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‘Become a nation of savers’

Written By: - Date published: 11:52 am, November 27th, 2008 - 34 comments
Categories: bill english, kiwisaver, national/act government, tax - Tags:

That’s Finance Minister Bill English’s message to Kiwis.

So, that would be why he is cutting our Kiwisaver nesteggs in half to pay for tax cuts for the wealthy, eh?

34 comments on “‘Become a nation of savers’”

  1. IrishBill 1

    Because, as I have previously pointed out, the people in receipt of the bulk of the tax cuts are more likely to use them to pay down debt and increase savings. At the expense of the other 80% of taxpayers and any short-term fiscal stimulus.

  2. gingercrush 2

    Those tax cuts go to everyone. National dropped the larger tax cuts that would have targeted higher income earners.. Tax cuts always benefit the people who pay the most tax. Personally I think that is fair. [we’ve been through this time and again. look at the archives under ‘tax’. Cuts don’t have to favour the rich and they definitely don’t have to get infinitely larger as income rises. Labour’s cuts, the current legislated ones, cap out at 80K, National’s ones just get larger and larger the richer the taxpayer is, and National’s cuts for ordinary Kiwi’s are smaller than Labour’s. SP]

    As for Kiwisaver. An option to save 2% of your weekly income is fair. And the employer giving extra I never liked and think its still too harsh. Where National went wrong was in making the changes where the income cut in to how much the government kicks into the scheme. Hopefully, they make that change when they legislate.

  3. the sprout 3

    Well he does have a point, nothing like the state abandoning all responsibility to its citizens to to encourage self-reliance. Just a bit of a shame the people needing the most ‘incentive’ don’t actually have any money to save.

  4. Tane 4

    The tax cuts targeted the average taxpayer.

    No they don’t. Forty percent of the cash goes to the wealthiest ten percent of taxpayers, while anyone with a family earning less than $44,000 a year pays more tax than they would have under Labour.

    Oh, and any anyone in Kiwisaver is worse off, no matter what their income.

    Right plans give away to rich at your expense

    http://norightturn.blogspot.com/2008/10/who-benefits-from-nationals-tax-cuts.html

  5. gingercrush 5

    I did say average. And why link me to two left blogs (one this very blog) who are clearly partisan when it comes to tax cuts and thus are not balanced.

    [the numbers in the links are accurate. If you’re arguing they’re not just because the sources are leftwing, I hope you have some evidence. SP]

  6. vinsin 6

    Ginger: why do you persevere with this practice of saying things that happen to be wrong, and then when you’re provided with evidence proving you’re wrong you claim bias, or, partisanship?
    As Tane pointed out – quite succinctly I might add – “Forty percent of the cash goes to the wealthiest ten percent of taxpayers, while anyone with a family earning less than $44,000 a year pays more tax than they would have under Labour.” Both the links he provided provide you with are only “biased” stylistically, the numbers provided on both links come from National’s tax policy. If the same numbers were on a site like Kiwi-blog the writing around it would show “bias” towards right-leaning ideology. My point is: look at the numbers, not the rhetoric surrounding them.

  7. All the recent history (several decades) shows Kiwis SPEND money and don’t SAVE it.

    National cutting the saving capacity of Kiwisaver is no help to saving.

    With interest rates expected to head to 4% to subsidise all the debt addicts….tell me again why people would save?

    I’m not seeing it.

  8. Mr Magoo 8

    Actional giving tax cuts to the rich? My god, what is the world coming to.

    In other news: China is a communist country that everybody wants as a friend and Russia does not hold fair elections and is about to change their constitution to let Putin back in. Such is the world.

    I am going to make such a mint off them this year it is obscene. And I would give it all away to have labour/green in power right now. Go figure.

    I like your input here Ginger. A lone, (semi 🙂 ) rational right voice in a sea of lefties.

    I don’t agree with anything you say, but I figure that provide us something worth being annoyed by and typing about. Good on you!

  9. vinsin 9

    Yeah, please don’t leave us Ginger, I don’t know what we’d do without you and those of your ilk. This site would be a left-wing hug-fest if people like you weren’t around.

  10. Tim 10

    Clearly not everyone is going to be able to save because some at the bottom need all their available income to meet their living needs. Kiwisaver wasn’t a complete fix for this, at the lower end of the income scale people were still unable to afford it, especially with a 4% entry. I’d prefer to see Kiwisaver reduced to a 1% (or even lower) entry to enable those at the bottom to join in. Employers shouldn’t be forced to match contributions, it makes it harder for those struggling just to pay the staff they have and raises the risk of having to lay off staff to keep their business running.
    I think we need some sort of cap on how much the government contributes though, it can’t just be an open chequebook.

