…and your children’s children

Written By: - Date published: 8:09 pm, May 20th, 2010 - 70 comments
Categories: class war, Economy - Tags: ,

When I wondered what the rabbit was the last thing I thought it would be was the rip shit and bust budget we saw today.

Let’s be clear on one thing. Borrowing a billion dollars while simultaneously cutting services to pay for tax cuts is not moderate or responsible or centrist. Even if the cuts are for middle and low income earners too. This really is some far right government-you-can-drown-in a-bath-tub stuff.

It also shows the government was clearly lying when they talked about the tax change being revenue neutral and it shows they were lying about the need to align corporate and top tax brackets.

The tax take hasn’t been this low in my life-time. In fact it probably hasn’t been this low since my granddad was a boy and that will mean that one way or another it will be our children and our children’s children that pay for this bribe.

Meanwhile Phil Goff and his funny wee team has been caught flat-footed and defaulted to bleating on about how the tax cuts aren’t enough. FFS – what’s his next move going to be? Criticising national for not introducing the death penalty?

Even ACT have managed only the most token of complaints. Must try harder? That lame angle should tell you something.

And what it should tell you is National have slipped one of the most right-wing budgets New Zealand has ever seen right under the radar.

70 comments on “…and your children’s children ”

  1. Bored 1

    Irish, thank God you have said it, somebody has too. Labour sucks, they need to get with the programme. As somebody who would not be able to live long enough to vote National, I find voting for this rabble a Hobsons choice. National Lite, no distinguishing features. Managerialists one and all, no sense or vision that the world has changed. The right wing budget only slipped under the radar because there is no left hand side to the screen.

  2. Doug 2

    Marty G had a post today saying National were on the decline in the Polls. Close Up had a small poll tonight 80/20 in favour of the budget we see where the Polls head in the coming months.

    • IrishBill 2.1

      People will bank it. The polls will jump a little for a couple of weeks but coming months? I wouldn’t be so optimistic if I were you.

    • zonk 2.2

      was that Close up where 3 bald white 50 year old men got together to worhsip John Key?

  3. just saying 3

    i agree with you – its really firghtening.

    Just wait for more of this favourite tactic….

    1 Cut an essential service by, say, 15 percent.
    2. Wait a while and then announce a funding boost for said service of, say, five percent.

    The next time complaints come in about the dire results of service cuts, the government is ready with it’s set answer – We’ve just boosted funding by five percent!

    Media “watchdogs” swallow it all, wag their tails, and lick more government ass.

  4. frustrated 4

    “This really is some far right government-you-can-drown-in a-bath-tub stuff.”

    Grow up we have state provided education up until heavily subsidised tertiary education, state provided healthcare and a number of other state provided benefits including a very significant social welfare spend. To suggest we have a far right government is laughable.

    Get some perspective and you might get some more traction with the bulk of the population.

    • IrishBill 4.1

      So we don’t have the lowest taxes since WWII? And health and education aren’t taking real cuts? And we’re not borrowing a billion dollars to pay for tax cuts?

      Do the maths. Then try again.

      • Quoth the Raven 4.1.1

        According to this tax as % of GDP was 26% in 1950. It was 34.5 in 2008 What’s it going to be now?

        • IrishBill 4.1.1.1

          That would be because state-owned business profits substituted (immensely) for company tax. Total state revenue was much higher than it is today. But unlike you, I’m not going to play statistical games to justify a command economy.

          • Quoth the Raven 4.1.1.1.1

            You did say taxes not total state revenue. I wasn’t playing statistical games it was a genuine question I presumed you knew the answer. So what then are the numbers for total state revenue?

            • IrishBill 4.1.1.1.1.1

              I don’t have the stats at hand. I’ll see about posting them over the next few days.

  5. just saying 5

    How can labour attack future service cuts that result from this budget when it has now told everyone the cuts should have been bigger.

    I despair

  6. Salsy 6

    Im surprised they went as far with tax cuts as they did. Given its their only trump card, and it has now been played. They have no other bribe left for 2011, when the pinch of health and education cuts and GST rise are fully felt by all.

    • Lew 6.1

      They’ve bet the farm on a massive economic recovery. Recall that this is the same crowd who, not two years ago, were howling that Cullen had stripped the cupboard bare.

      L

      • Marco 6.1.1

        No they have bet the farm on the rugby world cup. National have the golden chalice of ten’s of thousands of tourists pouring money into the economy only months before the election. It’s a two term government every which way you look at it.

        • Lanthanide 6.1.1.1

          Although All Black losses in the past have historically been unfavourable for the incumbent government.

        • Fisiani 6.1.1.2

          All my predictions about the Budget came true. A massive and encouraging step change in the economy.
          Substantial tax cuts for all workers. Letting all workers keep more of their money.
          75% of workers only paying 17.5 % tax.
          The decade of deficits left by the incompetance and spite of Labour now reduced to just 5 years.
          The Tax bill for every company in NZ reduced by 6.67%. Yes 6.67% (30% down to 28% is 2/30*100)
          The Left will try to claim foul about some hypothetical poor person on $25,000 who owns 6 rental properties who will lose out. Yeah right!
          The big losers of Budget 2010 are the rich who cleverly worked the shonky socialist tax system to get dubious rental property depreciation, eligibility for WFF and student allowances.
          Last year Bill English saved the NZ economy and thousands of jobs in carefully and prudently taking the worst edges of the recession and now he has revved up the growth engine. Next year we move up a gear. 2011 we allow the many Kiwis with cash in their pockets to invest in succesful state enterprises and promote further growth and thousands of jobs. Near full employment is on the horizon.
          Arise Sir Bill. For so he should be.
          The architect of 6 further terms of National government and the golden years for New Zealand.

