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A living wage: living with dignity edition

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 pm, February 12th, 2013 - 49 comments
Categories: class war, cost of living, poverty, quality of life - Tags:

The concept of a living wage is one that just makes good sense to me.  A wage should be enough to live on, right?  Because it’s a wage?  Because what’s the point if it doesn’t?  Because … because we have to work to support ourselves and our families and if the wage isn’t enough to live on surely it makes no sense?

(As I ask these questions, my expression gets progressively more and more confused.  I assure you it’s very cute.)

But I realise I am not everyone, and so when a group of very knowledgeable people put together some estimates of what a “living wage” would really be (covered by Eddie here and Ben here), I go “sounds fair to me” and other people go, “But I could live on far less than that, these numbers are too high!!!”

What I’ve come to realise is that “living wage” means vastly different things to different people.

To some people, it means enough to tread water.  Enough to fulfil basic caloric requirements and pay for rent on the smallest place you can find (probably in Kawerau, or Gore, because if you claim you can’t afford rent and you live in Auckland, where all the jobs are, you’re just being demanding), wearing underwear from a $2 shop and using minimal power because you don’t need a television if you’re really struggling.

Honestly, I’m surprised I haven’t yet seen a comment saying “but you don’t need to go out even once a month if you really can’t afford to!!!”  And I will thank you not to link me to it if you see it.

To me, there’s an unspoken “with dignity” that sits after “living”.  It means more than the bare bones, more than scraping by, more than just making ends meet.

It means being able to save, so you have a safety net when things go wrong.  It means not shifting from flat to flat when the landlord raises the rent, moving the kids from school to school, and certainly never having the temerity to aspire to home ownership.  It means having treats – a day at the zoo, a movie, a bottle of wine, opportunities to bond and socialise and enjoy the company of your family and other people.

It means being able to hold your head up at the school gate because your kid can have a new pair of shoes (which aren’t shitty plastic that’s going to hurt their feet) to wear to school.

Sure, the kid could wear jandals, and nobody’s going to die without a glass of $10 sav, and takeaways are going to kill us all … but seriously.  What complete sociopathic lack of empathy do you have if you can’t even allow that human beings deserve lives which include enjoyment and reassurance and dignity?

And if you really are a middle class bastard motivated purely by self-interest, you know what else letting people live with dignity means?

People not becoming totally disillusioned with our society.  People not doing everything they’re told they have to do, only to feel like they’re never going to get ahead.  People not turning into criminals, breaking into your home, stealing your shit, and burning your fucking house down because they have been browbeaten and shat on and starved and shuffled from low-paying temporary job to low-paying temporary job until they have fucking snapped and said “fuck it, why the fuck not go eat the rich?”

People don’t have bread and you’re sitting back saying “Let them NOT eat cake, cake’s a luxury item!” and you don’t expect this shit to bite you in the ass?

A living wage is a wage that lets people live with dignity.  Is that so much to fucking ask?

49 comments on “A living wage: living with dignity edition ”

  1. KJT 1

    Exactly right. Less than a living wage is a subsidy from the employee, and often the rest of the tax paying public, to the employer.

    We all know what good capitalists say about firms that cannot meet the true costs of the resources they use, don’t we!

  2. But what is ‘dignity’ under capitalism?
    Even a good wage that buys most of the things we need, still leaves us as wage slaves.
    Where is the dignity in that?
    Because who defines needs under capitalism?
    When you look at it, our needs are defined as what is necessary to make us fit to to be exploited.
    Fighting for a ‘living wage’ is a good step to prove that unless you make a profit for the boss your need to live is not a right.
    Because unless you are making a profit the bosses don’t need you alive you are cheaper dead.
    A step along the way in realising that for us to live capitalism must die.

    • karol 2.1

      wage slaves may need to stifle their dignity at work. however, if they get some leisure time, and have enough money to make it possible, they can get some dignity from those activities.

      People getting only enough to physically survive, don’t even have those moments when dignity is possible.

    • QoT 2.2

      Fighting for a ‘living wage’ is a good step to prove that unless you make a profit for the boss your need to live is not a right.

      Bullshit. Fighting for increased wages clearly has fuck-all to do with “making a profit for the boss”. The “boss” can happily make profits by churning through an underemployed class of starving workers, especially with Paula Bennett at the helm of our welfare system. (That is, until the aforementioned burning-down-of-fucking-houses).

      There are some good conversations to be had about the inherent inequities of all capitalist wage-labour relationships. I’m sure they’re really fun and engaging for people who aren’t struggling just to feed their kids three meals a day.

      You want a revolution? You better make sure people have the basic headspace for a revolution. When they’re being trodden into the dirt they might just be a little more focused on the dirt.

