web analytics

Author Archive

Economic step-change or English side-step?

Written By: - Date published: 5:54 pm, July 20th, 2010 - 14 comments

Beware of a Finance Minister who is selective in the use of statistics. This was Bill English’s answer to a patsy question in Parliament about National and the economy…

What would you have done, Prime Minister?

Written By: - Date published: 11:36 pm, June 23rd, 2010 - 33 comments

A very strange statement from Timaru financier Allan Hubbard in this story from the Herald after his company had been put into statutory liquidation by Justice Minister Simon Power: Power said on Sunday there was not adequate documentation of loans made on behalf of 407 investors who were owed NZ$98 million. “I think if Mr […]

The beam in the eye

Written By: - Date published: 5:31 pm, June 10th, 2010 - 17 comments

For me the main scandal about taxpayer funding this week is the fact that we have all contributed $209,000 towards  helping Nick Smith  get  out of a $15 million lawsuit. For saying something for which he has given an apology in court and paid up more than that out of his own pocket. None of […]

Weasel words from no-balls McCully

Written By: - Date published: 7:51 pm, May 31st, 2010 - 11 comments

This from McCully – It is not up to the Minister of Sport to investigate allegations of racial team selection, Murray McCully says. He said if that was the case then he would have his staff monitoring talkback radio. McCully’s trying to tell us his staff aren’t monitoring talkback radio? The great strategist and spin-meister […]

Bill wants to shift Kiwibank risk to “Kiwi mums and dads”

Written By: - Date published: 6:56 pm, May 29th, 2010 - 12 comments

When floating the idea of Kiwibank’s possible sale to a post-budget audience last week,  Bill English said that the government did not want to  put more capital in  because it was risky. Mr English, fresh from delivering the 2010 Budget, told a gathering of South Island business people yesterday that the Government might consider a […]

Investment ethics a million miles away

Written By: - Date published: 12:20 pm, May 19th, 2010 - 6 comments

Brian Gaynor in Saturday’s Herald argues that investment industry organisations and their advisors owe a duty of care to investors. He calls it an “ethical overlay”, and says Unfortunately a number of developments indicate that we seem to be a million miles away from having this ethical overlay. There is little incentive for New Zealand […]

“Surgical mining” like “surgical bombing”

Written By: - Date published: 2:10 pm, March 23rd, 2010 - 12 comments

Remember John Key’s talk about “surgical mining?” It’s like “surgical bombing” – there is a lot of collateral damage. A lot of people get hurt. It’s no good saying afterwards that he didn’t mean for that to happen.

Lee, Joyce and Hide’s Super City “pig’s arse”

Written By: - Date published: 3:23 pm, March 17th, 2010 - 9 comments

In a letter to the Herald today, responding to Mike Lee’s op-ed of yesterday, Steven Joyce says:

“Contrary to what Mike Lee says, the Auckland Council will be able to appoint or dismiss any member of the Auckland Transport Board at any time.”

Problem is, Mike Lee didn’t actually say what Joyce says he did.

Herald’s “democracy lockout” campaign – pick it up!

Written By: - Date published: 5:44 pm, March 13th, 2010 - 5 comments

On Monday this week the front page of the Auckland Herald’s print edition announced that the paper was going to run a campaign to fight what it called “the lockout of democracy” in the Super City. There was nothing on the Herald website all week, which seems odd if it was a real campaign. On […]

National Standards Mk 2?

Written By: - Date published: 2:15 pm, March 7th, 2010 - 14 comments

Michael Gove, Britain’s Conservative shadow Children’s Minister, has unveiled their version of National standards. Like Anne Tolley, he is sure he knows what parents want. The Times reports: ‘I’m an unashamed traditionalist when it comes to the curriculum,’ Mr Gove said. ‘Most parents would rather their children had a traditional education, with children sitting in […]

Tax and economic growth – Bill comes clean

Written By: - Date published: 1:37 pm, February 22nd, 2010 - 19 comments

Bill English’s argument that cutting taxes for the few at the top can cause an economic step change has always been nonsense.

His appearance on Q&A yesterday simply confirmed it.