    • I dreamed a dream 6.2

      “They have no other bribe left for 2011, when the pinch of health and education cuts and GST rise are fully felt by all.”

      Of course they have one bribe left up their sleeves. If they find they need to, they will move up the tax thresholds across the board. For example they may move the top threshold to $100,000 from the current $70,000, etc. They cynic in me says they will do that especially if next year they need some boost in the polls before the Election 2011. Of course that will be irresponsible from them, but what do you expect? They’re already irresponsible today.

      But what can Labour do? Nothing much really. When you’re in government, you’re in the box seat and have the power of incumbency to do things.

    • Gosman 6.3

      Many economic commentators were stating in Radio NZ National this morning that the growth predictions are quite modest, certainly from a historical perspective of a country coming out of a recession they are low. This would mean if the growth is higher than predicted then the Government will have more to play with next year.

  7. Bill 7

    So if the economy grows at somewhere north of 3% over the next few years as Treasury (?) has predicted then the billion dollars will be covered?

    That means 3% plus of growth just to stand still or only go this far backwards?

    Which won’t happen ’cause there isn’t going to be 3% growth.

    Nothing even close.

    So has NZ as an economic entity just been steered off towards the cliff by Johnny Boy and his mates who at this very moment are reaching for the door handle so as to bail just before the freefall? And are the msm sitting in the back seat whooping, hollering and clutching themselves over how rad that sideways turny sliding thing was?

    Are we really, really screwed, or have I missed something?

    • IrishBill 7.1

      No, I think you’ve covered it off quite succinctly.

    • I dreamed a dream 7.2

      “Are we really, really screwed, or have I missed something?”

      Wait till next year, the 2011 budget will probably raise the tax thresholds to give more bribes to the voters.

      Then we’ll be really, really, really, really, really screwed!

  8. Rex Widerstrom 8

    Meanwhile the opposition is MIA.

    I was briefing a client today on the situation in NZ (it happened to be on justice issues, it could have been on anything). I tried to find nice things to say about Labour… primarily because I think my client was beginning to think I was some mad lefty or righty (indeed he pointedly asked me where my personal sympathies lay) because after bagging National’s stance I couldn’t find anything to say about Labour.

    “Errr… well when the Chief Justice spoke out they err… blogged on it…” was all I could come up with.

    It’s time most of them let go the teat and got out the damned way, they’re doing absolutely no good where they are.

    • Well, you are a long way away from the action, Rex, so your ignorance is excusable. Hope the client wasn’t too miffed.

      • Rex Widerstrom 8.1.1

        So what have they said they’ll do in that field, TVoR? I’m all ears…

        • On what field, Rex? Yours was a general comment:

          ‘(it happened to be on justice issues, it could have been on anything).’

          • Rex Widerstrom 8.1.1.1.1

            Ah yes, sorry. Was there anything in Goff’s response concerning policing, justice, courts etc? Any commitment to programs to keep people out of jail? To revoke “3 strikes”? To ensure Corrections is funded to provide adequate rehabilitation to anyone imprisoned and held accountable for so doing?

            I realise it’s not as exciting (to media) as how much money taxpayers might be about to receive (I’ve yet to find detail of the government’s Budget initiatives, if any, in that area) but it’s an area on which Labour could readily differentiate itself but to date has done an appalling job on. Which was why I made it a more generalised criticism, in line with IB’s post.

          • …and if you just meant justice issues, start here: http://blog.labour.org.nz/index.php/category/justice/

            • The Voice of Reason 8.1.1.1.2.1

              Aaaaargh, sorry, missed your response, Rex. Didn’t mean to be ruder than usual. The Red Alert stuff is good, of course, but, no, as far as I know, Goff hasn’t made specific reference to justice in his responses so far.

            • Rex Widerstrom 8.1.1.1.2.2

              Thanks, TVoR. Figured we’d crossed posts by the nesting of your comment (way to go with the numbering thing, LP!)

              A lot of stuff there which, while valid in its own right, is stretching the definition of “justice”. ECan and MMP “justice” issues?

              However, we do have posts lamenting the removal of funding from PARS and Te Huringa… does that mean Labour will restore it? I too lament it, it doesn’t mean I’m about to find several millions to fix it.

              Kudos to Clare Curran for acknowledging the Sycamore Tree Project, but all we get in that post is warm fuzzies. The STP also needs funding, as do other agencies that work with prisoners. And if Corrections was funded for, and held accountable on the delivery of, proper rehabilitation programs then the load on many of these agencies would be significantly lightened. If she’s as enamoured of it as she seems, tap her Corrections spokesperson on the shoulder and demand some support.

              The closest we get to policy is this from Lianne Dalziell:

              Next time Labour is in government we will expand the collaborative approach to include the underlying issues that not only help address crime, but also help address youth unemployment, youth suicide, teenage pregnancy, poor educational outcomes, poor mental health, bad relationships and a wide range of physical health problems.

              Yes yes, all wonderful stuff (and all costly, but we’ll leave that aside for the moment, it’s perhaps too early in the election cycle to start demanding program-by-program costings). But all these initiatives, even if they’re brilliant from day one, will take time, and won’t help those already imprisoned.

              Where’s the support for the stance of the Chief Justice on sentencing and related issues? Where’s the fervent rejection of shipping container prisons? Where’s the determination to hold Corrections (and any private operators) accountable for outcomes?