      • Olwyn 2.2.1

        Excellent post QoT. It is disgraceful to insist that the best the non-middle class should expect is a subhuman existence, and to whinge about the extravagance of their $10 bottle of wine through cosmetically enhanced teeth. I am deeply grateful to the people who have actually worked out what a living wage is at the moment, since it shows us how bad things have become, and also gives us a goal to work toward if we are to be citizens rather than denizens.

      • red rattler 2.2.2

        “You want a revolution? You better make sure people have the basic headspace for a revolution. When they’re being trodden into the dirt they might just be a little more focused on the dirt.”

        Qot: you havnt noticed that the struggle for survival wages is met by repression which becomes a motivator to question the need to get rid of the wage system? eg Marikana.
        Nothing to do with ‘headspace’ or ‘fun’. But in every sense being ‘focused on the dirt’.

        Karol: capitalism does not allow ‘dignity’ in leisure. You should know that. Dignity is won by fighting capitalism at work and when leisure becomes time for organising its overthrow.

        • Colonial Viper 2.2.2.1

          Karol: capitalism does not allow ‘dignity’ in leisure. You should know that. Dignity is won by fighting capitalism at work and when leisure becomes time for organising its overthrow.

          That’s exactly right.

  3. Blue 3

    wearing underwear from a $2 shop

    Geez, you have high standards, QOT. The poor should never buy anything new. If they can afford underwear from the $2 shop they need their wages/benefits cut.

    Used underwear is the only way to go.

    • felixviper 3.1

      Why are they wearing underwear at all?

      I mean are we talking about a living wage or an exotic luxury lingere wage?

      • QoT 3.1.1

        Shit, you’re both right. My extravagant indulgence will destroy New Zealand’s whole economy. *weeps for our nation*

  4. Mel 4

    Yesterday during a discussion on the living wage I heard national radio commentator on ‘The Panel’ state…” If we give them more how will we know they’ll spend it wisely?” (or similar comment).

    Felt vomit in my throat and my chest constricting.

    Since when was employers paying workers for work undertaken a charity? Employers don’t GIVE workers money for goodness sake. Workers work for it!

    How on earth has the language of work been hijacked by such crap?

    And how have we come to be a country where the rich Prime Minister can publicly utter that a living wage is a not a priority for Government with no subsequent media nor public outrage??

    • QoT 4.1

      Well, I think you’ve answered your own question, Mel. There’s no outrage because the narrative of “poor people just make bad choices / spend it all on booze and the TAB” is so strong.

    • Colonial Weka 4.2

      The Panel will be the first against the wall.

    • Olwyn 4.3

      “If we give them more how will we know they’ll spend it wisely?” It’s amazing that some people cannot even hear themselves saying such things. Haven’t they noticed people who behave like that are not depicted in literature as urban sophisticates, but as cruel, vulgar upstarts?

      • RedLogix 4.3.1

        Well the logic in their heads tells them that being poor or on a low income is a result of their bad life choices already … and that giving them more money is just throwing good after bad.

        It’s a snobbery thing really.

        • Olwyn 4.3.1.1

          Yes, it’s snobbery, but dissociative, self-defeating snobbery. They would not go and see some Jane Austen or Dickens movie and think that the people who behave as they do are the good guys.

          • RedLogix 4.3.1.1.1

            I think maybe we’re all guilty of that to some degree or another. We all we tend to judge others by their actions …. and ourselves by our intentions.

            It’s late and the next thing eludes me right now …. but it’s worth remembering that almost no-one thinks of themselves as a bad person, let alone setting out to be a ‘cruel, vulgar upstart’. Yet we are almost always blind to exactly that sin in ourselves.

            • Olwyn 4.3.1.1.1.1

              True, but thoughts that would comfortably condemn others to privation do need to be challenged, wherever they come from.

            • Mike 4.3.1.1.1.2

              Sadly, it has come to pass that many don’t “judge others by their actions”. They judge them by the perceptions they have which is brainwashed into them by politicians and the mainstream media, some commentators in particular. How else could it be perceived so widely that people unlucky enough to find themselves on an unemployment benefit are on it for the lifestyle, living the high life with booze, drugs, gambling and sky TV. Not to mention nice cars, state houses and so on and so on. Amazingly, people never stop to think critically about this perception, else they would come to the realization that this isn’t possible at all on $200 a week (plus accommodation sup, max $100 per week). Yet still this belief persists, because the mainstream media never ever comes out and declares constantly that $200 to $300 a week is fuck all.

              Just today there was a letter in the Herald talking about full time employed people getting less than what they would on the unemployment benefit. This simply is not true. The max you get on the unemployment benefit is around $200 per week plus accommodation supplement. But anyone on low wages (less than around $700 per week) can also claim the accommodation supplement. Yet people I know still blindly believe this shit. Maybe if the unemployment benefit was much higher, employers would be forced to raise wages. Imagine if wages had risen in line with productivity increases over the last 40 years, instead of profits from productivity increases all being gobbled up by executives and shareholders.

