Academic, youse are paid too much

Written By: - Date published: 3:30 pm, August 7th, 2008 - 41 comments
Categories: articles, public services, wages, workers' rights - Tags:

Professor John Gibson from Waikato University says public servants should be paid less because they get paid more than their private sector equivalents and they enjoy their work.

First, I would be highly suspicious the methodology of any study that claims to compare like with like between the public and private sector. How many police are employed in the private sector? How many legislators, councillors, diplomats, prison staff, policy staff, judges? We know that in sectors with true comparability – health and education, the better pay is in the private sector. Private sector lawyers are also better paid than their public sector counterparts.

Overall, the average public sector wage is higher than the average private sector wage. For a number of good reasons: a) the public sector doesn’t employ in low-paid professions – retail staff, wait staff, cleaners, factory process workers, agricultural workers – the higher average skill level of public sector jobs results in higher average pay. b) government workers are more heavily unionised. Stronger unions = higher pay rises. c) There is a public interest in public sector wages being decent because low wages encourage corruption.

Gibson makes an argument that, frankly, disgusts me: public sector employees enjoy their work more than their private sector counterparts so they should be paid less. Why not just give them really uncomfortable chairs or random electric shocks to take their enjoyment levels down instead?

And notice that Gibson has identified a wage gap between public and private sector and his suggested response is the one that would drive wages lower overall. If wages are lower in the private sector, isn’t that the problem? How are we going to become a higher wage economy if we are constantly forcing wages down?

I have one final question. Professor John Gibson is a public employee. How much is he paid, and does he enjoy his work? If so, should he give some of the money back?

41 comments on “Academic, youse are paid too much”

  1. higherstandard 1

    One wonders why anyone would bother to publish such cak.

  2. roger nome 2

    Hmm, so this guy, like John Key, would “love to see wages drop”. Presumably he, also like key thinks that profits aren’t high enough then. Not a very tenable position to hold when you consider that growth in business profits has been about 5 times higher than growth in “median income” over the last 20 years . Enough is never enough for these people. Wages can’t be low enough, and profits can’t be high enough.

  3. Crank 3

    “Academic, youse are paid too much’

    At least the Standard recognises who its readership is.

    A great example of moaning to the converted

    [lprent: You are referring to a machine having some kind of opinion, because that is what “The Standard” is. This program doesn’t have opinions – so read Rules and talk to a person.]

  4. Joanna 4

    two points: first Steve I think propensity score matching was used to address the issue of different sorts of workers in the two sectors (i dont much about this though)
    I totally agree withyour other points though!

    Secondly:
    The results with 95% confidence interval appear to show no real difference in the two sets of data.
    This is not my field so I may have mis-interpreted the data but if my results looked like this I would NOT be confident in saying there is a difference between the two groups

  5. randal 5

    the problem isacademics are not paid enough and new zealand is a provincial backwater

  6. For me, the call for lower public servant wages is simply a distraction. We have all known for years that there was a significant differential between public and private wages.

    But the solution seems to be obvious, and a no brainer. Simply pay private sector employees what they should be paid, and then there would be no issue.

    FULLSTOP.

  7. Crank 7

    What a fantastic idea I wonder why no one has thought of it before. Lets just magic up some money and pay everyone more.

  8. randal 8

    no the problem is the market “demands” that kiwis waste their money on endless fripperies and cheap gimcracks and gew gaws to impress the neighbours or any one else for that matter who falls for it. Kiwis do not save enough. they do not value their instutions highly enough and are mainly just all round suckers for anything with a cheap sparkle.

  9. infused 9

    Actually, my partner worked at the Ministry of Education. She had no qualifications for the job and got paid heaps. Free lunches, take breaks when you want etc.

    The govt sector is very relaxed compared to the private sector. She worked in two jobs. The other a SOE which was even more of a joke.

  10. Of course you’ll still find areas of slackness in the public sector, infused, just as you will in the private sector. Do you often generalise from one anecdotal example? Do you win many arguments like that?

    Infused apart, I have to agree with all the comments so far, which is a first. Wages are too low in NZ. In the public sector, many salaries are low compared to the international labour market, which is why we have perennial problems staffing hospitals, universities and the like. The problem in the private sector is partly to do with lack of investment, and the workers can’t be blamed for that.

    PS: Couldn’t use the link to the Scoop article, so here it is: http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO0808/S00055.htm

  11. roger nome 11

    Crank:

    “Lets just magic up some money and pay everyone more.”