  11. Tim: 1% is useless for retirement saving….unless you live to be 150 and don’t retire until you’re 120.

  12. Mr Magoo 12

    The tax relief being touted by National is NOT the solution to this problem for all its cost. In rough summery: it is a short-term and therefore short sighted solution to a long term problem. It will also leave NZ in a worse debt situation than before with a very low stimulatory effect due to the income bracket it targets. (i.e. High income bracket tax relief such as the “bush tax cuts” have the lowest stimulatory return)
    See the graph at the end of this blog entry:
    http://www.ourfuture.org/blog-entry/2008104427/tax-cuts-ineffcient-stimulus

    Kiwisaver was a long-term solution the core debt problem in NZ which is compacting this crisis on NZ and NZers who have taken on too much debt. Of course kiwisaver would not be a complete solution to this problem either – but it sure does help. In 10 years once savings have grown and compounded, it might be renamed “economy saver”.

    I would have preferred more ingenious and targeted initiatives. Utilising industries that have or will have spare capacity – such as the building industry. More specifically using them to increase the growth potential of our country.

  13. gingercrush 13

    No offense but my first reply could have rebutted without editing inside.

    The problem is not with the data in either of those left-wing blogs. Its the context you put them in. You say the tax cuts are taken away from lower income people to support the higher income. But tax cuts do that. Labour’s tax cuts do that. When you earn 80, 000. You don’t pay that 80, 000 dollars at the top rate. You pay a proportion at the top rate. Even if you said no tax in the first 20, 000 its still the taxpayers who earn the most money. Second, the tax cuts targeted average income earners. Its clear in the data that is what happened. Yes higher income earners get more benefit from the tax cuts. But that is because they pay the most taxes and they only pay a proportion of tax at that top rate. The rest is taxed at what other income earners are paying.

    If it was really a tax cut for the rich. The top tax rate and threshold would have dramatically dropped. Ie. 30 cents for earners $50, 000+. National’s plan originally was to see a bigger tax cut for the rich. But because of economic conditions that was changed so they insured AVERAGE earners would get a tax cut. So while with National’s plan higher income earners get the most benefits. That is inherent in how tax is paid in New Zealand in the first place.

    You can make your argument with families. That is a fair assessment. But National’s tax cuts benefit most income earners. Always higher income earners benefit from tax cuts more than others. But the tax cuts still delivered to the average worker. Thus was targeted to the average worker.

    —-

    Oh and thank you vinsin and Mr Magoo its nice to be insulted. You can say a lot about me but I typically don’t go round insulting people and its a pity you can’t do the same.

  14. Mr Magoo 14

    Oh and thank you vinsin and Mr Magoo its nice to be insulted. You can say a lot about me but I typically don’t go round insulting people and its a pity you can’t do the same.
    Actually it was an honest compliment to an opponent about being stoic in an obviously hostile environment. But I guess you are so used to the insults on this site that you missed it?

    Regardless. On to my disagreements with your point of view:

    At the end of the day, tax cuts give cash back to workers. They do not have to be given back proportionately and in fact can be given in a almost completely flat across the board way. (e.g. first 20K tax free)
    The effect of that policy on anyone earning more than 20K is that they ALL (i.e. almost all in full time work) get the same amount of tax relief. No differentiation at all.

    The opposite scenario is to reduce the tax rate by a flat amount. (i.e. all tax reduced by 2% at all levels)
    The obvious effect of this policy is to give the richest people a disproportionate amount of the total tax relief. This is because most people in NZ do not actually earn a heck of lot compared to the top 5-10%. (i.e. we are talking medians here, not averages!)

    There are all sorts of interesting policies in between. Working for families being one of the most innovative I have seen in that the poorer and more “child strapped” you are, the more you get.

    National have opted for a solution more towards the “2% for all” scenario, except that they offset the lower income people by cutting a few other things they may have been entitled to. Their package is quite complicated and as far as I can tell was mostly based on gettimg votes from those not covered by working for families and kiwisaver.

    Now you may make an argument over whether the wealthy deserve more cash than the average person during this crisis because they “deserve it more”, but I would imagine that 70% of NZ would not agree with you.

    I completely disagree with tax cuts as a solution to this problem. Tax cuts to anyone earning over 70k, triply so. I would remind everyone that we already got a tax cut, so a second is just not sensible at the moment. (some missed out, but the idea is that a cut stimulates growth, not make single and/or rich people feel good)
    As I mentioned earlier, I would prefer that the money be spent generating jobs and smart infrastructure investment.

  15. ginger. you’re right you can’t argue with the numbers, and the numbers for nationak’s cuts are 40% of the money going to the wealthiest 10%.

    The major difference between national’s tax cut and labour’s is national will cut the top rate by 2% and not raise the threshold for the bottom 12.5% rate. Tax cut packages don’t have to be designed like that

  16. randal 16

    so this is a national special huh sp!

  17. Macro 17

    You have to give it to him! – Ginge is persistent, or thick, or both!
    How is it possible to NOT see that the tax package promised by National rewards the top income bracket AT THE EXPENSE of those on low incomes – the very ones that will be affected the most by the stricter mortgage criteria introduced by the Banks? And now English has the AUDACITY to somehow claim it, as if its a good thing and the result of National’s prudent management of the economy already!

