Archive for January, 2009

Lest we forget

Written By: - Date published: 1:45 pm, January 31st, 2009 - 49 comments

The New Republic has a good article on Keynes that points out the tendency for governments (specifically in the US) to flock toward Keynesianism during the bad times and ignore it when things pick up and to implement the facets of Keynesianism that suited their own agenda rather than the nation as a whole: If […]

Identity Politics

Written By: - Date published: 1:15 pm, January 31st, 2009 - 10 comments

In 2007 Te Ata Tino Toa applied to Tranzit New Zealand to have the Maori Sovereignty flag flown on the Auckland Harbour Bridge on Waitangi Day. Tranzit declined permission on the grounds that it wasn’t a UN recognized national flag, despite having previously flown the Team New Zealand flag, which would have failed the same […]

Iceland: not just a leader in cod

Written By: - Date published: 9:33 am, January 31st, 2009 - 55 comments

Nicked from the Hand Mirror, who got the story from No Right Turn – hattips all round: Next week Iceland’s going to get not only it’s first female Prime Minister, but also the first openly homosexual leader in the world. And apparently the Icelanders are surprised that other people think this is a big deal. […]

The long game

Written By: - Date published: 3:20 pm, January 30th, 2009 - 11 comments

Last night, I heard something worrying. It was Gareth Morgan saying he can’t ‘see through’ this recession; that he can’t see the economic mechanism that will turn things around and get us growing again. He had already dismissed interest rate slashing and stimulus packages as ‘necessary but insufficent’. In the end he resorted to the […]

The praiseworthy and the pitiful

Written By: - Date published: 1:58 pm, January 30th, 2009 - 21 comments

Last year, we had The Standard Week as a regular feature on a Friday. We might resurrect that if there is popular demand but, first, I’ve been talking with some of the others and we want to try out a new Friday feature . Every week there are little comments from politicians, media, bloggers, and commenters […]

A key birdshit shortage

Written By: - Date published: 12:39 pm, January 30th, 2009 - 9 comments

Our economy depends on other key resources apart from oil. For instance our farming sector still depends heavily on using phosphates to increase soil fertility. Since our farming sector provides at more than half of the export income, it got a little disturbing to read about the limited security of supply. For most of last […]

Blogger ethics

Written By: - Date published: 12:18 pm, January 30th, 2009 - 57 comments

I see that over at Kiwiblog DPF is hawking an Air New Zealand viral advertisement. Now DPF has had at least one junket from Air NZ and the airline is well known for its gifts to journalists and media outlets (mostly in terms of free flight). Given this situation I’d say the chances are quite […]

Whither the PIF?

Written By: - Date published: 6:10 am, January 30th, 2009 - 1 comment

I attended the Pacific Islands Forum in Fiji back in 2006. The shadow of Bainimarama’s approaching coup hung over the forum but it wasn’t enough to quell the heat as we sat in our ridiculously ill-suited suits through endless, pointless meetings. Nothing was achieved and everyone clapped each other on the back for a job […]

Fonterra’s Corporate Accountability

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 pm, January 29th, 2009 - 32 comments

Despite very serious allegations from former Sanlu CEO Tian Wenhua that an unnamed Fonterra board member influenced her decision to not cease production of milk powder known to be contaminated, on RNZ’s Checkpoint Fonterra Chairman Henry van der Hayden was adamant Fonterra would not be disclosing documentation to prove it advised Sanlu only a 0% melamine content […]

Obama makes world safer, already

Written By: - Date published: 2:10 pm, January 29th, 2009 - 31 comments

In response to U.S. President Barack Obama’s review of the proposed U.S. missile defence system in Eastern Europe, Russia is scrapping plans to deploy nuclear capable Iskander missiles in Kaliningrad, just north of Poland. The Guardian reports: Obama has not yet decided whether to press ahead with the scheme or to abandon it, although indications […]