              Then again, imagine if we had free mobility of labour but no mobility of capital (instead of the opposite which is what we currently have). Corporations would be forced to compete to attract workers by providing high wages and other benefits.

              • fatty

                well said mike…can you (or someone) clarify this – I don’t understand – Then again, imagine if we had free mobility of labour but no mobility of capital (instead of the opposite which is what we currently have).

                • karol

                  Then again, imagine if we had free mobility of labour but no mobility of capital (instead of the opposite which is what we currently have).

                  Capital can take their jobs to any country – and many do offshore their factories to lower paying countries. Workers do not have so much choice to follow the jobs internationally.

                  The quotation suggests that, if workers had global choice of where to work, and employers/corporates couldn’t move globally, the employers would have to raise their game in providing jobs with living wages.

                  • fatty

                    thanks…I get it now.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      karol’s comment also explains a lot of what you see happening today on borders between countries and the hoopla around boat people.

                      A lot of countries welcome and in flow of foreign capital, but would shoot at, sink or detain an inflow of unwanted foreigners.

              • Colonial Viper

                Maybe if the unemployment benefit was much higher, employers would be forced to raise wages.

                Universal Basic Income mate 🙂

  5. Draco T Bastard 5

    I, and many others, can survive on the unemployment benefit but we can’t actually do anything (and if we could there’d be people complaining that we had too much income) and that’s not living. A person with a job has much higher expenses than someone just surviving on the UB and thus their income needs to be significantly higher again. The minimum wage is high enough to allow a worker to survive but, again, not actually do anything and the same people are complaining about raising their income.

    Why is it, do you think, that a large portion of our society isn’t allowed to do anything and are, in fact, prevented from doing anything?

    • QoT 5.1

      Because then some other people couldn’t have houses so large it’s difficult for the Diplomatic Protection Squad to protect them.

    • Colonial Weka 5.2

      “A person with a job has much higher expenses than someone just surviving on the UB and thus their income needs to be significantly higher again”

      how do you figure that?

      • QoT 5.2.1

        I don’t know what Draco specifically means, but a person in paid employment probably has additional transport and clothing costs for the commute and to maintain the expected “standard” of work attire (or even uniforms.)

        Or you could work for Overland.

        • Colonial Weka 5.2.1.1

          That would be true for some workers and not others.

          I was thinking transport particularly. Not sure that it qualifies as ‘much higher’ as a generalisation, I guess it would depend on where and the circumstances.

          • felixviper 5.2.1.1.1

            Generally true. Apart from transport, clothing, food (yeah many people need more food when they’re working than when they’re not) there are a whole lot of things that are hard to find time for with a full time job that save a lot of money. Vege gardening is one example.

            • just saying 5.2.1.1.1.1

              Once you are set up with all the gears and materials, preferably in a congenial climate with good soil… sometimes vege gardens save money . But saving a lot of money?….. Nah
              And often the costs outweigh any savings.

              It’s a hobby for most people.

              • RedLogix

                True js … but it’s only one example. The trap we’ve fallen into is the idea that everything has to be monetised …when in fact for most of human existence we got by just fine on a gift economy combined with bartering whenever we had a surplus.

                Actually trading with money was pretty much reserved for special items like luxury status goods, or those shipped long distances from other countries.

                One of the reasons why capitalism has been so dominant is that it has usurped this normal gifting/bartering economy of ordinary everyday life, in order that the profits could be captured by the owners of capital.

                Being unemployed would be a whole lot less of a bastard if we made it a lot easier for them to participate in this sort of ‘off the grid’ economy. Instead we penalise them if they do.

                • just saying

                  You’re quite right RL.

                  I was going to say that the only way that domestic gardening really “works” economically is when harvests (and also preferably, time and resources) are shared because fruit and vege gardens are feast or famine most of the time. It’s what I’m involved in, and it feels great.

                  I don’t even think it was what Felix was talking about, but I tend to bristle at any suggestion that the poor just need to dig a garden (presumably with their kitchen cutlery or their bare hands) and they will magically be able to feed themselves. It tends to go with the meme that the poor are just lazy.

                  Community gardens, transition towns and time-banking are working on changing communities in just these ways, but progress is slow because so much has been lost, in the past thirty years particularly.

                  But I believe that this kind of community-building should never replace political action for social justice, the two movements must go together.

                  • felixviper

                    Yes js that’s very true, it’s in co-operation and trade with others and over longer timeframes that growing your own food makes a real monetary difference.

                    But the same applies: It’s a lot harder to find the time to network and co-operate and trade food and garden at a community level when you’re working 40 hours.

