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Another “Zero budget”

Written By: - Date published: 9:34 am, April 6th, 2012 - 72 comments
Categories: budget2012, economy, national - Tags: ,

The Nat’s misguided austerity program is stiffling prospects of recovery. The tax take is down, there’s no money, and they made the last election all about getting back into surplus by 2013/14. Put it all together and it adds up to another “zero budget”. Vernon Small reckons that’s brave:

Zero Budget political and extraordinary

Like it or loathe it, delivering a second “zero Budget” will be an extraordinary achievement if Finance Minister Bill English pulls it off.

It was not so long ago that a new spending allowance of about $1.5 billion was considered tight given the insatiable appetite of the health budget alone, which could swallow $750 million extra a year without any trouble at all.

But as the years of austerity have dragged on, it seems the big-spending ministers and the public servants who report to them have come to accept the message Mr English has been hammering since the global financial crisis hit; that restraint is a permanent state of fiscal affairs.

Hunkering down and waiting for the wheel to turn back in favour of extra spending was not an option.

Even so, consecutive Budgets with no new spending – and more to the point, no major revolt by voters (yet) – is a considerable coup. …

Make no mistake, the zero Budget is far more a political promise than a necessary economic goal. But it will be an extraordinary achievement all the same.

With all due respect to Vernon, I beg to differ, The zero budget isn’t brave or extraordinary. It’s the only option left to a bunch of incompetents who have painted both themselves, and the economy, in to a corner.

72 comments on “Another “Zero budget” ”

  1. Small obviously did not see the last Roy Morgan poll result.

    The next few months are going to be interesting as the Government grapples with a number of scandals, tries to quell a bitter civil war being raged within its ranks and tries to maintain the rather thin veneer it has constructed suggesting that it is a good economic manager.

    Its problem is that the effect of many decisions that it has made were not going to be felt instantly but their effect will become more and more pronounced as time goes by.  The failure to tax properly is the biggest one of these.

    It has until recently managed to maintain popularity by appearing to be Labour lite.  A zero budget will reveal without doubt that it is a typical short sighted brutal selfish tory administration the likes of which the country has regrettably seen too many times before. 

    • It has until recently managed to maintain popularity by appearing to be Labour lite.

      Hardly. National increased popularity in the last election, and Labour decreased popularity, by appearing to have a more austere econonimc approach. Labour-like spending and borrowing even more was not rewarded in the ballot box.

      • mickysavage 1.1.1

        Nah Pete the National-ACT-UF vote went down, Labour’s did go down too but for the benefit of NZF and the Greens.  

        The Labour spending myth is something that you keep trotting out but it bears no relationship to reality.

      • Kotahi Tane Huna 1.1.2

        Another baseless smear from the hypocrite, Pete George. He knows it’s a lie, because he’s been corrected every single time he’s parroted it, but that won’t stop him. What a fuckwit. An unelectable fuckwit.

        • Pete George

          I’ve already posted the actual numbers today that back up what I said.
          National 2008 – 1,053,398 – 44.93%
          National 2011 – 1,058,636 – 47.31%

          You must have seen them, you commented right underneath. Your abuse makes a very poor argument.

          • Colonial Viper

            Still waiting for National to run a $6M referendum on asset sales. Let’s see how popular the buggers are then eh?

          • RedLogix

            Umm yes. National gained about 3,100 voters.

            That’s a 0.031% increase. If that gives you a warm feeling who am I to take that away from you?

            • Colonial Viper

              Not forgetting that the National led coalition lost the guts of its majority. That’s real popular.

              One more scandal away from being a lame government.

            • Pete George

              It’s factually correct, and the % rise was significant for a second term.

              And especially when seen beside this:
              2008 Labour Party 796,880 33.99%
              2011 Labour Party 614,937 27.48%

              • McFlock

                Actually, Pete, your statement “National increased popularity in the last election” is false.
                They received a percent of a percent increase in the number of votes. Sadly the number of enrolled voters increased by about 1% between 2008 (here) and 2011 (here).
                So in 2008 National received 35.2% of votes from enrolled voters. In 2011 the received 34.6%.
                Does this look like “increased popularity”?

              • RedLogix

                Lots of ways to slice and dice this cake PG. Let’s just look at the total vote for the clearly definable right wing parties:

                Total Right vote in 2008:

                National: 1,053,398
                ACT: 85,496
                UF: 20,497

                Total: 1,159,391

                And in 2011:

                National: 1,058,636
                ACT: 23,889
                UF: 13,443
                Con: 59,237

                Total: 1,155,205

                In other words the total right wing vote between the two elections decreased by about 4,500. Now of course we can quibble about whether NZF is left or right, but overall the change in right wing absolute numbers was ‘noise margin’ stuff.

                Although as a proportion of enrolled voters it clearly declined.

                • Herodotus

                  You should * NZ1st as I would love to hear justification how this party can be classifed as a weft wing leaning party or even centralist – they promote policies of the right
                  I would also like to hear how Labour given the policies that were inacted are left leaning? The rich got wealthier with the policies and not taxed, whilst the worker was left begging for scraps and paying the max tax that they could !!
                  “When you play a game of thrones you win or you die.”- In Labours case winning meant selling out the worker to win the Throne.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    You should * NZ1st as I would love to hear justification how this party can be classifed as a weft wing leaning party or even centralist – they promote policies of the right

                    Not really correct.