              The best thing Labour could do right now though would cost not one cent. It could pledge to end the law and order auction come election time, giving people a clear choice in this policy area at least.

  9. ianmac 9

    Campbell Live had a housing guru on and he believes fervently that the housing prices will drop by at least 5% or more.

  10. ianmac 10

    I have not heard anyone at all factor inthe effect of the ETS costs in July. Surely that is going to swallow up the tax cuts more!

    • Marty G 10.1

      we’re paying a billion this year in greenhouse polluter subsidies, if that helps. Of course, we’re paying as a country either way, the question is whether people pay when they pollute or pay as taxpayers.

    • Lanthanide 10.2

      I saw some “analysis” that the 28% corporate tax rate, rather than putting us ahead of Oz, will really just even the score because of the incoming ETS.

      • IrishBill 10.2.1

        That fails to take into account the fact the Aussies pay higher wages, have compulsory super and a payroll tax. It’s always been cheaper to do business here because we’re structured for cheap labour.

  11. ianmac 11

    Bill English was asked on Checkpoint (Mary Lamb?) to explain/quantify the number of jobs that their Budget would produce. His reply was to go on about the longterm view. Try the question again and then again. No answer which suggests that the answer is no new jobs. So weakness here?

  12. ianmac 12

    Inflation likely to rise 3-5%. Effect on tax cuts? Or will the tax cuts cause inflation? Interest rates will rise accordingly.
    (I don’t know anything other than what “experts” tell me. 🙂

    • Lanthanide 12.1

      Bollard doesn’t automatically raise rates because inflation has gone up. The cause of that inflation, and whether it is structual or one-off, is considered, then interest rates may rise as a result.

      GST-stoked inflation is definitely one-off.

  13. Hamish Gray 13

    There’s a difference between borrowing billions to encourage growth through incentivising and borrowng billions to pour into things like the Cullen Fund and additional public services (which some believe also encourages growth…. somehow). I guess which you think is a better use of money reflects where sympathies lie.

    But according to Labour, they would not only borrow billions more, they’d also cut taxes further. I guess it’s easy to say that when you’re staring down the barrel of another term in opposition, but it’s hardly fiscally responsible.

    • IrishBill 13.1

      Sounds like you want the government to pick winners. And Labour are dicks. If the best you’ve got is “labour would…” then I suggest you say nothing at all.

      • ‘And Labour are dicks’

        You differentiating between the members and the Members of Parliament, Irish? I’m not sure that every member is a dick, if you know what I mean.

        • IrishBill 13.1.1.1

          The labour that claimed tax cuts were not big enough in the house today are dicks. If the party can’t take the idiots leading the parliamentary arm in hand then they need to seriously reevaluate their strategy.

      • Herodotus 13.1.2

        Dont forget that all Phil has to say re GST is that we could eliminate GST off F& V. When this equates to $1-$2/week for the middle & low earners. There are many on this site and RA that have become nothing more than cheer leaders for the cause without examining the shallowness of Lab cause. Lab still wants to protect landlords and from RA they got the tax rorts wrong, LAQC’s,Trusts and the top tax rates etc and they were aware of this 2-5 years ago but did nothing. And on the Lab budget streaming that there was some dissappointment to fixing the rorts and that the panel would have done more, Lab setup the rorts in the first place. This is where for me their language is hallow to comment on this now, and also that they have lost contact with their base support by this appoligist approach
        This is a great opportunity to see what Lab has to offer in vision, their values (which I am confused as to who they represent), in leadership (Be it Phil, the strategists and senior members of Lab), and how this vision is to be applied. If in 2011 they fail it will be nothing but a self inflicted wound.
        The only winner on the left for me over Labs performance is the Greens, they also had the strategy (successful for me) to prepare an alternative budget and become proactive. The Greens also commented on the poor performance of the police in regard to Child abuse and the crap performance by the Police, again Lab is silent. So today we cou;d point to the point in time when the greens mature to becomming more than the poor cousin on the left,and Labs dominance on the left has taken a massive hit.

        • IrishBill 13.1.2.1

          You’re obsessed with this Phil guy. It’s like you think I care what he thinks. Get over it.

          • Herodotus 13.1.2.1.1

            At this moment he is carrying the banner for the left. As this site has some tendencies towards the left then yes I do. As without him then 2014 is a long way off, and that is dependand upon what damage or successful foundations he sets up.
            Also as also commented on there is far too much blind cheer leading by some towards Lab, withoutr any real anylising of what they stand for, and until there is an heir apparrent on the left, Lab will have to head the charge even if some here don’t follow their ideology (If we only knew what their ideology was? -)

            • IrishBill 13.1.2.1.1.1

              The left is a lot bigger than Phil Goff.

              • Herodotus

                Yes agreed, but as he is the leader & his legacy & Labs strategy could cost 1-2 elections. But as also stated The Greens could profit from Labours poor performance, so that will make some happier. Plus supporters need to review what the left is
                Even if you are a Nat supporter IB we need an oppostion to be strong, to keep the govt honest and to test & debate their policies

  14. Jimnald 14

    Tax con by the New Zealand neo-cons

  15. Labour’s been shown up because it never took on the property speculators, who wouldnt vote Labour anyway. Too frightened to scare the middle classes who put the cash into rentals. So much for the party of Savage and Fraser. Labour is hostage to middle class envy when the working class majority sits and stews.
    A real Labour Party that stands for workers who produce all the wealth would campaign on what the majority of workers want, decent jobs for all on a living wage, affordable housing, and a capital gains tax on any speculation in land or property which is parasitic on productive activity.
    Currency speculators would be thrown in jail, and polticians who own farms or shares that benefit from policy changes would also be thrown in jail as insider traders. And it would make the private sector properly account for all public subsidies and hold to national standards in ethics and morality such as democracy is not for sale (note to the Closed Brethren that Shakespeare is really God not the fake in the Bible or the fake in Parnell).
    That would leave many in the current NACT regime somewhat poorer if not in jail.