GST is not a tax – suck it up

Written By: - Date published: 10:03 am, February 12th, 2010 - 24 comments

The best political commentary these days doesn’t come from the political journalists. As Zetetic shows, they have turned themselves into government minders. But there are others who tell it like it is. Such as Karlo Mila in today’s DomPost. The article was headed up “If you could just suck it up, that would be nice.” […]

Pay the money back, John

Written By: - Date published: 4:00 pm, February 5th, 2010 - 22 comments

Today’s editorial in the Herald is headlined “Class standards leaflet a misuse of public funds.” It says: In response to criticism from educationists and an opposition roadshow by the primary teachers’ union, National MPs will host public meetings around the country and information on the standards will be mailed out to households. Unfortunately, this material, […]

Tax Working Groupthink

Written By: - Date published: 11:25 am, February 5th, 2010 - 29 comments

The Tax Working Group’s summary presentation at their December seminar came from a senior partner from one of the Big 4 accountancy firms, Price Waterhouse. One scenario for the preferred ultimate outcome aligned income, trustee and company tax at 27%, paid for by increasing GST to 15%. At the top: Big change The graph tops […]

A little knowledge

Written By: - Date published: 7:46 pm, January 21st, 2010 - 17 comments

David Farrar on Kiwiblog says When Labour reduced the top tax rate from 66c to 33c in the 1980s, the amount of tax paid actually increased. Wasn’t that because they introduced GST as a new tax?

Congratulations Mike!

Written By: - Date published: 12:25 pm, January 20th, 2010 - 82 comments

Good to see that Mike Moore has been appointed our new Ambassador to Washington. Mike’s energy and connections in Washington and the world will be an asset. It’ll also be a lot more satisfying for him than life as an author and columnist. Mike’s a  big picture man and gives 110 per cent  – we […]

Poll closes up in Britain

Written By: - Date published: 10:29 pm, November 23rd, 2009 - 2 comments

The latest poll in Britain has Labour within 6 points of the Conservatives. A hung Parliament is in prospect. One poll is not a trend but maybe it is too early to shoo Cameron in.

Government of Fantasyland

Written By: - Date published: 3:38 pm, November 18th, 2009 - 16 comments

This is Nick Smith in Parliament yesterday, replying to a question on Treasury’s re-calibrated $50 billion costs of Nationals ETS Bill: Hon Dr NICK SMITH: That number is a fantasyland number. Let me tell the member why. The member opposite wants to give great credence to what might occur in 2050. It is not rocket […]

Ashcroft out of Belize into New Zealand?

Written By: - Date published: 9:45 pm, November 1st, 2009 - 30 comments

‘Lord Ashcroft of Belize’ facing eviction as country turns on him. This is the heading in an article in today’s Observer. It’s worth a read. Some excerpts: So extensive are his interests, and so arcane some of his methods, that many Belizeans believe Ashcroft owns businesses that he may not. “He uses so many shell […]

Double-talk from Dipton

Written By: - Date published: 11:52 am, October 28th, 2009 - 10 comments

Here’s what Double-Dipper Bill English had to say about taxpayer-funded advertising before the last election. National has raised fresh concerns about Labour cashing in on government departments pushing key policies in the run-up to the election, after a $2 million jump in public sector advertising. Mr English said that Labour was piggy-backing on departmental spending […]

Farrar right on electoral administration

Written By: - Date published: 11:12 am, October 23rd, 2009 - 6 comments

I agree with David Farrar on the National Party’s proposed law combining the Electoral offices. These appointments are far too important to be decided by a Minister, who is only required to consult on the appointment. The Super-city showed us what little that means. David is worried about Labour, I’m worried about National.They have made […]

Fart tax Mk II – they fart we pay

Written By: - Date published: 10:30 pm, October 22nd, 2009 - 1 comment

I’ve thought for some time that some of the best political writing in the Herald is to be found on the business pages. Here is a taste of Brian Fallow on the Emissions Trading Bill, currently being rushed through Parliament with scant regard to submitters. Legislate in haste, repent at leisure. What we have right […]

Kicking the tyres at ACC

Written By: - Date published: 4:23 pm, October 18th, 2009 - 14 comments

The Sunday Star-Times details hitherto secret proposals from the John Judge-chaired ACC to cut back entitlements and increase user-pays. The hidden agenda: Introduce a $100 excess on every claim. Reduce income compensation from 80% to 70% after one year and 60% after two. Impose a two-year limit on compensation for soft tissue injuries, such as […]

Afghanistan election result crisis

Written By: - Date published: 4:35 pm, October 17th, 2009 - 6 comments

The Guardian reports today under the headline “Crisis looms in Kabul over Karzai election results:” Frantic diplomacy under way as report looks set to give Afghan president less than 50% of the vote, forcing run-off. Karzai’s share of the vote is expected to drop to below 50% as a result of the inquiry, forcing a […]

Nick Smith and “Patsy” Goudie

Written By: - Date published: 11:03 am, October 16th, 2009 - 8 comments

The Herald posts this clip from Parliament entitled “Nick Smith under fire for ACC bungling”. Nice catch from Darren Hughes at the end. What a shambolic lot.

Electoral SM

Written By: - Date published: 7:08 pm, October 12th, 2009 - 5 comments

Philip Temple makes some good points in the Herald today: The Minister of Justice, Simon Power, indicated that he would soon present a paper to Cabinet on the proposed referendum on MMP. Presumably this will hold true to National’s election promise, that it will be held “without any further consideration”. Meaning no consultation with the […]

Money and justice

Written By: - Date published: 4:24 pm, October 11th, 2009 - 32 comments

Jenny Ruth has the best comment I’ve seen on Philip Field’s sentence in today’s Sunday Star-Times – not available on the paper’s website or on Stuff.co.nz. Taito Philip Field was a pompous twit over the Thai tilers’ affair, particularly in his inept attempts at a cover-up, but his six -year jail sentence is outrageous. Ruth […]

Anniversary-gate?

Written By: - Date published: 9:45 am, October 8th, 2009 - 12 comments

The Standard would like to wish Mrs Mavis Lawson many happy returns on her 100th birthday yesterday. We also had a chuckle when we read this from today’s Herald: When Papatoetoe resident Mavis Lawson turned 100 on Tuesday she got the standard birthday card from the Queen but, rather puzzlingly, she also received a card […]

Nanny Coleman on immigrant advice

Written By: - Date published: 9:34 pm, October 7th, 2009 - 12 comments

Jonathan Coleman insists that there is nothing wrong with the Immigrant Advisers Act that restricts anyone giving any advice on immigration matters to registered advisers, against reasoned protest from Helen Winterbottom and others. David Farrar at Kiwiblog thinks this is a wrong call and I agree. Instead of insisting on shutting down any and all […]

No bull

Written By: - Date published: 8:51 pm, October 4th, 2009 - 1 comment

An interesting take on the Crafars from Bernard Hickey in the Herald. He starts off: The Crafar Farms tragedy is a microcosm of many of the things wrong about our business and investment culture. Then goes on to say: We believe land is the best investment always. We are happy to load up with debt, […]

Slow off the mark

Written By: - Date published: 6:58 pm, October 3rd, 2009 - 9 comments

Colin Espiner also writes in yesterday’s blog: The Government was slow off the mark in sending a minister up to Samoa. While Labour quickly dispatched two MPs, Winnie Laban and Chris Carter, as late as Wednesday McCully was still saying he saw no point in going up there. It took a couple of gentle digs from […]