  18. gingercrush 18

    Low income earners pay very little tax. Low income families are generously supported by working for families. Low income earners get a tax cut. Its not at the expense of them as they are supported several ways via state housing, accommodation supplement etc etc etc. Tax cuts will never work for the truly low income workers. They can only benefit via welfare transfers.

    The mortgages are a whole separate matter. Labour didn’t do well in this area either. And I can’t see how low income earners could even come up with 5% deposit on a mortgage.

  19. the sprout,

    personal interest.. re your wee picture at top right comments.. is it a brussels sprout? I ask because recently the seeds I planted came up with the look of yours but rounded leaves and tips.. and I’m wondering just what I have got.. someone having mentioned they look like broccoli..

  20. Mr Magoo 20

    Low income earners pay very little tax
    Yes, because they also earn very little. They also have a much larger propotion of their income devoted to “keeping alive and well” than wealthy people.

    state housing, accommodation supplement
    Most families do not receive these or live in a state house. Shocking, I know. The waiting list for state houses is 3+ yrs.
    http://www.hnzc.co.nz/hnzc/web/rent-buy-or-own/rent-from-housing-new-zealand/waiting-list.htm
    Over 4000 families in significant housing need or greater. Thats of those who bother to apply…

    Tax cuts will never work for the truly low income workers.
    The difference they make is far more pronounced for low income earners than for the wealthy. Come on now, you really think that 60/wk for someone on 150k per year is going to impact them more than 20/wk for someone on 30k per year?? Pleeease.
    But I do agree with you on that point! Tax cuts are a “block of cheese” joke and will not really serve the public good in the end. As much as we like cash in our hand, it has a history of not being as useful to us as we had hoped compared to healthcare, savings, etc.

    “And I can’t see how low income earners could even come up with 5% deposit on a mortgage.”
    Welcome home loans. More state houses. Shared equity.
    I am sorry, your argument here simply does not fly. In fact it barely stands up at all.

  21. gingercrush 21

    State Houses. Labour is opposed to selling state houses to tenants. Welcome home loans has numerous problems. The fact is there are very few houses that fall under its criteria. Shared equity is very limited and you still need to raise 5% deposit.

  22. QoT 22

    Haha, nice one, Ginge. All those families on benefits who don’t qualify for Working for Families are clearly a figment of my imagination.

    Please, please respond with something about “they should stop spending the dole on booze and drugs”, I like that one.

  23. Chris G 23

    Once again the Nats show how effective saying the agreeable things to certain audiences is. I dont think they can commit to saying the same thing time and time again.

    Except: “Fresh” and “Ambitious” They sure like saying that.

  24. Phil 24

    QoT,

    Please, please respond with something about “they should stop spending the dole on booze and drugs’, I like that one.

    If I recall the HES breakdown from Statistics New Zealand correctly, it shows that lower income households spend proportionately more of their income on cigarettes and alcohol than the national average… take from that what you will.

  25. gingercrush 25

    QoT – Why are you talking about beneficiaries. No one is talking about beneficiaries. The only way they make more money is if their benefits rise or they get a job.

  26. Gustavo Trellis 26

    It amuses me that when people argue people who pay less tax should be given back more of it. 12% of the working age population in New Zealand pay 51% of the personal tax take. So who is being dealt a disproportionate hand here?

  27. Pascal's bookie 27

    Gustavo,

    “12% of the working age population in New Zealand pay 51% of the personal tax take. So who is being dealt a disproportionate hand here?”

    Need more info. What percentage of NZ’s total wealth does that 12% control, what % of national annual income do they earn, etc and so on and so forth.

    In any case, who here is arguing that the rich don’t pay a higher proprtion of the tax take?

  28. QoT 28

    Right ginge, because beneficiaries don’t pay tax … OH WAIT THEY KINDA DO, just like Real People.

    Phil – as soon as you define “lower income households” and state the actual proportions involved, it’s just so much “Poor people are stupid and deserve to not be able to afford food for their children”.

  29. gingercrush 29

    Yes they do pa tax indirectly true. But I still struggle to see your point about beneficiaries. Since we’re talking about tax cuts for those who pay income tax.

  30. Gustavo Trellis 30

    Pascal. I do not have those figures at my fingertips, and I believe they fall outside the study’s parameters. But income tax levels should be set on the basis of income, and not wealth.

  31. ginger. benefit payments are taxable income, you pay income tax on them

  32. TimeWarp 32

    What Mr Magoo said on the first pass… hit it in one.

    We seem to be damned to at least 3 years of one-dimensional quick fix approaches to long-term systemic issues.

  33. Nasi_Lemak 33

    Yikes – I feel for Ginger. It’s nice to get a little heated debate going, but lets be rational.

    1. Low income families earn less, therefore spend proportionately more on consumption. Therefore they save less than those on higher incomes. This is always going to be true…can anybody suggest a way out of this?

    I agree with Tim – maybe the threshhold for Kiwisaver should be dropped to 1% – yes its a tiny amount, but something is better than nothing no? 4% is really high for somebody on the average wage or lower…and we should be encouraging saving at all levels of society.