          • Mike 5.2.1.1.2

            Yep, especially if they are self employed or contractors where they can claim back pretty much all their expenses in tax rebates. I’ve always wondered why we allow such an unfair system. For example, a self employed person has to drive themselves to work and back each day. They can claim back the expense of doing work (cost of doing business) in their taxes. A person on salary or wages has to drive themselves to work and back each day, but they cannot claim back the expense of this. Why the fuck is that? Am I missing something? They’re both having to pay money to get to work, yet one of them can get that money back whilst the other can’t. Small things like this never seem to see the light of day in any public arenas.

            • Draco T Bastard 5.2.1.1.2.1

              Yeah, that’s something I’ve been wondering about for the last few years as well. A worker on PAYE is as much in business as the self-employed contractor. As far as I can make out the reason why we treat them differently is because it costs the IRD too much to treat everyone the same. This could be changed with modern technology but no one seems willing to change it. Probably because it would mean trashing a few private businesses.

      • Draco T Bastard 5.2.2

        Transport, clothing, food – it all adds up. Hell, the job I applied for the other day comes with $5000 per year in transport costs. It’s not a minimum wage job but it’s not an average wage job either. Yes, I’d be better off than on the dole but not that much better off.

  6. djp 6

    Well lets assume that everyone should have a living income (whatever that number is determined to be).

    That does not mean that it needs to be 100% supplied by a wage. Better to have a universal benefit or some such and abolish wage floors so that price signals can still communicate what work actually provides utility.

    • felixviper 6.1

      What makes you think price signals reflect utility in pay now?

    • Mike 6.2

      Great, more rent seeking. You’re suggesting more subsidies for business instead of companies paying people a fair and decent wage as compensation for their labour. Why should taxpayers subsidize companies which are making good profits? It used to be that as profits increased often through gains in productivity that the wealth was “shared” with executives, shareholders and workers all getting income increases. Since the 80’s, all of the additional profits from increased productivity have been kept by those at the top, on of the reasons for the drastically increasing income inequality between those at the top and everyone else. Yet you want taxpayers to pay out even more money to the rent seekers, rather than sharing the wealth.

      And no, I’m not a communist and I don’t want everyone to be equal and receive equal pay and so on. I just believe in fairness. Yes, executives should get more pay than their workers (not that their input to society is greater though) but having an income 40 times that of their workers should be enough, not 400 times.

      • Colonial Viper 6.2.1

        Don’t fuss, just increase taxes on corporates, asset wealth and top tier incomes.

        but having an income 40 times that of their workers should be enough, not 400 times.

        I reckon 10x to 15x is more than enough a differentiator. That’s a very common ratio in Japan. In the Mandragon co-operative Corporation a more usual ratio is 7x.

      • Draco T Bastard 6.2.2

        You’re suggesting more subsidies for business instead of companies paying people a fair and decent wage as compensation for their labour.

        Nope, suggesting that taxes be high enough to ensure that everyone has a decent living standard.

        Social Democratic Economy: Part 2

        Universal Income & the Minimum Wage

        The point is that there must be enough produced to support that living standard and thus the universal income which informs us the minimum that needs to be produced. If we also work with penal rates to ensure that everyone has a job then that work gets spread around effectively so that we don’t get people whinging about bludgers on the dole.

        What effectively happens with a universal income is that we start working together rather than competing with each other.

    • McFlock 6.3

      The current government is working towards universal implementation of at least half of your solution.

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  • Blowing Off The Froth: Why Chris Hipkins Must Ditch Three Waters.
    Time To Call A Halt: Chris Hipkins knows that iwi leaders possess the means to make life very difficult for his government. Notwithstanding their objections, however, the Prime Minister’s direction of travel – already clearly signalled by his very public demotion of Nanaia Mahuta – must be confirmed by an emphatic ...
    4 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #5 2023
    Open access notables Via PNAS, Ceylan, Anderson & Wood present a paper squarely in the center of the Skeptical Science wheelhouse:  Sharing of misinformation is habitual, not just lazy or biased. The signficance statement is obvious catnip: Misinformation is a worldwide concern carrying socioeconomic and political consequences. What drives ...
    4 days ago
  • Universities that punish reading – even of books from their own libraries
    Mark White from the Left free speech organisation Plebity looks at the disturbing trend of ‘book burning’ on US campuses In the abstract, people mostly agree that book banning is a bad thing. The Nazis did us the favor of being very clear about it and literally burning books, but ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    4 days ago
  • Hipkins has a chance to show he is more effective in getting results  than Ardern in his Canberra t...
      Prime Minister Chris Hipkins has undergone a stern baptisim of fire in his first week in his new job, but it doesn’t get any easier. Next week, he has a vital meeting  in Canberra with his Australian counterpart Anthony Albanese, where he has to establish ...
    Point of OrderBy tutere44
    5 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on extending the fuel/public transport subsidies
    As PM Chris Hipkins says, it’s a “no brainer” to extend the fuel tax cut, half price public subsidy and the cut to the road user levy until mid-year. A no braoner if the prime purpose is to ease the burden on people struggling to cope with the cost of ...
    5 days ago
  • U-turn on fuel taxes could pump up poll support for Hipkins and Co but the poor – perhaps – won...
    Buzz from the Beehive Cost-of-living pressures loomed large in Beehive announcements over the past 24 hours. The PM was obviously keen to announce further measures to keep those costs in check and demonstrate he means business when he talks of focusing his government on bread-and-butter issues. His statement was headed ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    5 days ago
  • Mike’s Cracked Record
    Poor Mike Hosking. He has revealed himself in his most recent diatribe to be one of those public figures who is defined, not by who he is, but by who he isn’t, or at least not by what he is for, but by what he is against. Jacinda’s departure has ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    5 days ago
  • Bryce Edwards: Chris Hipkins hires a lobbyist to run the Beehive
    New Zealand is the second least corrupt country on earth according to the latest Corruption Perception Index published yesterday by Transparency International. But how much does this reflect reality? The problem with being continually feted for world-leading political integrity – which the Beehive and government departments love to boast about ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    5 days ago
  • Pick o’ the links: Brown vs Fish; Brown vs everyone
    TLDR: Including my pick of the news and other links in my checks around the news sites since 4am. Paying subscribers can see them all below the fold.In Aotearoa’s political economyBrown vs Fish Read more ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Pick o’ the links: Brown vs Fish; Brown vs everyone
    TLDR: Including my pick of the news and other links in my checks around the news sites since 4am. Paying subscribers can see them all below the fold.In Aotearoa’s political economyBrown vs Fish Read more ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Dawn Chorus: Classic middle class welfare to win 'Ford Ranger Man'
    In other countries, the target-rich cohorts of swinging voters are given labels such as Mondeo Man’, ‘White Van Man,’ ‘Soccer Moms’ and ‘Little Aussie Battlers.’ Here, the easiest shorthand is ‘Ford Ranger Man’as seen here parked outside a Herne Bay restaurant, inbetween two SUVs. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Dawn Chorus: Classic middle class welfare to win 'Ford Ranger Man'
    In other countries, the target-rich cohorts of swinging voters are given labels such as Mondeo Man’, ‘White Van Man,’ ‘Soccer Moms’ and ‘Little Aussie Battlers.’ Here, the easiest shorthand is ‘Ford Ranger Man’as seen here parked outside a Herne Bay restaurant, inbetween two SUVs. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Government confirms a light rail rethink possible
    Transport Minister and now also Minister for Auckland, Michael Wood has confirmed that the light rail project is part of the government’s policy refocus. Wood said the light rail project was under review as part of a ministerial refocus on key Government projects. “We are undertaking a stocktake about how ...
    5 days ago
  • Why Nicola Willis is door-knocking in Johnsonville
    Sometime before the new Prime Minister Chris Hipkins announced that this year would be about “bread and butter issues”, National’s finance spokesperson Nicola Willis decided to move from Wellington Central and stand for Ohariu, which spreads across north Wellington from the central city to Johnsonville and Tawa. It’s an ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    5 days ago
  • “With great power comes great responsibility”: we’ve all heard that, but stepping up to it is ...
    They say a week is a long time in politics. For Mayor Wayne Brown, turns out 24 hours was long enough for many of us to see, quite obviously, “something isn’t right here…”. That in fact, a lot was going wrong. Very wrong indeed. Mainly because it turns ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    5 days ago
  • The escalator rises again
    One of the most effective, and successful, graphics developed by Skeptical Science is the escalator.  The escalator shows how global surface temperature anomalies vary with time, and illustrates how "contrarians" tend to cherry-pick short time intervals so as to argue that there has been no recent warming, while "realists" recognise ...
    5 days ago
  • Dusk Chorus: ‘Bread and butter’ chosen over cutting emissions
    Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTLDR: Here’s a quick roundup of the news today for paying subscribers on a slightly frantic, very wet, and then very warm day. In Aotearoa’s political economy today Read more ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Dusk Chorus: ‘Bread and butter’ chosen over cutting emissions
    Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTLDR: Here’s a quick roundup of the news today for paying subscribers on a slightly frantic, very wet, and then very warm day. In Aotearoa’s political economy today Read more ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • We never get to feel one thing at a time, us grownups
    Tomorrow we have a funeral, and thank you all of you for your very kind words and thoughts — flowers, even.Our friend Michèle messaged: we never get to feel one thing at a time, us grownups, and oh boy is that ever the truth. Tomorrow we have the funeral, and ...
    More than a fieldingBy David Slack
    6 days ago
  • Garrick Tremain’s view…
    ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    6 days ago
  • Isn't this the rainy day we're supposed to be saving up for?
    Lynn and I have just returned from a news conference where Hipkins, fresh from visiting a relief centre in Mangere, was repeatedly challenged to justify the extension of subsidies to create more climate emissions when the effects of climate change had just proved so disastrous. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Isn't this the rainy day we're supposed to be saving up for?
    Lynn and I have just returned from a news conference where Hipkins, fresh from visiting a relief centre in Mangere, was repeatedly challenged to justify the extension of subsidies to create more climate emissions when the effects of climate change had just proved so disastrous. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Much excitement as Hipkins gets down to business – but can he defeat inflation with his devotion t...
    A  new Prime Minister, a revitalised Cabinet, and possibly  revised priorities – but is the political and, importantly, economic landscape  much different? Certainly  some within the news  media  were excited by the changes which Chris Hipkins announced yesterday or – before the announcement – by the prospect of changes in ...
    Point of OrderBy tutere44
    6 days ago
  • E-bike incentives work
    Currently the government's strategy for reducing transport emissions hinges on boosting vehicle fuel-efficiency, via the clean car standard and clean car discount, and some improvements to public transport. The former has been hugely successful, and has clearly set us on the right path, but its also not enough, and will ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Hipkins’ need to strengthen focus on “bread and butter” issues suggests the Ardern team was lo...
    Buzz from the Beehive Before he announced his Cabinet yesterday, Prime Minister Chris Hipkins announced he would be flying to Australia next week to meet that country’s Prime Minister. And before Kieran McAnulty had time to say “Three Waters” after his promotion to the Local Government portfolio, he was dishing ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    6 days ago
  • 24,000 employed under Labour
    The quarterly labour market statistics were released this morning, showing that unemployment has risen slightly to 3.4%. There are now 99,000 people unemployed - 24,000 fewer than when Labour took office. So, I guess the Reserve Bank's plan to throw people out of work to stop wage rises "inflation", and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • February Stars.
    Another night of heavy rain, flooding, damage to homes, and people worried about where the hell all this water is going to go as we enter day twenty two of rain this year.Honestly if the government can’t sell Three Waters on the back of what has happened with storm water ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • Bryce Edwards’ Political Roundup:  Hipkins’ bread and butter reshuffle
    * Dr Bryce Edwards writes – Prime Minister Chris Hipkins continues to be the new broom in Government, re-setting his Government away from its problem areas in his Cabinet reshuffle yesterday, and trying to convince voters that Labour is focused on “bread and butter” issues. The ministers responsible for unpopular ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    6 days ago
  • Bryce Edwards: Hipkins’ bread and butter reshuffle
    Prime Minister Chris Hipkins continues to be the new broom in Government, re-setting his Government away from its problem areas in his Cabinet reshuffle yesterday, and trying to convince voters that Labour is focused on “bread and butter” issues. The ministers responsible for unpopular reforms in water and DHB centralisation ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    6 days ago
  • The Neverending Curse of MLMs
    Hi,It’s weird to me that in 2023 we still have people falling for multi-level marketing schemes (MLMs for short). There are Netflix documentaries about them, countless articles, and last year we did an Armchaired and Dangerous episode on them.Then you check a ticketing website like EventBrite and see this shit ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    6 days ago
  • Dusk Chorus: Mahuta and Little demoted