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Tokelau Language Week reminds us to stay united and strong
    Staying strong in the face of challenges and being true to our heritage and languages are key to preserving our cultural identity and wellbeing, is the focus of the 2020 Tokelau Language Week. Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio, says this year’s theme, ‘Apoapo tau foe, i nā tāfea ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • NZ announces a third P-3 deployment in support of UN sanctions
    The Government has deployed a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 Orion (P-3) maritime patrol aircraft to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions imposing sanctions against North Korea, announced Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters and Minister of Defence Ron Mark. “New Zealand has long supported ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Pacific trade and development agreement a reality
    Pacific regional trade and development agreement PACER Plus will enter into force in 60 days now that the required eight countries have ratified it. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker welcomed the announcement that the Cook Islands is the eighth nation to ratify this landmark agreement. “The agreement represents ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Securing a pipeline of teachers
    The Government is changing its approach to teacher recruitment as COVID-19 travel restrictions continue, by boosting a range of initiatives to get more Kiwis into teaching. “When we came into Government, we were faced with a teacher supply crisis,” Education Minister Chris Hipkins said. “Over the past three years, we ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Border exceptions for a small number of international students with visas
    The Government has established a new category that will allow 250 international PhD and postgraduate students to enter New Zealand and continue their studies, in the latest set of border exceptions. “The health, safety and wellbeing of people in New Zealand remains the Government’s top priority. Tight border restrictions remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • First COVID-19 vaccine purchase agreement signed
    The Government has signed an agreement to purchase 1.5 million COVID-19 vaccines – enough for 750,000 people – from Pfizer and BioNTech, subject to the vaccine successfully completing all clinical trials and passing regulatory approvals in New Zealand, say Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods and Health Minister Chris Hipkins. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • International statement – End-to-end encryption and public safety
    We, the undersigned, support strong encryption, which plays a crucial role in protecting personal data, privacy, intellectual property, trade secrets and cyber security.  It also serves a vital purpose in repressive states to protect journalists, human rights defenders and other vulnerable people, as stated in the 2017 resolution of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Ministry of Defence Biodefence Assessment released
    The Ministry of Defence has today released a Defence Assessment examining Defence’s role across the spectrum of biological hazards and threats facing New Zealand. Biodefence: Preparing for a New Era of Biological Hazards and Threats looks at how the NZDF supports other agencies’ biodefence activities, and considers the context of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Approaches to Economic Challenges: Confronting Planetary Emergencies: OECD 9 October 2020
    New Approaches to Economic Challenges: Confronting Planetary Emergencies: OECD 9 October 2020 Hon David Parker’s response following Thomas Piketty and Esther Duflo. Good morning, good afternoon, and good evening, wherever in the world you might be. I first acknowledge the excellent thought provoking speeches of Thomas Piketty and Esther ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Kaipara Moana restoration takes next step
    A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed today at Waihāua Marae between the Crown, local iwi and councils to protect, restore and enhance the mauri of Kaipara Moana in Northland. Environment Minister David Parker signed the document on behalf of the Crown along with representatives from Ngā Maunga Whakahī, Ngāti ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • New Zealand and Uruguay unite on reducing livestock production emissions
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor and Uruguayan Minister of Livestock, Agriculture and Fisheries Carlos María Uriarte have welcomed the launch of a three-year project that will underpin sustainable livestock production in Uruguay, Argentina, and Costa Rica.  The project called ‘Innovation for pasture management’ is led by Uruguay’s National Institute of Agricultural ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • 3100 jobs created through marae upgrades
    Hundreds of marae throughout the country will be upgraded through investments from the Provincial Growth Fund’s refocused post COVID-19 funding to create jobs and put money into the pockets of local tradespeople and businesses, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones and Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta have announced. “A total ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Health volunteers recognised in annual awards
    Health Minister Chris Hipkins has announced 9 teams and 14 individuals are the recipients of this year’s Minister of Health Volunteer Awards.  “The health volunteer awards celebrate and recognise the thousands of dedicated health sector volunteers who give many hours of their time to help other New Zealanders,” Mr Hipkins ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Community COVID-19 Fund supports Pacific recovery
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio says a total of 264 groups and individuals have successfully applied for the Pacific Aotearoa Community COVID-19 Recovery Fund, that will support Pacific communities drive their own COVID-19 recovery strategies, initiatives, and actions. “I am keen to see this Fund support Pacific ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Community benefits from Māori apprenticeships
    Up to 50 Māori apprentices in Wellington will receive paid training to build houses for their local communities, thanks to a $2.75 million investment from the Māori Trades and Training Fund, announced Employment Minister Willie Jackson today. “This funding will enable Ngāti Toa Rangatira Incorporated to provide its Ngā Kaimahi ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Training fund supports Māori jobseekers
    Rapidly growing sectors will benefit from a $990,000 Māori Trades and Training Fund investment which will see Wellington jobseekers supported into work, announced Employment Minister Willie Jackson today. “This funding will enable Sapphire Consultants Ltd. to help up to 45 Māori jobseekers into paid training initiatives over two years through ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago