Banning smoking

Written By: - Date published: 9:44 am, September 24th, 2009 - 69 comments
Categories: health, maori party - Tags:

I have a lot of respect for Hone Harawira. The voting for a Tory government thing has lessened it but his hatred for the tobacco companies balances things out. Harawira wants smoking banned. Says he would love to whip or worse the smoking company bosses (you know they cut the price of cigarettes during the recession so people could afford to stay addicted? bastards).

The Maori Affairs select committee is going to have an investigation into the effects of smoking on Maori. We already know the effects. One in three Maori deaths caused by smoking because 45% smoke. That’s got account for most of the difference in life expectancy between Maori and non-Maori. 

Think of all the health costs, lost productivity, and the cost of buying the cancer sticks. Imagine what we could do with all that money instead.

Of course, it should be the health select committee or, better, the Minister of Health doing the investigation. Turia is associate minister but she’s too much of a sell-out to push the issue. “I’m already talking to the government about those matters … I think we’re progressing,” she says. Well, we know how talks with the Nats turn out for the Maori Party. Screwed every time.

Turia’s also against a ban. Get rid of display walls and tax ’em more she reckons. Yeah, get rid of the walls, restrict sales to licenced premises too, but more tax? No. When tobacco tax goes up, the amount smoked goes down a little but not enough to counter the higher price. People actually end up spending more on tobacco. Just adds to the poverty of the predominantly poor addicts.

A gradually introduced ban is the way to go. Set an import cap. 90% of what was imported last year. Then lower the cap by 5% or 10% each year. The addicts get weaned off slowly cause there’s not enough to go around.

Don’t worry about the WTO. Use the sanitary and phytosanitary provisions. It’s a poison that kills 5,000 New Zelanaders a year after all.

Set a retail price per gram of tobacco that works out at about $13 a packet. Make that 90% tax. That way the suppliers can’t profiteer.

Harawira’s right. Most addicts want to give up. He should know. He was one. A gradually introduced ban, in the form of import restrictions, is the way to help people get off their addiction without taking more money out of poor people’s wallets.

69 comments on “Banning smoking ”

  1. Wouldn’t reducing imports have exactly the same pricing effects as increasing taxes?

  2. Zetetic 2

    Ordinarily, it would hence the second to last paragraph.

    “Set a retail price per gram of tobacco that works out at about $13 a packet. Make that 90% tax. That way the suppliers can’t profiteer.”

  3. George D 3

    It’s inventive. And I like it for that reason alone. It deserves further investigation.

    Since neoliberal thinking took over in the 1980s, both Labour and National have been scared of directly regulating anything. Contrary to the claims of the hysteric right, the Government only very lightly intervenes in most parts of society, even when there are very clear gains to be had by doing so.

    I’m not sure that this is the best thing to do, but I know that a lot more can be done – and because it is killing people, should be done.

  4. the sprout 4

    completely agree Z.

    the erradiction of smoking as a common behaviour is a desirable goal, but…

    just raising taxes results in even poorer addicts, the consequences of which outweigh the gains in smoking reduction.

    outright banning will just result in the problems of any prohibitionist policy, most notably a new revenue source for organized crime and the criminalization of a whole new sector of the community not otherwise involved in criminal activity.

  5. Rob 5

    Yeah, well it worked for marijuana….

  6. ghostwhowalksnz 6

    Just get them to ban ALL additives to smokes. There are a multitude of minute quantities of flavour enhancers added to make them more palatable for young smokers. ( This also with alcopops with so much sugar)
    Heres a list of whats possible.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_additives_in_cigarettes

    Quite a few are obviously flavours like vanilla, wine ? etc

    Heres a list of additives to the tobacco for Philip Morris cigarettes sold in NZ

    http://www.pmintl-technical-product-information.com/aspx/IngredientsInformation.aspx

  7. Zetetic 7

    Difference with pot and tobacco is pot grows well here. Tabacco’s all imported.

    Maybe don’t take the import limit all the way down to zero, 10% of current level or something.

  8. Andrei 8

    Think of all the health costs, lost productivity, and the cost of buying the cancer sticks. Imagine what we could do with all that money instead.

    Utterly fallacious reasoning – everybody dies and uses the health system in the process. If a smoker dies at 65 he or she has probably saved the taxpayer money, not only in superannuation but also in the other health costs – eg hip replacements, intensive nursing for dementia etc that the elderly consume.

    I am not saying that smoking is a good thing but it is not the demon that you seem to think it is either.

    • Zetetic 8.1

      “If a smoker dies at 65 he or she has probably saved the taxpayer money”

      typical ignorant comment. It seems clever only because you’re uninformed. In fact, smokers have more years of poor health than non-smokers and use more health resources during that time. Don’t believe me? You’ve got the internet, get educated.

      Also, you’re argument basically boils down to ‘keeping the poor addicted and dying young is cheaper on my taxes’. Wrong and inhuman.

    • Armchair Critic 8.2

      What a genuinely revolting thing to say. People die early, unnecessarily and in a horrible manner as a result of smoking – is that not sufficiently demonic for you?
      I doubt your economic argument is valid either, the taxes on tobacco surely don’t cover the resulting costs.

    • Andrei 8.3

      It seems clever only because you’re uninformed. In fact, smokers have more years of poor health than non-smokers and use more health resources during that time.