    Nanaia Mahuta fell the furthest in the Cabinet reshuffle. Photo: Lynn Grieveson/Getty ImagesTLDR: PM Chris Hipkins unveiled a Cabinet this afternoon he hopes will show wavering voters that a refreshed Labour Government is focused on ‘bread and butter cost of living’ issues, rather than the unpopular, unwieldy and massively centralising ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Dusk Chorus: Mahuta and Little demoted
    Nanaia Mahuta fell the furthest in the Cabinet reshuffle. Photo: Lynn Grieveson/Getty ImagesTLDR: PM Chris Hipkins unveiled a Cabinet this afternoon he hopes will show wavering voters that a refreshed Labour Government is focused on ‘bread and butter cost of living’ issues, rather than the unpopular, unwieldy and massively centralising ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • We just need the Wayne to stop
    Shortly, the absolute state of Wayne Brown. But before that, something I wrote four years ago for the council’s own media machine. It was a day-in-the-life profile of their many and varied and quite possibly unnoticed vital services. We went all over Auckland in 48 hours for the story, the ...
    More than a fieldingBy David Slack
    7 days ago
  • 2023 More Reading: January (+ Old Phuul Update)
    Completed reads for January Lilith, by George MacDonald The Rime of the Ancient Mariner (poem), by Samuel Taylor Coleridge Christabel (poem), by Samuel Taylor Coleridge The Saga of Ragnar Lodbrok, by Anonymous The Lay of Kraka (poem), by Anonymous 1066 and All That, by W.C. Sellar and R.J. ...
    7 days ago
  • Is Britain doomed (again)?
    Pity the poor Brits.  They just can’t catch a break. After years of reporting of lying Boris Johnson, a change to a less colourful PM in Rishi Sunak has resulted in a smooth media pivot to an end-of-empire narrative.  The New York Times, no less, amplifies suggestions that Blighty ...
    Point of OrderBy xtrdnry
    7 days ago
  • After The Deluge.
    On that day all the springs of the great deep burst forth, and the floodgates of the heavens were opened. And rain fell on the earth.Genesis 6:11-12THE TORRENTIAL DOWNPOURS that dumped a record-breaking amount of rain on Auckland this anniversary weekend will reoccur with ever-increasing frequency. The planet’s atmosphere is ...
    7 days ago
  • Minister of Education (who might be replaced later today) left it to his ministry to apologise for i...
    Buzz from the Beehive There has been plenty to keep the relevant Ministers busy in flood-stricken Auckland over the past day or two. But New Zealand, last time we looked, extends north of Auckland into Northland and south of the Bombay Hills all the way to the bottom of the ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    7 days ago
  • The other ‘big one’: How a megaflood could swamp California’s Central Valley
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Jeff Masters When early settlers came to the confluence of the Sacramento and American Rivers before the California Gold Rush, Indigenous people warned them that the Sacramento Valley could become an inland sea when great winter rains came. The storytellers described water filling the ...
    7 days ago
  • Tuesday's pick o' the links: Wayne Brown's WTF moment
    Wayne Brown managed a smile when meeting with Remuera residents, but he was grumpy about having to deal with “media drongos”. Photo: Lynn Grieveson/Getty ImagesTLDR: In my pick of the news links found in my rounds since 4am for paying subscribers below the paywall:Wayne Brown moans about the media and ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    7 days ago
  • Tuesday's pick o' the links: Wayne Brown's WTF moment
    Wayne Brown managed a smile when meeting with Remuera residents, but he was grumpy about having to deal with “media drongos”. Photo: Lynn Grieveson/Getty ImagesTLDR: In my pick of the news links found in my rounds since 4am for paying subscribers below the paywall:Wayne Brown moans about the media and ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    7 days ago
  • Bryce Edwards’ Political Roundup: The gamechanger PM and polls
    Dr Bryce Edwards writes –  Last night’s opinion polls answered the big question of whether a switch of prime minister would really be a gamechanger for election year. The 1News and Newshub polls released at 6pm gave the same response: the shift from Jacinda Ardern to Chris Hipkins ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    7 days ago
  • Dawn Chorus: Why 2023 will be a year of indecision & delay
    Hipkins’ aim this year will be to present a ‘low target’ for those seeking to attack Labour’s policies and spending. Photo: Lynn Grieveson/Getty ImagesTLDR: Anyone dealing with Government departments and councils who wants some sort of big or long-term decision out of officials or politicians this year should brace for ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    7 days ago
  • Dawn Chorus: Why 2023 will be a year of indecision & delay
    Hipkins’ aim this year will be to present a ‘low target’ for those seeking to attack Labour’s policies and spending. Photo: Lynn Grieveson/Getty ImagesTLDR: Anyone dealing with Government departments and councils who wants some sort of big or long-term decision out of officials or politicians this year should brace for ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    7 days ago
  • Bryce Edwards: The Gamechanger PM and polls
    Last night’s opinion polls answered the big question of whether a switch of prime minister would really be a gamechanger for election year. The 1News and Newshub polls released at 6pm gave the same response: the shift from Jacinda Ardern to Chris Hipkins has changed everything, and Labour is back ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    7 days ago
  • After the deluge – initial thoughts on the Auckland floods
    Over the last few years, it’s seemed like city after city around the world has become subject to extreme flooding events that have been made worse by impacts from climate change. We’ve highlighted many of them in our Weekly Roundup series. Sadly, over the last few days it’s been Auckland’s ...
    7 days ago