    2. Beneficiaries pay tax through GST – consumption taxes and yes they don’t benefit from income tax cuts, seeing as they do not technincally work and pay personal income tax. I’m sorry, but that seems fair to me. If an individual is on the unemployment benefit I feel they shouldn’t receive the same advantages as somebody who works. Those on sickness or invalid benefits are an entirely different story. Maybe the problem is in lumping different types of beneficiaries into one category…when they all have different needs and incentives.

    3. The response to National’s tax cut package was that the rich are benefitting more than the average kiwi…

    The way I see it is that if you have natural talent or you worked your butt off to get a job that pays highly, why should you be penalised for that? Most of the people I know that earn over $60,000 have either spent a significant amount of time studying or working their way up to get there. They spent time and money to get where they are and to maintain that position. Why begrudge somebody for having money?

    Also – note the difference between income and wealth. Two very different things…!

    Lastly, what constitutes an average kiwi? Moreover define ‘rich’…

  34. Tim 34

    Steve Withers, yes 1% makes for a poor retirement plan but is nonetheless savings and in that respect is better than saving 0%. Also these people will receive superannuation.
    Additionally Kiwisaver funds can also be used towards a house deposit (and contributions can be funnelled to mortgage payments) and in that respect the 1% could be more useful.

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    That's the only response to the findings of the Ombudsman's investigation into LGOIMA practices at the Christchurch City Council:My investigation identified serious concerns about the Council’s leadership and culture, and its commitment to openness and transparency. In particular, Council staff raised concerns with me about various methods employed by some ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • There is what corruption looks like
    NZ First seems to be nakedly trying to enrich itself from public office:A powerful New Zealand First figure helped establish a forestry company that then pushed for money from two key funding streams controlled by a New Zealand First Minister. An RNZ investigation has found Brian Henry, lawyer for Winston ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Escape from Manus Island
    Behrouz Boochani is an award winning author and journalist. He is also a refugee, who for the past six years has been detained in Australia's offshore gulag on Manus Island, and in Papua New Guinea. But last night, with the cooperation of the WORD Christchurch festival and Amnesty International, he ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • When World’s Collide.
    Different Strokes: If a multicultural immigration policy imposes no obligation on immigrant communities to acknowledge and ultimately embrace their host nation’s most cherished traditions and values, then how is that nation to prevent itself from being reduced to a collection of inward-looking and self-replicating ethnic and cultural enclaves?THE COALITION GOVERNMENT’S ...
    1 week ago
  • Could There Be Method In Massey University’s Madness?
    Protective Zone: Reading the rules and guidelines released by Massey University, it is impossible to avoid the conclusion that its governing body considers the whole concept of free speech a disruptive threat to the orderly imparting of orthodox academic knowledge.IN TRUE ORWELLIAN fashion, Massey University has announced its commitment to ...
    1 week ago
  • How does poor air quality from bushfire smoke affect our health?
    Brian Oliver, University of Technology Sydney New South Wales and Queensland are in the grip of a devastating bushfire emergency, which has tragically resulted in the loss of homes and lives. But the smoke produced can affect many more people not immediately impacted by the fires – even people many ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: We need more trees, not less
    Farmers held a hate-march on Parliament today, complete with MAGA hats, gun-nut signs, and gendered insults. While supposedly about a grab-bag of issues - including, weirdly, mental health - it was clear that the protest was about one thing, and one thing only: climate change. And specifically, forestry "destroying" rural ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Holy bin chickens: ancient Egyptians tamed wild ibis for sacrifice
    Sally Wasef, Griffith University and David Lambert, Griffith University These days, not many Aussies consider the ibis a particularly admirable creature. But these birds, now colloquially referred to as “bin chickens” due to their notorious scavenging antics, have a grandiose and important place in history – ancient Egyptian history, to ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • The IGIS annual report: Dead letters and secret law
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security released their annual report today, and I've been busy reading through it. In amongst the usual review of what they've been doing all year, there's a few interesting bits. For example, a discussion on "agency retention and disposal of information", which points out that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A referendum on bigotry
    The End of Life Choice Bill passed its third reading last night, 69 - 51. Thanks to a compromise with NZ First - which looks to have been necessary on the final numbers - the commencement of the bill will be subject to a referendum. Given the ugliness of the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Why municipal waste-to-energy incineration is not the answer to NZ’s plastic waste crisis
    Trisia Farrelly, Massey University New Zealand is ranked the third-most-wasteful country in the OECD. New Zealanders produce five times the global daily average of waste per person – and they are getting more wasteful, producing 35% more than a decade ago. These statistics are likely to get worse following China’s ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Political parties and GMOs: we all need to move on
    Recently more than 150 post-graduate students and young scientists presented an open letter to the Green Party via The Spinoff, encouraging them to reconsider their position on genetic modification. Their target is tackling climate change issues.[1] Can any party continue to be dismissive about genetic modification (GM) contributing to ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    1 week ago
  • Class, Identity Politics and Transgender Ideology
    by Deirdre O’Neill Under Thatcher and then Blair and continuing up until our contemporary moment, the working class has seen its culture slowly and progressively destroyed. The change from an industrial society to a service society produced a marked shift in focus from the working class as the backbone of ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Irony
    Since 2013, the Australian government has detained refugees without trial in Pacific gulags, where they are abused, tortured, and driven to suicide. The policy is not just an abuse of human rights and possible crime against humanity; it has also had a corrosive effect on the states Australia uses as ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • An age of protest.
    It seems fair to say that we currently live in a problematic political moment in world history. Democracies are in decline and dictatorships are on the rise. Primordial, sectarian and post-modern divisions have re-emerged, are on the rise or have been accentuated by political evolutions of the moment such as ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Another captured agency
    Last month, Greenpeace head Russel Norman surrendered his speaking slot at an EPA conference to student climate activist Sorcha Carr, who told the EPA exactly what she thought of them. It was a bold move, which confronted both regulators and polluters (or, as the EPA calls them, "stakeholders") with the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • NZ First’s dodgy loans
    The core principle supposedly underlying New Zealand's electoral finance regime is transparency: parties can accept large donations from rich people wanting to buy policy, but only if they tell the public they've been bought. Most parties abide by this, so we know that TOP was wholly-owned by Gareth Morgan, and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day: The choice on End of Life Choice
    Today is a Member's Day, probably the second-to-last one of the year, and its a big one, with the Third Reading of David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill. last Member's Day it was reported back from committee, after MPs voted narrowly to make it subject to a (rules TBA) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • How growth in population and consumption drives planetary change
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz The growth of the human population over the last 70 ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • The disappearing Women …
    by The Council of Disobedient Women In her excellent oral submission to the Abortion reform select committee on 31st October on behalf of Otago University’s Department of Public Health, historian and public health researcher Hera Cook stated: “We would ask that the committee not use the term ‘pregnant persons’ and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • “A Passage to India”: enduring art in changing times
    by Don Franks In 1957, E M Forster wrote, of his greatest work: “The India described in ‘A Passage to India’ no longer exists either politically or socially. Change had begun even at the time the book was published ( 1924) and during the following quarter of a century it ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Contemptuous
    The Referendums Framework Bill was due back from select committee today. But there's no report on it. Instead, the bill has been bounced back to the House under Standing order 29593) because the Committee didn't bother to produce one. They probably tried. But given the membership of the committee (which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Zero Carbon: It’s not just a good idea, it’s the law
    Two years into New Zealand’s Labour-led government, the long-delayed Zero Carbon Bill became law on 7 November. Passed essentially unanimously, the lengthy public debates and political manoeuvring faded away until the final passage was even anticlimactic: Flipping through the @nzstuff @DomPost I was starting to wonder if I’d dreamt ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: What happens next?
    Now the Zero Carbon Bill is law, what's next? Obviously, the ETS changes currently before select committee are going to be the next battleground. But we're also going to get a good idea of where we're going, and if the progress the Zero Carbon Act promises is good enough, during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate change will fuel bush fires
    Grant Pearce The effects of the current Australian bushfires in New South Wales and Queensland (and also again in California) are devastating and far-reaching. To date, the fires have resulted in several lives being lost and many homes and properties destroyed. Here in New Zealand, the impacts have been only ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Participation rates
    A passing comment in a post the other day about the labour force participation rates of older people prompted me to pull down the fuller data and see what we could see about various participation rates over the decades since the HLFS began in 1986.   As it happens, the ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Reddell
    2 weeks ago
  • Not So Much “OK Boomer” As “OK Ruling Class”.
    Distract And Divert: The rise of what we have come to call “Identity Politics” represents the ideological manifestation of the ruling class’s objective need to destroy class politics, and of the middle-class’s subjective need to justify their participation in the process.THE RELIEF of the ruling class can only be imagined. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Asking for it …
    "I saw a newspaper picture,From the political campaignA woman was kissing a child,Who was obviously in pain.She spills with compassion,As that young child'sFace in her hands she gripsCan you imagine all that greed and avariceComing down on that child's lips?" ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand’s Poor Pandemic Preparedness According to the Global Health Security Index
    Dr Matt Boyd, Prof Michael Baker, Prof Nick Wilson The Global Health Security Index which considers pandemic threats has just been published. Unfortunately, NZ scores approximately half marks (54/100), coming in 35th in the world rankings – far behind Australia. This poor result suggests that the NZ Government needs to ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Thank Winston
    The Zero Carbon Act is inadequate, with a weak methane target designed to give farmers a free ride. But it turns out it could have been worse: Climate Change Minister James Shaw was so desperate to get National on board, he wanted to gut that target, and leave it in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Illicit markets and Bali Booze
    The Herald reprints an Australian story on a couple of tragic deaths in Bali from drinking cocktails that had methanol in them.  The story argues that methanol is likely the result of home distillation. But what the young tourists were experiencing was far from a hangover. They’d consumed a toxic cocktail ...
    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    2 weeks ago
  • This is not what armed police are for
    Last month, the police announced a trial of specialist roaming armed units, which would drive round (poor, brown) areas in armoured SUVs, armed to the teeth. When they announced the trial, they told us it was about having armed police "ready to attend major incidents at any time if needed". ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Spain’s failed electoral gamble
    Spain went to the polls today in the second elections this year, after the Socialists (who had come to power in a confidence vote, then gone to the polls in April) rejected the offer of a coalition with the left-wing PoDemos, and instead decided to gamble n a better outcome ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The astroturf party
    National has finally rolled out its "BlueGreen" astroturf party, fronted by an array of former nats and people who were dumped by the Greens for not being Green enough. Its initial pitch is described by Stuff as "very business-friendly", and its priorities are what you'd expect: conservation, predator-free funding, a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • How to cheat at university
    A couple of days ago I attended (and spoke at) the University of Waikato’s “LearnFest” event. There were lots of talks and sessions on very diverse aspects of teaching, mostly at tertiary level. One was by Myra Williamson from Te Piringa Faculty of Law here at Waikato, on Contract Cheating ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    2 weeks ago
  • How NZ was put on world maps using a transit of Mercury
    There will be a transit of Mercury – the planet Mercury will pass across the face of the Sun – taking place at sunrise in New Zealand on Tuesday, 12th November. It was by observing such an event 250 years ago that James Cook and his scientist colleagues were able ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    2 weeks ago
  • Georgina Beyer: We need to be able to talk without being offended
    Since becoming the world’s first openly transexual mayor and member of parliament, Georgina Beyer has been recognised as a trailblazer for trans rights. Daphna Whitmore talks with her about where she sees the current trans movement We start out talking about legislation the government put on hold that would have ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • The anti-fluoride brigade won’t be erecting billboards about this study
    If FFNZ really put their faith in “Top Medical Journals” they would now be amending their billboards to recognise new research results. Image from FFNZ but updated to agree with the latest research. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Chosen To Rule? What Sort Of Christian Is Chris Luxon?
    National Messiah? Chris Luxon identifies himself as an evangelical Christian. If he is genuine in this self-characterisation, then he will take every opportunity his public office provides to proselytise on behalf of his faith. He will also feel obliged to bear witness against beliefs and practices he believes to be ...
    2 weeks ago
  • War of the worms
    I'm going to make a Reckless Prediction™ that the Tories have 'topped out' in the 'poll of polls' / Britain Elects multipoll tracker at about 38%, and in the next week we will start to see Labour creep up on them.In fact, we might just be seeing the start of ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Marvelly shows us how to be a feminist without feminism
    by The Council of Disobedient Women Lizzie Marvelly: “I may have missed this… has @afterellen gone all terf-y? Or am I reading something incorrectly? “ https://twitter.com/LizzieMarvelly/status/1191840059105742849 After Ellen is a lesbian website that is unashamedly pro-lesbian, as you’d expect. So why is Ms Marvelly so bothered about lesbians having their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago

  • Week That Was: Tackling child poverty
    It's been a great week of progress: we've celebrated Children's Day, we've made communities safer with 1800 new police, and we've seen almost 90% of eligible schools take up Government funding to scrap school donations - taking pressure off the families of more than 416,000 students. ...
    7 hours ago
  • New measures for wood processing boost
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister of Forestry The Government will further strengthen New Zealand’s wood processing sector as part of our focus on ‘value over volume’ in our forestry industry, Forestry Minister Shane Jones says. Minister Jones will today meet with forestry representatives in Northland to signal new measures to help the ...
    10 hours ago
  • New high tech traps will reduce the need for 1080 poison
    New Zealand First are celebrating the announcement of an investment of $3.5 million into five new trapping devices. These are a range of bait and trap devices, all designed to be left unattended for long periods of time. NZ First conservation spokesperson Jenny Marcroft says that this latest development will ...
    1 day ago
  • Cowboy clampers will be stymied
    Clayton Mitchell, Spokesperson for Consumer Affairs The ‘wheel clamping’ Bill that will cap clamper fees to $100 passed its third reading in Parliament today. New Zealand First welcomes The Land Transport (Wheel Clamping) Amendment Bill to combat predatory wheel clamping behaviour in what is currently a largely unregulated business. Cowboy clampers are: gouging ...
    3 days ago
  • Mental Health Commission back on track
    Jenny Marcroft, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First welcomes the passage of the Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill through its first reading in Parliament. “Today’s progress takes serious action on the mental health and addiction crisis the country is facing,” says New Zealand First Health Spokesperson Jenny Marcroft. “The re-establishment ...
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand’s key assets are not for sale: national interest test delivered
    Mark Patterson, Spokesperson for Primary Industries Today the Government announced the delivery of the promise to protect New Zealand interests by applying a new National Interest Test to the sales of our most sensitive and high risk assets to overseas buyers. This further strengthening of the Overseas Investment Act will ...
    3 days ago
  • National interest test added to protect New Zealanders’ interests
    The Coalition Government is delivering on its promise to protect New Zealanders’ interests by applying a new national interest test to the sales of our most sensitive and high-risk assets to overseas buyers. Under current Overseas Investment Act (OIA) rules, assets such as ports and airports, telecommunications infrastructure, electricity and ...
    3 days ago
  • Electoral law breach allegations
    Rt Winston Peters, Leader of New Zealand First Allegations raised this morning by Stuff Limited / Fairfax concern a party matter but I am confident that New Zealand First has operated within electoral laws, now and for the last 27 years. Declarable donations were declared to the Electoral Commission. Our ...
    3 days ago
  • Wayne Brown hits back at critics: Ports of Auckland has to move
    The chairman of the Upper North Island Supply Chain Strategy (UNISCS) working group, Wayne Brown, has hit back at critics of his group’s recommendations to relocate the Ports of Auckland cargo operations to Whangarei’s deepwater port of Northport. The working group's recommendation to close Auckland waterfront to all but cruise ...
    4 days ago
  • Week That Was: Supporting our schools
    We're setting our young people up for success, investing in education around the country.  ...
    5 days ago
  • Kiwis to have their say on End of Life Choice
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First backs the public to decide on the End of Life Choice Bill via a referendum at the 2020 General Election. The Bill, with New Zealand First’s referendum provision incorporated, passed its final reading in Parliament this evening. New Zealand First Spokesperson for ...
    1 week ago
  • Addressing miscarriages of justice
    Darroch Ball, Spokesperson for Justice New Zealand First is proud that a key Coalition Agreement commitment which will provide for a more transparent and effective criminal justice system has been realised. Legislation to establish the Criminal Cases Review Commission, an independent body focused on identifying and responding to possible miscarriages of ...
    1 week ago
  • Week That Was: Historic action on climate change
    "Today we have made a choice that will leave a legacy... I hope that means that future generations will see that we, in New Zealand, were on the right side of history." - Jacinda Ardern, Third Reading of the Zero Carbon Bill ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Tax-free deployments for Kiwi troops
    Darroch Ball, New Zealand First List MP A Member’s bill has been proposed that would provide income tax exemptions for all New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel while on operational deployment overseas. The Income Tax (Exemption for Salary or Wages of NZDF Members on Active Deployment) Amendment Bill proposed by New Zealand First ...
    2 weeks ago
  • A balanced Zero Carbon Bill passed
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, New Zealand First Leader New Zealand First is proud to have brought common sense to the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill, which passed its final reading in Parliament today. Party Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters says months of hard work went into negotiating a balanced ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Paramedics’ status to be recognised
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First has listened to calls to recognise paramedics as registered health professionals under the Health Practitioners’ Competence Assurance Act (the Act). Today, the Coalition Government announced plans for paramedics to be registered as health practitioners under the Act, and the establishment of a ...
    3 weeks ago

  • PGF approves wind turbines funding for Stewart Island
    Stewart Island/Rakiura has been granted $3.16 million from the Provincial Growth Fund to help build two wind turbines, putting the island on a path to sustainable electricity generation, Environment Minister David Parker announced today. “Stewart Island is our third largest island, after the North and South Islands, and it is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • NZ economy in good shape amid global headwinds
    A major new report on the global economy shows New Zealand is in good shape amid increased global headwinds. The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has just released its latest Economic Outlook. It shows the OECD group of economies is forecast to grow between 1.6% and 1.7% across ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • Milestone of 1800 new Police officers
    The Coalition commitment to add 1800 new Police officers to frontline policing has been achieved with the graduation of 59 constables from the Royal New Zealand Police College today. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters say today’s graduation means 1825 new Police have been deployed all ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • PM appoints business leaders to APEC Business Advisory Council
    Ensuring APEC work gets input from diverse New Zealand business and trade interests is behind three new appointments to the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC), Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says. Rachel Taulelei, Malcolm Johns and Toni Moyes have been appointed to represent New Zealand on the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • PM speech notes for Trans-Tasman Business Circle
    Nau mai, haere mai. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā tatou katoa. Thank you for having me to speak today. To start, I’d like to acknowledge Sharron Lloyd, the General Manager of the Trans–Tasman Business Circle, the partners for this event Westpac’s  David McLean, and Derek McCormack from  AUT, and, of course ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Otago Regional Council given deadline for freshwater management plan
    A four-month investigation by former Environment Court judge Professor Peter Skelton found that Otago’s freshwater planning system is not fit for purpose to manage the region’s rivers, lakes and aquifers and that the Council has inadequate rules for the taking of water and the discharge of nutrients.   “Existing planning provisions ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • LGNZ Rural and Provincial Sector Speech
      Introduction Thank you for the invitation to speak to you today. This is the first opportunity I’ve had to speak to an LGNZ meeting since the local elections, and I’m delighted to see the fresh faces of newly elected mayors. To returning mayors here today, as well as chief ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New Zealand to attend G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Japan
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters departs New Zealand today to attend the G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Nagoya at the invitation of this year’s G20 President, Japan. “This is the first time New Zealand will attend a G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting and we are deeply honoured that it is at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Ambassador to the European Union announced
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today announced the appointment of diplomat Carl Reaich as New Zealand’s next Ambassador to the European Union. “The Ambassador to the EU is one of the most important and senior roles in New Zealand’s foreign service, advocating for New Zealand’s interests with the EU institutions,” Mr ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New inventions boost Predator Free 2050 effort
        Innovation and technology are behind five new tools to give nature a helping hand by helping eliminate predators, funded through the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF), Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage and Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. “The new tools will be trialled in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • APEC 2021 Bill passes first reading
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has welcomed the first reading of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation 2021 (APEC 2021) Bill in Parliament today. The temporary bill supports New Zealand’s security preparations for hosting the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Forum in 2021. “APEC is the leading economic and trade forum ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Making progress for our kids
    The Government is making progress on improving the wellbeing of the one million New Zealanders under the age of 18,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on World Children’s Day. The Government has today recommitted to the most widely ratified human rights treaty in history – the United Nation’s Convention on ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Māori women in business contribute to our economy, whānau and communities
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter has released a new report celebrating the contribution of Māori women in business across Aotearoa New Zealand. “Māori women are leaders in our communities, they employ many people and support our economy and our communities,” Julie Anne Genter said. The report, Ngā wāhine kaipakihi: ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Two schools on the way for Omokoroa
    Four parcels of land have been bought in Omokoroa, in the Western Bay of Plenty District, for an education facility that will accommodate both a primary and secondary school on a campus-like facility, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. Two parcels were acquired from private land owners and two were ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Families Package helps over 1 million New Zealanders in first year
    1 million New Zealanders warmed by the Winter Energy Payment 36,000 families bank the Best Start Payment in first year 6,000 more families received the Family Tax Credit, 220,600 in total   They receive an increase too – from an average of $117 to $157 a week for Inland Revenue clients, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Clamp down on wheel clamping passes third reading
    New rules to clamp down on overzealous wheel clamping and extortionate fees charged in order to release a vehicle have passed their final stage in Parliament today. The Land Transport (Wheel Clamping) Amendment Bill has now passed its third reading. “These changes mean $100 will be the maximum wheel clamping ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill passes first hurdle
    An independent Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission is a step closer after it unanimously passed its first vote in Parliament today.  The Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill lays the groundwork for establishing the Commission as a fully independent crown entity – delivering on a key recommendation of He Ara ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Boosting border security with electronic travel authority – now over 500,000 issued
    We’ve improved border security with the NZeTA, New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority, which helps us to screen travellers for border and immigration risks off-shore before they travel to New Zealand. It was launched in August and became mandatory on 1 October 2019. More than 500,000 NZeTAs have been issued since ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Plan of action to protect seabirds
    A proposed national plan of action to reduce the number of seabirds caught in fisheries is being circulated for public feedback. Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash and Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage say New Zealand is a global centre of seabird diversity with about 145 species in our waters. It has more ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • National interest test added to overseas investment rules
    The Government is delivering on its promise to protect New Zealanders’ interests by applying a new national interest test to the sales of our most sensitive and high risk assets to overseas buyers. Associate Finance Minister David Parker said under current Overseas Investment Act rules, assets such as ports and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New housing part of support for Kaumātua
    The Government is building special housing to accommodate one of Aotearoa’s greatest taonga- our kaumātua, says the Minister for Māori Development, Hon Nanaia Mahuta.  Speaking at a National Kaumātua Service Providers Conference in Rotorua today, the Minister reinforced the importance kaumātua play in maintaining and passing on mātauranga Māori, knowledge, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Forestry helps prisoners into jobs
    Eleven men from a pilot forestry training programme for prisoners in Northland now have full time jobs or job offers upon release, Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis and Forestry Minister Shane Jones announced today. The ‘release to work’ programme was a collaboration between Te Uru Rākau and the Department of Corrections, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Reform of public service a step closer
    Minister of State Services Chris Hipkins today introduced into Parliament a Bill that will make it easier for the public service to tackle the biggest challenges facing Governments. The Bill represents the most significant change in the public service in 30 years. The State Sector Act 1988 will be repealed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Donations scheme to relieve pressure on families
    The families of more than 416,000 students will be better off next year as their schools have signed up to the Government’s donations scheme, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. The scheme will see almost $62.5 million in additional Government funding go to schools nationwide next year. “I’m really pleased ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Further support for Samoan measles outbreak
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has announced further support as the Government of Samoa responds to a serious measles outbreak. “New Zealand will deploy a further 18 vaccination nurses, bringing the total to 30 working in Samoa over the next four weeks,” Mr Peters said. “A New Zealand Medical Assistance ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Speech to the Child Poverty Action Group 2019 Summit
      Fa’atalofa atu, malo e lelei, Kia ora koutou katoa Thank you to the Child Poverty Action Group for asking me to be here today to provide an update on some of the things that have been happening across my the social development portfolio.  Can I firstly acknowledge the vast ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing Annual Conference
    ***Please check against delivery*** Good morning everyone. It is a pleasure to be with you this morning to open this year’s New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing Conference and AGM. Firstly, thank you Dr Alan Jackson, NZTR Chair for your introduction. And let us acknowledge also: The NZTR Board; Dean McKenzie, Chair ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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