      Smokers have a lower life expectancy than non smokers – So do Gays for that matter who have an even lower life expectancy than smokers – what-ya want to do about that?.

      The fact is that sooner or later you are going to get sick and DIE of something and along the way you are very likely to consume a significant amount of health resources. Can’t be avoided, if the cancer don’t get you Alzheimer’s will or kidney failure or something else and they all cost money to ‘treat’.

      You choose to smoke or not as the case maybe and you take your chances.

      You lefties always miss the bigger picture – can’t seem to grasp more than one idea at a time and everything is a class war.

      • Armchair Critic 8.3.1

        “You choose to smoke or not as the case maybe and you take your chances”
        It is a bit more subtle than that, Andrei. You may well choose to start smoking. Nicotine is addictive, though, so continuing to smoke is much less of a choice.

      • Maynard J 8.3.2

        You are still completely wrong Andrei. The average healthcare cost to the taxpayer for smokers is significantly higher than the general population. They dying is the cheap part, to be frank.

        You do not miss the bigger picture, you can not even seem to ge the frame in focus.

        • Andrei 8.3.2.1

          The average healthcare cost to the taxpayer for smokers is significantly higher than the general population.

          I’ll bet it isn’t, particularly since smokers die slightly younger.

          I know an old lady – never smoked who has had two hip replacements and survived breast cancer and who is currently in the high needs unit of a rest home and has been there for nearly three years – easily a million dollars spent on her health care over the past twenty years and thats just one example.

          My own mother is on a very expensive drug, which presumably is keeping her alive, and which has to be approved by Pharmac. I’d be prepared to bet that if she had been a smoker she would not have got the approval and maybe that would be the correct call in a system with limited resources, who knows.

          So why is it more expensive to treat a smoker for heart disease than a non smoker? – explain how you come up with this reasoning.

          • Maynard J 8.3.2.1.1

            You demean us all by introducing individual examples, for shame. I nkow someone who died at a decent age after not having seen a doctor for over 30 years – what is the relevance there? Absolutely none.

            “So why is it more expensive to treat a smoker for heart disease than a non smoker? explain how you come up with this reasoning.”

            Explain how you came up with the idea that that was my reasoning first.

            Especially when the word “Average” was in my comment, which would imply you are barking up the wrong tree with that assumption (in fact you are in the wrong forest).

            • Andrei 8.3.2.1.1.1

              You demean us all by introducing individual examples

              Why so?

              I am just demonstrating by example of why this thesis that smokers use more of the public health resource is BS.

              Smokers are more likely to get some diseases than non smokers but if they do and especially if they die early it just means they don’t get other diseases. Fairly obvious really.

            • NickS 8.3.2.1.1.2

              For someone how claims to be intelligent, it’s surprising that you fail to understand why we use data rather anecdotes as evidence for a argument.

            • Andrei 8.3.2.1.1.3

              For someone how claims to be intelligent, it’s surprising that you fail to understand why we use data rather anecdotes as evidence for a argument

              So where is your data? Hmmm

              You mean the numbers which dear old Hone pulled out of his arse?

              Thats data??????

              Yeah right!

            • Maynard J 8.3.2.1.1.4

              “I am just demonstrating by example of why this thesis that smokers use more of the public health resource is BS. ”

              Oh, so because you know one example, then the whole thery is false. I did not know that you also know every one else that uses or has ever used the PH system. It is very cold outside – climate change must be a crock right 😉

              Smokers get and die of costly diseases at a significantly greater rate than non-smokers. They suffer health problems at an early age, which makes them less productive, and there is a very high social cost of thousands of premature deaths.

              It is offset by lower super payments, but to think that accounts for the healthcare costs, productivity losses and so on strkies me as unlikely.

              If you look at the statistics relating to health problems faced by smokers, and then consider the average expenditure required to treat them you might get an idea – but I get the impression you want to be fed those stats. You have a web browser, get out there yourself if you do not think that smoking causes expensive premature deaths in a vastly greater proportion that experienced by non-smokers.

              You are arguing against orthodoxy – make a point and spare us the silly anecdotes.

            • NickS 8.3.2.1.1.5

              So where is your data? Hmmm

              You mean the numbers which dear old Hone pulled out of his arse?

              Thats data??????

              Yeah right!

              Nice shifting of the goal posts there by not actually addressing why we should prefer anecdotes over data.

              As for finding Hone’s exact source, one would suggest emailing him, but a little bit of google hunting turned up this;

              Number of deaths annually attributable to cigarettes

              Cigarette smoking accounted for 31 percent of all annual Māori deaths during 1989-93 as compared to 17 percent of all deaths in the total population.

              Key words; maori smoking deaths

              Pretty simple, mayhaps too simple for Andrei.

      • Reggie 8.3.3

        Andrei, let’s try some numbers shall we? And let’s exclude lung cancer, throat cancer, heart disease, premature births and pregnancy problems. Let’s also exclude strokes, amputations and impotence. Let’s just stick to a single disease which only affects smokers, emphysema (or COPD). In 2003 the Thoracic Society of Australia and New Zealand, the body that represents respiratory specialists, commissioned a report to determine the prevalence and cost burden of COPD in New Zealand.
        •COPD ranks third overall in its impact on the health of New Zealanders after ischaemic heart disease and Stroke: 2nd in men & 5th in women.
        •220,000 COPD patients in New Zealand.
        •9,250 hospital discharges and predicted to be over 12,000 by 2007.
        •4th leading cause of death.
        •Estimated cost between $102 – $192 million in direct healthcare costs.
        •COPD mortality rates for Maori women in NZ are higher than reported in any other known population of women worldwide.
        NO WAY does dying earlier counter these costs.

    • burt 8.4

      I would also like to see an honest breakdown of the health related costs of smoking. My experience tells me that overweight people and people who live longer consume much more overall in health related resources.

      Easy to say smokers costs a lot in health terms to justify the revenue grab from addicted people – but is it accurate ?

    • nic 8.5

      Two points:

      1. Smoking is clearly bad. But smokers actually save the government on healthcare,costs over their life time, even before you take into account the very high tax revenues.

      See here:
      http://content.nejm.org/cgi/content/full/337/15/1052

      and here:
      http://www.slate.com/id/2184475/

      2. Banning cigarettes would be a disaster. Prohibition has never worked. Tobacco can and will be grown in NZ. I think increasing regulation is the way to go. Things like banning retail displays and limiting outlets that can sell cigarettes. And we should also accept that a small minority of people will always smoke, no matter what we do.

  9. According to Hone on Back Benches last night, 5000 people in New Zealand die each year from tobacco, including 400 Maori. This suggests Maori mortality from tobacco is actually quite low.

    • Zetetic 9.1

      1 in 3 Maori deaths. Hone said it in his speech yesterday. It was on RNZ too.

      • yes – but with his numbers it would be even higher for non-Maori.

        • Zetetic 9.1.1.1

          yeah i understand that. suggests that number is out

          anyway. it’s not a Maori issue. it’s a class issue.

          • Zetetic 9.1.1.1.1

            actually, we’re assuming that Maori and non-Maori die in proportion to their share of the population. The Maori population is a lot younger, so that assumption might be wrong.

        • ghostwhowalksnz 9.1.1.2

          400 Maori out of 5000 total means that in proportion they are less likely to die from smoking related causes.If they were at the same rate it would be 600. Has Hone got his numbers wrong, I would have thought 800-1000 would be more like it

          • NickS 9.1.1.2.1

            /sigh

            The 5000 refers to the total number of those dead from smoking related causes, it doesn’t refer to all Maori deaths. Meaning going like you do “400 out of 5000” is actually wrong. What you need to do is “smoking related deaths for Maori, out of the total number of Maori deaths over time t”.

            It’s not that hard people.

  10. IrishBill 10

    Ah Zet, you obviously don’t understand the simple joy of putting your feet up with a nice glass of stout at the end of a long hard day, lighting your pipe and browsing your favorite passages of Das Kapital.

    • Rob 10.1

      No he does not, however he certainly wants to tell you what you can do with your pipe.

    • Zetetic 10.2

      with me it’s screeds of US leftwing websites, powered by rum.

      the occasional pipe is unlikely to get you addicted or lead you to an early grave. that’s why i like the falling supply cap, you could leave it at a low level.

      now i think about it, a supply cap on alcohol could be the way to go too. Rather than trying, largely ineffectively, to move stuff out of people’s price range with tax, just limit the total amount that can be sold.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 10.3

      Browse ? Its on You Tube! like most things from a two room flat in Soho

  11. Daveo 11

    Clearly you’d need an exemption for cigars.

  12. Quoth the Raven 12

    Think of all the health costs, lost productivity, and the cost of buying the cancer sticks. Imagine what we could do with all that money instead.

    Spend it on enforcement?
    Accroding to the harm rankings in a lancet paper alcohol is worse then tobacco. See this graph. So does banning tobacco make sense?

  13. gobsmacked 13

    Hone might want to start by having a word with his colleagues in the National caucus:

    NZ Herald, October 2005:

    National’s political correctness eradicator, Wayne Mapp, is eyeing changes to the ban on smoking in bars and restaurants, which he says is an example of the “nanny state”. …

    “Non-smokers are entitled to have a smoke-free environment, but you can get a reasonable balance on this.”

    Note the familiar ‘balance’ line, the classic cover for reactionary policies, as heard daily from this National government.

  14. Seti 14

    Accroding to the harm rankings in a lancet paper alcohol is worse then tobacco. See this graph. So does banning tobacco make sense?

    Whilst there appear to be no redeeming benefits from tobacco there is some research that suggests alcohol indeed saves more lives than it takes –

    Alcohol saves more lives than it takes, according to new research from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
    While alcohol is blamed for more than 13,000 deaths a year, largely among heavy drinkers, a moderate intake saves 15,000 lives a year, says the study.
    Modest consumption of between one and two units a day is thought to give protection from coronary heart disease to men over 40 and to postmenopausal women. Alcohol is also known to help raise the levels of protective cholesterol.

    • Quoth the Raven 14.1

      The paper includes social harm not just physical. I think that number (13000) is just those from disease not accidents and such which you don’t get with tobacco and the benefits in terms of heart disease are only for older people. In any case we really don’t need any more restrictions on either of them.

  15. randal 15

    nah..they should make smoking compulsory and give them free pot to go with it.
    after the rupture rent in the social fabric with boy racers and p then tobacco and pot could hardly do any worse.

    • burt 15.1

      Think of the lost govt revenue. It’s not acceptable for suppliers to put the price up and make profit – but govt profit from cigs is OK. Hell Zetetic wants to add another $2 or more to each packet.

      • Maynard J 15.1.1

        Govt profit from cigarettes? Oh and all those costs they incur, that are paid by the government, are completely unrelated I guess.

        • Rob 15.1.1.1

          They profit today from having smoking. If they ban it they will pay the costs of the healthcare for another 50 years with no cigarette tax money to cover it.

          • Maynard J 15.1.1.1.1

            …which would imply they do not get enough money from smoking to cover the costs incurred.

            • Armchair Critic 15.1.1.1.1.1

              Which could be construed to mean that the government doesn’t make a profit from cigarettes. Now, what was burt’s point, again?

            • burt 15.1.1.1.1.2

              Advanced logic from Armchair Critic.

              Here is a tip: Base your argument on facts and reason rather than simple contradiction of what I say. There is no logical basis for saying that removing all tobacco related income now while costs are delayed proves that there is not a profit being made from tobacco taxes.

              Shees, that’s like saying if I stop earning now and live for another 20 years getting further and further into debt that I wasn’t earning more than it cost to live today….

            • Armchair Critic 15.1.1.1.1.3

              I restated MJ’s point and made a remark about your comment, I’m pleased you can see arguments and logical bases there.

  16. Rob 16

    Yep, so he can afford to build a special administration team to monitor consumption and jack up pricing. Off course the greater the price increase the greater the revenue the greater the team.

  17. BLiP 17

    Given that the Associate Minister of Health is a cigar smoking punch-up artist recipient of British American Tobacco largesse, it seems unlikely there will be any sensible policy in this area.

  18. Quoth the Raven 18

    Zet in agreement with the Wall St Journal?

  19. Rich 19

    It’s pretty clear that prohibition of any recreational drug doesn’t work.

    I’d suggest that the reason for most problematic substance use is that people have a lack of self-fulfillment that leads them to misuse substances. Better general education, living standards and social support will reduce tobacco addiction. That’s why tobacco addicts are predominantly in the poorer part of society.

    • Ari 19.1

      One of the interesting ideas around that was to make cigarettes prescription-only. Thus people who already smoke could continue to get them, but they’d become very inconvenient to get.

      Often making things annoying works better than making them expensive or illegal.

      Of course, it’s certainly possible that this approach would have some of the same problems as an outright ban.

  20. millsy 20

    The Maori Party has strong connections with the Mongerel Mob/Black Power.

    Guess who will benefit in black market cigarette sales if the Maori Party gets its way….

    • burt 20.1

      millsy

      Can you demonstrate the strong connections with the Mongrel Mob/Black Power or are you just being racist ?

      You know gangs of Maori people, Maori political party – must be a link right ?

      However I don’t dispute the gangs benefit from banning desirable/addictive substances.

  21. Swampy 21

    And if you’re such a strong supporter of banning tobacco I assume you are also strongly in support of banning all other drugs and alcohol as well.

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    Seymour said lower speed limits “drained the joy from life as people were forced to follow rules they knew made no sense.” File Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Friday, June 14 were:The National/ACT/NZ First ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Friendly but frank talks with China Premier
    It sounded like the best word to describe yesterday’s talks between Chinese Premier Li Qiang and his heavyweight delegation of Ministers and officials and Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and New Zealand Ministers and officials was “frank.” But it was the kind of frankness that friends can indulge in. It ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    4 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #24 2024
    Open access notables Wildfire smoke impacts lake ecosystems, Farruggia et al., Global Change Biology: We introduce the concept of the lake smoke-day, or the number of days any given lake is exposed to smoke in any given fire season, and quantify the total lake smoke-day exposure in North America from 2019 ...
    4 days ago
  • Geoffrey Miller: China’s message to New Zealand – don’t put it all at risk
    Don’t put it all at risk. That’s likely to be the take-home message for New Zealand Prime Minister Christopher Luxon in his meetings with Li Qiang, the Chinese Premier. Li’s visit to Wellington this week is the highest-ranking visit by a Chinese official since 2017. The trip down under – ...
    Democracy ProjectBy Geoffrey Miller
    5 days ago
  • The Real Thing
    I know the feelingIt is the real thingThe essence of the soulThe perfect momentThat golden momentI know you feel it tooI know the feelingIt is the real thingYou can't refuse the embraceNo?Sometimes we face the things we most dislike. A phobia or fear that must be confronted so it doesn’t ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on how moderates empower the political right
    Struth, what a week. Having made sure the rural sector won’t have to pay any time soon for its pollution, PM Christopher Luxon yesterday chose Fieldays 2024 to launch a parliamentary inquiry into rural banking services, to see how the banks have been treating farmers faced with high interest rates. ...
    5 days ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Thursday, June 13
    In April, 17,656 people left Aotearoa-NZ to live overseas, averaging 588 a day, with just over half of those likely to have gone to Australia. Photo: Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Thursday, June 13 ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Our guide to having your say on the draft RLTP 2024
    Auckland’s draft Regional Land Transport Plan (RLTP) 2024 is open for feedback – and you only have until Monday 17 June to submit. Do it! Join the thousands of Aucklanders who are speaking up for wise strategic investment that will dig us out of traffic and give us easy and ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    5 days ago
  • The China puzzle
    Chinese Premier Li Qiang arrives in Wellington today for a three-day visit to the country. The visit will take place amid uncertainty about the future of the New Zealand-China relationship. Li hosted a formal welcome and then lunch for then-Prime Minister Chris Hipkins in Beijing a year ago. The pair ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    5 days ago
  • Fossil fuels are shredding our democracy
    This is a re-post of an article from the Climate Brink by Andrew Dessler published on June 3, 2024. I have an oped in the New York Times (gift link) about this. For a long time, a common refrain about the energy transition was that renewable energy needed to become ...
    5 days ago
  • Life at 20 kilometres an hour
    We are still in France, getting from A to B.Possibly for only another week, though; Switzerland and Germany are looming now. On we pedal, towards Budapest, at about 20 km per hour.What are are mostly doing is inhaling a country, loving its ways and its food. Rolling, talking, quietly thinking. ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    6 days ago
  • Hipkins is still useless
    The big problem with the last Labour government was that they were chickenshits who did nothing with the absolute majority we had given them. They governed as if they were scared of their own shadows, afraid of making decisions lest it upset someone - usually someone who would never have ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Exercising with the IDF.
    This morning I did something I seldom do, I looked at the Twitter newsfeed. Normally I take the approach of something that I’m not sure is an American urban legend, or genuinely something kids do over there. The infamous bag of dog poo on the front porch, set it on ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • Helm Hammerhand Anime: First Pictures and an Old English ‘Hera’
    We have some news on the upcoming War of the Rohirrim anime. It will apparently be two and a half hours in length, with Peter Jackson as Executive Producer, and Helm’s daughter Hera will be the main character. Also, pictures: The bloke in the middle picture is Freca’s ...
    6 days ago
  • Farmers get free pass on climate AND get subsidies
    The cows will keep burping and farting and climate change will keep accelerating - but farmers can stop worrying about being included in the ETS. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Wednesday, June 12 were:The ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Six ideas to secure Te Huia’s Future
    This is a guest post by our friend Darren Davis. It originally appeared on his excellent blog, Adventures in Transitland, which features “musings about public transport and other cool stuff in Aotearoa/ New Zealand and around the globe.” With Te Huia now having funding secure through to 2026, now is ...
    Greater AucklandBy Darren Davis
    6 days ago
  • The methane waka sinks
    In some ways, there may be less than meets the eye to the Government announcement yesterday that the He Waka Eke Noa proposal for farmers to pay for greenhouse gas emissions has been scrapped. The spectre of farmers still having to pay at some point in the future remains. That, ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    6 days ago
  • At a glance – Does positive feedback necessarily mean runaway warming?
    On February 14, 2023 we announced our Rebuttal Update Project. This included an ask for feedback about the added "At a glance" section in the updated basic rebuttal versions. This weekly blog post series highlights this new section of one of the updated basic rebuttal versions and serves as a ...
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: Farmers get what they wanted – for now
    Since entering office, National has unravelled practically every climate policy, leaving us with no effective way of reducing emissions or meeting our emissions budgets beyond magical thinking around the ETS. And today they've announced another step: removing agriculture entirely. At present, following the complete failure of he waka eka noa, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Presumed Innocent?
    The blue billionaireDistraction no interactionOr movement outside these glazed over eyesThe new great divideFew fight the tide to be glorifiedBut will he be satisfied?Can we accept this without zoom?The elephant in the roomNot much happens in politics on a Monday. Bugger all in fact. Although yesterday Christopher Luxon found he ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    7 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on our doomed love affair with oil and gas
    What if New Zealand threw a fossil fuel party, and nobody came? On the weekend, Resources Minister Shane Jones sent out the invitations and strung up the balloons, but will anyone really want to invest big time in resuming oil and gas exploration in our corner of the planet? Yes, ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    7 days ago
  • Building better housing insights
    This is a guest post by Meredith Dale, senior urban designer and strategist at The Urban Advisory. There’s a saying that goes something like: ‘what you measure is what you value’. An RNZ article last week claimed that Auckland was ‘hurting’ because of a more affordable supply of homes, particularly townhouses ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    7 days ago
  • Putin would be proud of them
    A Prime Minister directs his public service to inquire into the actions of the opposition political party which is his harshest critic. Something from Orban's Hungary, or Putin's Russia? No, its happening right here in Aotearoa: Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has announced the Public Service Commission will launch an ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Resources for debunking common solar and wind myths
    This is a repost from a Yale Climate Connections article by SueEllen Campbell published on June 3, 2024. The articles listed can help you tell fact from fiction when it comes to solar and wind energy. Some statements you hear about solar and wind energy are just plain false. ...
    1 week ago
  • Juggernaut
    Politics were going on all around us yesterday, and we barely noticed, rolling along canal paths, eating baguettes. It wasn’t until my mate got to the headlines last night that we learned there had been a dismayingly strong far right result in the EU elections and Macron had called a ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Numbers Game.
    Respect Existence, Or Expect Resistance? There may well have been 50,000 pairs of feet “Marching For Nature” down Auckland’s Queen Street on Saturday afternoon, but the figure that impresses the Coalition Government is the 1,450,000 pairs of Auckland feet that were somewhere else.IN THE ERA OF DRONES and Artificial Intelligence, ...
    1 week ago
  • Media Link: AVFA on post-colonial blowback.
    Selwyn Manning and I discuss varieties of post colonial blowback and the implications its has for the rise of the Global South. Counties discussed include Palestine/Israel, France/New Caledonia, England/India, apartheid/post-apartheid South Africa and post-colonial New Zealand. It is a bit … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Policy by panic
    Back in March, Ombudsman Peter Boshier resigned when he hit the statutory retirement age of 72, leaving the country in the awkward (and legally questionable) position of having him continue as a temporay appointee. It apparently took the entire political system by surprise - as evinced by Labour's dick move ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • PSA: NZ's Richest Company, Zuru, Sucks
    Hi,Today the New Zealand press is breathlessly reporting that the owners of toy company Zuru are officially New Zealand’s wealthiest people: Mat and Nick Mowbray worth an estimated $20 billion between them.While the New Zealand press loses its shit celebrating this Kiwi success story, this is a Webworm reminder that ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Monday, June 10
    TL;DR: The six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty in the past day to 8:36 pm on Monday, June 10 were:20,000 protested against the Fast-track approval bill on Saturday in Auckland, but PM Christopher Luxon says ‘sorry, but not sorry’ about the need for ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • In Defence of Kāinga Ora
    Given the headlines around the recent findings of the ‘independent’ review of Kāinga Ora by Bill English, you might assume this post will be about social housing, Kāinga Ora’s most prominent role. While that is indeed something that requires defending, I want to talk about the other core purpose of ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    1 week ago
  • Baby You're A Rich Man
    “How does it feel to beOne of the beautiful peopleNow that you know who you areWhat do you want to beAnd have you traveled very far?Far as the eye can see”Yesterday the ACT party faithful were regaled with craven boasts, sneers, and demands for even more at their annual rally.That ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Stopping a future Labour government from shutting down gas exploration
    A defiant Resources Minister Shane Jones has responded to Saturday’s environmental protests by ending Labour’s offshore oil exploration ban and calling for long-term contracts with any successful explorers. The purpose would be to prevent a future Labour Government from reversing any licence the explorers might hold. Jones sees a precedent ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #23
    A listing of 32 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, June 2, 2024 thru Sat, June 8, 2024. Story of the week Our Story of the Week is Yale Climate Connection's Resources for debunking common solar and wind myths, by ...
    1 week ago
  • Fission by the river
    This is where we ate our lunch last Wednesday. Never mind your châteaux and castles and whatnot, we like to enjoy a baguette in the shadow of a nuclear power plant; a station that puts out more than twice as much as Manapouri using nothing more than tiny atoms to bring ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Fact Brief – Is the ocean acidifying?
    Skeptical Science is partnering with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. This fact brief was written by John Mason in collaboration with members from the Gigafact team. You can submit claims you think need checking via the tipline. Is the ocean acidifying? Acidification of oceans ...
    1 week ago
  • 20,000+ on Queen St.
    The largest protest I ever went on was in the mid 90s. There were 10,000 people there that day, and I’ve never forgotten it. An enormous mass of people, chanting together. Stretching block after block, bringing traffic to a halt.But I can’t say that’s the biggest protest I’ve ever been ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Josh Drummond's Columns
    Hi there,I wanted to put all of Josh Drummond’s Webworm pieces all in one place. I love that he writes for Webworm — and all of these are a good read!David.Why Are So Many “Christians” Hellbent on Being Horrible?Why do so many objectively hideous people declare themselves “Christian”?Meeting the Master ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • Bernard’s Saturday soliloquy and weekend Pick ‘n’ Mix for June 8/9
    Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: On reflection, the six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty this week were:The Government-driven freeze in building new classrooms, local roads and water networks in order to save cash for tax cuts is frustrating communities facing massive population ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • The no-vision thing
    Hello! Here comes the Saturday edition of More Than A Feilding, catching you up on the past somewhat interrupted week. Still on the move!Share Read more ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • When Journalists are Disingenuous
    Hi,One of the things I like the most about Webworm is to be able to break down the media and journalism a little, and go behind the scenes.This is one of those times.Yesterday an email arrived in my inbox from journalist Jonathan Milne, who is managing editor at Newsroom.I don’t ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • Me, elsewhere: Just say you’ll do the thing
    Wrote something over at 1/200 on a familiar theme of mine: The way we frame the economy as a separate, sacred force which must be sacrificed to, the way we talk about criminals as invaders who must be repelled, the constant othering of people on the benefit, people not in ...
    Boots TheoryBy Stephanie Rodgers
    1 week ago
  • A Voyage Among the Vandals: Accepted
    A nice bit of news today: my 4600-word historical fantasy-horror piece, A Voyage Among the Vandals, has been accepted by Phobica Books (https://www.phobicabooks.co.uk/books) for their upcoming Pirate Horror anthology, Shivering Timbers. This one is set in the Mediterranean, during the mid-fifth century AD. Notable for having one of history’s designated ...
    1 week ago
  • Ministerial conflicts of interest
    Since the National government came to power, it has been surrounded by allegations of conflicts of interest. Firstly, there's the fast-track law, which concentrates power in the hands of three Ministers, some of whom have received donations from companies whose projects they will be deciding on. Secondly, there's the close ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The 2024 Budget Forecasts Are Gloomy Prognosis About The Next Three Years.
    There was no less razzamatazz about the 2024 Budget than about earlier ones. Once again the underlying economic analysis got lost. It deserves more attention.Just to remind you, the Budget Economic and Fiscal Update (BEFU), is the Treasury’s independent assessment and so can be analysed by other competent economists (although ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    2 weeks ago
  • A government that can't see twenty feet ahead
    There are two failings that consistently characterise a National government. One is a lack of imagination, the other is their willingness to look after their mates, no matter what harm it might do to everyone else.This is how we come to have thousands of enormous trucks carving up our roads. ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    2 weeks ago
  • A post I hope is incorrect
    In May, we learned that National MP David MacLeod had "forgotten" to declare $178,000 in electoral donations. Filing a donation return which is false in any material particular is a crime, and the Electoral Commission has now referred MacLeod to police, since they're the only people who are allowed to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Māori Cannot Re-Write New Zealand’s Constitution By Stealth.
    The Kotahitanga Parliament 1897: A Māori Parliament – at least in the guise of a large and representative body dedicated to describing the shape of New Zealand’s future from a Māori perspective – would be a very good idea.THE DEMAND for a “Māori Parliament” needs to be carefully unpicked. Some Pakeha, ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Cowpats and Colonials.
    Dumbtown, is how my friend Gerard refers to people like ZB listeners - he’s not wrong.Normally on a Friday I start by looking at Mike Hosking’s moronic reckons of the week which he vomits down the throats of his audience like helpless baby birds in a nest, grateful for the ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    2 weeks ago

  • Making it easier to build granny flats
    The Government has today announced that it is making it easier for people to build granny flats, Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters and RMA Reform Minister Chris Bishop say. “Making it easier to build granny flats will make it more affordable for families to live the way that suits them ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    14 hours ago
  • High Court Judge appointed
    Attorney-General Judith Collins today announced the appointment of Auckland King’s Counsel Gregory Peter Blanchard as a High Court Judge. Justice Blanchard attended the University of Auckland from 1991 to 1995, graduating with an LLB (Honours) and Bachelor of Arts (English). He was a solicitor with the firm that is now Dentons ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Health workforce numbers rise
    Health Minister Dr Shane Reti says new data released today shows encouraging growth in the health workforce, with a continued increase in the numbers of doctors, nurses and midwives joining Health New Zealand. “Frontline healthcare workers are the beating heart of the healthcare system. Increasing and retaining our health workforce ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government to overhaul firearms laws
    Associate Justice Minister Nicole McKee has today announced a comprehensive programme to reform New Zealand's outdated and complicated firearms laws. “The Arms Act has been in place for over 40 years. It has been amended several times – in a piecemeal, and sometimes rushed way. This has resulted in outdated ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government delivers landmark specialist schools investment
    The coalition Government is delivering record levels of targeted investment in specialist schools so children with additional needs can thrive. As part of Budget 24, $89 million has been ringfenced to redevelop specialist facilities and increase satellite classrooms for students with high needs. This includes: $63 million in depreciation funding ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Major health and safety consultation begins
    A substantial consultation on work health and safety will begin today with a roadshow across the regions over the coming months, says Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Brooke van Velden.  This the first step to deliver on the commitment to reforming health and safety law and regulations, set out in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Growing the potential of New Zealand’s forestry sector in partnership
    Forestry Minister Todd McClay, today announced the start of the Government’s plan to restore certainty and confidence in the forestry and wood processing sector. “This government will drive investment to unlock the industry’s economic potential for growth,” Mr McClay says. “Forestry’s success is critical to rebuilding New Zealand’s economy, boosting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government cancels forestry ETS annual service charges for 2023-24
    Annual service charges in the forestry Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) will be cancelled for 2023/24, Forestry Minister Todd McClay says. “The sector has told me the costs imposed on forestry owners by the previous government were excessive and unreasonable and I agree,” Mr McClay says. “They have said that there ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Speech to the LGNZ Infrastructure Symposium
    Introduction Thank you for having me here today and welcome to Wellington, the home of the Hurricanes, the next Super Rugby champions. Infrastructure – the challenge This government has inherited a series of big challenges in infrastructure. I don’t need to tell an audience as smart as this one that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government boosts Agriculture and food trade with China
    Trade and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard welcomed outcomes to boost agricultural and food trade between New Zealand and China. A number of documents were signed today at Government House that will improve the business environment between New Zealand and China, and help reduce barriers, including on infant formula ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • NZ and China launch Services Trade Negotiations
    Trade Minister Todd McClay, and China’s Commerce Minister Wang Wentao, today announced the official launch of Negotiations on Services Trade between the two countries.  “The Government is focused on opening doors for services exporters to grow the New Zealand’s economy,” Mr McClay says.  As part of the 2022 New Zealand-China Free Trade Agreement Upgrade ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Prime Minister Luxon meets with Premier Li
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon met with Chinese Premier Li Qiang at Government House in Wellington today.  “I was pleased to welcome Premier Li to Wellington for his first official visit, which marks 10 years since New Zealand and China established a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership,” Mr Luxon says. “The Premier and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government and business tackling gender pay gap
    The coalition Government is taking action to reduce the gender pay gap in New Zealand through the development of a voluntary calculation tool. “Gender pay gaps have impacted women for decades, which is why we need to continue to drive change in New Zealand,” Acting Minister for Women Louise Upston ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Funding Boost for Rural Support Trusts
    The coalition Government is boosting funding for Rural Support Trusts to provide more help to farmers and growers under pressure, Rural Communities Minister Mark Patterson announced today. “A strong and thriving agricultural sector is crucial to the New Zealand economy and one of the ways to support it is to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Latest data shows size of public service decreasing
    Spending on contractors and consultants continues to fall and the size of the Public Service workforce has started to decrease after years of growth, according to the latest data released today by the Public Service Commission. Workforce data for the quarter from 31 December 23 to 31 March 24 shows ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Speech to the Law Association
    Thank you to the Law Association for inviting me to speak this morning. As a former president under its previous name — the Auckland District Law Society — I take particular satisfaction in seeing this organisation, and its members, in such good heart. As Attorney-General, I am grateful for these ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • 25 years on, NZ reaffirms enduring friendship with Timor Leste
    New Zealand is committed to working closely with Timor-Leste to support its prosperity and resilience, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “This year is the 25th anniversary of New Zealand sending peacekeepers to Timor-Leste, who contributed to the country’s stabilisation and ultimately its independence,” Mr Peters says.    “A quarter ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Inquiry requested into rural banking
    Promoting robust competition in the banking sector is vital to rebuilding the economy, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  “New Zealanders deserve a banking sector that is as competitive as possible. Banking services play an important role in our communities and in the economy. Kiwis rely on access to lending when ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Ministry for Regulation targets red tape to keep farmers and growers competitive
    Regulation Minister David Seymour, Environment Minister Penny Simmonds, and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard have today announced a regulatory sector review on the approval process for new agricultural and horticultural products.    “Red tape stops farmers and growers from getting access to products that have been approved by other OECD countries. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government to reverse blanket speed limit reductions
    The Coalition Government will reverse Labour’s blanket speed limit reductions by 1 July 2025 through a new Land Transport Rule released for public consultation today, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  The draft speed limit rule will deliver on the National-ACT coalition commitment to reverse the previous government’s blanket speed limit ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Chair appointments for NZSO, CNZ and NZ On Air
    Minister Paul Goldsmith is making major leadership changes within both his Arts and Media portfolios. “I am delighted to announce Carmel Walsh will be officially stepping into the role of Chair of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, having been acting Chair since April,” Arts Minister Paul Goldsmith says.  “Carmel is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government focus on long-term food, fibre growth
    Food and fibre export revenue is tipped to reach $54.6 billion this year and hit a record $66.6b in 2028 as the Government focuses on getting better access to markets and cutting red tape, Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones say. “This achievement is testament ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Govt consulting on cutting red tape for exporters
    A new export exemption proposal for food businesses demonstrates the coalition Government’s commitment to reducing regulatory barriers for industry and increasing the value of New Zealand exports, which gets safe New Zealand food to more markets, says Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard.  “The coalition Government has listened to the concerns ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand and Philippines elevating relationship
    New Zealand and Philippines are continuing to elevate our relationship, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “The leaders of New Zealand and Philippines agreed in April 2024 to lift our relationship to a Comprehensive Partnership by 2026,” Mr Peters says. “Our visit to Manila this week has been an excellent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Paid Parental Leave increase to help families
    Workplace Relations and Safety Minister, Brooke van Velden says paid parental leave increase from 1 July will put more money in the pockets of Kiwi parents and give them extra support as they take precious time off to bond with their newborns. The increase takes effect from 1 July 2024 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Defence increases UN Command commitment
    The number of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel deployed to the Republic of Korea is increasing, Defence Minister Judith Collins and Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today.  NZDF will deploy up to 41 additional personnel to the Republic of Korea, increasing the size of its contribution to the United ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • New Zealand to attend 'Summit on Peace in Ukraine' in Switzerland
    New Zealand will be represented at the Summit on Peace in Ukraine by Minister Mark Mitchell in Switzerland later this week.    “New Zealand strongly supports Ukraine’s efforts to build a comprehensive, just, and lasting peace,” Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “Minister Mitchell is a senior Cabinet Minister and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Big step forward for M.bovis programme
    Farmers’ hard work is paying off in the fight against Mycoplasma bovis (M. bovis) with the move to a national pest management plan marking strong progress in the eradication effort, says Biosecurity Minister Andrew Hoggard.  “The plan, approved by the Coalition Government, was proposed by the programme partners DairyNZ, Beef ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Build To Rent opening welcomed by Housing Minister
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and Housing Minister Chris Bishop formally opened a new Build to Rent development in Mt Wellington this morning. “The Prime Minister and I were honoured to cut the ribbon of Resido, New Zealand’s largest Build to Rent development to date.  “Build to Rent housing, like the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Agriculture to come out of the ETS
    The Government will deliver on its election commitment to take agriculture out of the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme (NZ ETS) and will establish a new Pastoral Sector Group to constructively tackle biogenic methane, Coalition Government Agriculture and Climate Change Ministers say. Agriculture Minister Todd McClay says New Zealand farmers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Luxon Tokyo-bound for political and business visit
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon will travel to Japan from 16-20 June, his first visit as Prime Minister.   “Japan is incredibly important to New Zealand's prosperity. It is the world’s fourth largest economy, and our fourth largest export destination.  “As you know, growing the economy is my number one priority. A strong economy means ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Bayly travels to Singapore for scam prevention meetings
    Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Andrew Bayly, travels to Singapore today to attend scam and fraud prevention meetings. “Scams are a growing international problem, and we are not immune in New Zealand. Organised criminal networks operate across borders, and we need to work with our Asia-Pacific partners to tackle ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • More help for homeowners impacted by severe weather
    People who were displaced by severe weather events in 2022 and 2023 will be supported by the extension of Temporary Accommodation Assistance through to 30 June 2025. Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says the coalition Government is continuing to help to those who were forced out of their ...
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