                    NZ1 policies echo those of the traditional conservative right wing of 30 years ago, not the neolibs of today.

                    Quite a difference. In other words they are way left of today’s National. $15/hr minimum wage, no asset sales, no farm land sales to foreigners.

                    • Herodotus

                      What porpotion of NZ1 policies are built on philosophy as opposed Winny reading public opinion? Protecting NZ from foreigners is not a platform that is defining to left:right attitude as over the years both swings of the political spectrum have pushed for it be it Autarcy from Albania, China or Germany/Italy of the 30’s
                      Selling our power compaines is not a left:right issue it is common sense verses poor business acruemen arguement.
                      Be it a left or right government how is it that kiwis are always worse off (both for the bird and the people !!) ?

                  • Colonial Viper

                    “When you play a game of thrones you win or you die.”- In Labours case winning meant selling out the worker to win the Throne.

                    can you be sure that the result for Labour is “win” and not “die”? The wheel hasn’t stopped spinning yet, after all.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    What porpotion of NZ1 policies are built on philosophy as opposed Winny reading public opinion?

                    Conservative politics of 30 years ago was populist. In other words, just as delusional as today’s RWNJ but at least they did have some concern for the good of the country. NZ1st is centrist/authoritarian and is thus more to the left than is Labour.

                    “When you play a game of thrones you win or you die.”

                    The wheel hasn’t stopped spinning yet, after all.

                    Ages come and go, history becomes myth and legend and to be long forgotten when the Age that spawned them comes round again. And we’ve always been at war with the Peoples Republic of Haven.

                    Can we kill the pop-sci sloganeering yet?

                    • Ed

                      Interesting comparing the charts on the political compass between 2008 and 2011. They assessed both Labour and Greens as no having moved right, as some were seeing it, but ACT changed.

                      Of course the increased vote for National would have been affected by their cannibalisation of ACT – having eaten their offspring they grew a little. We knew that ACT was imploding – only hard work by Key and the National candidate in Epsom restored it a little, but where did all those 61,607 voters go? some would not have voted, but surely say 20,000 of them would have turned to National – perhaps Pete George can enlighten us as to where he thinks those remaining ACT votes went . . it doesn’t seem to have been to United Future..

          • bad12

            Your figures just dont add up,is this the result of a stupid mistake on your part or are you suggesting that the election result was rigged,

            The difference in what we assume is your party vote figures for National in both 2008, and, 2011 is a paltry 5438,

            Your further figures show National,s share of the vote(again we assume it to be the Party Vote) to be 44.93% in 2008 and 47.31% in 2011,

            Are you suggesting here that a difference of plus 2.38% between 2008 and 2011 can be a paltry 5438 actual Party Votes…

          • mike e

            167 votes pg

      • Break down the borrowing that’s led us to our current debt and the surpluses that have paid it off and I will bet you that Labour governments do better on both fronts than National ones.

        Besides which, spending and borrowing is precisely what National have done- they spent everything on ineffective tax cuts for the rich, and had to borrow to even get them! Unlike National, parties of the centre and of the left actually know how to spend money somewhat effectively.

      • millsy 1.1.4

        National cannibalised ACT and UF’s votes. Labour lost votes to NZF and the Greens.

    • RedLogix 1.2

      These ‘zero budgets’ have lots of cumulative effects.

      One that I’m involved in is a good, albeit modest, example. The backcountry hut network in the DOC estate is both vital to the tramping and hunting community (there’s well over 200,000 of us combined), and is the envy of visitors the world over.

      All we want is shelter from the storm. They represent ‘points of safety’ in a way that a tent simply isn’t. Caught out in a weather change on the tops it might take a tough hour or several to reach the nearest hut cold, wet and tired, but however modest, old or run down it is… it’s hugely appreciated. And loved.

      Yet with cutbacks year on year DOC simply don’t have the modest funds needed to maintain them. This isn’t the fault of the field staff. At the same time they have building codes and regulatory standards which they have to apply to these huts which means that each year more and more of these rudimentary structures are ‘condemned’. Yet there is a very real mismatch between technical building standard demanded by a risk averse Department, and the actual far lesser requirements of a tramper/hunter on a cold wet night.

      At present there are strong suggestions that they have listed for ‘removal’ some 30% of the 1000-1100 or so huts that exist. And one can only assume in next round another tranche will be targetted. This is the logic of forever ‘austerity’.

      Even more absurdly they’re spending good money on flying engineers in to report on these buildings, and presumably crews to demolish and remove them. Money that could be used to save them. And once we lose this heritage… we’ll never get it back.

      Is this DOC’s fault? No.

      It is directly the result of a government that has cut funding year on year. It cannot be sustained and it has consequences.

      • Pete George 1.2.1

        These ‘zero budgets’ have lots of cumulative effects.

        So would year after year of stimulation.

        We headed for recession four years ago, that’s an unusually long time. As it is we’ve increased borrowing substantially, with overspending budgets we would come out of the recession much more badly encumbered with debt.

        • RedLogix

          The trouble is Pete, when we lose these huts we will never get them back.

          What you never seem to understand is the inherent asymmetry at work here. Slash burn and cut is easy and cheap. Any fool can do it.

          Building things takes skill, effort and time. Fools need not apply.

          • Colonial Viper

            PG also forgets that the top 5% of NZers have maybe a hundred billion of liquid wealth salted away – a fraction of which is enough wealth to rebuild NZ from the ground up, if it were taxed to that end.

            Getting hold of $7M here to rebuild DoC huts, $11M there to hire specialist itinerant teachers for special needs children, $19M here to give every child in primary school 2L of milk to take home a week is peanuts.

            If that kind of thing was a priority to the nation, rather than sustaining the unaffordable consumption expectations of a cohort of aging upper middle class wealth hoarders.

            • RedLogix

              Exactly CV. In the bigger scheme of things I’m acutely aware that these huts are only one of many, many community assets, resources and programs that are being run into the ground.

              In their own way both National and Labour are guilty of neglecting the power of community initiative. National simply don’t see it as a profit centre for corporate gain, while Labour tended to steer it’s efforts into state bureaucracies.

              In the meantime what really matters to us ordinary people gets bulldozed.

              • Herodotus

                Ordinary people have been screwed by Labour to the same extent as by National. Perhpas that is why Labour has lost traction with the masses. On a day to day basis life got more difficult over the 99-08 years. In a country of 4.5m we are pay the highest cost for housing, we are paid a substance wage and food for a producer nation is more expensive than to our export markets ( as from the likes on Fonterra we have to pay internation prices- Funny as the price has reduced Dairy prices in the super markets are not comming down 🙁 ). Labour has forgotten the masses for winning battles that only the beltway take any notice of.
                DOC have been treated poorly by all govts as a nice tohave expenditure when times are good. Yet NZ builds its image & tourism by how well our country is presented. Spend nothing and all we will have are only introduced flora and fauna and have to go to Germany or the UK to see a living Kiwi !!

                • bbfloyd

                  not interested in the rest of your rant…. just the drivel that states” ordinary people have been screwed by labour to the same extent as national”….

                  regardless of ones shade of politics that stands as utter bullshit……. you really need to get some rational perspective…..

                  my old grandad would have told you to “get your thumb out of your arse sonny”… i disagree. it’s probably safer left alone…..

                • Labour could have been braver, (for instance doing a CGT or removing GST from fresh produce while still in office) but they did make life better for average people, and even for those of us who had it hardest, to an extent. The trouble is that they tried to appease the wealthy elites at the same time, but they’re never appeased by a party that doesn’t do exactly what it’s told, and Labour will never be that party.

                  You’re right that DOC is underfunded by everyone though. Yet another reason you should vote for the Greens. 😉

        • Ed

          With a bit less money being sent overseas and taxed here instead we could actually have jobs, and reduce the cost of unemployment benefits . . .

    • David H 1.3

      And don’t forget they could always attack the beneficiaries next year just in time for the next election. A perfect target.

  2. Vivienne 2

    Responding to Pete,

    My you have been so influenced by NACT rhetoric, that is lies.

    Who did the borrowing and resultant budget deficits? Oh funny this all occured after election 2008!

    NACT to the tune of $250M plus each week and deficites at the end of the financial years.

    Through the Clark -Anderton years the Labour-led government ran surpluses not deficits. Look at the treasury records.

    Unemployment is one of the better indicators of how well the economy is performing. Under NACT it has increased and continues to increase. But then, thank goodness for Australia. If the 1000 New Zealanders heading out each week were staying, I hate to think what the unemployment figures would be!

    One other point Pete. Nearly 1 million enrolled voters did not exercise their vote. So how can you assume National increased it popularity with the size of this abstention?

    • National 2008 – 1,053,398 – 44.93%
      National 2011 – 1,058,636 – 47.31%

      More notably Labour lost support.

      We were headed into recession in 2008 under a Labour led government.

      • Kotahi Tane Huna 2.1.1

        A recession due to a global financial crisis created by neo-liberal fuckwits, which our two biggest trading partners have weathered in better shape than us because the neo-liberal fuckwits you excuse and justify and enable with your lies, Pete George, have pursued economic fantasies rather than common sense.

        • Pete George

          Seeing as Roy Morgan seems to be in vogue:


          Unemployment was 9.3% (down 0.4% since February 2012) — an estimated 1,120,000 Australians were unemployed and looking for work.

          A further 7.9% (unchanged) of the workforce* were working part-time looking for more work (underemployed) — 959,000 Australians.

          In total 17.2% (down 0.3%) of the workforce, or 2.08 million Australians, were unemployed or underemployed.


          And how’s our next biggest trading partner looking now, compared to four years ago?

          • Colonial Viper

            Yep that’s Australia’s two speed mining based economy (the one National wants to copy). Coastal areas of Oz have been slowing down noticeably over the last 2 years.

            What do you expect. Australia is a two product, two customer economy. Coal and iron ore. China and Japan.

            The Japanese economy is well on the way to going tits up shortly, so Australia will follow not long after.

          • Eddie

            Roy Morgan unemployment stats for australia should not be compared to the official stats here. RM’s numbers differ greatly from the australian official stats, which use the same methodology as our official stats. Official unemployment there- 5.2%, here 6.3%

            • Colonial Viper

              Roy Morgan unemployment stats for australia should not be compared to the official stats here. RM’s numbers differ greatly from the australian official stats, which use the same methodology as our official stats.

              Which begs the question – why are the “official” stats so much more favourable?

              From Steve Keen quoting Roy Morgan (my emphasis/comments):

              ”According to the ABS definition, a person who has worked for one hour or more for payment or someone who has worked without pay in a family business, is considered employed regardless of whether they consider themselves employed or not. [That’s a pretty shit definition right?]

              The ABS definition also details that if a respondent is not actively looking for work (ie: applying for work, answering job advertisements, being registered with Centre-link or tendering for work), they are not considered to be unemployed. [i.e. they just fall out of the statistics as an invisible person]

              The Roy Morgan survey, in contrast, defines any respondent who is not employed full or part-time and who is looking for paid employment as being unemployed. ” (Roy Morgan, September 2011)”


              As Steve Keen observes, the Roy Morgan definition gives a truer representation of what is happening to people.

          • mike e

            NZs unemployment will be higher as those who are not looking for work aren’t included

  3. Colonial Viper 3

    English’s “Zero Budget” are likely to be as successful as his “Fiscally Neutral” tax cuts. So don’t worry about it.

  4. Dr Terry 4

    If Pete George is to be permitted to dominate and run the stream of comments, enjoying this game-playing of his, I must reluctantly cease to read or offer my own comment. The tragedy is that this sad man gets away with evoking so much reaction. Does anybody really think he is capable of understanding “reason”? Save time and breath!

    [Blogging is ultimately rooted in the liberal notion of giving ordinary people a voice. It’s not ‘free speech’, rather it is speech shorn of of power and privilege. Prior to the net the public debate was totally dominated by those with access to the media; now it’s you and I having these conversations.

    At the same time we moderate the site. You don’t get to say just anything you please. At a minimum there is the site policy. Beyond that there is a question of what value a commenter brings to the table. That’s a grey area and every moderator approaches this according to the particular commenter’s track record, context … and how cranky we are feeling on the day.

    On balance Pete survives, not because he isn’t irritating and alarmingly stupid at times, but because if I banned everyone who irked me then it would quickly degenerate into an echo chamber. That’s assuming lprent didn’t get peeved and booted my butt first….RL]

    • McFlock 4.1

      Although I find the opinions of folk like pete pretty worthless (and I acccept that the feeling might well be mutual), occasionally the responses do provide some useful points of view – like the differences in unemployment measures described above.

    • marsman 4.2

      Dr Terry. If I see a post that has been doggy-pissed all over by the waffling Pete George I scroll down to a Pete-free patch and read from there. If there’s no Pete-free patch I don’t bother to read the post. Same with the drivel dribbler Gosman.

    • I presume Dr Terry’s a Green – if the Greens are going to get into a coalition government they will have to answer far more probing questions and learn to deal with much more scrutiny than they’ll get from a random blog question.

      They’ll either have to learn to avoid the questions with a bit more grace than demonstrated here, or get radical and be open and transparent – and not hiss off anything they feel uncomfortable with.

      • felix 4.3.1

        Yeah, that’s the most common complaint about you Pete; your questions are too probing and your scrutiny too rigourous.

      • bad12 4.3.2

        Do you mean learning to avoid the questions like this,

        Slippery answering a question from the Greens Russell Norman in the Parliament this week on the National Governments shortfall in revenue from taxation and what part tax cuts for the rich had played in such a shortfall,

        ”Ha ha ha imagine what it would be like if we hadn’t raised GST Ha ha ha”,unquote John Key…

      • We don’t like you because your critiques are vacuous and easily refuted, and you ignore it most of the time when they are, but you’re certainly not worth the precedent of being banned, in my view.

    • David H 4.4

      He’s like a mozzy buzzing away just out of reach of that favourite I put Pete G in the same vein. An annoyance thats just out of range of the slap, or spray, so I just ignore his inane drivel.

  5. Reagan Cline 5

    RedLogix. The huts have to stay and we could do with more of them.
    What is to stop tramping clubs (or even corporates) adopting huts and fund raising to maintain them ?
    You used to be able to pack materials in and build a hut – Hikurangi Hut was a good example and no doubt there are others, and come ti think of it I did a bit of hut maintenance myself – UNPAID. The other thing is the critria the engineers that inspect these huts are using in their reports – how realistic are these ?
    The hut needs a basic timber frame, a window ot two, a door, bunks, a bench, a fireplace, water tank and dunny. None of this is hugely expensive – I just do not get why DOC is claiming the network is too expensive to maintain.
    I don’t mind by the way if we spend less on exterminating introduced plants and animals – it is a losing battle anyway. I reckon track and hut maintenance are far more important – and even more important is showing our children how cool it is to use them.

    • Colonial Viper 5.1

      What is to stop tramping clubs (or even corporates) adopting huts and fund raising to maintain them ?
      You used to be able to pack materials in and build a hut – Hikurangi Hut was a good example and no doubt there are others, and come ti think of it I did a bit of hut maintenance myself – UNPAID.

      And this is happening. As the Government shirks from its activities, ordinary people have to pick up the pieces.

      None of this is hugely expensive – I just do not get why DOC is claiming the network is too expensive to maintain.

      Wake up.

      Budget cuts have already forced DoC to disband specialist teams and positions all around the country, losing huge amounts of expertise and capability which will never be regained or rebuilt.

      You try maintaining the DoC estate for 5c per hectare.

    • RedLogix 5.2

      What is to stop tramping clubs (or even corporates) adopting huts and fund raising to maintain them ?

      Yes. That’s happening to some degree already. Consider the fantastic success of the Permolat group on the West Coast who’ve achieved a remarkable turnaround in the access and status of numerous otherwise threatened huts. (Warning… the link above is saturated with ‘tramping porn’. Safe for work, but hazardous to bandwidth.)

      In the Lower North Is there is a Tararua Hut Committee that currently co-ordinates between various clubs and DoC to achieve exactly what you have in mind. For instance the quirky and unique Blue Range Hut was saved and now maintained by the Masterton Tramping club. DoC used to have some limited funding for this work, but it’s gone now.

      There is stuff going on; we just need to ramp it up to the next level. DoC need to make buying Annual Hut Passes a lot easier and more accessible. Being a member of any hunting or tramping organisation needs to include a mandatory Hut Pass purchase, and the flow of cash from these Passes needs to be a lot more transparently spent on it’s intended purpose. There is a huge opportunity to make it a lot easier for volunteers to contribute to hut and track maintenance. Again there are things happening, but on a modest and fitful scale.

      The entire tramping and hunting community need to wake up to what is happening. Under the current bureaucratic logic we will lose most of them, leaving just a small number of big huts, charging big fees, on a handful of ‘big walks’.

      What impresses me is just how many people are out there. Last weekend I did a quick day trip into Mitre Flats and on my way out I passed 22 people in four different parties heading in for the night. All ages and sizes. And this isn’t an easy walk for most people.

      It’s not a sport, or even a recreation. It’s a way of life. It’s not an exaggeration to say that I pretty much learnt my values in these hills and huts. And yes I really want to see it there for our kids.

    • Draco T Bastard 5.3

      What is to stop tramping clubs (or even corporates) adopting huts and fund raising to maintain them ?

      Nothing but it’s less efficient than having the government do it and thus takes away resources for other things. Generally speaking, that’s why we have community in the first place.

      he hut needs a basic timber frame, a window ot two, a door, bunks, a bench, a fireplace, water tank and dunny. None of this is hugely expensive

      If you don’t take into account the environment around the hut then it’s not but it gets a little more complicated when you do. Also, a basic wooden frame doesn’t help much if it falls down every time it snows (Yes, I have actually heard of buildings built this badly by people who thought standards weren’t needed).

      • RedLogix 5.3.1

        I understand where you are coming from DtB. If you’re building a new hut, it makes sense to do it right. Not fancy… but done right. This need not be expensive, especially if you work to a standard design. The old NZFS six-bunkers were a remarkable success for just this reason.

        Overall I think the best way forward is a strong collaboration between DoC and the community clubs. That’s not effectively happening right now and… coming back to the point of this thread… is an example of what happens when budgets are locked into ‘austerity mode’.

    • joe90 5.4

      I’ll see your remote huts and raise you some Cabin Porn.

  6. Blue 6

    The zero budget is ‘brave’ from a political columnist’s standpoint. But we all know political columnists do not concern themselves with what is right or wrong.

    Skimping will always come back to bite you in the arse in the end. But Small cares nothing for that. When the effects come home to roost, the Key-led government will no longer be in power.

    Leaky homes, Cave Creek, Pike River, they are all meaningless to a political columnist who only looks at the cut and thrust of the here and now.

    The similarity in short-term, shallow thinking recommends right-wing politicians and political columnists to each other.

  7. Pete 7

    Sir Humphrey: If you want to be really sure that the Minister doesn’t accept it, you must say the decision is “courageous”.
    Bernard: And that’s worse than “controversial”?
    Sir Humphrey: Oh, yes! “Controversial” only means “this will lose you votes”. “Courageous” means “this will lose you the election”!

  8. james111 8

    I believe the budget should be a zero budget. If you arent earning the revenue due to the world wide recession you cant spend it. Although I know labor would just take the spend spend spend spend wastefully approach.

    • fender 8.1

      It’s Labour ! not Labor ! For the umpteenth time james 111

      See your sock is overflowing again you dirt eating sock fiddler

    • Draco T Bastard 8.2

      As has been pointed out to you before, it’s NATIONAL that’s taking the “spend spend spend spend wastefully approach.” Which is why the budget is getting blown out every friggen week.

    • Colonial Viper 8.3

      If you arent earning the revenue due to GIVING BILLIONS TO THE ALREADY WEALTHY you cant spend it.

      fify Jimmie 3.

    • RedLogix 8.4

      Nonsense. New Zealand earns it’s way in the world. We actually run a surplus in tradeable goods and services. Did you know that?

      The only reason why we have a Current Account deficit is because there is a huge $12-15b annual outflow of “Reverse Investment Income” …fancy economist speak for “our owners and overlords exporting their profits overseas”.

      And because we are in a global recession the economy is running at somewhat below capacity. In that scenario there is every reason for the government to print some money in order to stimulate demand, utilising that spare capacity.

      But that’s likely too big a sound-bite for you….

      • Colonial Viper 8.4.1

        The only reason why we have a Current Account deficit is because there is a huge $12-15b annual outflow of “Reverse Investment Income” …fancy economist speak for “our owners and overlords exporting their profits overseas”.

        As Greer states, empires are built and maintained by the pumping out of wealth from vassal states (NZ) and centralisation in an imperial core (consisting of the world’s elite 0.01%).

        NZ is, to put it bluntly, on the wrong side of the wealth pump.

  9. bad12 9

    A National Government zero budget=20,000 more unemployed in 18 months…

  10. bad12 10

    Election 2014 will be fought by whats left of National on ”another sale of SOE,s for the greedy, and,”another kick aimed at those reliant on benefits as their income”…

  11. Treetop 11

    I just hope that there will not be a zero budget when it comes to requiring a comprehensive investigation into ACC. NZers require the truth as they have lost the right to sue in most circumstances. The functions of ACC need to be transparent.

  12. gnomic 12

    Erm, is not the answer to whatever the question was here, we are all doomed, resistance is futile. Aotearoa New Zealand has recently given $100 million to the IMF for Greece and Portugal to save them from financial collapse. This would likely be money borrowed from overseas as NZ is already bankrupt to the best of my knowledge.


    This Pete George, is he or it of the same ilk as John Galt? At least we know JG was a fictional character created by a headcase, has anybody ever seen PG in a room with other human beings? But wait, didn’t someone called PG run for an imaginary party in the last election? Imagine being lead by Dunne. Oh all right, don’t even bother trying to imagine that, it could be hazardous to mental health.

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  • Face to face meeting delivers significant progress on NZ-UK FTA
    New Zealand and the UK have committed to accelerating their free trade agreement negotiations with the aim of reaching an agreement in principle this August, Trade Minister Damien O’Connor announced. “We’ve held constructive and productive discussions towards the conclusion of a high-quality and comprehensive FTA that will support sustainable and inclusive trade, and ...
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    8 hours ago
  • Government taking action to protect albatross
    New population figures for the critically endangered Antipodean albatross showing a 5 percent decline per year highlights the importance of reducing all threats to these very special birds, Acting Minister of Conservation Dr Ayesha Verrall says. The latest population modelling, carried out by Dragonfly Data Science, shows the Antipodean albatross ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • Adoption laws under review
    New Zealand’s 66-year-old adoption laws are being reviewed, with public engagement beginning today.  Justice Minister Kris Faafoi said the Government is seeking views on options for change to our adoption laws and system. “The Adoption Act has remained largely the same since 1955. We need our adoption laws to reflect ...
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    1 day ago
  • Wider roll-out of cameras on boats to support sustainability and protect marine life
    Up to 300 inshore commercial fishing vessels will be fitted with on-board cameras by 2024 as part of the Government’s commitment to protect the natural marine environment for future generations.  Minister for Oceans and Fisheries David Parker today announced the funding is now in place for the wider roll out ...
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    2 days ago
  • Plan for vaccine rollout for general population announced
    New Zealanders over 60 will be offered a vaccination from July 28 and those over 55 from August 11, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today. The rollout of the vaccine to the general population will be done in age groups as is the approach commonly used overseas, with those over ...
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    2 days ago
  • New Zealand introduces Belarus travel bans
    New Zealand has imposed travel bans on selected individuals associated with the Lukashenko regime, following ongoing concerns about election fraud and human rights abuses after the 2020 Belarus elections, Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta has announced. The ban covers more than fifty individuals, including the President and key members of ...
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    2 days ago
  • NZ economy grows driven by households, construction and business investment
    The Government’s efforts to secure the recovery have been reflected in the robust rebound of GDP figures released today which show the economy remains resilient despite the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Grant Robertson said. GDP increased 1.6 percent in the first three months of 2021. The Treasury had ...
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    2 days ago
  • Milestone 250th tower continues to improve rural connectivity
    The Government has welcomed the completion of the 250th 4G mobile tower, as part of its push for better rural connectivity. Waikato’s Wiltsdown, which is roughly 80 kilometres south of Hamilton, is home to the new tower, deployed by the Rural Connectivity Group to enable improved service to 70 homes ...
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    2 days ago
  • Quarantine Free Travel pause with Victoria to lift on Tuesday
    Following a further public health assessment of the COVID-19 outbreak in greater Melbourne, New Zealand’s Quarantine Free Travel pause with Victoria has been extended to 11.59pm on Tuesday 22 June, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins says. It has been determined that the risk to public health in New Zealand continues ...
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    2 days ago
  • Prime Minister mourns passing of Dr Sir Ian Hassall
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is mourning the passing of Dr Sir Ian Hassall, New Zealand’s first Children’s Commissioner and lifelong champion for children and children’s health. As a paediatrician Sir Ian contributed to a major world-first cot death study that has been directly credited with reducing cot deaths in New ...
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    3 days ago
  • APEC structural reform meeting a success
    APEC ministers have agreed working together will be crucial to ensure economies recover from the impact of COVID-19. Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs David Clark, chaired the virtual APEC Structural Reform Ministerial Meeting today which revolved around the overarching theme of promoting balanced, inclusive, sustainable, innovative and secure growth ...
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    3 days ago
  • Digital hub to boost investment in forestry
    A new website has been launched at Fieldays to support the forestry sector find the information it needs to plant, grow and manage trees, and to encourage investment across the wider industry. Forestry Minister Stuart Nash says the new Canopy website is tailored for farmers, iwi and other forestry interests, ...
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    3 days ago
  • Government continues support for rangatahi to get into employment, education and training
    Over 230 rangatahi are set to benefit from further funding through four new He Poutama Rangatahi programmes, Minister for Social Development and Employment Carmel Sepuloni announced today. “We’re continuing to secure our economic recovery from COVID by investing in opportunities for rangatahi to get into meaningful employment, education or training ...
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    3 days ago
  • NCEA subjects up for consultation
    The education sector, students, their parents, whānau and communities are invited to share their thoughts on a list of proposed NCEA subjects released today, Education Minister Chris Hipkins says. This is a significant part of the Government’s NCEA Change Programme that commenced in 2020 and will be largely implemented by ...
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    3 days ago
  • Major investment in plantain forage programme aims to improve freshwater quality
    The Government is backing a major programme investigating plantain’s potential to help farmers protect waterways and improve freshwater quality, Acting Agriculture Minister Meka Whaitiri announced at Fieldays today. The Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures (SFFF) fund is contributing $8.98 million to the $22.23 million seven-year programme, which aims to deliver ...
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    3 days ago
  • America’s Cup decision
    The Minister responsible for the America’s Cup has confirmed the joint Crown-Auckland Council offer to host the next regatta has been declined by the Board of Team New Zealand. “The exclusive period of negotiation between the Crown, Auckland Council, and Team New Zealand ends tomorrow, 17 June,” said Stuart Nash. ...
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    3 days ago
  • Food and fibres sector making significant strides towards New Zealand’s economic recovery
    The Government is backing the food and fibres sector to lead New Zealand's economic recovery from COVID-19 with targeted investments as part of its Fit for a Better World roadmap, Forestry Minister Stuart Nash said. “To drive New Zealand’s recovery, we launched the Fit for a Better World – Accelerating ...
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    3 days ago
  • Speech to He Whenua Taurikura – New Zealand’s annual hui on countering terrorism and violent...
    Check against delivery Can I begin by acknowledging the 51 shuhada, their families and the Muslim community. It is because of the atrocious violent act that was done to them which has led ultimately to this, the start of a dialogue and a conversation about how we as a nation ...
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    4 days ago
  • Cost of Government Southern Response proactive package released
    The Government has announced the proactive package for some Southern Response policyholders could cost $313 million if all those eligible apply. In December, the Minister Responsible for the Earthquake Commission, David Clark announced a proactive package for SRES claimants who settled their claims before October 2014. It trailed the judgment ...
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    4 days ago
  • New support to reduce emissions from public building and construction projects
    Government agencies are getting new support to reduce carbon emissions generated by construction of new buildings, with the release of practical guidance to shape decisions on public projects. The Ministers for Building and Construction and for Economic Development say a new Procurement Guide will help government agencies, private sector suppliers, ...
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    4 days ago
  • He Whenua Taurikura: New Zealand’s first Hui on Countering Terrorism and Violent Extremism
    The Prime Minister has opened New Zealand’s first hui on Countering Terrorism and Violent Extremism, which is being held in Christchurch over the next two days. The hui delivers on one of the recommendations from the report of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the terrorist attack on Christchurch masjidain ...
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    4 days ago
  • Speech to inaugural Countering Terrorism Hui
    E aku nui, e aku rahi, Te whaka-kanohi mai o rātou mā, Ru-ruku-tia i runga i te ngākau whakapono, Ru-ruku-tia i runga i te ngākau aroha, Waitaha, Ngāti Mamoe, Ngai Tahu, nāu rā te reo pohiri. Tena tātou katoa. Ki te kotahi te kakaho ka whati, ki te kapuia, e ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Campaign shines a light on elder abuse
    A new campaign is shining a spotlight on elder abuse, and urging people to protect older New Zealanders. Launched on World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, the Office for Seniors’ campaign encourages friends, whānau and neighbours to look for the signs of abuse, which is often hidden in plain sight. “Research suggests ...
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    4 days ago
  • Farewelling sports administrator and philanthropist Sir Eion Edgar
    Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson today expressed his sorrow at the passing of Sir Eion Edgar – a leading sports administrator and celebrated philanthropist who has made a significant impact both within and beyond the sport sector. “Sir Eion’s energy, drive and generosity has been truly immense. He leaves ...
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    5 days ago
  • Government to apologise for Dawn Raids
    The Government will make a formal apology for the wrongs committed during the Dawn Raids of the 1970’s. Between 1974 and 1976, a series of rigorous immigration enforcement policies were carried out that resulted in targeted raids on the homes of Pacific families. The raids to find, convict and deport overstayers ...
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    5 days ago
  • Humanitarian support for Bangladesh and Myanmar
    Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta today announced that New Zealand is providing NZ $8.25 million in humanitarian assistance to support refugees and their host populations in Bangladesh and to support humanitarian need of internally displaced and conflict affected people in Myanmar.  “Nearly four years after 900,000 Rohingya crossed the border ...
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    5 days ago
  • Poroporoaki: Dame Georgina Kamiria Kirby
    E Te Kōkō Tangiwai, Te Tuhi Mareikura, Te Kākākura Pokai kua riro i a matou. He toka tū moana ākinga ā tai, ākinga ā hau, ākinga ā ngaru tūātea.  Haere atu rā ki te mūrau a te tini, ki te wenerau a te mano.  E tae koe ki ngā rire ...
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    5 days ago
  • Feedback sought on future of housing and urban development
    New Zealanders are encouraged to have their say on a long-term vision for housing and urban development to guide future work, the Housing Minister Megan Woods has announced. Consultation starts today on a Government Policy Statement on Housing and Urban Development (GPS-HUD), which will support the long-term direction of Aotearoa ...
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    5 days ago
  • Clean car package to drive down emissions
    New rebates for electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles start July 1 with up to $8,625 for new vehicles and $3,450 for used. Electric vehicle chargers now available every 75km along most state highways to give Kiwis confidence. Low Emission Transport Fund will have nearly four times the funding by 2023 ...
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    6 days ago
  • Progress towards simpler process for changing sex on birth certificates
    The Government is taking the next step to support transgender, non-binary and intersex New Zealanders, by progressing the Births, Deaths, Marriages and Relationships Registration Bill, Minister of Internal Affairs, Jan Tinetti announced today. “This Government understands that self-identification is a significant issue for transgender, non-binary and intersex New Zealanders, and ...
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    6 days ago
  • Crown speeds up engagement with takutai moana applicants
    The Crown is taking a new approach to takutai moana applications to give all applicants an opportunity to engage with the Crown and better support the Māori-Crown relationship, Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Minister Andrew Little says. Following discussions with applicant groups, the Crown has reviewed the existing takutai moana application ...
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    1 week ago
  • Alcohol and Other Drug Treatment (AODT) Court opens
    The Minister of Justice, Kris Faafoi, and the Minister for Courts, Aupito William Sio, have welcomed the opening of a new Alcohol and Other Drug Treatment (AODT) Court in Hamilton. The AODT Court (Te Whare Whakapiki Wairua) addresses situations where substance abuse and offending are intertwined. “New Zealanders have told ...
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    1 week ago
  • EU and UK FTAs top of list for first ministerial trip since COVID-19
    Trade and Export Growth Minister Damien O’Connor today announced details of his planned visit to the United Kingdom and European Union next week, where he will hold trade and agriculture discussions to further New Zealand’s economic recovery from COVID-19. The visit will add political weight to ongoing negotiations with both the EU ...
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    1 week ago
  • Arihia Bennett to chair Royal Commission Ministerial Advisory Group
    Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu chief executive Arihia Bennett MNZM has been appointed chair of the newly appointed Ministerial Advisory Group on the Government’s Response to the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the terrorist attack on Christchurch mosques. “Twenty-eight people from diverse backgrounds across Aotearoa have been selected for the ...
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    1 week ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Medical Association General Practitioners' Conference, Rotorua
    Ki ngā pou maha o te whare hauora o Aotearoa, kei te mihiTo the pillars of our health system I acknowledge/thank you Ki te ope hapai hauora o roto o tēnei rūma, kei te mihi To our health force here in the room today, I acknowledge/thank you He taura tangata, ...
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    1 week ago
  • Karangahape Road upgrades are streets ahead
    The upgrades to Karangahape Road makes the iconic street more pedestrian and cycle-friendly, attractive and environmentally sustainable, Transport Minister Michael Wood and Auckland Mayor Phil Goff said at the formal celebration of the completion of the Karangahape Road Enhancements project. The project included widening footpaths supporting a better outdoor dining ...
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    1 week ago
  • Speech to APEC business event
    E ngā tumu herenga waka, ākina ā ngaru, ākina ā tai ka whakatere ngā waka ki te whakapapa pounamu, otirā, ki Tamaki o ngā waka Tena koutou katoa… To the great leaders assembled, who guided your waka through turbulent times, challenging waters and you continue to navigate your respective waka ...
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    1 week ago
  • Pause on Quarantine Free Travel with Victoria extended
    Following an assessment of the COVID-19 outbreak in greater Melbourne, New Zealand’s Quarantine Free Travel pause with Victoria will continue for a further seven days, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins says. There are now 93 cases associated with the outbreak in greater Melbourne, spread over four clusters. Contact tracing efforts ...
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    1 week ago
  • Supplier Diversity Aotearoa Summit: Navigate 2021
    *** Check with delivery *** A mihi to all who have contributed to making today a success – starting with you! As you have explored and navigated government procurement today you will hopefully have reflected on the journey of our people so far – and how you can make a ...
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    1 week ago
  • Pukemiro School to close
    Pukemiro Primary School near Huntly will close following years of declining roll numbers, Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. “I’ve consulted with the School Commissioner, and this decision acknowledges the fact that the few remaining students from last term are now settled at other nearby schools. “I want to thank ...
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    1 week ago