    What are you talkin’ about? As long as real product wage doesn’t increase faster than productivity, then the real unit cost of labour doesn’t increase, so profitability and investment is ensured, and inflation is kept at reasonable levels.

    Over the last 20 years wage increases have been at historically very low levels.

    You need to go and do some reading. You can start over at my blog.

    http://rogernome.blogspot.com/2008/07/kiwis-are-overworked-and-underpaid-says.html

  12. Phil 12

    “b) government workers are more heavily unionised. Stronger unions = higher pay rises.”

    This is something that I have long suspected to be a “common myth” but never really got around to trying to prove either way… perhaps, one day, my own blog might be in order.

    At the very least, you are committing the same ‘apples-with-apples’ error that you argue against in the previous paragraph, especially when you point out private sector lawyers/health/educators are better paid than their public sector colleagues… there is a logical inconsistency there.

  13. “What are you talkin’ about?”

    I hope your mother doesn’t get breast cancer roger as the cruel government won’t help, even though 30 other countries help their stricken women.

    Labour are sick in the head.What a cess pit country!!!

  14. roger nome 14

    Phil:

    High union density results in lower wage differentials. So collective barging definitely increases wages for low to medium skilled workers, though probably not very much for professionals.

    i.e.

    Union decline has been linked to increases in income disparity. For instance, in Britain the fall in union density is estimated to have accounted for 20 percent of the increase in wage dispersion between 1970 and 1993, (Freeman and Katz, 1995) while in Canada the slow change in inequality relative to the United States has been partly attributed to the continuing strength of the trade union movement (Leslie and Pu, 1996).

    If you want to learn more about it you can see these sources:

    Freeman, R. and Katz, L. (1995) Differences and Changes in Wage Structures, University of Chicago Press, Chicago.

    Leslie, D. and Pu, Y. (1996) “What Caused Rising Earnings Inequality in Britain? Evidence from Time Series, 1970-1993′, British Journal of Industrial Relations, vol. 3, no. 25, pp.187-198.

  15. pohutukawa kid 15

    University professors get paid very well – over $120k pa.

  16. University professors get paid very well – over $120k pa.

    Correct but stupid. Indeed, Professors at my university start at $114,000 and have no upper limit. And no perqs. In what sense exactly would this outstrip what senior managers would expect from a large private sector organisation?

  17. “dad4justice
    August 7, 2008 at 6:11 pm
    “What are you talkin’ about?’

    I hope your mother doesn’t get breast cancer roger as the cruel government won’t help, even though 30 other countries help their stricken women.”

    I’m not an expert on the area but my understanding is that for each drug an investigation is conducted to determine how cost effective a drug is in terms of quality of life adjusted years vs cost. With this, then you can work your way through the health budget until its all accounted for giving maximum benefit for the money available.

    Unless Herceptin is the next ranked drug in terms of cost effectiveness I take massive exception to their campaign. How dare they demand the drug that they want when than money could save more people being spent on another, its shameful and deceitful, especially using a public sympathy campaign the way they have.

  18. Draco TB 18

    University professors get paid very well – over $120k pa.

    It’s ok but I wouldn’t call it very well. For it to be classed as that it would have to be $500k+.

    Unless Herceptin is the next ranked drug in terms of cost effectiveness I take massive exception to their campaign. How dare they demand the drug that they want when than money could save more people being spent on another, its shameful and deceitful, especially using a public sympathy campaign the way they have.

    Yep, always pissed me off that herceptin campaign.

  19. Oh well, you don’t have to be a well paid academic pushing government ideologies to see the sub standard treatment of female cancer patients. It will cost Labour plenty of votes come election time.

  20. Paul 20

    Perhaps Heinz could steal the drug.

    that would hurt wouldn’t it dad, what to do???

    http://www.vtaide.com/blessing/Kohlberg.htm

    or

    Dilemma 3

    http://www.haverford.edu/psych/ddavis/p109g/kohlberg.dilemmas.html

  21. rave 21

    Another hackademic trotting out crap on the public teat.
    He’s a drone if there ever was one. The proliferation of economics, management, accounting subjects at Uni speaks of the full penetration of the private sector into the halls of academe. Instead of business propaganda we need some more science to check out Herceptin. Wouldnt it be great if Labour could think outside its playbox and fund an public experiment. Everybody on Herceptin and lets see if the survival rate in NZ matches that everywhere else where it is prescribed. Labour needs some circuit breakers like helping people in need.

  22. Paul. brilliant pics.

  23. “I’m not an expert on the area but my understanding is that for each drug an investigation is conducted to determine how cost effective a drug is in terms of quality of life adjusted years vs cost. With this, then you can work your way through the health budget until its all accounted for giving maximum benefit for the money available. “

    I stand corrected by the man on the news, Its not a cost effectiveness thing (well it is in some senses) its just a dispute over the science.

  24. burt 24

    Steve Pierson

    It’s surprising how much Professor John Gibson has been denigrated in this thread. It’s surprising how much denigration there has been of ‘Academics’ in general. What’s perhaps less surprising is how little evidence has been presented to support that denigration.

    The whole post is a piss take of how little evidence you need to discredit a well funded study throughly conducted by a well educated person – surely?

  25. burt 25

    Draco TB

    In response to “University professors get paid very well – over $120k pa.” you said;

    It’s ok but I wouldn’t call it very well. For it to be classed as that it would have to be $500k+.

    Which makes me think of the piffling $60K rich tax threshold we have had for 9 years. Sure it’s lifting a few dollars a week soon but as you said $120K is only doing OK. Cullen should be realistic if he wants to stay in govt and shift his ‘rich bastard’ threshold to $120K min. Seems like $200K might be a better level, just clip the ticket harder on the people who can afford it.

  26. Draco TB 26

    I’ve held the idea for quite some time that we need to go back to having 5 tax brackets rather than the 3+1 that we have now. I even agree that the top tax bracket would be about 200k (probably less) if we did move to the 5 tier tax but we still seem to be sticking to what we have so tax will just have to remain as it is because the 3+1 system doesn’t allow for the top bracket to be moved far beyond the other brackets. One of the problems with trying to have a flatter tax system.

  27. burt 27

    I would say one of the problems of having an ideology that allows you to say $60K is a sensible threshold over a period 8-plus years. I don’t think Dr Cullen has ever tried to keep it flatter. Flatter is not the problem, quite the contrast. It’s the fact our rates get steep very quickly capturing what are definitely middle earners in the top threshold. Fiscal drag, a specialty of the Clark/Cullen combo.

  28. max 28

    Crank
    August 7, 2008 at 4:04 pm

    “Academic, youse are paid too much’

    At least the Standard recognises who its readership is.

    A great example of moaning to the converted

    [lprent: You are referring to a machine having some kind of opinion, because that is what “The Standard” is. This program doesn’t have opinions – so read Rules and talk to a person.]

    Get a live lynn.

    People are allowed an opinion and you dont have to play god on any opinion you disagree with.

    reCAPTCHA: Fannie writes

    he he

  29. ACCSUX 29

    “Academic, youse are paid too much’

    Oh yea

    Yes another group Brainwashed opps educated idiots.

    Yes these people think there special.

    These scum get go to a uni. Holiday..
    Ya cant fool us with ya shit.
    yes remember we all went to school.
    But those of us whom actually had to go to work…yes after real work School, it was a holiday.

    Yes While the rest of the country get on with slaving for some corrupted educated greedy idiot.
    Being paid well below the average wage.. and doing well above the average days work.. ,paying taxes.
    so a group whom believe they are special .can go to uni. and then get a special wage.

    These scum hav never done a days work, there and there already 20 to 25 and over..
    and then demand a special wage. Oh thats right after they have a OE another of ther special rights, they believe they deserve..
    They believe they deserve .. special wages .

    No one deserves no more than the average wage.
    but oh these scum actually have been brainwashed and now have convinced themselves thay are special..
    will do anything to get more more more. corruption anything.

    oh yea its time for a new tax system,,

    ya get taxed back to the average wage… all ..
    Ya can think ya special. ya boss can think ya special.
    your wage can be millions to make you feel so special.

    but taxed back to average wage.
    yes a tax system where those whom are slaving for below the average wage,, get dollars to the average ,, and those special people above the average wage get taxed back to it..

  30. Stephen 30

    Are those lyrics to a song you wrote ACC?

  31. Scribe 31

    High union density results in lower wage differentials. So collective barging definitely increases wages for low to medium skilled workers, though probably not very much for professionals.

    Thanks for being honest about how unions really work, Roger 😉

  32. Phil 32

    Roger/Steve,

    I can see the logic in the argument that unionisation works best for low-wage low-skill positions, but that doesn’t remove the
    inconsistency in Steve’s post.

    These are his two statements;
    1) Public sector workers are more heavily unionised that private sector. Unionisation = higher wages
    2) An employee in the private sector earns more than a similar/same role in the public sector.