    • Rex Widerstrom 15.1

      There needs,surely, to be a differentiation between investment in productive enterprise (be it some guy’s start-up IT business in his garage or a manufacturer or even, heaven forbid, a farm (albeit one that didn’t need subsidies to survive)) and non-productive “investment”.

      Into that latter category would go, yes, property speculators, currency speculators and the like.

      I believe (I haven’t analysed this myself) property investors will be slightly worse off under this Budget? Or is that just spin?

      Either way, not worse off enough… not because I have a thing against people getting rich but because I want to see them get rich by starting businesses which produce things of worth (or provide services of genuine worth) and go on to provide jobs (on fair wages) for these workers about whom we’re both, it seems, concerned.

      • dave brown 15.1.1

        Land nationalisation would sort out the productive from unproductive types. Farmers would be rewarded by their production not land values. A capital gains tax on the unemproved value of land would do the same job.

    • Quoth the Raven 15.2

      Currency speculators would be thrown in jail,
      Your a softy Dave. In Soviet Russia they could and did execute people for holding foreign currency. And don’t get me started on the farmers. Collectivise the farms and bring back the seven eighths law I say.

  16. Name 16

    Currently there’s a LOT of money sloshing around the world looking for a temporary home. With the euro in crisis, US interest rates in the basement, sterling teetering on a devaluation and China stuffed to the gills with US debt there aren’t many places it can go. NZ with relatively high interest rates, stability and lots of foodstuffs to export to a hungry world looks like a safe bet. English and National are only doing what most people would do if their bank manager appeared on their doorstep begging them to take a loan.

  17. Draco T Bastard 17

    Meanwhile Phil Goff and his funny wee team has been caught flat-footed and defaulted to bleating on about how the tax cuts aren’t enough.

    FFS, at this rate I may be stuck voting Winston First 😛

  18. Lanthanide 18

    Seems to me that with all of the rates so so low, the only tax options for raising revenue future governments are going to have without hurting the “average taxpayer” and being thrown out of office (even if there is good reason for such a tax hike – see Italy) is going to be things like land and capital gains tax.

    Anyway, here’s what Labour should stand for, IMO:
    Raise the 30% threshold to 100k
    Keep the 33% rate at 100-120k
    Introduce 39% rate at 120k+
    Take GST off fruit and vegetables and local body rates

    This way someone on $100k gets a tax cut of $900/year. Someone on $120k gets the same. Someone on $135k gets $0 tax cut and everyone above pays more tax. The GST off fruit and vege and rates helps those on lower incomes and home owners, while also helping landlords that own many properties. This would open up room to introduce a CGT on investment property – further underscoring that rentals should be for income, not capital gains.

    • A Nonny Moose 18.1

      Yes, the Nats have certainly made it difficult for the next Labour government. If Labour come round and have to raise taxes, the Nats will be able to crow about “but look at what WE did”. It hurts that the average voter forgets so easily.

  19. M 19

    I thought John “I smile a lot because I’m being permanently fellated” Key was wallpaper but Phil Goff was even worse – he needs to get some training from Brian Edwards or a least someone who can give him some witty ripostes.

    Hpoefully this budget will wake up all the poor, deluded fools who thought it was time for a change and that National was looking out for their interests after they find themselves bitch slapped.

  20. Adrian 20

    It doesn’t matter what Phil Goff says they ( particularly TV ) will edit it. Didn’t he say that the cuts weren’t enough for the low incomers, but they cut the “for…incomers”. The big earners , tv producers, editors , presenters, are selective arseholes with no interest in Labour getting it’s message across.

  21. jcuknz 21

    John and Bill seem to have kept their promises as far as I am affected by the changes and there is a ‘north’ margin to help with the Emmission Trading increases which were going to affect us anyway.
    I will continue to think positively, except about the blog whingers, and if more people thought that way instead of this continual slagging the chances of the country recovering would be better.

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    There comes a point in all our lives when we must stop to say, “Enough is enough. We know what’s happening. We are not as stupid or as ignorant as you believe us to be. And making policies that kill or harm our people is not acceptable, Ministers.”Plausible deniability has ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    3 days ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Thursday, July 18

    TL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy today are:The inside stories of KiwiRail’s iRex debacle, Westport’s perma-delayed flood scheme and Christchurch’s post-quake sewer rebuild, which assumed no population growth, show just how deeply sceptical senior officials in Treasury, the Ministry of ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • What's that Jack Black?

