web analytics

Australia: screaming backwards with CGT

Written By: - Date published: 1:51 pm, July 13th, 2011 - 57 comments
Categories: brand key, capital gains, Economy, making shit up, russel norman - Tags:

Russel Norman put a dagger into John Key yesterday in question time asking whether a series of national and international economic authorities really wanted to “put a dagger through the heart of growth” with a CGT.

Key waffled and whined and contradicted himself: ‘it won’t raise any money’, ‘it’s a tax grab’, ‘it’ll send the economy backwards’, ‘everyone will avoid it’, ‘it’s hideously complex’, ‘we already have one’, ‘it won’t solve the problem’, ‘we already basically did this and fixed the problem’.

But the best moment was when Norman looked at the evidence across the Tasman.

Dr Russel Norman: Has the Prime Minister seen the evidence that the Australian economy has outperformed the New Zealand economy every year since 1985, the same year that Australia first introduced a capital gains tax, which would supposedly put a dagger through the economy?

Rt Hon JOHN KEY: There are many differences between the New Zealand and Australian economies…. (followed by over a minute of increasingly hysterical non sequiturs)

So, is Norman right? Not precisely, New Zealand grew faster than Australia a couple of times,  but the Australian economy vastly outstripped New Zealand’s overall, growing 58% per capita since 1985 compared to New Zealand’s 28%. It was after CGT was introduced there, and the neoliberal reforms took hold here, that the gap really opened up.

And it’s clear that did not go “screaming backwards” when CGT was introduced, as Key would have you believe:

Australia’s growth per capita has averaged 0.5% per quarter since CGT came in compared to 0.4% before had as far back as records go.

I don’t know about you, but if CGT is a dagger through the heart, I would prefer it to slow starvation via neglect from Key and co.

– Bright Red

57 comments on “Australia: screaming backwards with CGT”

  1. freedom 1

    ( sardonic tone ) hate to point out the obvious but NZ is not on that graph so how is the all important visual comparison meant to be made? We know it is true because all data supports the facts, but the RWNJ brigade will cry foul that the post is confusing and murray already has a headache from all the whistling

  2. queenstfarmer 2

    My take on Key’s claims:

    ‘it won’t raise any money’ – partially true. Indications are it will raise close to a billion, after about a decade. In the short term (next few years) it won’t raise much.

    ‘it’s a tax grab’ – it’s a tax increase, that’s for certain, though it won’t be felt immediately.

    ‘it’ll send the economy backwards’ – probably false (i.e. unlikely), but unknown.

    ‘everyone will avoid it’ – partially true. People will try to avoid it, and wealther people tend to (legally) avoid tax much more than others.

    ‘it’s hideously complex’ – compared to other taxes, true.

    ‘we already have one’ – true, but it’s a bit kneecapped.

    ‘it won’t solve the problem’ – true, if the problem is how does Labour propose to fund extravagent spending promises.

    • Colonial Viper 2.1

      ‘it’s hideously complex’ – compared to other taxes, true.

      Not compared to the earnings from foreign investments regime mate. Not one bit as complex.

      • Jim Nald 2.1.1

        Complex? Difficult? The sky will fall?

        On the eve of Labour’s tax policy announcement, I am relaxed.

        I have, just this afternoon, scheduled an appointment with my bank about my plans in the next few months to buy another house.

        I am working out my own finances and long term plans, and come what may with Labour’s policy, I will be comfortable.

    • Reality Bytes 2.2

      Sure It may take a decade to raise a billion annually by some forecasts.

      BUT…

      What about the capital that gets redirected into other productive areas like business investment, as more investors shy away from property speculation. What about the increased tax revenue due to that?

      The decreased social welfare costs from the knock on effect of greater available employment opportunities…

      And from that the increased tax revenue from PAYE due to the greater number of people employed…

      And from that the increased tax revenue from GST due to a greater number employed having greater disposable income…

      And increased tax revenue from businesses that would not exist if the capital was tied up in over-priced property speculation…

      And all of the above repeated as more people with more disposable income have more potential to invest.

      Oh and more reasonably priced housing, meaning less of a brain-drain, as less people jump the ditch to Aussie.

      The direct tax take from the CGT is just the icing on the cake, I suspect the benefits from all of the above mentioned would be far far greater than the basic amount that CGT would bring in.

      • queenstfarmer 2.2.1

        That is possible – and actually why I am cautiously in favour of a limited CGT – although note that the Aussie graph above didn’t take off after CGT, as well as not going down. So it is far from clear whether it would boost the economy (though again I like the rationale)

  3. davidc 3

    Why compare ourselves to Oz? They are more than a little different to lil ole NZ. 57% of what they export comes out of a hole in the ground, and frankly who cares? nice place to visit but wouldnt wanna live there!

    • Blighty 3.1

      are you saying that mining is the reason why cgt didn’t send Australia ‘screaming backwards’?

      Please explain how.

      • davidc 3.1.1

        Record earning thru mining so the export earnings are fantastic and the service industries that support mining are coining it all keeps gdp boyant, but really my point was that its not an apples to apples comparison.

        • Blighty 3.1.1.1

          um. are you claiming that Australia was going through a mining boom in the mid 80s and that was all that stopped Australia from going ‘screaming backwards’ due to the introduction of CGT?

          • davidc 3.1.1.1.1

            Yip 🙂

            Remembering that CGT takes a long time to get into gear and by the time it did the mining boom was well underway.

            • Blighty 3.1.1.1.1.1

              that’s retarded.

              you have no evidence. You just want something, anything, up to avoid the clear facts that CGT didn’t hurt the Australian economy

              • Colonial Viper

                Australia wasn’t hurt by the CGT not because of the mining which is merely a confounding factor, but because large deserts make countries less susceptible to the negative economic affects of a CGT. And Australia has plenty of those.

                Aussie Rules also plays a part as that changes the social dynamics of the society, which studies have shown reduce the potential negative effects of a CGT.

                New Zealand, absent these protective factors, is definitely at heightened risk from going backwards so Key is right.

            • Robert M 3.1.1.1.1.2

              This is part of the truth, but Australia is a vastly wealthier country. The rich list people in Australia are ten times wealthier than their compatriots in NZ. Education and health are vastly more private domains in Australia. Half the school age population in Australia goes to private schools. \Much of the Australian middle class will draw the majority of their income from shares, inheritance and company and business ownership. That isn’t remotely the case here. Australias reliance on mineral wealth may be regarded as an exception-but it is also true that NZ excessively relies on agricultural industries which have largely reached their sustainable limit. \Investment of new tech in agriculture will not necessarily produce great medium term gains. CGT is another tax on the bright and the professional classes. It will be a furthur barrier to keeping talent in the country. It is a tax born of ignorance, cynicism and envy.

              • Colonial Viper

                CGT is another tax on the bright and the professional classes. It will be a furthur barrier to keeping talent in the country. It is a tax born of ignorance, cynicism and envy.

                Singing for your supper on behalf of the top 5% of NZ society eh? Or is that the top 1%?

                US style tax welfare for the wealthy is wrecking their country and it isn’t welcome here. The chant of the Republican Party is simple: tax cuts for the rich, service cuts for the poor!!!

                It will be a furthur barrier to keeping talent in the country.

                Actually I am hoping that all the speculators and ticket clippers will go and we can get on with building a properly productive NZ.