Pedal to the metal but still no traction

Written By: - Date published: 12:43 pm, January 29th, 2009 - 5 comments

Another review of the Official Cash Rate, another record cut. This time, it’s a 1.5% cut bringing the OCR to 3.5%. That’s the lowest rate since the OCR was introduced in 1999.  Good news for those with floating rate mortgages (not so good for the 80% of mortgagees with a fixed rate) and an opportunity for me to feel […]

Thank God somebody’s awake at Granny Herald

Written By: - Date published: 11:12 am, January 29th, 2009 - 31 comments

Surprise, surprise, it’s Garth George. “The economic situation is without a doubt the most urgent of predicaments to be dealt with, but so far this year all John Key and Co have offered is a talkfest scheduled for next month. Now we all know that the one thing that one does these days when one […]

Fingers burned

Written By: - Date published: 11:02 am, January 29th, 2009 - 20 comments

Word is Tony Ryall is feeling a bit burned over the herceptin funding. Turns out the private specialists needed to administer the treatment are going to cost a wee bit more than he expected. That’s right, the scheme has been locked into legislation without being properly costed and now the government is stuck with the […]

Just Left becomes group blog

Written By: - Date published: 9:50 am, January 29th, 2009 - 11 comments

Jordan Carter’s long-running Just Left has become a group blog with several new contributors. Jordan explains: The logic is simple. Some of the best blogs and spots of political writing out there now (Hand Mirror, Pundit, PublicAddress, The Standard) are sites with more than one author. They usually share a point of view, but they […]

John Key keeps disappearing into satire

Written By: - Date published: 7:47 am, January 29th, 2009 - 2 comments

Danyl at The Dim-Post has been indulging in his favored pastime again – satire. In this case Cabinet expresses concern over missing PM is about John Key going missing all of the time. Danyl compares him to a pooch avoiding something… Finance Minister Bill English has accepted responsibility for his leader’s absence. ‘I usually let […]

Walk the walk

Written By: - Date published: 7:07 pm, January 28th, 2009 - 8 comments

Parents around the country are counting down the days until school starts for the year – but for some the NZHerald had some alarming news, stating “cuts in government funding [from MSD]could force 24 after-school care programmes run by Kidicorp to close….The after-school School’s Out programmes run in Auckland, Taupo, Rotorua, Taranaki and Hawkes Bay […]

Bureaucracy cutters call for more bureaucrats

Written By: - Date published: 4:00 pm, January 28th, 2009 - 33 comments

Today on Radio NZ, Health Minister Tony Ryall’s razor gang for the health sector was discussed. One of its proponents argued there was bound to be bureaucrats to cut, problem is there is insufficient measurement of productivity. He said Stats NZ should invest in measuring health sector productivity better… Hmm, seems to me he is […]

Let me say that again

Written By: - Date published: 3:10 pm, January 28th, 2009 - 7 comments

“It’s important that I get an Australian perspective on the unfolding international economic situation, particularly the impact of a slowdown in China and Asia,” Mr English said. It’s a little concerning that this is the man charged with avoiding redundancies.

The Neo-Liberal Front

Written By: - Date published: 3:00 pm, January 28th, 2009 - 76 comments

National’s two main internal factions consist of the Conservatives, and the Neo-Liberals. Overall the Conservatives want to keep things pretty much as they are, and with such an inspiring reason for being it’s hardly surprising their star has waned over the last couple of decades. The Neo-Liberal camp has a different agenda. Like the Conservatives […]

Biz NZ opposes minimum wage increase

Written By: - Date published: 10:38 am, January 28th, 2009 - 31 comments

As we reported on Monday, the Cabinet is set to review the minimum wage. The Labour Department recommended maintaining its purchasing power by increasing the mw from $12 an hour to $12.50. Labour Minister Kate Wilkinson will propose keeping it at $12, a cut in the real value of the mw (many expect there will […]

NZ Herald: Nobody Wants It

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, January 28th, 2009 - 34 comments

It seems that Irish millionaire Tony O’Reilly won’t be solving his debt problems any time soon. O’Reilly is desperate to be shod of his major shareholding in APN “which publishes the New Zealand Herald and is the largest radio and outdoor advertising operator in Australasia”. (No conflicts of interest in APN’s rabid anti-EFA campaigning there […]

Conservatism and Progressivism

Written By: - Date published: 3:30 pm, January 27th, 2009 - 99 comments

Conservatism is all about maintaining the status quo. It assumes that the status quo is essentially ok, while change is best avoided. The idea comes from philosophers like Edmund Burke who figured the reason conventions and structures get to endure in the first place is because they work. Of course if you’re in the middle […]

Paving paradise

Written By: - Date published: 1:40 pm, January 27th, 2009 - 46 comments

We have received information that National’s plan to change the definition of ‘environment’ under the RMA in their 100-day legislation roll out will consist of removing the legal protection of a range of important parts of NZ’s environment, such as eco-systems, amenity values (e.g. the look and appearance of a landscape or townscape) and the […]

BastardWatch

Written By: - Date published: 2:28 pm, January 26th, 2009 - 54 comments

After losing their last four seats in the Senate after Australia’s 2007 election, the Australian Democrats are trying hard to stay relevant and in the public eye. They see their fortunes resting on the party’s founding mantra to “keep the bastards honest”. So they’ve translated that term coined in 1980 by then leader Don Chip […]

Worrying, or what I did with my holidays

Written By: - Date published: 12:47 pm, January 26th, 2009 - 58 comments

I’ve meaning to write a wee post thanking Young Labour for inviting me along to speak at their Summer School the other weekend. I’m told it’s a bit of a tradition at these summer schools to have some speakers from outside the party to give a different perspective, which is a bloody good idea. Falling […]

Wage for minimum wage workers set to drop

Written By: - Date published: 6:22 am, January 26th, 2009 - 44 comments

In the Bay Report in December 2007, John Key was quoted as saying “we would love to see wages drop“. Inexplicably, the media at the time refused to accept the report of their small town colleague. Instead, they accepted Key’s various, contradictory excuses – ‘I was misquoted’, ‘I was joking’, ‘I was talking about Australian […]

Standard writer in shock agreement with KBR!

Written By: - Date published: 10:57 am, January 25th, 2009 - 35 comments

Over at Kiwiblog David and his rabid followers are screaming over the HoS’s treatment of National’s Social Development Minister Paula Bennett and the fact she has a defacto son in law who is a gang-member and who she took in while he was on bail. Shockingly, I think the Kiwiblog Right are right on this […]

Helen Clark greatest living NZer – Herald

Written By: - Date published: 6:04 am, January 24th, 2009 - 52 comments

I wonder if someone at the Herald is going to get sack for letting this happen? The NZ Herald’s week long poll to find out who the greatest living New Zealander is, has yielded Helen Clark as the victor (with Willie Apiata coming in second). And that despite Helen Clark not even being included on […]

Stop the auction

Written By: - Date published: 10:50 pm, January 23rd, 2009 - 31 comments

The tragic shooting death of Halatau Kianamanu Naitoko on the motorway today was not National’s fault. In fact it was nothing to do with National or Labour or any single policy from either of them. Ever. It wasn’t a sign of a government “soft on crime”, nor would it have been stopped by tougher sentencing. […]

Join the job queue – an Aussie perspective

Written By: - Date published: 6:28 pm, January 23rd, 2009 - 5 comments

Jobs, jobs, jobs seems to be the theme of the day. After reading that Microsoft has announced that 5,000 jobs are to go (the first mass layoffs in its 34-year history), and Sony signalling bigger than expected losses ahead ($US2.9 billion, the first in 14 years) this article from the Sydney Morning Herald seems to sum up the […]

We would love to see wages drop – Key

Written By: - Date published: 2:30 pm, January 23rd, 2009 - 18 comments

Staying with today’s wages theme, The Herald is reporting: “Mr Key would not rule out pay cuts for public servants in the next three years”. So will Mr Key be ringing the Herald’s editor, demanding a retraction and threatening Audrey Young for writing the article? This is after all what Key did last year when […]

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