    Ah-rah, deeSoo-guh-goo-gee-goo-geeGoo-guh fli-goo gee-gooGuh fli-goo, ga-goo-buh-deeOoh, guh-goo-beeOoh-guh-guh-bee-guh-guh-beeFli-goo gee-gooA-fliguh woo-wa mama Lucifer!I’m about ready to move on, how about you?Not from the shooting, that’s bad and we definitely shouldn’t have that. But the rehabilitation of Donald J Trump? The deification of Saint Donald? As the Great Unifier?Gimme a bucket.https://yellowscene.com/2024/04/07/trump-as-jesus/Just to re-iterate, ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    3 days ago
  • June 2024: Earth’s 13th-consecutive warmest month on record

    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Jeff Masters and Bob Henson June 2024 was Earth’s warmest June since global record-keeping began in 1850 and was the planet’s 13th consecutive warmest month on record, NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information, or NCEI, reported July 12. As opposed to being focused in ...
    3 days ago
  • Connecting the dots and filling the gaps in our bike network

    This is a guest post by Shaun Baker on the importance of filling the gaps in our cycling networks. It originally appeared on his blog Multimodal Adventures, and is re-posted here with kind permission. In our towns and cities in Aotearoa New Zealand, there are areas in our cycling networks ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    3 days ago
  • Webworm Down Under Photos!

    Hi,I wanted to share a few thoughts and photos from the Webworm popup and Tickled screening we held in Auckland, New Zealand last weekend.In short — it was a blast. I mean, I had a blast and I hope any of you that came also had a blast.An old friend ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    3 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Thursday, July 18

    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 6:30 am on Thursday, July 18 are:News: Christchurch's sewer systems block further housing developments RNZ’s Niva ChittockAnalysis: Interislander: Treasury, MoT officials' mistrust of KiwiRail led ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Thursday, July 18

    TL;DR: As of 6:00 am on Thursday, July 18, the top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day are:Verbatim: Climate Change Minister Simon Watts held a news conference in Auckland to release the Government’s Emissions Reduction Plan, including ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • The politics of managed retreat

    Climate change deniers are now challenging the Government over a key climate change adaptation policy. That begs the question of whether New Zealand First will then support Government moves to implement processes to deal with a managed retreat for properties in danger of flooding because of sea level rise and ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    3 days ago
  • Some changes are coming

    Warm welcome again to those who are here. The Mountain Tui substack was officially started on the 2nd of July. I wrote about what led me here on this post. Since then, it’s been a learning to navigate the platform, get to meet those in the community, and basically be ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    4 days ago
  • About fucking time

    The US Supreme Court has been rogue for years, with openly corrupt judges making the law up as they go to suit themselves, their billionaire buyers, and the Republican Party. But now, in the wake of them granting a licence for tyranny, President Biden is actually going to try and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Climate Change: False accounting and wishful thinking

    National released their draft 2026-2030 Emissions Reduction Plan today. The plan is required under the Zero Carbon Act, and must set out policies and strategies to meet the relevant emissions budget. Having cancelled all Labour's actually effective climate change policies and crashed the carbon price, National was always going to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • The Enemies Of Sunshine And Space.

    Our Houses? The Urban Density debate is a horrible combination of intergenerational avarice and envy, fuelled by the grim certainty that none of the generations coming up after them will ever have it as good as the Boomers. To say that this situation rankles among those born after 1965 is to ...
    4 days ago
  • Still the 5 Eyes Achilles Heel?

    The National Cyber Security Centre (NZSC), a unit in the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) dedicated to cyber-security, has released a Review of its response to the 2021 email hacking of NZ members of the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China (IPAC, … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    4 days ago
  • Britain's Devastating Electoral Slip.

    Slip-Sliding Away: Labour may now enjoy a dominant position in Britain’s political landscape, but only by virtue of not being swallowed by it.THE BRITISH LABOUR PARTY’S “landslide victory” is nothing of the sort. As most people understand the term, a landslide election victory is one in which the incumbent government, or ...
    4 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on why right wingers think all governments (including their own) are incompetent

    Since open denial of climate change is no longer a viable political option, denial now comes in disguise. The release this week of the coalition government’s ‘draft emissions reductions plan” shows that the Luxon government is refusing to see the need to cut emissions at source. Instead, it proposes to ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    4 days ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Wednesday, July 17

    TL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy this morning are:Chris Penk is set to roll back building standards for insulation that had only just been put in place, and which had been estimated to save 40% from power costs, after builders ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Open Letter to Pharmac

    All this talk of getting oldIt's getting me down, my loveLike a cat in a bag, waiting to drownThis time I'm coming downAnd I hope you're thinking of meAs you lay down on your sideNow the drugs don't workThey just make you worse but I know I'll see your face ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    4 days ago
  • A blanket of misinformation

    Two old sayings have been on my mind lately. The first is: “The pen is mightier than the sword”, describing the power of language and communication to help or to harm. The other, which captures the speed with which falsehoods can become ingrained and hard to undo, is: “A lie can ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    4 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Wednesday, July 17

    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day to 7:00 am on Wednesday, July 17 are:Scoop: Government considers rolling back home insulation standards RNZ’s Eloise GibsonNews: Government plans tree-planting frenzy as report shows NZ no longer ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Wednesday, July 17

    TL;DR: As of 6:00 am on Wednesday, July 17 , the top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day were:Simon Watts released the Government’s draft Emissions Reduction Plan (ERP), which included proposed changes to the Emissions Trading Scheme ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • “Shhhh” – National's 3 Waters is loaded with higher costs and lays a path to ...

    This is a long, possibly technical, but very, very important read. I encourage you to take the time and spread your awareness.IntroductionIn 2022, then Labour Party Prime Minister Jacinda Adern expended significant political capital to protect New Zealand’s water assets from privatisation. She lost that battle, and Labour and the ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    4 days ago
  • Plugging a video channel: Dr Gilbz

    Dr. Ella Gilbert is a climate scientist and presenter with a PhD in Antarctic climate change, working at the British Antarctic Survey (BAS). Her background is in atmospheric sciences and she's especially interested in the physical mechanisms of climate change, clouds, and almost anything polar. She is passionate about communicating climate ...
    5 days ago
  • Some “scrutiny” again

    Back in 2022, in its Open Government Partnership National Action Plan, the government promised to strengthen scrutiny of Official Information Act exemption clauses in legislation. Since then they've run a secret "consultation" on how to do that, with their preferred outcome being that agencies will consult the Ministry of Justice ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Crashing New Zealand's health system is not the way to prosperity, Prime Minister

    Another day, and yet another piece of bad news for New Zealand’s health system. Reports have come out that General Practitioners (GP) may have to close doors, or increase patient fees to survive. The so-called ‘capitation’ funding review, which supports GP practices to survive, is under way, and primary care ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    5 days ago
  • Closer Than You Think: Ageing Boomers, Laurie & Les, Talk Politics.

    Redefining Our Terms: “When an angry majority is demanding change, defending the status-quo is an extremist position.”“WHAT’S THIS?”, asked Laurie, eyeing suspiciously the two glasses of red wine deposited in front of him.“A nice drop of red. I thought you’d be keen to celebrate the French Far-Right’s victory with the ...
    5 days ago
  • Come on Darleen.

    Good morning all, time for a return to things domestic. After elections in the UK and France, Luxon gatecrashing Nato, and the attempted shooting of Trump, it’s probably about time we re-focus on local politics.Unless of course you’re Christopher Luxon and you’re so exhausted from all your schmoozing in Washington ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • How the Northwest was lost and may be won

    This is a guest post by Darren Davis. It originally appeared on his excellent blog, Adventures in Transitland, which we encourage you to check out. It is shared by kind permission. The Northwest has always been Auckland’s public transport Cinderella, rarely invited to the public funding ball. How did ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    5 days ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Tuesday July 16

    Luxon has told a Financial Times’ correspondent he would openly call out China’s spying in future and does not fear economic retaliation from Aotearoa’s largest trading partner.File Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy on Tuesday, ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Tuesday, July 16

    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 6:00 am on Tuesday, July 16 are:PM Christopher Luxon has given a very hawkish interview to the Financial Times-$$$ correspondent in Washington, Demetri Sevastopulu, saying ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Tuesday, July 16

    Photo by Ryunosuke Kikuno on UnsplashTL;DR: The top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day to 6:00 am are:BNZ released its Performance of Services Index for June, finding that services sector is at its lowest level of activity ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • The second crisis; assumption was the mother

    Late on the night of July 16, 1984, while four National Cabinet Ministers were meeting in the Beehive office of Deputy Prime Minister Jim McLay, plotting the ultimate downfall of outgoing Prime Minister Sir Robert Muldoon, another crisis was building up in another part of the capital. The United States ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    5 days ago
  • Can we air condition our way out of extreme heat?

    This is a re-post from The Climate Brink by Andrew Dessler Air conditioning was initially a symbol of comfort and wealth, enjoyed by the wealthy in theaters and upscale homes. Over time, as technology advanced and costs decreased, air conditioning became more accessible to the general public. With global warming, though, ...
    6 days ago
  • Review: The Zimiamvian Trilogy, by E.R. Eddison (1935-1958)

    I have reviewed some fairly obscure stuff on this blog. Nineteenth century New Zealand speculative fiction. Forgotten Tolkien adaptations. George MacDonald and William Morris. Last month I took a look at The Worm Ouroboros (1922), by E.R. Eddison, which while not strictly obscure, is also not overly inviting to many ...
    6 days ago
  • Media Link: AVFA on the Trump assassination attempt.

    In this episode of “A View from Afar” Selwyn Manning and I discuss the attempt on Donald Trump’s life and its implications for the US elections. The political darkness grows. ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    6 days ago
  • Law & Order: National Party 1, Police 0, Public -1

    What happened?Media is reporting that police have lost in their pay dispute with the Coalition Government.Some of you might remember that the police rejected Labour’s previous offer in September, 2023, possibly looking forward to be taken care of by the self-touted ‘Party of Law and Order’ - National.If you look ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    6 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the Trump shooting and a potential hike in fees for visiting the doctor

    Having watched Donald Trump systematically exploit social grievances, urge people not to accept his election loss and incite his followers to violent insurrection… it is a bit hard to swallow the media descriptions over the past 24 hours of Trump being a “victim” of violence. More like a case of ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Monday July 15

    The exploitation of workers on the national fibre broadband rollout highlights once again the dark underbelly of our ‘churn and burn’ economy. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy today are:An extraordinary Steve Kilgallon investigation into ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Monday, July 15

    Photo by Jessica Loaiza on UnsplashTL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last three days to 9:00 am on Monday, July 15 are:Investigation: Immigration NZ refused to prosecute an alleged exploiter despite a mountain of evidence - ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • City Centre Rebuild: How Soon Is Now?

    Patrick Reynolds is deputy chair of the City Centre Advisory Panel and a director of Greater Auckland There is ongoing angst about construction disruption in the city centre. And fair enough: it’s very tough, CRL and other construction has been going on for a very long time. Like the pandemic, ...
    Greater AucklandBy Patrick Reynolds
    6 days ago
  • Peril, dismay, resolution

    This afternoon we rolled into Budapest to bring to a close our ride across Europe. We did 144 km yesterday, severe heat messages coming in from the weather app as we bounced along unformed Hungarian back roads and a road strip strewn with fallen trees from an overnight tornado. Somewhere ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    6 days ago
  • Bullet the Blue Sky

    In the locust windComes a rattle and humJacob wrestled the angelAnd the angel was overcomeYou plant a demon seedYou raise a flower of fireWe see them burnin' crossesSee the flames, higher and higherBullet the blue skyBullet the blue skyThe indelible images, the soundtrack of America. Guns, assassinations, where-were-you-when moments attached ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Monday, July 15

    TL;DR: The top six announcements, rulings, reports, surveys, statistics and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the three days to 6:00 am on Monday, July 23 are:University of Auckland researcher Ryan Greenaway-McGrevy published an analysis of the impact of Auckland's 2016 zoning reforms.BNZ's latest Performance ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā’s diary for the week to July 23 and beyond

    TL;DR: The six key events to watch in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy in the week to July 23 include:PM Christopher Luxon has returned from a trip to the United States and may hold a post-Cabinet news conference at 4:00 pm today.The BusinessNZ-BNZ PSI survey results for June will be released this ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Was The Assassination Attempt Fake?

    Hi,It’s in incredible photo, and we’re going to be talking about it for a long time:Trump, triumphantly raising his hand in the air after being shot. Photo credit: Evan VucciYou can watch what happened on YouTube in real time, as a 20-year-old from Pennsylvania lets off a series of gunshots ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    6 days ago
  • 40 years ago, inside the crisis that made modern NZ

    It had rained all day in Auckland, and the Metro Theatre in Mangere was steamed up inside as more and more people arrived to celebrate what had once seemed impossible. Sir Robert Muldoon had lost the 1984 election. “Piggy” Muldoon was no more. Such was the desire to get rid ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    6 days ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #28

    A listing of 34 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, July 7, 2024 thru Sat, July 13, 2024. Story of the week It's still early summer in the Northern Hemisphere. The season comes as our first year of 1.5°C warming ...
    7 days ago
  • Unsurprising, but Trump shooting creates opportunity for a surprising response

    I can’t say I’m shocked. As the US news networks offer rolling coverage dissecting the detail of today’s shooting at a Donald Trump rally in Butler, Pennsylvania, and we hear eye-witnesses trying to make sense of their trauma, the most common word being used is shock. And shocking it is. ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    7 days ago
  • Escalation in the States as Trump is shot and his allies capitalize on the moment

    Snapshot summary of the shooting in the States belowAnd a time to remember what Abraham Lincoln once said of the United States of America:We find ourselves in the peaceful possession of the fairest portion of the earth, as regards extent of territory, fertility of soil, and salubrity of climate. We ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    7 days ago
  • Bernie Sanders: Joe Biden for President

    I will do all that I can to see that President Biden is re-elected. Why? Despite my disagreements with him on particular issues, he has been the most effective president in the modern history of our country and is the strongest candidate to defeat Donald Trump — a demagogue and ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    1 week ago
  • Questions from God

    Have you invited God into your online life? Do you have answers for his questions? Did I just assume God’s pronouns?Before this goes any further, or gets too blasphemous, a word of explanation. When I say “God”, I don’t meant your god(s), if you have one/them. The God I speak ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • The politics of money and influence

    Did you know: Four days ago, the CEO of Warner Bros Discovery (WBD), David Zaslav, opined that he didn’t really care who won the US Presidential election, so long as they were M&A and business friendly. Please share my Substack so I can continue my work. Thank you and happy ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    1 week ago
  • Auckland & Transport Minister Simeon Brown's insanity

    Excuse me, but I just don’t feel like being polite today. What is going on with Simeon Brown? I mean, really? After spending valuable Ministerial time, focus, and government resources to overturn tailored speed limits in school and high fatality zones that *checks notes* reduces the risk of deaths and ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    1 week ago
  • Were scientists caught falsifying data in the hacked emails incident dubbed 'climategate'?

    Skeptical Science is partnering with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. This fact brief was written by John Mason in collaboration with members from the Gigafact team. You can submit claims you think need checking via the tipline. Were scientists caught falsifying data in the ...
    1 week ago
  • What Happened to David D'Amato's Millions?

    Today’s podcast episode is for paying Webworm members — and is a conversation seven years in the making. Let me explain.Hi,As I hit “send” on this newsletter, I’m about to play my 2016 documentary Tickled to a theatre full of about 400 Webworm readers in Auckland, New Zealand.And with Tickled ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • Voting as a multi-order process of choice.

    Recent elections around the world got me to thinking about voting. At a broad level, voting involves processes and choices. Embedded in both are the logics that go into “sincere” versus “tactical” voting. “Sincere” voting is usually a matter of preferred … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago

  • Oceans and Fisheries Minister to Solomons

    Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones is travelling to the Solomon Islands tomorrow for meetings with his counterparts from around the Pacific supporting collective management of the region’s fisheries. The 23rd Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Committee and the 5th Regional Fisheries Ministers’ Meeting in Honiara from 23 to 26 July ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • Government launches Military Style Academy Pilot

    The Government today launched the Military Style Academy Pilot at Te Au rere a te Tonga Youth Justice residence in Palmerston North, an important part of the Government’s plan to crackdown on youth crime and getting youth offenders back on track, Minister for Children, Karen Chhour said today. “On the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • Nine priority bridge replacements to get underway

    The Government has welcomed news the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) has begun work to replace nine priority bridges across the country to ensure our state highway network remains resilient, reliable, and efficient for road users, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.“Increasing productivity and economic growth is a key priority for the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Update on global IT outage

    Acting Prime Minister David Seymour has been in contact throughout the evening with senior officials who have coordinated a whole of government response to the global IT outage and can provide an update. The Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet has designated the National Emergency Management Agency as the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New Zealand, Japan renew Pacific partnership

    New Zealand and Japan will continue to step up their shared engagement with the Pacific, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.    “New Zealand and Japan have a strong, shared interest in a free, open and stable Pacific Islands region,” Mr Peters says.    “We are pleased to be finding more ways ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New infrastructure energises BOP forestry towns

    New developments in the heart of North Island forestry country will reinvigorate their communities and boost economic development, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones says. Mr Jones visited Kaingaroa and Kawerau in Bay of Plenty today to open a landmark community centre in the former and a new connecting road in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • 'Pacific Futures'

    President Adeang, fellow Ministers, honourable Diet Member Horii, Ambassadors, distinguished guests.    Minasama, konnichiwa, and good afternoon, everyone.    Distinguished guests, it’s a pleasure to be here with you today to talk about New Zealand’s foreign policy reset, the reasons for it, the values that underpin it, and how it ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Delivering 24 hour pothole repairs

    Kiwis and freight operators will benefit from the Coalition Government delivering on its commitment to introduce targets that will ensure a greater number of potholes on our state highways are identified and fixed within 24 hours, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  “Increasing productivity to help rebuild our economy is a key ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Peer Support Specialists rolled out in hospitals

    Five hospitals have been selected to trial a new mental health and addiction peer support service in their emergency departments as part of the Government’s commitment to increase access to mental health and addiction support for New Zealanders, says Mental Health Minister Matt Doocey.  “Peer Support Specialists in EDs will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Consultation opens for the Emissions Reduction Plan

    The Government’s draft Emissions Reduction Plan shows we can stay within the limits of the first two emissions budgets while growing the economy, Climate Change Minister Simon Watts says. “This draft Emissions Reduction Plan shows that with effective climate change policies we can both grow the economy and deliver our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Benefit stats highlight need for welfare reset

    The coalition Government is providing extra support for job seekers to ensure as many Kiwis as possible are in work or preparing for work, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says. “While today’s quarterly data showing a rise in the number of people on Jobseeker benefits has been long ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • School attendance continues to increase

    Provisional school attendance data for Term 2 2024 released today has shown more students are back in class compared to last year, with 53.1 per cent of students regularly attending, compared with 47 per cent in Term 2 2023, Associate Education Minister David Seymour says. “The Government has prioritised student ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • $22.7m of West Coast resilience projects underway

    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has welcomed news of progress being made by the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) on the first of several crucial resilience projects underway on the South Island’s West Coast.“State highways across the West Coast are critical lifelines for communities throughout the region, including for freight and tourism. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Migrant school leavers to get part-time work rights

    The coalition Government is providing migrant school leavers with greater opportunities, by increasing access to part-time work rights for those awaiting the outcome of a family residence application, Immigration Minister Erica Stanford has announced.  “Many young people who are part of a family residence application process are unable to work. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Funding to support use of NZ Sign Language

    Seven projects have received government funding totalling nearly $250,000 to maintain and promote the use of New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL). Initiatives that received an NZSL Board Community Grants this year include camps that support the use of NZSL through physical and sensory activities, and clubs where Deaf people and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Inflation data shows progress in economic recovery

    Today’s Consumer Price Index data which has inflation at 3.3 per cent for the year to July 2024, shows we are turning our economy around and winning the fight against rampant inflation, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  “While today’s data will be welcome news for Kiwis, I know many New ...
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    4 days ago
  • Experts to advise Minister on Oranga Tamariki

    The Oranga Tamariki Ministerial Advisory Board has been re-established by the Minister for Children, Karen Chhour. “I look forward to working with the new board to continue to ensure Oranga Tamariki and the care and protection system, are entirely child centric,” Minister Chhour says. “The board will provide independent advice ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Expectations set for improved medicines access

    Associate Health Minister David Seymour says he has set clear expectations for Pharmac around delivering the medicines and medical technology that Kiwis need.  “For many New Zealanders, funding for pharmaceuticals is life or death, or the difference between a life of pain and suffering or living freely. New cancer medicines ...
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    5 days ago
  • Regional Development Minister to host summits

    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones will hold a series of nationwide summits to discuss regional priorities, aspirations and opportunities, with the first kicking off in Nelson on August 12. The 15 summits will facilitate conversations about progressing regional economic growth and opportunities to drive productivity, prosperity and resilience through the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government delivers new school for Rolleston

    The Coalition Government is addressing growing demands on Canterbury’s school network, by delivering a new primary school in Rolleston, Education Minister Erica Stanford says. Within Budget 24’s $400 million investment into school property growth, construction will begin on a new primary school (years 1-8) in Selwyn, Canterbury.  Rolleston South Primary ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New speed camera signs to improve safety

    The Government is welcoming the rollout of new speed camera signs for fixed speed cameras to encourage drivers to check their speeds, improving road safety and avoiding costly speeding tickets, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says. “Providing Kiwis with an opportunity to check their speed and slow down in high crash areas ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • NZ, Korea strengthen relationship

    New Zealand and the Republic of Korea continue to strengthen their relationship, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “New Zealand and Korea have a long history – from New Zealand soldiers fighting in the Korean War, through to our strong cooperation today as partners supporting the international rules-based order.    ...
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    6 days ago
  • Investing for future growth in tourism and hospitality

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