        • mik e 3.1.1.2

          AUS also introduced the compulsory super scheme around that time as well.now they have$1.4trilion in savings no wonder Australia hasn,t had a recession since 1980 while we,ve had 6 most of them on nationals watch only one on Labours , in fact National have only managed to get 9.5% economic growth by volume in 12years Labour manged 28% in 9 years !

          • Jim Nald 3.1.1.2.1

            NZ could have come out much better now if our super wasn’t killed?

            Brian Gaynor’s pieces:

            http://www.nzherald.co.nz/super-fund/news/article.cfm?c_id=468&objectid=10465138

            http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10667652

            “A dreadful political decision, announced on December 15, 1975, transformed New Zealand from the potential Switzerland of the Southern Hemisphere into a low-ranking OECD economy.

            “Without this decision we would now be called “The Antipodean Tiger” and be the envy of the rest of the world. We would have a current account surplus, one of the lowest interest-rate structures in the world and would probably rank as one of the top five OECD economies.

            ….

            “The irony is that we once had a fantastic superannuation scheme which was terminated by Prime Minister Robert Muldoon on December 15, 1975.

            “This was the worst economic decision by any New Zealand government in the past 50 years and turned the country from being a potential Switzerland of the Southern Hemisphere into a low-ranking OECD country that is falling further and further behind its next-door neighbour.”

  4. Herodotus 4

    Key waffled and whined and contradicted himself: ‘it won’t raise any money’, ‘it’s a tax grab’, ‘it’ll send the economy backwards’, ‘everyone will avoid it’,
    There is already a CGT it was just that the IRD and various govts decided for what ever reasons not to enforce the legislation and interpretations at the time. I am sure we all know of examples where individuals were trading in property and not contributing their fair share to society, and from this insightful link !!!
    http://www.national.org.nz/Article.aspx?articleId=9733
    For example, in 2004, IRD targeted property investment in Queenstown, Wanaka and some parts of Auckland. They gathered an extra $106.6 million in tax from those investigations, including $52.9 million from Auckland alone.
    So I would love to ask P.Dunn, and senior members of previous govts why they did not have as a priority enforcement of this legislation ? Why was it acceptable for many to avoid paying their due taxes ? and finally what steps are in place currently to hold people accountable for taxes they owe from any previous capital gains (its not rocket science to search LINZ database for patterns of property trading)?

    • davidc 4.1

      Herodotus, I agree.
      There is a vast black ecconomy that could be taxed if IRD got of its arse.
      Typical scenario is the self employed builder/plumber/sparkie who builds or tarts up a house using materials that have been purchased thru his company and written off on other jobs so not only does he not pay income tax on the materials he claims the GST and then gets a tax free profit on the house when its sold.
      Enforcement is the answer not renaming the tax.

      • Colonial Viper 4.1.1

        Need a wealth tax of around 0.5% p.a.

        • sean maitland 4.1.1.1

          All you envious little lefties, jealous with rage, wanting to grab other peoples money and get your filthy little bludging paws all over it……

          • rosy 4.1.1.1.1

            You think? I’m one of many who doesn’t need anyone else’s money, but I do think broadening the tax base, including a CGT is a really good idea. A few very rich people around the world are also thinking broadening the tax base is a really good idea. I particularly like this headline:

            German Rich Demand Higher Taxes

            You need to get with the programme Sean, being greedy is losing its cool.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.2

      There is already a CGT it was just that the IRD and various govts decided for what ever reasons not to enforce the legislation and interpretations at the time.

      No, it’s that the rules around it are so amorphous as to be impractical to apply. They have to work at it proving every single case which would mean that, if it was applied across the board, it would most likely cost more to administer than it could possibly collect.

      • Herodotus 4.2.1

        DTB I would question
        They have to work at it proving every single case which would mean that, if it was applied across the board, it would most likely cost more to administer than it could possibly collect.
        As when the IRD took individuakls to court and were sucessful a history of precedent would build up. Sure there would be some who would escape, this would have reduced the necessity for a CGT as much of whatthis may collect would already have been collected !!!!!!
        – yet those who assigned a Sales & Purchase comtract to a 3rd party and took a gain would find it difficult to argue that there was an element of non speculation, also those who traded property 3,4 5+ or more properties over say a 6 yr period, and there were many in this boat. For this it should have been the easily picked fruit thatthe IRD went after, instead of NO FRUIT !!!
        With my limited knowledge I would be surprised it over the 5th Lab govts tenor I could not have collected 100+ million p.a.
        Perhaps the CGT is Phils/labs conscience acting up over what previous govts were entitle to and failed to collect.

        • Draco T Bastard 4.2.1.1

          Perhaps they could have but why not make it easier and cheaper to do so?

  5. freedom 5

    There’s a vast in your face economy too and only a fraction of the Tax debt has been paid

    All the major banks and so many other Multinationals have regularly had extensions for hundreds of millions in tax and you want to thumbscrew the chippies and the house cleaners
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10601998

  6. Herodotus 6

    I am aware of many builders who “lost” materials when building their own home/bach on other projects. This allowed them to min the cost of their home (max the capital gain) and to claim as deductions for coy tax and GST on the business (saving over 40% in materials costs 12.5% GST and the 33% on the 87.5% on materials).
    It was a standing joke that whenever a builder built a pool for himself there was also 1 being constructed for a client-funny how many pools required 2 filter pumps, extra concrete and pool fencing, and how is the IRD to know who is a builder when as an occupation they entered Company Director?
    I had at the pub one night the priviledge of listening to a builder complain how hard it was for him to lose a $70k cash job and for the IRD not to know. How some are so unfortunate 😉

    • davidc 6.1

      On your ACC paperwork you have to say what you do, that shouldnt be too hard for IRD to work out.

      Also shouldnt be too hard to line up company directors names/company names and vendors on LINZ or RPNZ that keep popping up. If company sells houses and same director sells houses then director should be audited!
      Also spot audits on companies would turn up all sorts. I was in construction for nearly 20 years and never once audited, but I course I was clean anyways!
      I had read but I cant remember where that for every dollar expended by IRD on audit they bring in $8.

    • Ianupnorth 6.2

      People laugh or go into denial when I tell them I know of a 25m long salt water lap pool built as a ‘fire dam’ on a BOP dairy farm, and a Bijon Frise that has its food and vet bills claimed as business expenses as it ‘catches rodents’.
       

  7. Ianupnorth 7

    BTW, how do you put a dagger into growth when there isn’t any?

  8. RedLogix 8

    I have to agree Herodotus; the real failure lay with the govt in the 90’s which according to my own accountant, who is himself ex-IRD, deliberately directed IRD not to put much resource into enforcing this aspect of tax law.

    I’ve said this before… almost all of the effect of a CGT tax would be achieved simply by properly enforcing the existing tax law.

    Now I do know that it took the 5th Labour govt some years to gain an appreciation of what was going on. It was as late as 2005 before Dr Cullen directed IRD to beef up it’s resources in this area and immediately on doing so started finding all amounts of avoided tax.

    And that on gaining office one of this National govt’s first priorities has been stripping that same resource out of IRD.

    And the existing law is not actually all that ill-defined. The current rules are actually quite clear and difficult to avoid.

    I’m not so much against a CGT, after all I’m quite comfortable with the current rules which I believe amount to much the same thing, I’m just underwhelmed by it all.

    • Colonial Viper 8.1

      I’m not so much against a CGT, after all I’m quite comfortable with the current rules which I believe amount to much the same thing, I’m just underwhelmed by it all.