    They don’t fit together.

  33. randal 33

    none of it fits..its all about causing confusion in the public mind and tagging on your own conclusion at the end. how many truckdrivers know what a professor of physics or even history does let alone have the education to comment. puf puf puff I can see the smokescreen growing or is that the ideologues from the nats reassuring the little people that yes there is nothing to it really and they could all be professors too…yeh right

  34. Draco TB 34

    Burt:
    Middle earners aren’t caught by the 60k threshold though as the average wage is only ~$40k. Just because a middle class lifestyle today requires an income of $100k+ doesn’t mean that those on that income are middle earners.

  35. coge 35

    The private sector pays for the public sector. No one can argue with that statement. I contend it would be more equiatable to have at least a level playing field wage wise. It goes beyond unionisation of the private sector, it involves having an economy set up so the private sector can thrive. A system where it is clearly respected & valued. An economy that people want to actively participate in the private sector.

    Otherwise it’s like putting the cart before the horse.

  36. Draco TB 36

    An economy that people want to actively participate in the private sector.

    Should probably find a way to get rid of capitalism then. A socio-economic system that only rewards the few doesn’t give a lot of incentive to the many to work in it.

  37. coge 37

    Draco, I’m talking about all people who WORK in the private sector.
    Are you suggesting they are second class citizens? Do you not respect ALL workers?

  38. randal 38

    listen all turkeys…are you ready? ok? NOBODY gets money for doing nothing.

  39. eddie 39

    Many years ago when I was an upstart junior probation officer the deputy head of the department told we juniors that probation officers were not interested in salary because they got ‘job satisfaction.’
    I got offside because I asked him whether he had ever tried to shop or pay a mortgage with job satisfaction.

    This is the same principle as the academic saying public servants should get less pay because they like what they do!

  40. RedLogix 40

    coge,

    The private sector pays for the public sector. No one can argue with that statement.

    A few moments thought would inform you that the public and private sectors mutually support each other. Any person who has actually run a business knows just how much they actually depend on a raft of vital public services in order to function.

  41. Draco TB 41

    I’m talking about all people who WORK in the private sector.

    So am I.

    Are you suggesting they are second class citizens?

    Nope.

    Do you not respect ALL workers?

    I have respect for all those that create value. I have no respect for those that produce no value but are rewarded far above those that do.

