Written By: - Date published: 10:10 am, October 5th, 2023 - 16 comments
National says it is not interested in meeting its financial obligations under the international Paris Agreement on climate change, signed by the previous National government. Reneging on the accord will have huge trade, diplomatic and reputational damage implications.
Written By: - Date published: 8:15 am, February 22nd, 2023 - 37 comments
Here’s my prediction: Labour will not just win the October election, but it will complete a landslide of similar proportions to the 2020 election. It has been Labour’s response to the cyclones that will be the decisive factor in October. Luxon’s low energy performance helps.
Written By: - Date published: 7:25 am, February 21st, 2023 - 65 comments
Nicola Sturgeon’s shock resignation as Scotland’s First Minister was something of a replay of Jacinda Ardern’s resignation. While subject to widespread abuse, both were reluctant to cite this as their main reason for quitting. But the abuse undoubtedly played a major role. But the misogynist trend is endemic and needs to be quelled.
Written By: - Date published: 3:57 pm, February 20th, 2023 - 69 comments
The repair bill for the recent cyclones will be similar to the direct cost to government of the Canterbury earthquakes, in the $13 billion region. Banks are currently making obscene profits. The time is right to impose a one-off banking windfall tax. If a conservative Margaret Thatcher can do it, it is pretty hard to argue why a Labour government can’t.
Written By: - Date published: 9:15 am, August 31st, 2022 - 7 comments
The government’s reform of public broadcasting has made Ian Foster’s quest for rugby’s World Cup look like a cinch.
The way the Aotearoa New Zealand Public Media Bill is drafted, suggests worse calamities than the All Blacks loom for the public broadcasting sector, according to leading media critics.
Written By: - Date published: 1:31 pm, July 28th, 2022 - 46 comments
The kicker in Andrea Vance’s Blue Blood, her insider’s view of the splatter-movie that has been the National Party since John Key stepped down, is that the best yet is in production. She chronicles treachery that has become the modus operandi of the vacuous vipers inhabiting the caucus. Details of the dirty work induce you to turn the page for more. It doesn’t look like Luxon is the redeemer.
Written By: - Date published: 3:40 pm, April 27th, 2022 - 49 comments
Is Revenue Minister David Parker’s plan to gather tax data on the wealthy just more procrastination by this Labour government on making the tax system fairer? Or is it recognition the public debate needs a long-term frame to get a capital gains, or wealth tax, over the line?
Written By: - Date published: 1:14 pm, January 27th, 2022 - 154 comments
The Government’s Covid 19 response, mainly via Reserve Bank measures, has enabled a mind-boggling increase in inequality, according to influential financial commentator Bernard Hickey. Covid response has saved multiple lives, but its refusal to simultaneously address inequality via taxes raises uncomfortable questions about how a leftist government has overseen a once-in-a-generation shift in wealth
Written By: - Date published: 7:15 am, December 8th, 2021 - 136 comments
Simon Louisson has been observing Chris Luxon with a journalists eye over the last week, especially with regard to the Jack Tame interview. A bit of a mixed bag. Fast thinking but with baggage. It will be interesting to see whether the electorate will again suppress its egalitarian instincts and vote for a smooth-talking rich man.
Written By: - Date published: 12:30 pm, November 4th, 2021 - 70 comments
“We will soon be required to face the question, ‘After Elizabeth — what next?’,” Peter Hamilton wrote in his just published memoir, New Moons for Sam. He says it would be completely inappropriate for Elizabeth’s son Charles or his heir, William, to become Aotearoa’s next head of state. A head of state elected by 2/3rds of Parliament perhaps?
Written By: - Date published: 7:52 am, July 26th, 2021 - 51 comments
Aotearoa has been super sizing its vehicle fleet for over a decade and given Jacinda Ardern claim that Climate Change as her generation’s nuclear-free moment, why is her government not smacking ute owners and other gas guzzlers much harder than the just the feebate? Large vehicles increase climate change and wild weather. Fringe Benefit tax is payable on them and usually not collected. Plus they are deadly dangerous to pedestrians and other vehicles.
Written By: - Date published: 7:46 am, November 27th, 2020 - 34 comments
The government is simultaneously grappling with the Covid, economic and housing crises, but its failure to act urgently and boldly on the crisis in our Fourth Estate may have the most damaging longer-term effect. Bernard Hickey has lashed out at Broadcasting and Media Minister Kris Faafoi and Jacinda Ardern, for their fiddling-while-Rome-burns response to an industry in meltdown.
Written By: - Date published: 12:19 pm, October 25th, 2020 - 17 comments
A post mortem of the 2017-2020 parliament shows that far from being the “opposition from hell” as they had threatened, National’s caucus was as ineffective as Donald Trump dealing to Covid 19. It is a salutary lesson for the new Labour caucus which has won 64 seats in the new parliament. There may be many backbench MPs who are underemployed.
Written By: - Date published: 7:14 am, October 21st, 2020 - 33 comments
Jacinda Ardern aims to bet both ways on our future – transforming Aotearoa to rid us of inequality and poverty, and building consensus. She has won a mandate with her historic, landslide victory but can she do both? My question is whether Labour are willing to do that because of her desire to maintain consensus and not rock the waka.
Written By: - Date published: 6:53 am, September 4th, 2020 - 62 comments
Neoliberalism has run its course and displayed its profound inability to address inequality issues. It makes the poor get ever poorer while the affluent top 10% ticks of society get bloated and increasingly insufferable on untaxed capital gains. In 2017 Jacinda Ardern set a goal of bringing all children out of poverty within six years. So how is that going? And what are the next steps?
Written By: - Date published: 3:00 pm, August 1st, 2020 - 13 comments
Environment Minister Eugenie Sage this week announced the beginning of the end of Aotearoa’s unfortunate experiment with free-market waste management that has trashed our environment. It may be just a baby step, but moving away from a failed free-market approach seems a good first step.
Written By: - Date published: 10:45 am, April 7th, 2020 - 93 comments
New Zealand, like many other nations, is hurtling towards economic depression faster than Covid-19 spreads. “We are going to have a depression”. “This is like an asteroid hit the global economy”. “We can print our way of this”. Reflections on what lies ahead by Simon Louisson, Bernard Hickey and others.
Written By: - Date published: 9:39 am, January 3rd, 2020 - 5 comments
John le Carré’s 26th book, Agent Running in the Field, which, according to the publishers is his take on Brexit, and suggests a dystopian future for European liberal democracies in a post-Brexit world. It follows John le Carré’s overarching theme – with friends like these, who needs enemies?
Written By: - Date published: 8:15 am, October 30th, 2019 - 26 comments
One of the first acts of Wellington mayor-elect, Andy Foster has been to reverse his stance on the council’s 34% holding in Wellington International Airport Ltd (WIAL). Whether he can get his plan to sell the airport stake past a once hostile public or a leftist-dominated council also seems about as likely as his desire to bulldoze through another tunnel through Mt Vic.
Written By: - Date published: 1:45 am, April 10th, 2019 - 73 comments
The government has been rightly lauded for swiftly acting to ban assault weapons after the Christchurch massacre, but is its failure to decisively call social media giants to order just as weak and unacceptable as the failure to act on Aramoana massacre back in 1990?
Written By: - Date published: 2:41 pm, March 25th, 2019 - 46 comments
The most important comment in the Tax Working Group’s Final Report is that even the reasonably comprehensive capital gains tax proposed is likely to have only a minor impact on addressing inequality — what is needed is a more progressive income tax system that lifts the top marginal tax rate
Written By: - Date published: 3:23 pm, March 22nd, 2019 - 43 comments
Submissions for the final report on the Electricity Price Review closed today at noon. My recent experience with Genesis Energy reveals pricing by power company majors not only rips customers off, but is immoral. The initial report of the EPR is unlikely to address this issue.
Written By: - Date published: 5:35 am, March 21st, 2019 - 185 comments
Passing stringent gun controls is far from a knee-jerk reaction to the Christchurch massacre – our politicians of all stripes have procrastinated over this ever since the 1990 Aramoana massacre. We already have the 13 recommendations of the 2017 Law & Order committee that were rejected. Let us at the very least now accept those.
Written By: - Date published: 2:20 pm, November 7th, 2018 - 14 comments
The latest unemployment data showing the jobless rate falling to under 4% follows the equally bad 1.0% economic growth in the September quarter and a budget surplus of $5.5b, confirming the economy is going down like Donald Trump, as predicted by the ANZ Bank’s business confidence survey
Written By: - Date published: 4:26 pm, October 25th, 2018 - 21 comments
The Jami-Lee Ross scandal may have quietened down but issues raised by his explosive tape recording of Simon Bridges still need addressing. Does the $100k Zhang Yikun donation suggest we are going down the US track and, if so, what needs to be done about that
Written By: - Date published: 3:32 pm, October 18th, 2018 - 207 comments
Maybe not a smoking gun, Jami-Lee Ross’s tape recording of Simon Bridges sheds plenty of sunlight on the influence that money can buy within the National Party, casual racism endemic within National, the manipulation of ethnic communities and, most importantly, insights into the wielding of “soft power” by China.
Written By: - Date published: 12:41 pm, October 16th, 2018 - 171 comments
Jamie-Lee Ross will seek to win a by-election as an independent. Says that Simon Bridges is corrupt and unlikeable and that he could prove it. Refutes Simon Bridges claim against him of harassment of women. Said the by-election would be a referendum on Bridges’ leadership. Updated: Simon Bridges responds – what he doesn’t say is more interesting
Written By: - Date published: 12:28 pm, September 24th, 2018 - 66 comments
Wellington has been the poster city for public transport in Aotearoa, but the debacle of introducing the hated hub system to Wellington’s bus system not only threatens that status but has wide implications for the success of government’s policy of favouring public transport over cars. Intervention is needed.
Written By: - Date published: 6:10 pm, September 21st, 2018 - 66 comments
The Tax Working Group says the gaping holes in our tax system make it unfair and undermine its integrity, but the prospect of the electorate embracing even its limited recommendations on taxing capital gains make for depressing contemplation.
Written By: - Date published: 1:29 pm, September 20th, 2018 - 99 comments
ANZ Bank’s Outlook business confidence survey has been forecasting gloom and doom for the economy ever since the surprise election result turfed out the National Party. Today’s GDP data showed the economy has actually been pumping along faster than the Reserve Bank believes is good for it.
Written By: - Date published: 11:26 am, September 13th, 2018 - 17 comments
Why is it that all risk lies with the shareholders? Why does poor performance by a company not result in CEO and top management bonuses being clawed back?