      Its just a start mate. Rest of the package comes out tomorrow. Asset taxes and capital/currency controls are needed as well.

    • wtl 8.2

      Your comment suggests that one of the main problems with the current law is that enforcement is dependent on the whims of the government of the day. On that basis, a change to the law, as Labour is proposing, would help overcome this problem – any future government would have to repeal the new law, making their intent plain for all to see, rather than the current rather nebulous approach of turning a blind eye.

      • RedLogix 8.2.1

        any future government would have to repeal the new law, making their intent plain for all to see, rather than the current rather nebulous approach of turning a blind eye.

        Yes.. that’s not a bad point. But then again while I can accept a CGT rule would perhaps work better from an avoidance point of view, you have to recall that the current rule pings the entire capital gain at the applicable marginal tax rate, usually 33%… while Labour’s proposed policy is only rated at 15%.

        Worse still because the ‘grandfathering’ date would 2012 at the earliest, it would effectively give a free pass to huge amounts of capital gain accumulated over the last decade.

        The other thing that generally concerns me about these kinds of rules is that they penalise improvements. In other words if I do the place up, and pay for it out of my own tax paid income… then if I sell the asset for a gain… then I effectively pay tax on the value of the improvements a second time.

        The other effect often seen in other countries is that the small mum and dad rental investors are slowly but surely pushed out of the market, which is gradually concentrated into the hands of a few relatively few very large landlords.

        Combine these two effects and I wonder if it isn’t a bit a recipie for slum-landording. Just thinking..

        • Colonial Viper 8.2.1.1

          The other thing that generally concerns me about these kinds of rules is that they penalise improvements. In other words if I do the place up, and pay for it out of my own tax paid income… then if I sell the asset for a gain… then I effectively pay tax on the value of the improvements a second time.

          Let’s say an investment in improvements of $10,000 secures a capital gain of $5,000 at sale a couple of years later.

          That investment has just returned you $5000 beyond the capital you originally put in.

          It appears to me that $5000 investment gain should be taxed, just like it would have been if you had received it as dividends, interest payments or wages (albeit at different rates).

          The other effect often seen in other countries is that the small mum and dad rental investors are slowly but surely pushed out of the market

          Why would this concentration occur? Currently we have an effect where younger New Zealanders are unable to afford houses at current prices, but a small number of New Zealanders can afford several.

          Combine these two effects and I wonder if it isn’t a bit a recipie for slum-landording. Just thinking..

          There are a few student flat districts I am aware of which isn’t too far off this.

          • Herodotus 8.2.1.1.1

            Come tomorow I hope that Lab (D.Cunliffe) has filled in the small print.

            There to me appears that there will be plenty of scope for the gains that have accumulated over the years to be lost for all time. It would be great to read that in association with any (rumoured) CGT that the IRD will be able to retrospectively review past trading activities pre 2005 (7 yrs previous from this years election). So to be fair those that have profited from marginal activity in the past will also be caught (using the existing legislation and extending to cover more than 7 yrs).

            I have yet to hear of any investigations into share trading and tax being applied to this activity.

            The other aspect I have yet to hear is how the govt will be able to serve a tax notice on non-residents, as if the tax is payable based on the tax year, profits that have been obtained how will these be collected. As the basis for withholding tax is to receipt payment at source so should there be flight the govt has already received payment, how will this be captured with a CGT? I have not read how other countries overcome this, and it was previlent in 04-07.

            • Colonial Viper 8.2.1.1.1.1

              There to me appears that there will be plenty of scope for the gains that have accumulated over the years to be lost for all time.

              What gains? Its worth taking stock here.

              Virtually every dollar of “gains” in the property market was backed my another dollar of mortgage debt.

              • Herodotus

                The gains I am referring to are those whereby property was purchased in the 01-04 period whereby the greatest gains were achieved, and even with the current depressed market there are still capital gains that have not been realised.
                The background effort that Lab has placed will be evident by tomorrows announcement. If it is well planned with detail or if it is just chasing headlines with little detail, just like the 39% tax rate and all the loopholes that were allowed that resulted for many to divert income and pay lower tax rates.
                Knowing the number of non resident Kiwis in 2 areas in Auckland that have traded in property I am worried that they will escape this tax, as they will not appear in any tax records. just lik ethe current tax that allows GST registered to purchaes land GSt excl. Now I wonder how many people have a made upGSt no?

            • Lanthanide 8.2.1.1.1.2

              “It would be great to read that in association with any (rumoured) CGT that the IRD will be able to retrospectively review past trading activities pre 2005 (7 yrs previous from this years election).”

              Electoral suicide if declared before the election.

              But you are advised to keep tax records for 7 years, so all of these people currently evading tax don’t really have any excuse if they’re audited.

          • RedLogix 8.2.1.1.2

            @CV

            It appears to me that $5000 investment gain should be taxed, just like it would have been if you had received it as dividends, interest payments or wages (albeit at different rates).

            I’m not sure the numbers you give work out the way you intended.

            If I had invested say $10,000 in a bank account and then close the account at the end of the year (the equivalent of selling)… you expect the say $400 interest earned to be counted as income and therefore taxable. But you’d be outraged if the taxman counted the entire $10,400 as income and taxed you 33% on the whole amount.

            So if I have spent the same $10k (from tax paid income) adding improvements to a property (maybe even just my own labour), and it gained an extra $15k on resale as a result… I’d happily pay tax on the $5k surplus… but the whole $15k would be a different matter would it not?

            So what was my ‘capital gain’ again?

            Why would this concentration occur? Currently we have an effect where younger New Zealanders are unable to afford houses at current prices, but a small number of New Zealanders can afford several.

            Well it does seem to be the experience in some overseas countries I can think of. For example in Scotland IIRC some 90% of the houses are owned by less than 4% of the population. Landlords owning 10,000’s of houses for generations are commonplace.

            If you make landlording unattractive for ordinary investors the residential rental market might shrink somewhat (but never drop below I’d guess 25% of homes) it would likely be taken up by large cashed up entities via the usual processes of capitalism.

        • Lanthanide 8.2.1.2

          “Yes.. that’s not a bad point. But then again while I can accept a CGT rule would perhaps work better from an avoidance point of view, you have to recall that the current rule pings the entire capital gain at the applicable marginal tax rate, usually 33%… while Labour’s proposed policy is only rated at 15%.

          Worse still because the ‘grandfathering’ date would 2012 at the earliest, it would effectively give a free pass to huge amounts of capital gain accumulated over the last decade.”

          I don’t believe Labour’s new law is going to replace the existing one. It simply means if you are buying deliberately for a capital gain and no other purpose, you should have the gain taxed as income. If you aren’t buying deliberately for capital gain, you’ll just pay the 15%.

          Therefore, the grandfathering law isn’t going to stop people who bought properties deliberately for the capital gains for having to declare that as income. I guess it’s possible that IRD may ease off on their collections and prosecutions in this area once the new law is passed, though.

        • mikesh 8.2.1.3

          A similar sort of thing occurs with shares when profits are retained, since retained earnings would normally be expected to cause an increase in the share price. But even though the company has already paid tax on those earnings, a shareholder selling subsequently will have to pay CGT, so the earnings end up being taxed twice.

    • Draco T Bastard 8.3

      And the existing law is not actually all that ill-defined.

      Apparently, as reported on here a few days ago, Treasury and the IRD disagree with you.

  9. alex 9

    Dr Norman should be made finance minister if Labour win, after all, Labour are mining Green policies pretty heavily.

    • Reality Bytes 9.1

      For sure.

      If greens are the kingmaker’s, it’s a virtual certainty. And Norman/Metiria being co-deputy prime-ministers will be part of the deal.

      • felix 9.1.1

        Are you both high?

        • Reality Bytes 9.1.1.1

          “If” is a conjunction that can introduce a conditional clause.

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conditional_clause

          IF Greens are the kingmakers, you CAN GUARANTEE Key will be offering them co-deputy prime ministerships, and the Greens will get the same offer from Labour.

          Governments say we won’t work with this or that party, but speeches or promises are not the same thing as actual power. They will quickly change their tune and backtrack on said promises, arguing we had to change or mind because it’s important for the country we are in power etc…

          Exactly the same as Goff will work with Mana even though he says he won’t.

          No I am not high, thanks for asking. Interesting segway, but please try to keep on topic.

          • felix 9.1.1.1.1

            Maybe if you got high you wouldn’t be so patronising. Give it a go.

            What you’re suggesting is of course possible but would represent a major break with convention which wouldn’t be undertaken on a whim if at all.

            For post election negotiations to result in such an outcome, at least one of the two larger parties would need to be willing to countenance such an unprecedented governing arrangement. Possible, but if neither are then no dice.

            Therefore there’s no such guarantee anyone can make.

            Contrary to what’s often thrown around in these discussions, being in a “kingmaker” position doesn’t mean you get whatever you want. It means you get whatever the “kings” are willing to give up.

            • Reality Bytes 9.1.1.1.1.1

              Mate, I think getting accused of having an opinion for merely being high, to be patronizing, hence my response, so what goes around comes around. But I laugh it off and give a bit of quid pro quo patronizing response myself, no offense intended, just a bit of friendly dueling 🙂

              But back to the topic, I agree, being a Kingmaker doesn’t guarantee anything, but boy does it make a difference! It all comes down to how much balls/ovaries the theoretical kingmaker has.

          • Lanthanide 9.1.1.1.2

            “Exactly the same as Goff will work with Mana even though he says he won’t.”

            Not really, because Mana will NEVER go with National. The only situation in which Labour need to actively deal with Mana is the case where, without Mana, Labour is beaten by a repeat of the current government makeup: Nat + Act + MP + UF. Such an outcome as this is quite unlikely, because you could flip MP over to Labour’s side and therefore not need Mana.

  10. Georgecom 10

    Nice stuff from Norman using Keys comments over and over again to expose the hysteria that Key tried to inject into the debate. A nice clinical disection of the prime Minister. Basically Key was done over with his own words. Also nice interjection by Cunliffe that Key may want to try quoting McBeth.

  11. alex 11

    All I’m saying Felix is that Dr Norman has the chops as an economist, I’m not saying that the Greens will be offered high cabinet positions, after all, they continually get shafted by Labour, and the membership would never accept supporting National.
    But seriously, a strong Green party would do wonders for both the quality of policy produced by Parliament and the quality of debate. They play the ball, not the man.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Today’s secrecy legislation
    Introducing legislation which shits on the public's right to know seems to have become a daily occurrence for this government. Today's example is the Infrastructure Funding and Financing Bill. The bill establishes a framework for the establishment of "special purpose vehicles" (SPVs) to hide debt from local government balance sheets ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 hours ago
  • Hard News: Public Address Word of the Year 2019: Time to vote!
    Below is the longlist of words and phrases generated in the korero phase of Public Address Word of the Year 2019, with some editorial moderation. Now it's time to vote. As you'll doubtless be able to see, you get three ranked choices. Use your power wisely. Or frivolously, whatever.As usual, ...
    3 hours ago
  • Encryption, passwords, and self-incrimination
    The University of Waikato and New Zealand Law Foundation have released a report today on the law around encryption in New Zealand. There's stuff in there about principles and values, and how proposed government policies to provide for "lawful access" by creating backdoors would destroy the trust which makes encryption ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 hours ago
  • Drawn
    A ballot for two Member's Bills was held today, and the following bills were drawn: Insurance (Prompt Settlement of Claims for Uninhabitable Residential Property) Bill (Stuart Smith) Social Security (Exemption for Ex Gratia and Compensation Payments) Amendment Bill (Willow-Jean Prime) Neither bill seems likely to be particularly controversial. This is ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 hours ago
  • Bougainville votes for independence
    Earlier in the month, Bougainvilleans went to the polls in a landmark referendum to decide on whether they would remain part of Papua New Guinea or become independent. Yesterday, the results came in, with over 97% support for independence. The referendum wasn't binding - instead it means negotiations with the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 hours ago
  • Bus strikes, suspensions and solidarity
    by Daphna Whitmore This week 800 unionised bus drivers in Auckland were suspended from work after they refused to collect fares as part of a campaign of industrial action. Drivers working for Auckland’s largest bus company NZ Bus are asking for more pay and better working conditions after being offered ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    7 hours ago
  • How to support after the Whakaari/White Island volcanic eruption
    As details emerge about what unfolded on Whakaari / White Island two days ago, my thoughts go out to all the families affected by this terrible event. My thoughts are also with the first responders who worked in perilous circumstances to assist and protect those affected. Both local and ...
    SciBlogsBy Sarb Johal
    8 hours ago
  • Final BMG poll – nothing to see here
    BMG research have unleashed their final poll of the 2019 campaign:Westminster voting intention: CON: 41% (-)LAB: 32% (-)LDEM: 14% (-)GRN: 4% (-)BREX: 3% (-1)via @BMGResearch , 06 - 11 Dec Chgs. w/ 06 Dec That's a bit of a "Dunno why we bothered" sort of poll. "Phillip, I'm afraid I've been a ...
    9 hours ago
  • Grant Robertson Spends Up Large – On The Establishment!
    Grant Keeps On Trucking: Out of the $12 billion Robertson has announced for infrastructure investment, $8 billion will be allocated to specific projects, with the balance of $4 billion held in reserve. What does it say about this Government's "transformational" ambitions that 85 percent of that $8 billion is to ...
    10 hours ago
  • Boris Johnson … Hides … In a Fridge
    I am not making this up.First few lines of the Dail Mail write up:Boris Johnson's exasperated media minder swore on live TV today as the PM refused to speak to Good Morning Britain before trotting into a fridge as he started an early milkround in Yorkshire. Piers Morgan was visibly ...
    18 hours ago
  • Shy Labour Voters?
    In previous elections pollsters have bemoaned the 'shy Tory' - the respondent who is so fearful of being judged as a cruel and heartless bastard by an anonymous pollster, or their spouses, workmates and friends, that they lie about their intention of voting Conservative, skewing the poll figures in Labour's ...
    21 hours ago
  • Seven reasons to be wary of waste-to-energy proposals
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz I was in Switzerland recently and discovered that they haven’t ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 day ago
  • Reviewing the whitewash
    Back in 2015, then Ombudsman Beverley Wakem conducted a review of the OIA, Not a game of hide and seek. The "review" was a whitewash, which found no need for legislative change, and instead criticised the media and requesters - which destroyed Wakem's reputation, and undermined that of the Office ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • You Gov MRP Poll Out
    So, You Gov's MRP poll - the weird one that tries to reflect what will happen at a constituency level and which pretty much nailed the hung parliament in 2017 - is not looking too good for Labour:
    UK #GE2019 MRP seat projection:CON: 339 (-20)LAB: 231 (+20)SNP: 41 (-2)LDEM: 15 ...
    1 day ago
  • Climate Change: Accountability?
    We've known about climate change for over forty years now,and it has been a major political issue for twenty. And yet fossil fuel companies have kept polluting with impunity, while government have looked the other way and twiddled their thumbs and refused to do anything because "the economy", or just ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Delusional And Irrational: The Rise Of Paranoid Politics In New Zealand.
    Sheer Loopiness: Many of those expressing bemusement at the antics of these #turnardern effacers, were convinced that they were yet another expression of the National Party’s increasingly spiteful anti-government propaganda campaign. They marvelled at the oddness of the perpetrators’ mindset and questioned the common-sense of allowing the rest of New Zealand ...
    1 day ago
  • Things to know about Whakaari/White Island
    Brad Scott, GNS Science VolcanologistThis post was originally published by GeoNet. Following the 9 December devastating eruption at Whakaari/White Island we have put together some information about the island. New Zealand’s most active volcano Whakaari/White Island is currently New Zealand’s most active volcano, it has been since an eruptive episode ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 days ago
  • Status quo supports status quo
    The Justice Committee has reported back on its Inquiry into the 2017 General Election and 2016 Local Elections, with a host of recommendations about how to improve our electoral systems. Some of their recommendations are already incorporate din the Electoral Amendment Bill currently before Parliament, but there's also a recommendation ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • The Greens abandon NeoLiberalism
    Back in 2017, in order to make themselves "electable" in the eyes of rich people who oppose everything they stand for, the Greens signed up for NeoLiberalism, adopting a restrictive set of "Budget Responsibility Rules" which basicly prevented them from using government to make things better. Now, they're finally abandoning ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Lying about a failed war
    Since invading in 2001, the US has consistently claimed that their war in Afghanistan has been going well, even when it continued year after year after year. Of course, they were lying, and thanks to the Washington Post and the US Freedom of Information Act, we get to see just ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Artificial Intelligence and You
    How should we think about artificial intelligence and the implications that it has for our work and leisure? There are many articles on artificial intelligence and its potential impacts on jobs, and the ethics of applications. These are important topics, but I want to focus on some less discussed aspects, ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    2 days ago
  • Statistical manipulation to get publishable results
    I love data. It’s amazing the sort of “discoveries” I can make given a data set and computer statistical package. It’s just so easy to search for relationships and test their statistical significance. Maybe relationships which ...
    2 days ago
  • More lies on the Twitter (Dan Hodges edition)
    The other big story concerning Leeds Hospital is Boris Johnson's bizzare behaviour at Leeds Hospital, where he was confronted by a journalist and challenged about a four year old boy with suspected pneumonia who was left sleeping on the floor, rather than getting  abed like a sick kid would in ...
    2 days ago
  • LabourActivistPunchedMattHancock’sSPADGate
    So, for a brief period of history, it was alleged that a protester had punched Matt Hancock's SPAD (not a euphemism; special adviser) when Hancock visited Leeds Hospital.This was reported by the likes of Robert Peston and Laura Keunssberg, as well as the less credible Guido Fawkes.  It also quickly ...
    2 days ago
  • France’s anti-Zionism is anti-liberté