  • Advancing our relationship in India
    Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta departs for India tomorrow as she continues to reconnect Aotearoa New Zealand to the world.  The visit will begin in New Delhi where the Foreign Minister will meet with the Vice President Hon Jagdeep Dhankar and her Indian Government counterparts, External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government Northland housing investment to spark transformational change
    Over $10 million infrastructure funding to unlock housing in Whangārei The purchase of a 3.279 hectare site in Kerikeri to enable 56 new homes Northland becomes eligible for $100 million scheme for affordable rentals Multiple Northland communities will benefit from multiple Government housing investments, delivering thousands of new homes for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Battle of Ohaeawai remembered
    A memorial event at a key battle site in the New Zealand land wars is an important event to mark the progress in relations between Māori and the Crown as we head towards Waitangi Day, Minister for Te Arawhiti Kelvin Davis said. The Battle of Ohaeawai in June 1845 saw ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • More Police deployed to the frontline
    More Police officers are being deployed to the frontline with the graduation of 54 new constables from the Royal New Zealand Police College today. The graduation ceremony for Recruit Wing 362 at Te Rauparaha Arena in Porirua was the first official event for Stuart Nash since his reappointment as Police ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Further support for upper North Island regions hit by significant weather
    The Government is unlocking an additional $700,000 in support for regions that have been badly hit by the recent flooding and storm damage in the upper North Island. “We’re supporting the response and recovery of Auckland, Waikato, Coromandel, Northland, and Bay of Plenty regions, through activating Enhanced Taskforce Green to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • The Princess Royal to visit New Zealand
    Prime Minister Chris Hipkins has welcomed the announcement that Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal, Princess Anne, will visit New Zealand this month. “Princess Anne is travelling to Aotearoa at the request of the NZ Army’s Royal New Zealand Corps of Signals, of which she is Colonel in Chief, to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government and horticulture sector target $12b in exports by 2035
    A new Government and industry strategy launched today has its sights on growing the value of New Zealand’s horticultural production to $12 billion by 2035, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor said. “Our food and fibre exports are vital to New Zealand’s economic security. We’re focussed on long-term strategies that build on ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Cost of living support extended for families and businesses
    25 cents per litre petrol excise duty cut extended to 30 June 2023 – reducing an average 60 litre tank of petrol by $17.25 Road User Charge discount will be re-introduced and continue through until 30 June Half price public transport fares extended to the end of June 2023 saving ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • More Kiwis in work as rising wages match inflation
    The strong economy has attracted more people into the workforce, with a record number of New Zealanders in paid work and wages rising to help with cost of living pressures. “The Government’s economic plan is delivering on more better-paid jobs, growing wages and creating more opportunities for more New Zealanders,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government boosts fund for Auckland flooding
    The Government is providing a further $1 million to the Mayoral Relief Fund to help communities in Auckland following flooding, Minister for Emergency Management Kieran McAnulty announced today. “Cabinet today agreed that, given the severity of the event, a further $1 million contribution be made. Cabinet wishes to be proactive ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • New Cabinet focused on bread and butter issues
    The new Cabinet will be focused on core bread and butter issues like the cost of living, education, health, housing and keeping communities and businesses safe, Prime Minister Chris Hipkins has announced. “We need a greater focus on what’s in front of New Zealanders right now. The new Cabinet line ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Prime Minister to meet with PM Albanese
    Prime Minister Chris Hipkins will travel to Canberra next week for an in person meeting with Australian Prime Minister, Anthony Albanese. “The trans-Tasman relationship is New Zealand’s closest and most important, and it was crucial to me that my first overseas trip as Prime Minister was to Australia,” Chris Hipkins ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Government makes first payment to Auckland Flooding fund
    The Government is providing establishment funding of $100,000 to the Mayoral Relief Fund to help communities in Auckland following flooding, Minister for Emergency Management Kieran McAnulty announced. “We moved quickly to make available this funding to support Aucklanders while the full extent of the damage is being assessed,” Kieran McAnulty ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government steps up to assist Auckland during flooding
    As the Mayor of Auckland has announced a state of emergency, the Government, through NEMA, is able to step up support for those affected by flooding in Auckland. “I’d urge people to follow the advice of authorities and check Auckland Emergency Management for the latest information. As always, the Government ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Poroporoaki: Titewhai Te Huia Hinewhare Harawira
    Ka papā te whatitiri, Hikohiko ana te uira, wāhi rua mai ana rā runga mai o Huruiki maunga Kua hinga te māreikura o te Nota, a Titewhai Harawira Nā reira, e te kahurangi, takoto, e moe Ka mōwai koa a Whakapara, kua uhia te Tai Tokerau e te kapua pōuri ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Enhanced Task Force Green Approved following Cyclone Hale
    Carmel Sepuloni, Minister for Social Development and Employment, has activated Enhanced Taskforce Green (ETFG) in response to flooding and damaged caused by Cyclone Hale in the Tairāwhiti region. Up to $500,000 will be made available to employ job seekers to support the clean-up. We are still investigating whether other parts ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • General Election to be held on 14 October 2023
    The 2023 General Election will be held on Saturday 14 October 2023, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today. “Announcing the election date early in the year provides New Zealanders with certainty and has become the practice of this Government and the previous one, and I believe is best practice,” Jacinda ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announces resignation
    Jacinda Ardern has announced she will step down as Prime Minister and Leader of the Labour Party. Her resignation will take effect on the appointment of a new Prime Minister. A caucus vote to elect a new Party Leader will occur in 3 days’ time on Sunday the 22nd of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago