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National’s one-trick election pony – the eternal mirage of tax cuts

Written By: - Date published: 7:04 am, February 20th, 2017 - 42 comments

As Finance Minister Bill English effectively ruled out tax cuts, but it’s election year, and so of course the Nats can’t help but trot out their one-trick election pony again.

Fires are the new normal

Written By: - Date published: 7:03 am, February 17th, 2017 - 65 comments

Hey Bill English, it’s not the case that “no one could have anticipated the large-scale fire on the Port Hills”. Just about every relevant organisation could and did predict it. Most of the other predictions relating to climate change will come true too.

Human Rights Commission calls for an inquiry – English says no

Written By: - Date published: 7:02 am, February 15th, 2017 - 10 comments

Greens stand aside in Ōhāriu

Written By: - Date published: 8:47 am, February 14th, 2017 - 111 comments

Putting aside misgivings for the sake of the greater good is a mark of political maturity which many politicians and commentators could learn from.

Russia’s ‘traditional family values’

Written By: - Date published: 11:05 am, February 12th, 2017 - 22 comments

Constructive and positive ‘conservative’ organisations everywhere should be outraged at the way the use of ‘traditional family values’ gets corrupted, and they should be doing more to speak out against it.

Salvation Army report – NZ “Off the Track”

Written By: - Date published: 8:56 am, February 8th, 2017 - 57 comments

“The absence of any meaningful progress in reducing child poverty rates over the past decade—and the lack of interest by Government in using welfare and income support programmes to do so—points to wilful indifference toward the long-term personal and social impacts of this avoidable harm.”

Low bar diplomacy

Written By: - Date published: 1:29 pm, February 7th, 2017 - 23 comments

So apparently the PM managed to get through a 15 minute call without “upsetting” Trump. That’s where we set the bar these days.

A good week for Labour and Greens

Written By: - Date published: 12:27 pm, February 4th, 2017 - 25 comments

Following on from their joint “state of the nation” it’s been a good week for the political left in NZ. Here’s a roundup.

Poverty and health

Written By: - Date published: 7:57 am, February 4th, 2017 - 43 comments

Socioeconomic status is a major health risk factor. Not exactly a surprise is it.

Aussie Aussie Aussie, Ouch Ouch Ouch!

Written By: - Date published: 8:11 am, February 3rd, 2017 - 70 comments

Diplomacy in the age of Trump is going to be a real blast. Just ask Australia.

O’Connor and Jackson for Labour

Written By: - Date published: 10:35 am, February 2nd, 2017 - 71 comments

Like many, I have mixed feelings about these developments, but on balance I am in favour of the “broad church” approach

English condemned

Written By: - Date published: 8:58 am, February 1st, 2017 - 21 comments

Interim PM Bill English is getting a hammering for his “weak and indecisive” response to Trump’s Muslim ban.

A PM but not a leader

Written By: - Date published: 8:35 am, January 31st, 2017 - 34 comments

Bill English has failed his first test of real leadership. Compare and contrast, English and Little’s responses to the Muslim ban.

Update: The image is Emmerson’s take in The Herald.

Trump’s Muslim travel ban

Written By: - Date published: 9:38 am, January 29th, 2017 - 149 comments

Welcome to the new America.

The cost of education

Written By: - Date published: 12:23 pm, January 28th, 2017 - 14 comments

National needs to do something to address spiraling education costs in both the secondary and tertiary sectors.

Special Relationship 2

Written By: - Date published: 8:41 am, January 27th, 2017 - 58 comments

The Bush Blair “special relationship” was a geopolitical disaster of epic proportions. Get ready for Round 2, Trump May.

Postcards from the Trumpocalypse

Written By: - Date published: 10:25 am, January 26th, 2017 - 65 comments

This is what an unfettered right-wing government looks like.

Lifeboat NZ

Written By: - Date published: 11:14 am, January 25th, 2017 - 100 comments

How do we feel about NZ becoming a lifeboat for the super-rich to run out on the problems that they created?

Minimum wage increase doesn’t meet real costs (the CPI is broken)

Written By: - Date published: 7:02 am, January 25th, 2017 - 53 comments

Any increase in the minimum wage is better than nothing, but National’s increases have not kept pace with the real cost increases (notably housing) faced by low income earners. That is why we are seeing the rise of the working poor, and increases in homelessness and poverty.

Māori politics – “don’t believe the hype”

Written By: - Date published: 8:42 am, January 24th, 2017 - 81 comments

Totally unexpected in an election year, but Te Ururoa Flavell is making a play for the Māori seats. Morgan Godfery has some thoughts on the hype.

Starting out with an obvious lie

Written By: - Date published: 7:02 am, January 23rd, 2017 - 195 comments

The Trump / Spicer claim that the inauguration crowds were “the largest audience ever to witness and inauguration, period” are such an obvious lie that it seems unhinged. But there could be method to the madness.

(Update: Apparently in Trump speak these are “alternative facts”.)

Predator free NZ – how are we doing?

Written By: - Date published: 12:00 pm, January 20th, 2017 - 30 comments

It has been 6 months since the announcement that New Zealand would be predator free by 2050. But is sounds like nothing concrete has happened yet.

Dodgy foreign trusts – will English take action?

Written By: - Date published: 9:43 am, January 19th, 2017 - 24 comments

Matt Nippert continued his excellent work on foreign trusts yesterday in The Herald. Will Bill English clean up the mess that John Key was determined to ignore?

How do we increase voter participation?

Written By: - Date published: 7:02 am, January 17th, 2017 - 218 comments

Fewer people, particularly young people, are voting. How do we turn this around?

Oxfam on wealth inequality in NZ

Written By: - Date published: 11:32 am, January 16th, 2017 - 35 comments

Oxfam’s report on wealth inequality in NZ has some staggering headline numbers.

Spinning ‘social investment’

Written By: - Date published: 8:32 am, January 14th, 2017 - 53 comments

Bill English has co-opted the old term “social investment” to replace another old term “targeted welfare”. Simon Wilson (writing at The Spinoff) has bought into the spin and written a deeply confused piece about it.

100% Pure takes another hit

Written By: - Date published: 11:22 am, December 18th, 2016 - 85 comments

Stuff this morning: “Lord of the Rings actor says NZ tourists shocked by polluted ‘sewer’ Middle-earth”

What Paula is proud of

Written By: - Date published: 8:36 am, December 17th, 2016 - 76 comments

Apparently it’s “getting homeless people into homes”. Given the ongoing explosion of homelessness, just think how much scope she has to make herself proud next year…

“Social bonds” fail – blame the officials!

Written By: - Date published: 3:09 pm, December 16th, 2016 - 31 comments

A scapegoat for the failure of the Nats’ first “social bonds” programme has been found. Turns out it was the fault of government officials! Shocker!

Taxing multinationals

Written By: - Date published: 9:58 am, December 15th, 2016 - 53 comments

In March the Nats were still rejecting the idea of a crackdown on multinational companies’ tax avoidance. But there has been – in large part due to the work of Matt Nippert in The Herald – a partial back-down. Another Labour policy adopted!

This pattern of Kiwi’s exploiting migrants is shameful

Written By: - Date published: 8:17 am, December 14th, 2016 - 88 comments

A depressing feature in The Herald this morning explores the exploitation of migrant workers. The same pattern as the private sector’s treatment of foreign students. This paints a shameful picture of New Zealand. Greed has made us forget who we were.

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