    by Daphna Whitmore Last week France passed a law that equates anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism. It is based on a definition of anti-Semitism that includes criticism of Israel such as: “Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • Another bus lockout
    Over the past year we've seen major bus problems in Hamilton and Wellington, as drivers have sought better wages and an end to the bullshit of split shifts, which basicly see them "married to the job". And now its Auckland's turn. When NZBus's drivers planned low-level strike action of not ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Climate Change: Showing us how its done
    The government has been congratulating itself over the passage of the Zero Carbon Act, which sets out long-term emissions targets. But those targets are insufficient. Meanwhile, Denmark is showing us how its done:Denmark’s parliament adopted a new climate law on Friday, committing to reach 70% below its 1990 emissions in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Public sector dysfunction should not be allowed to undermine freedom of information
    Another day, another piece of legislation with a secrecy clause. This time its the innocuous-seeming Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill, which (after establishing a new body and making it subject to the OIA in three different ways) includes the rapidly-becoming-standard clauses enabling it to request information from other public ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • “This is England, this knife of Sheffield steel…”
    The state of the United Kingdom is fractured, torn up, shredded. The Empire is gone, it died a long time ago. And yet, the country is still tracking with a lead in favour of the ones who play to the ingrained, class-bound division for political gain. It is a disgrace ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    5 days ago
  • CORSIA, coming soon to an airport near you
    On 27 September, Greta Thunberg addressed a crowd of 500,000 at the School Strike for Climate in Montreal, saying: “You are a nation that is allegedly a climate leader. And Sweden is also a nation that is allegedly a climate leader. And in both cases, it means absolutely nothing. Because ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    5 days ago
  • Cloaking hate speech and fake news in the right to free expression.
    It should be obvious by now but let’s be clear: The same folk who regularly traffic in disinformation, misinformation and “fake news” are also those who most strongly claim that their freedom of expression rights are being violated when moves are made to curb hate speech (as opposed to protected ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    5 days ago
  • The Physics (and Economics, and Politics) of Wheelchairs on Planes
    Michael Schulson When Shane Burcaw flies on an airplane, he brings along a customized gel cushion, a car seat, and about 10 pieces of memory foam. The whole arsenal costs around $1,000, but for Burcaw it’s a necessity. The 27-year-old author and speaker — who, alongside his fiancée, Hannah ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    5 days ago
  • To Advance Civil Rights, Oppose Transgender Extremism
    We are very pleased to publish this submission is from Lucinda Stoan. She is a social justice activist, mother, and educator, based in Washington State in the  US.   This detailed and comprehensive source-linked overview of trans issues and what is at stake will be useful for many people, especially in ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Faafoi should be fired
    Newshub last night reported that Broadcasting Minister Kris Faafoi had apparently promised to help out a mate with an immigration issue. While its normal for people to approach MPs for assistance in this area, when you're a Minister, the rules are different: as the Cabinet Manual says, Ministers must "at ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Adrian Orr – The Reserve Bank’s Revolutionary Governor?
    New Zealand's Underarm Banker: It bears recalling that the “independence” of the Reserve Bank Governor was for decades held up by neoliberal capitalists as the most compelling justification for passing the Reserve Bank Act. Interesting, is it not, how the ruling class’s support for the Bank’s independence lasted no longer than ...
    6 days ago
  • Driving Us Up The Poll.
    Rubbish In, Rubbish Out: Put all this together, and it’s difficult to avoid the conclusion that anyone who responds positively to a pollster’s request to “answer a few questions” is just ever-so-slightly weird. Desperately lonely? Some sort of psephological train-spotter? Political party member primed to skew the poll for or against ...
    6 days ago
  • Jordan Williams, Colin Craig podcast series announced
    “Free at last, Free at last, Thank God almighty we are free at last.” ― Martin Luther King Jr. A long and bitter court feud between former Conservative Party leader Colin Craig and Jordan Williams has been settled, with an apology and compensation from Williams. On Tuesday, Craig sent out ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    7 days ago
  • How plant-based meat is stretching New Zealand’s cultural and legal boundaries
    Samuel Becher, Victoria University of Wellington and Jessica C Lai, Victoria University of Wellington Earlier this year, the New Zealand-based pizza chain Hell Pizza offered a limited-edition “Burger Pizza”. Its customers weren’t told that the “meat” was plant-based. Some customers complained to the Commerce Commission, which enforces consumer law in ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    7 days ago
  • Scientific integrity requires critical investigation – not blind acceptance
    Some people seem to want to close down any critical discussion of the current research into the relationship between water fluoride and child IQ. They appear to argue that claims made by researchers should not be open to critical review and that the claims be accepted without proper consideration ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: The shameful reality
    The government has been congratulating itself over the passage of the Zero Carbon Act, which sets out long-term emissions targets. Meanwhile, Climate Action Tracker has the shameful reality: those targets are insufficient:While New Zealand is showing leadership by having passed the world’s second-ever Zero Carbon Act in November 2019, under ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • More secrecy
    The government introduced a Racing Industry Bill today. As an urban who horse racing as pointless-to-cruel, and gambling as a tax on stupidity and/or hope, this isn't normally a bill which would interest me in the slightest, beyond grumpiness at more government money for a dying industry. But there is ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Unlikely online bully, Liam Hehir
    Check. Check. One, two, three, four. Is this thing ON? Hello readers, I logged in last night (yeah, it’s been a while) to mark THE END of the landmark legal case, Jordan Williams v Colin Craig, which (gulp) reached The Supreme Court, in which New Zealand’s most-defamed man was suing the politician he ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    1 week ago
  • The Birth Of Israel: Wrong At The Right Time.
    Before The Birth: Israel’s most fervent supporters set their clocks ticking in Biblical times. They cite the kingdoms of David and Solomon as proof that, in the words of the Exodus movie’s theme-song: “This land is mine.” The majority of Israel’s backers, however, start their clocks in 1933 – the year Adolf ...
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Public Address Word of the Year 2019: Korero phase
    In an unreliable, strange and confusing world, Public Address is proud to present a measure of comfort and stability by annually asking everyone what words or phrases sum up the year that's been – and then giving some of them consumer goods as prizes for being clever or simply lucky.Well, ...
    1 week ago
  • Generalist to specialist
    Both my parents are pretty handy – and they seem to have the right tools for most jobs in the garage and they know how to fix practically anything. A similar story could be told about their generation’s experience in the workforce – being a generalist was not unusual and ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • A “coincidence”
    When it was revealed that NZ First had tried to enrich itself from public office via the Provoncial Growth Fund, the Prime Minister assured us that everything was OK as Shane Jones, the Minister responsible for the fund, had recused himself. Except it seems that that recusal came very late ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day
    Today is a Member's Day, and probably the last one of the year. After the marathon of the End of Life Choice Act, most of the bills up for debate today are uncontentious. First up is the second reading of Chlöe Swarbrick's Election Access Fund Bill. This will be followed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Worse than I thought
    The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee has reported back on the government's odious and tyrannical control orders bill. As expected, the fraudulent select committee process has made no significant changes (partly because they couldn't agree, but mostly because it was a stitch-up from the start, with no intention of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The cannabis bill and the referendum
    Yesterday, the government released its draft Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill, which will be put to a non-binding referendum at the next election. I'm not a drug policy expert, but Russell Brown is, and he thinks its pretty good. And pretty obviously, it will be a massive improvement on the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: The Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill: pretty good so far
