support Charlotte’s Web
    The leader of the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party Julian Crawford is calling on all other political parties to state their position on using cannabis oil to treat pediatric epilepsy....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
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