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  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    7 days ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    7 days ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    1 week ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    1 week ago
  • Union solidarity with Ihumatao land occupation
    by Daphna Whitmore Every Sunday for the past two months unionists from First Union, with supporters from other unions, have set out to the Ihumatao land protest, put up gazebos and gas barbeques, and cooked food for a few hundred locals and supporters who have come from across the country. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: The wrong kind of trees?
    Newsroom today has an excellent, in-depth article on pine trees as carbon sinks. The TL;DR is that pine is really good at soaking up carbon, but people prefer far-less efficient native forests instead. Which is understandable, but there's two problems: firstly, we've pissed about so long on this problem that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • No freedom of speech in Turkey
    Canan Kaftancioglu is a Turkish politician and member of the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP). Like most modern politicians, she tweets, and uses the platform to criticise the Turkish government. She has criticised them over the death of a 14-year-old boy who was hit by a tear gas grenade during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Tadhg Stopford: Why I’m standing for the ADHB
    Hi there, just call me Tim.We face tough problems, and I’d like to help, because there are solutions.An Auckand District Health Board member has nominated me for as a candidate for the ADHB, because her MS-related pain and fatigue is reduced with hemp products from Rotorua.  Nothing else helped her. If I ...
    1 week ago
  • Good little vassals
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has published their report on whether the SIS and GCSB had any complicity in American torture. And its damning. The pull quote is this:The Inquiry found both agencies, but to a much greater degree, the NZSIS, received many intelligence reports obtained from detainees who, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Who Shall We Turn To When God, And Uncle Sam, Cease To Defend New Zealand?
    Bewhiskered Cassandra? Professor Hugh White’s chilling suggestion, advanced to select collections of academic, military and diplomatic Kiwi experts over the course of the past week, is that the assumptions upon which Australia and New Zealand have built their foreign affairs and defence policies for practically their entire histories – are ...
    1 week ago
  • The Politics of Opposition
    For most of the time I was a British MP, my party was out of government – these were the Thatcher years, when it was hard for anyone else to get a look-in. As a front-bencher and shadow minister, I became familiar with the strategies required in a parliamentary democracy ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • More expert comments on the Canadian fluoride-IQ paper
    The Green et al (2019) fluoride/IQ is certainly controversial – as would be expected from its subject (see If at first you don’t succeed . . . statistical manipulation might help and Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear). Anti-fluoride campaigners have been actively promoting it ...
    1 week ago
  • The return to guerrilla war in Colombia
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh On August 29th a video in which veteran FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) commander Iván Márquez announced that they had taken up arms again was released. There was no delay in the reaction to it, from longtime Liberal Party figure and former president Uribe, for ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Air New Zealand identifies this enormous plot of unused land as possible second airport site
    Air New Zealand couldn’t believe its luck that this seemingly ideal piece of real estate had so far gone entirely unnoticed. Air New Zealand’s search for a site to build a second Auckland Airport may have made a breakthrough this afternoon, after employees scanning Google satellite imagery spotted a huge, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Redline on the Labour Party
    No-one on the anti-capitalist left in this country today puts forward a case that Labour is on the side of the working class.  There are certainly people who call themselves ‘socialist’ who do, but they are essentially liberals with vested interests in Labourism – often for career reasons. Nevertheless, there ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s failure
    When National was in government and fucking over the poor for the benefit of the rich, foodbanks were a growth industry. And now Labour is in charge, nothing has changed: A huge demand for emergency food parcels means the Auckland City Mission is struggling to prepare for the impending arrival ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Ardern attempts to vaccinate Clarke Gayford live on television to prove that it’s safe
    Gayford, pictured here on The Project, before things got wildly out of control. A bold public relations move by the Government to encourage parents to vaccinate their children has gone horribly wrong. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern appeared on tonight’s episode of Three’s The Project, where the plan was for her ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Has Mr. Whippy gone too far by parking on our front lawns?
    Mr. Whippy’s business model has driven it down a dark road of intimidation. Residents in major centres around the country are becoming disgruntled by the increasingly aggressive actions of purported ice cream company Mr. Whippy, who have taken to parking on people’s front lawns and doorsteps in a desperate attempt ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Cleaning up the water
    Today the government released its Action Plan for Healthy Waterways, aimed at cleaning up our lakes and rivers. Its actually quite good. There will be protection for wetlands, better standards for swimming spots, a requirement for continuous improvement, and better standards for wastewater and stormwater. But most importantly, there's a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Fronting up
    Today I appeared before the Environment Committee to give an oral submission on the Zero Carbon Bill. Over 1,500 people have asked to appear in person, so they've divided into subcommittees and are off touring the country, giving people a five minute slot each. The other submitters were a mixed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear
    Anti-fluoride activists have some wealthy backers – they are erecting billboards misrepresenting the Canadian study on many New Zealand cities – and local authorities are ordering their removal because of their scaremongering. Many New Zealanders ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Democracy – I Don’t Think So
    So, those who “know best” have again done their worst. While constantly claiming to be the guardians of democracy and the constitution, and respecters of the 2016 referendum result, diehard Remainers (who have never brought themselves to believe that their advice could have been rejected) have striven might and main ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Government says it will now build just one really nice home
    Following publication of this article, the Ministry has requested it to be noted that this supplied image is not necessarily representative of what the final house will look like, and it “probably won’t be that nice.” As part of today’s long-anticipated reset of the Government’s flagship KiwiBuild policy, Housing Minister ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Imperialism and your cup of coffee
    Over the next week or two we will be running three synopses of parts of the opening chapter of John Smith’s Imperialism in the 21st Century (New York, Monthly Review Press, 2016).  The synopsis and commentary below is written by Phil Duncan. Marx began Capital not with a sweeping historical ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Still juking the stats
    The State Services Commission and Ombudsman have released another batch of OIA statistics, covering the last six months. Request volumes are up, and the core public service is generally handling them within the legal timeframe, though this may be because they've learned to extend rather than just ignore things. And ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: Time for a New Deal: 25 years on
    In 1994, I was editing an ambitious street mag called Planet, from a fabled office at at 309 Karangahape Road. The thirteenth issue of the magazine was published in the winter of that year and its cover embodied a particularly ambitious goal: the end of cannabis prohibition.I wanted to do ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Not impressed
    KiwiBuild was one of the Ardern government's core policies. The government would end the housing crisis and make housing affordable again by building 100,000 new homes. Of course, it didn't work out like that: targets weren't met, the houses they did build were in the wrong place, and the whole ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

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