    As you're probably aware, the draft bill outlining the proposed legal cannabis regime to be put to a referendum late next year was published yesterday, and has already attracted a flurry of comment. It's notable that a good deal of the comment is about proposals that aren't actually new.A minimum ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Alignment
    One of the big problems in New Zealand climate change policy is the government working at cross-purposes with itself. It wants to reduce fossil fuel use, but encourages oil and gas exploration. It wants to reduce transport emissions, but then builds enormous new roads. The problem could be avoided if ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • How climate change will affect food production and security
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz According to the United Nations, food shortages are a threat ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • More bad faith
    Last year, the government announced it was ending offshore oil exploration by no longer issuing new permits. The idea was that the industry would then die off as permits expired. Except almost immediately the government revealed its bad faith, by saying they would extend permits and alter conditions to keep ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Banning foreign money from our elections
    The government has said it will ban foreign donations to political parties and candidates, and will be introducing legislation to be passed under all-stages urgency this afternoon. While I agree with the goal, I don't see a particular case for urgency, unless the government is concerned about a flood of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Reforming the Education Acts
    The government introduced the Education and Training Bill to Parliament yesterday. Its a massive bill, which replaces both existing Education Acts, as well as various other bits of legislation (including some which are still proceeding through the House). I'll leave the serious analysis to teachers and people who actually know ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Bite-sized learning
    Amelia SharmanThere’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to micro-credentials, those bits of bite-sized learning that can help workers stay on top of technological change.  What’s a micro-credential? While definitions vary, micro-credentials can be understood as short courses that allow people to learn new skills or have an existing competency recognised. ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • “Not The Labour Party We Once Knew.”
    All Smiles Now: Claire Szabo is taking up her presidential role after serving as the CEO of Habitat For Humanity. Which is absolutely perfect! After KiwiBuild was so comprehensively mismanaged by Phil Twyford, the party has not only elected a new president from a thoroughly respectable not-for-profit, but one who ...
    1 week ago
  • Marxist versus liberal methodology on transgender ideology/identity politics
    While much of the NZ left has transitioned to postmodern and identity politics in relation to transgender ideology, there are some very good articles about that deploy Marxist methodology in relation to this subject.  The one below is from the British marxist group Counterfire and appeared on their site here ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Book review: The Farm by Joanne Ramos
    by Daphna Whitmore At Golden Oaks, a luxurious country retreat in the Hudson Valley, pregnant women have the best care money can buy. From the organic food, personalised exercise programmes, private yoga instruction and daily massages Golden Oaks looks like a country lodge for the upper class. Set some time ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Loosening the purse strings
    When Labour was running for election in 2017, it felt it needed to demonstrate "fiscal responsibility" and signed itself up to masochistic "budget responsibility rules". It was a fool's errand: the sorts of voters who demand fiscal responsibility are also the sorts of voters who believe that labour can never ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: How to get there
    Writing in Stuff, Joel MacManus looks at what we need to do to meet the Zero Carbon Act's targets. The core of it:1. Convert 85 per cent of vehicles on the road to electric. 2. Eliminate fossil fuels from all industrial heating up to 300 degrees Celsius. 3. Double our ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • anti-vaxxers in a measles epidemic: so many ways to be untruthful
    “Anti-vaxers are a pro-death movement,” those comments from Dr Helen Petousis-Harris speaking about six more Measles related deaths in Samoa over the past twenty-four hours. “Anti-vaxers are a pro-death movement,” those comments from Dr Helen Petousis-Harris speaking about six more Measles related deaths in Samoa ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    1 week ago
  • Is Youth Vaping a Problem in New Zealand?
    Professors Janet Hoek and Richard Edwards, Emeritus Professor Phil Gendall, Jude Ball, Dr Judith McCool, Anaru Waa, Dr Becky Freeman Recent media reports have presented conflicting evidence on youth vaping in NZ. While some NZ school principals report concerns about increasing vaping on school grounds and confiscating vapes, ASH Year ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • In pursuit of “Freedom and Democracy”: Forever Wars in “America’s backyard”.
    “America the Beautiful!”, staunch defender of democracy, freedom and… a whole lot of despotic tyrants that play nice with what is called “the Washington Consensus.” America is indeed capable of immense good, but like any Nation, and most assuredly any aspirant to the mantle of Empire, great, immense evil. All ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • November ’19 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: The beginner’s guide to blogging I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your blog is ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Whodunnit? Finding the mystery 1080 testing lab
    1080 is used to control pests in NZ. Its use is contested by a noisy few. A new report claims high levels of 1080 in rats washed up on a beach. Flora and Fauna of Aotearoa (F&F) won’t name the laboratory that did their testing. It has sparked a hunt ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    2 weeks ago
  • Authoritarian Friends, Democratic Enemies.
    What Kind Of Empire? The thing for Kiwis to decide is what kind of empire they want to belong to. The kind that, while offering its own citizens democratic rights, demands absolute obedience from its “friends”? Or, the kind that, while authoritarian at home, takes a relaxed attitude to the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Boris Johnson Goes Down
    It hasn't been a good week for the Conservatives, pollwise.  All major recent polls are showing their lead shrinking.Comparing each pollster's current (between 29/11 and 22/11) and previous most recent poll.Com Res - Conservative lead down 3 points.You Gov - Conservative lead down 1 point.Kantar - Conservative lead down 4 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Interesting
    Within quick succession, Countdown maths wizard and twitterer Rachel Riley, alleged comedian David Baddiel and prominent lawyer Andrew Julius have all expressed very similar opinions / ideas:
    These #3billboards are going round London today, organised by ex-Labour people, horrified by what their party has become. Their principles haven’t changed, they’re ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Damn the Polls
    So, there have been a bunch of bad polls out for Labour, and even the Leftie's friend, Survation, have recently given the Conservatives a rip-snorting 11% lead.  You Gov's much vaunted MRP poll - which pretty much nailed the result in 2015 - is currently predicting a comfortable majority for ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Europe declares an emergency
    The European Parliament has voted overwhelmingly to declare a climate emergency:The European parliament has declared a global “climate and environmental emergency” as it urged all EU countries to commit to net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The vote came as scientists warned that the world may have already crossed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • A Bi-Partisan Commitment To X-ing “P”.
    Pure Fear: Worse than Heroin, this drug’s addictive power was terrifying. People under its influence didn’t drift off to Elysium. Nor did it persuade inadequate individuals that they could conquer the world. No, this drug – pure crystal methamphetamine, “P” for short – unlocked the gates of Hell itself. It ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Advice about measles: when ignorance is definitely not a virtue
    As the rate of measles infection, and of deaths, continues to climb in Samoa, antivaccination activists infectious disease proponents seem intent on doubling down on their claims about vaccination. (Check pretty much any news-media FB post about measles & you’ll see exactly what I mean.) Unfortunately, some of them have ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    2 weeks ago
  • Samoa’s devastating measles epidemic – why and how bad?
    Samoa are experiencing a devastating measles epidemic. It is possible that 2-3% of the population will ultimately be infected by the time it is over. Hopefully the mass immunisation campaign currently under way can mitigate some of this, for many it is too late. The first question many people ask ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    2 weeks ago

  • New Zealand safer as Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders Bill) becomes law
    A Bill that prevents terrorism and supports the de-radicalisation of New Zealanders returning from overseas has passed its third reading, Justice Minister Andrew Little says. The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill is a carefully targeted response to manage the risk posed by a small number of New Zealanders who have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 mins ago
  • Foreign Minister and Pacific Peoples Minister to visit Samoa
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio will travel to Samoa on Friday, where New Zealand medical teams are helping Samoa respond to an outbreak of measles. “New Zealand has been working closely with the Government of Samoa and offering our assistance from the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    59 mins ago
  • New Pastoral Care Code will support tertiary students in 2020
    The Government has changed the law to improve student safety and welfare in university halls of residence and other student accommodation. The Education (Pastoral Care) Amendment Bill passed its third reading this afternoon and details of an interim Code of Practice setting out the Government’s expectations of tertiary providers have also been released. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 hour ago
  • New infrastructure funding tool to build housing developments faster
    A new tool to help councils fund and finance infrastructure could mean some housing developments happen a decade earlier than currently planned, Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford said today. “This new tool, developed by the Government in partnership with industry and high-growth councils, will allow councils to access private debt ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • Vision to unite the primary sector launched today
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has welcomed the release of a bold new vision for the country’s vital food and fibre sector. “I’m delighted that New Zealand’s major farmer and grower organisations are today supporting the Primary Sector Council’s vision – Fit for a Better World,” he said. “The international consumers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • NZ congratulates PNG and Autonomous Bougainville Government on referendum
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has congratulated the Government of Papua New Guinea and the Autonomous Bougainville Government for completing a well-conducted referendum on the future political status of Bougainville. “New Zealand supported the referendum process by providing technical advice through the New Zealand Electoral Commission and leading a Regional Police ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • Next steps for Upper North Island logistics
    In light of Cabinet’s position that freight operations on prime land in downtown Auckland are no longer viable, the Government will now embark on a short work programme to enable decision-making in the first half of next year, Associate Transport Minister Shane Jones says. Minister Jones is today releasing the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • Surgical mesh restorative justice report received
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter has received the report back from a surgical mesh restorative justice process undertaken by Victoria University. The process heard stories, either in person or online submission, from more than 600 people affected by surgical mesh. “The report made for heart-breaking and confronting reading,” says ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 hours ago
  • The Water Services Regulator Bill – Taumata Arowai a milestone for drinking water safety
    The Water Services Regulator Bill – Taumata Arowai , introduced to Parliament today, is a milestone for drinking water safety in New Zealand and will help improve environmental outcomes for urban waterways, rivers and lakes.  “This is a breakthrough for New Zealanders in terms of providing safe drinking water throughout ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • Speech to new direction for criminal justice reform announcement
    Kia ora koutouE ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā matā wakaTēnā koutou katoaHaere ngā, moe maiKoutou ma ngā Rangatira Ko Anaru ahauKo au te Minita mo ngā TureHe Honore tino nui kei roto I ahau No reira tena koutou katoa Today, we are releasing two reports that are the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • New direction for criminal justice reform
    The Government is looking to turn around the long-term challenges of criminal justice by taking a new approach to break the cycle of offending to ensure there are fewer victims of crime. Justice Minister Andrew Little released two reports today, Turuki! Turuki! from Te Uepū Hāpai I te Ora, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • New law sets up $300m Venture Capital Fund
    New Zealand firms expanding beyond the start-up phase are set for more support after today’s passage of the Venture Capital Fund Bill, Associate Finance Minister David Parker said. The Bill, which establishes a $300 million Venture Capital Fund, puts in place a key initiative of the Wellbeing Budget’s economic package. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • New Zealand’s National Statement to COP25
    E ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā iwi, e ngā rau rangatira mā. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa. Señora Presidenta, Excellencies, Delegates. International action A common thread that runs through the Paris Agreement is the commitment we have made to each other to do what we can to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • $12 billion in extra infrastructure investment
    The Government is lifting capital investment to the highest level in more than 20 years as it takes the next step to future-proof New Zealand. Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced $12 billion of new investment, with $8 billion for specific capital projects and $4 billion to be added to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Strong economy, careful spending gives $12bn of surpluses
    The Government is forecast to run $12 billion worth of surpluses across the four years to 2023/24 as the economy continues to grow. The surpluses will help fund day-to-day capital requirements each year. These include fixing leaky hospitals, building new classrooms to cover population growth and take pressure off class ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Priorities for 2020 Wellbeing Budget outlined
    Budget 2020 will continue the Coalition Government’s focus on tackling the long-term challenges facing New Zealand while also investing to future-proof the economy. When the Government took office in 2017 it was left with crumbling infrastructure, severe underinvestment in public services, degraded rivers and lakes, a housing crisis and rising ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Minister welcomes data-rich coastline mapping tool
    The Minister responsible for the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Act 2011 (te Takutai Moana Act 2011), Andrew Little has welcomed the launch of an online geospatial tool that provides data-rich, dynamic coastline maps that will significantly boost research and evidence-gathering under the Act. Te Kete Kōrero a Te ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Chief Victims Advisor reappointed for a further two years
    The Chief Victims Advisor to Government Dr Kim McGregor, QSO, has been reappointed in her role for a further two years. Dr McGregor has held the role since it was established in November 2015. She provides independent advice to government on how to improve the criminal justice system for victims. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New Zealand tsunami monitoring and detection system to be established
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Civil Defence Minister Peeni Henare have today announced the deployment of a network of DART (Deep-ocean Assessment and Reporting of Tsunami) buoys. “New Zealand and the Pacific region are particularly vulnerable to natural disasters. It is vital we have adequate warning systems in place,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • DART Buoys Announcement
    DART Buoys Announcement Aotea Wharf, 9.30am 11 December 2019   Acknowledgements Acknowledgements to Minister for Civil Defence Hon Peeni Henare also here today. White Island It is with regret that this event shadows the tragic natural disaster two days ago. The volcanic eruptions on White Island have claimed 5 lives, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Final steps for racing industry reform
    Racing Minister Winston Peters has welcomed the first reading of the Racing Industry Bill in parliament today. This is the second of two Bills that have been introduced this year to revitalise New Zealand’s racing industry. “Our domestic racing industry has been in serious decline.  The Government is committed to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Funding to promote New Zealand Sign Language initiatives
    Minister for Disability Issues, Carmel Sepuloni, is pleased to announce that $291,321 is to be awarded to national and local community initiatives to maintain and promote the use of New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL). “New Zealand is one of the few countries  in the world where Sign Language is an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • How New Zealand defines and recognises veterans
    Minister for Veterans Ron Mark has announced today the Coalition Government’s initial response to work completed by the independent statutory body, the Veterans’ Advisory Board. “When Professor Ron Paterson completed his review of the Veterans’ Support Act in 2018, he made a number of recommendations, including one which I referred ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government to fund lion’s share of Ohakea water scheme
    The Government will fund the bulk of the cost of a rural water supply for the Ohakea community affected by PFAS contamination, Environment Minister David Parker announced today at a meeting of local residents. This new water scheme will provide a reliable and clean source of drinking water to the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Prime Minister statement on White Island eruption
    I have had the opportunity to be briefed on the details of the volcanic eruption of Whakaari/White Island, off the coast of Whakatane in the Bay of Plenty.  The eruption happened at 2.11pm today.  It continues to be an evolving situation.  We know that there were a number of tourists ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Govt funds $100k for weather-hit communities
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare have today confirmed initial Government support of $100,000 for communities affected by the severe weather that swept across the South Island and lower North Island over the weekend. The contribution will be made to Mayoral relief funds across the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Death of NZ High Commissioner to Cook Islands
    New Zealand's High Commissioner to the Cook Islands, Tessa Temata, died in Palmerston North over the weekend, Foreign Minister Winston Peters said today. Ms Temata, 52, had recently returned to New Zealand for medical treatment. "On behalf of the Government and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, we extend ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Wellington rail upgrade full steam ahead
    Transport Minister Phil Twyford today announced construction is underway on Wellington commuter rail upgrades which will mean more frequent services and fewer breakdowns. The upgrades include converting the Trentham to Upper Hutt single track section to a double track, with a new signalling system, upgraded stations and level crossings, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Defence Climate Change Implementation Plan released
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark and Minister for Climate Change James Shaw have announced the release of a Defence Climate Change Implementation Work Plan, titled Responding to the Climate Crisis: An Implementation Plan.  The plan sets out a series of recommendations based on the 2018 New Zealand Defence Assessment, The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Govt releases funding to support South Canterbury
    A medium-scale adverse event has been declared for the South Canterbury district, which will see up to $50,000 in funding made available to support farming communities which have been significantly affected by recent heavy rain and flooding in the area, says Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. “Two weeks of solid rain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Speech at launch of Rethinking Plastics Report
    Thank you Professor Juliet Gerrard and your team for the comprehensive and extremely helpful report and recommendations. Thank you too to all the stakeholders and interested parties who have contributed ideas and thinking to it. “Making best practice, standard practice” is a great framework for change and the action plan ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Govt pledges next steps on plastic waste
    The Government will phase out more single-use plastics following the success of its single-use plastic bag ban earlier this year and the release today of a pivotal report for dealing with waste. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has welcomed the Rethinking Plastics in Aotearoa New Zealandreport, released by her Chief Science Advisor ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • International student enrolments grow in universities and the regions
    International education continues to thrive as the Government focuses on quality over quantity, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said. The tuition revenue from international education increased to $1.16 billion last year with the average tuition fee per student increasing by $960. The total number of international students enrolled in New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Speech to Government Economics Network 2019 Conference
    I want to talk about one of the most pressing issues in our national life: the housing crisis and the poor performance of our cities. The argument I want to make to you is that generations of urban land use policy have lacked a decent grounding in economics. The consequences ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • DHB leadership renewed and strengthened
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says new appointments to DHBs represent a significant changing of the guard, with 13 new chairs including four Māori chairs. Today 76 appointments have been announced to complement elected board members, as well as eight elected members appointed as either chair or deputy chair.  Four ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Tabuteau to advance New Zealand’s trade and political interests with European partners
    Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Fletcher Tabuteau, is travelling to Germany, Poland, Austria, and Spain next week to bolster New Zealand’s political and trade relationships in Europe. While in Spain, Mr Tabuteau will represent New Zealand at the 14th Asia-Europe (ASEM) Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Madrid. “New Zealand strongly supports ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Statement from the Prime Minister on Kris Faafoi
    “I’ve spoken to Minister Faafoi, who has apologised for his poor handling of this issue,” Jacinda Ardern said. “I have confidence in Kris as a hardworking and effective Minister, but this should have been dealt with in a much clearer manner, and I’ve made my views on that very clear ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Tonga-New Zealand Joint Ministerial Forum
    Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters met with Tongan Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pohiva Tu'i'onetoa in Wellington today. The pair signed a Statement of Partnership setting out joint priorities for cooperation out to 2023.  “We welcomed Prime Minister Tu'i'onetoa on his first visit to New Zealand as Prime Minister. Tonga ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Shooting in Kurow
    The Minister of Police Stuart Nash says his sympathies are with the family of a man who died after being shot by Police in Kurow. “Initial reports are that Police were called by a family member to help the man who was threatening to harm himself,” Mr Nash says. “However ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government delivers funding boost for ethnic communities
    Ethnic communities will be able to plan and deliver more community initiatives thanks to an increase in Government funding, Minister for Ethnic Communities Hon Jenny Salesa said today. “Ensuring Aotearoa New Zealand is a place we can all be proud to call home has been a key priority of our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago