Being stupid on the economy

Written By: - Date published: 10:02 am, February 23rd, 2009 - 20 comments
Categories: economy, employment, wages, workers' rights - Tags:

Brian Fallow  has some extraordinarily good analysis of the economic situation in his piece today. Here’s some important passages (and my, unfortunately, extensive comments):

“We are really talking about two recessions back to back,” AXA Global Investors chief economist Bevan Graham said. “Last year it was a domestic one, that we needed to have. There were excesses in the housing market and consumption that needed to be worked out. But then we get hit by this global storm.”

We had a very strong period of growth from 1999 to 2007. While policy was part of the reason for this (Labour’s full employment policy, for example, bedded in high domestic demand) there was an underlying demographic reality – the baby-boomers have been middle aged for the last decade, this means they’ve been at their peak earnings without dependents and looking to build a retirement nest-egg. And what’s safer than houses?

The wealth effect created by all this investment in housing added to high employment and high wage growth to fuel demand, which added inflationary pressure (leading to higher interest rates) and caused the trade balance to worsen as we imported more. You’ll recall that during this period National was demanding Labour throw more fuel on the fire through tax cuts, which would just have been more inflationary, while at the same time complaining that interest rates were too high because the Reserve Bank was trying to contain inflation. The real solution would have been to try to deflate the housing bubble and the accompanying wealth effect early and slowly with a capital gains tax on second homes but neither National nor Labour would go there. They were fixated on keeping the good times rolling forever. But you can’t remain at above-trend growth forever, eventually there needs to be a correction, and although that point had been put off both by good fortune and Labour policy a small, short recession primarily caused by the collapse of the housing bubble (and the drought and oil prices) was inevitable.

“For much of last year it was hoped that by now the economy would be in an export-led recovery. Instead world trade is shrinking.”

Unfortunately, the rest of the developed world had also been in a long-term boom and it came to a crashing halt with the collapse of other housing bubbles and record prices for oil and commodities (the relationship between the commodities spike and the housing collapse will be an interesting topic of study for economists). The global finance sector was greedily geared towards permanent boom times. When things started to go bad, people couldn’t afford their mortgage payments which underpinned the value of trillions in investments. The finance sector went into meltdown sending the broader world economy into recession (we had earlier seen something similar on a small scale with the collapse of finance companies here).

In theory, with low interest rates, a lower dollar, lower house prices, ‘spare capacity’ in the labour market, and stimulus from Labour’s tax cuts and 2008 Budget spending, we should be set for recovery but the international situation, particularly the shortage of credit and falling demand for our exports is blocking that. Instead, all the money we borrowed from overseas on the back of the housing wealth effect so we could buy more imports leaves us dangerously exposed now the lending has dried up, and we have a negative wealth effect from people seeing the value of their assets (houses, shares) fall. This is leading to more people becoming unemployed.

“The year started with 105,000 people or 4.6 per cent of the workforce unemployed. Forecasters expect it to be closer to 7 per cent by the end of the year [the New Zelaand Insitute is saying up to 11.2%]. Every percentage point increase represents around 23,000 people. The effects spread beyond those who lose a job or cannot find one, and their families. The fear of losing their jobs encourages people to spend less and reduce debt or build up precautionary savings. The risk is a vicious circle where cautious consumers spend less, leading businesses to invest less and employ fewer people, leading to a further contraction in spending.”

We need to head off this secondary round of contraction by stopping unemployment reaching high levels (the current 4.6% is still lower than we ever had between 1987 and 2003 but hours worked are falling sharply). That’s what the rest of the world is trying to do with massive stimulus programs like the trillion dollars and more the US, the EU, and China are each injecting into their economies this year and next. It might work (frankly, if those economies do start to grow as a result of their packages, I suspect it’ll just spark another oil spike, slamming the world back into recession). What won’t work is doing nothing, which is essentially what National is doing – sure it has moved forward by a year or two a few roading projects but it also reduced its tax package, slashed Kiwisaver and R&D tax credits, has signalled spending and wage freezes for the public sector, and made only a token increase to the minimum wage, all of which are de-stimulatory compared to business as usual.

During the election campaign, Helen Clark said her focus if re-elected would be “jobs, jobs, jobs” and the new Government has picked up the mantra. But we’ve yet to see any action; any actual net stimulus to create jobs. It would be straining optimism to the point of foolishness to expect anything out of this week’s Jobs Summit but something needs to happen and it needs to happen quickly. While the rest of the world works over-time to protect their economies, we’re sitting on our hands and watching the jobs evaporate.

20 comments on “Being stupid on the economy ”

  1. ieuan 1

    A capital gains tax on property would be very unpopular. A better option to slow down the housing bubble would have been to phase out the tax incentives that exist for negatively geared property.

  2. which also would have been unpopular. but I agree that would also have been an option.

    It’s often forgotten that only 8% of people have investment properties, but they are wealthy baby-boomers, so they punch above their weight politically. Both Labour and Natioanl too desperate to get their votes.

  3. Rich 3

    How many property investors would every contemplate voting Labour? 0.1%?

    If Labour had brought in housing market deflation measures in ’06, they’d probably have lost the election, but that happened anyway. They might have even done better if National voters had been flushed out of the country.

  4. djp 4

    Steve: Where does the govt get its money to “create” jobs?

    If it takes money from the productive to create jobs for the unproductive then our economy as a whole will be less productive.

    “The art of economics consists in looking not merely at the immediate but at the longer effects of any act or policy; it consists in tracing the consequences of that policy not merely for one group but for all groups.”

    It is also amusing to note that you give Labour credit for strong growth in 1999 to 2007.. do they get any credit for 2008 and beyond?

  5. djp. I didn’t give Labour credit, I said they had a minor positive effect – the underlying causes of the long period of growth are far bigger than New Zealand and economic policy, it comes down to demographics. And I know you’re desperate to blame Labour for the recession but you’re dreaming the ideologue’s dream.

    The Government can raise revenue by borrowing at low sovereign rates or by raising government income. Everyone else is borrowing and we can afford to do some borrowing too, if we spend the moeny wisely, we’ll create a better economy in the end to pay off the debt, rather than just sitting on our hands while things get worse.

    I love the ‘it ain’t real’ quote marks you put around ‘create’, you better rush off and tell every economist in the world that they’ve got it wrong.

  6. “If it takes money from the productive to create jobs for the unproductive then our economy as a whole will be less productive.”

    This is such a poor piece of reasoning I’m not going to deal with it but I quote it merely so others can gaze on it and think ‘there but for the grace of God go I’

  7. Matthew Pilott 7

    How many property investors would every contemplate voting Labour? 0.1%?

    Rich, you have missed the latest talking points. Landlords are not wealthy people, they’re just ordinary people trying to get by. At least that was the angle when we were all talking about tenant v landlord legal contracts.

    Now that we’re talking about something else, they’re all ‘property developers’?

    Umm… and you do realise that property developers err…develop… property and sell it, don’t you?

  8. Pascal's bookie 8

    Steve, you forget that ‘productive’ and ‘unproductive’ are permanent states. They are things inherent to a person. People are either leeches or randian supermen (even if they are womenz!).

    A equals A’ etc ad funking nauseum.

    When you forget this you run the risk that the productive will get sick of the society that has enabled their productivity, and run off and form a glorious new society where they can all sit around being fabulously wealthy together, swapping real estate, doing each others hair, having sex on beds of banknotes and sneering at how much the rest of miss us them. It’s all right there in the bibble. Atlas Shags.

    To which I can only say, please. No one’s a stopping ya.

  9. Matthew Pilott 9

    PB – hilarious…

  10. ropata 10

    My friends were burned by artificially inflated house prices, they bought a cheap place with a “welcome home” loan for $200K. I reckon its true value in the current market is $150K. They only have an average income with 2 kids and mum only working part time. They are stuck with a 30 year mortgage based on the faulty assumption that house prices would inflate for eternity and they could sell at any time. The speculation and greed and property mania would have been GREATLY reduced by removal of the sacred property tax advantages. NZ governments need “the guts to do what’s right” for those disadvantaged by a heavily tilted playing field.

  11. Around 50 million jobs have evaporated globally in the last year.
    In the US over half a million jobs disappear every month at the moment.
    Over 10.000 people a day go into foreclosure every day.

    To think that NZ can get by with minor job creation projects is laughable.

    As to the fairytale that NZ went to a little recession followed up by the global tsunami is even more ridiculous. the first signs of recession in NZ where directly related to the global collapse we are now witnessing. Just because most Kiwi’s where not aware of it happening doesn’t mean it didn’t.

    The global economy started to tip over in early 2007 and showed in New Zealand in the rise of the dollar against the US dollar as speculators used their money in the NZ dollar and the Iceland dollar to make quick profits while the economy started to tank. That made export more difficult putting the breaks on the NZ economy.

    You guys perhaps don’t remember a wood mill going under as the result of the strength of the NZ dollar and the downturn of building projects being commissioned in the US but it went down in 2007 and it was one of the first victims of the US collapse.

    This is a quote from John Key’s speech at the APEC top about cheap foreign credit flooding New Zealand in the last 10-15 years:

    Over the past decade or so the global economy was fuelled by a private sector credit boom (Banks of course are private sector) made possible by a combination of large macroeconomic imbalances with and between economies, relatively low global inflation, new waves of financial innovation, and huge amounts of leveraging by hedge-funds and other financial institutions.

    Macro economic imbalances is John Key’s speciality of course. It’s called gabling with currencies and manipulating the imbalances between them to make loads of money. Not only that, according to this interview John Key was running the department responsible for all these flashy new financial instruments and Merrill Lynch was one of the first to see the importance of big secretive hedgefund manipulations of which John Key was well aware

    (Key explains: “I had a whole lot of people working for me who were at the cutting edge of delivering quite complex and new and innovative products. They tended to either be a new product or into a new market, usually the emerging markets, Russia, Brazil, Argentina. I wasn’t the guy sitting there dreaming it all up, but I was the guy who was responsible for those people.” Did he foresee the problems which resulted in the sub-prime crisis? “Was it hard to predict? Not really.”)

    according to this interview.

    Next he goes on saying:

    Again, New Zealand’s case is illustrative. We have in recent years experienced a housing market boom built on easy credit. (Not on increased population, decrease of housing or increase of wages, the normal real world economic parameters which control the value of a scarce resource but cheap money, at least that what our golden boy himself says)

    For well over a decade a glut of global credit created an illusion of almost limitless liquidity that in turn fuelled an unsustainable credit boom. This capital was mainly sourced from offshore.(I rest my case, Our golden boy knew full well what was fuelling our unsustainable house prices)

    The result of these seemingly unlimited foreign-capital flows was that New Zealanders were able to rely on cheap fixed-rate debt, which in turn drove house prices ever higher.

    This is an interesting remark of course. John Key was working in Wall street where all cheap credit originates from and his bank was one of three collapsing as a result of it’s irresponsible gambling in derivatives. Oh, oops the same derivatives trade John Key ran for Merrill Lynch.

    And here is another one:

    While the Reserve Bank worked hard to lean against these trends, the credit glut weighed against our Reserve Bank’s power to contain demand through monetary policy adjustments.

    Many of you will have had similar experiences. As a result, governments and central banks around the world are turning their minds to what they can do to prevent, or at least alleviate, such soaring booms, and their resulting busts, in the future.

    So while the Reserve bank tried to stop the totally out of control and not based on real increases in value housing boom John Key and his mates happilly flooded the market with cheap money, bubbling away and this is what John Key ends with:

    So now the party is over and the taxpayers of the world are left to underwrite – in one form or another – the liabilities and obligations of banks and, by extension, their hedge-fund clientele.

    For those of you interested in more of his thoughtful gems here is the whole speech

  12. Sorry, about the length of the previous comment.

    I just get so angry when John Key spells his role in and knowledge about the pending disaster out and nobody of our esteemed fourth estate has the gumption to ask the man some serious questions.

    Someone please just please let me at him.

  13. Pat 13

    John Key must be the worlds greatest ever evil mastermind if he can single-handedly set in motion the downfall of the global financial system some 6 or 7 years in advance, then hide away in a small country’s political system waiting to seize power when his plans come to fruition.

    His fall down the stairs and clumsy dancing with Tras-sexuals was all designed to mask his evil cunning.

    Maybe his arm wasn’t even broken at all.

  14. djp 14

    Steve:


    The Government can raise revenue by borrowing at low sovereign rates or by raising government income. Everyone else is borrowing and we can afford to do some borrowing too, if we spend the moeny wisely, we’ll create a better economy in the end to pay off the debt, rather than just sitting on our hands while things get worse.

    So we are facing govt debt of 30+ percent of GDP or something right.. so the solution is to borrow more to get out of debt?


    I love the ‘it ain’t real’ quote marks you put around ‘create’, you better rush off and tell every economist in the world that they’ve got it wrong.

    Yeah I love it too :), why dont you appeal to logic instead of authority? For every job the the govt “creates” they take a job away from some other sector. Somebody has to pay the bill for that new job, and that somebody now cannot fund a job that would actually have benefited him.


    “If it takes money from the productive to create jobs for the unproductive then our economy as a whole will be less productive.’

    This is such a poor piece of reasoning I’m not going to deal with it but I quote it merely so others can gaze on it and think ‘there but for the grace of God go I’

    If you do that too often I might start to suspect you are dodging the point… if it is totally stupid then you ought to be able to point holes in my logic easy enough, come on!

  15. Pat,

    I make no such suggestion. John Key did not set the global collapse in motion. He was however very much part of the investment banker class that did. IAs the quotes from some of his speeches and interviews show but I understand that this is a little to much for your little Kiwi brains nor used to actually having to think about the fact that we are part of the rest of the world but perhaps a little education would help.

    Why don’t you read these very interesting articles on the history of the New York Federal Reserve from 1987 and their nice little policies that made the coming collapse possible.

    The only way NZ will be able to deal with what’s coming is either Nationalise our money supply (I.e. print it ourselves) and our resources or sell our country to the highest bidder, i.e. the international financial predators. You decide what is likely to happen.

    What you reckon Pat? Will John Key stand for NZ or will he happily sell us to the highest bidder?

  16. Quoth the Raven 16

    As Nobel prize winning economist Paul Krugman said recently, in relation to the Employee Free Choice Act in the the US, there is a way to stimulate the economy without spending any of the taxpayers money, but obviously right wingers would never consider it and would wish to do the complete opposite, merely because they hate free markets so much. What is it? Strengthen the unions. New Zealand could do this simply by removing the regulations that fetter unions.

  17. @ work 17

    C’mon Steve sort your act out, haven’t you heard, the ghost of Roger Douglas is handing out a chocolate fish for every time you can write “Decade of Deficits” on your blog, for the whole rest of JK’s first 100 days!

  18. vto 18

    QtR, such as what particular regs … ?

    Curious, as labour is in many ways a form of capital and should be able to move as a free market item like any other. According to particular doctrine..

  19. RedLogix 19

    the real solution would have been to try to deflate the housing bubble and the accompanying wealth effect early and slowly with a capital gains tax on second homes but neither National nor Labour would go there.

    I do have a genuine question. Can anyone actually define for me exactly what they have in mind when they say ‘Capital Gains Tax’? It’s a fair ask.

  20. Quoth the Raven 20

    vto – There are numerous bits of regulation on forming a union, striking, bargaining &c. Much of it could go, some of it seems reasonable, but you could question the need for it after all a contract is a contract. Of course the situation isn’t nearly as bad here as it is in the US.

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  • 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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 ...
    5 days 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
    6 days 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 ...
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    7 days 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
    7 days 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
    7 days 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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, ...
    1 week 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
    1 week ago
  • Gordon Campbell on cutting the sick leave of vulnerable workers
    Should sick leave be part and parcel of the working conditions from Day One on the job, just like every other health and safety provision? Or should access to sick leave be something that only gradually accumulates, depending on how long a worker has been on the payroll? If enacted ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    1 week ago
  • Nobody Move: Ageing Boomers, Laurie & Les, Talk Politics.
    So long as we live in a democracy, economic policy can never be anything other than social-democratic.“HEH!”, snorted Laurie, as he waved his debit card over the EFTPOS machine. “Same price as last week. I guess budgets aren’t what they used to be.”“I wouldn’t know,” replied the young barman, wearily, ...
    1 week ago
  • In Search Of Unity.
    Kotahitanga: New Zealand’s future belongs to those who do not fear a nation carved out of unity and solidarity, and are willing to trust the carvers. Some New Zealanders will be required to step up, and others, perhaps for the first time in their lives, will be expected to step ...
    1 week ago
  • Weekly Roundup 7-June-2024
    Welcome to another Friday roundup! Here are some recent links and stories that caught our eye, perfectly timed for your watercooler discussions and weekend reading. As always feel free to share more in the comments. Our header image this week is by Patrick Reynolds, and shows Te Komititanga from above. ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    1 week ago
  • The Hoon around the week to June 7
    As Workplace Relations and Safety Minister, ACT’s Brooke van Velden is fronting proposed changes to sick pay regulations and The Holiday Act. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The podcast above of the weekly ‘hoon’ webinar for paying subscribers features talking with:The Kākā’s climate correspondent talking about the ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Did we boil the oceans by cutting pollution?
    Lowering aerosol emissions from shipping has altered clouds, with potentially drastic effects. Photo: Getty ImagesTL;DR: Here’s the top six news items of note in climate news for Aotearoa-NZ this week, and a discussion above between Bernard Hickey and The Kākā’s climate correspondent Cathrine Dyer:New evidence is increasingly pointing at efforts ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #23 2024
    Open access notables Abrupt reduction in shipping emission as an inadvertent geoengineering termination shock produces substantial radiative warming, Yuan et al., Communications Earth & Environment: Human activities affect the Earth’s climate through modifying the composition of the atmosphere, which then creates radiative forcing that drives climate change. The warming effect ...
    1 week ago
  • Fragments
    The best observation I’ve read this week about the deep, profound harm Trump is doingTrump has hurled threats and smears at witnesses, jurors and the judge (including his family)... [he] has tried to intimidate witnesses and delegitimize the New York courts as corrupt. In continuing to incite his mob (that ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • March for Nature
    Do do do do do do do doDo do do do do doDi di di di di di di di di di diNature enter me…In 2018 the Labour lead government banned new oil and gas exploration in Aotearoa. A change welcomed by those who care deeply for our environment and ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Bernard’s Dawn Chorus and pick ‘n’ mix for Thursday, June 6
    The Transport Minister is trying to push through urgent legislation that would allow him to change emissions standards for car imports without approval from Parliament, after only consulting car importers. Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: Just as two major reports showed fossil fuel burning was warming the planet to dangerous levels and ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • A Better Broadway: Act 2
    This is a guest post by reader Grant A, the second of a pair about how to fix Broadway. If you missed the beginning of the show, here’s the link to Act 1 from yesterday. Yesterday, I discussed changing traffic circulation around Broadway in Newmarket. This included implementing a car-free ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    1 week ago
  • National breaks another health promise
    National has broken another manifesto health promise, apparently to save only $550,000. It will now train an additional 25 med students next year rather than the 50 it promised. This comes on top of the delays caused by National’s coalition partners in pushing ahead with the Waikato Medical School and ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • Climate Adam: Coping as the world’s best known climate scientist
    This video includes conclusions of the creator climate scientist Dr. Adam Levy. It is presented to our readers as an informed perspective. Please see video description for references (if any). Katharine Hayhoe is quite possibly the world's most famous climate scientist. She's produced wide ranging research, and communicated climate change with ...
    1 week ago
  • SIS “evidence” isn’t, again
    Back in 2016, then-Internal Affairs Minister Peter Dunne cancelled a New Zealand woman's passport, claiming she was a terrorist. The basis for his decision was a secret briefing by the SIS, which claimed that if she was allowed to travel, the woman would "engage with individuals who encourage acts of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • As Low As You Go
    Taking you as low as you goAs low as you goA sense of Déjà vu this morning. How many times have I begun a newsletter, “just when you thought they couldn’t go any lower…” Only for the groundhog to reappear, more pissed off than the day before.Another day with headlines ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Wednesday June 5
    TL;DR: The public health costs of human-caused air pollution in Aotearoa-NZ is estimated at $38.8 billion a year because it kills 3,300 people each year, which is almost ten times more than the death toll on roads from accidents. Yet the Ministry for the Environment has just one staff member ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week 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
    8 hours 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
    8 hours 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
    11 hours 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
    14 hours 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
    14 hours 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
    14 hours 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
    14 hours 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
    15 hours 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
    1 day 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
    1 day 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
    1 day 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
    1 day 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
    1 day 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
    1 day 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
    1 day 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
    1 day 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
    1 day 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
    1 day 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 days 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
    5 days 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government to reverse oil and gas exploration ban
    Removing the ban on petroleum exploration beyond onshore Taranaki is part of a suite of proposed amendments to the Crown Minerals Act to deal with the energy security challenges posed by rapidly declining natural gas reserves, Resources Minister Shane Jones says. “Natural gas is critical to keeping our lights on ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand and Malaysia to intensify connections
    New Zealand and Malaysia intend to intensify their long-standing, deep connections, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.    “Malaysia is one of New Zealand’s oldest friends in South-East Asia – and both countries intend to get more out of the relationship," Mr Peters says.   "Our connections already run deep and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Ending contracted emergency housing motels in Rotorua
    The end of Contracted Emergency Housing (CEH) motels in Rotorua is nearing another milestone as the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announces it will not renew consents for six of the original 13 motels, Associate Housing Minister Tama Potaka says. The government is committed to stop using CEH ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • First Home Grant closure exemptions
    The Government is providing a narrow exemption from the discontinuation of the First Home Grant for first home buyers who may face unfair situations as a result, Housing Minister Chris Bishop says. “The First Home Grant scheme was closed with immediate effect on 22 May 2024, with savings being reprioritised ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Faster consenting for flood protection projects in Hawke's Bay
    Work to increase flood resilience in Hawke’s Bay can start sooner, thanks to a new fast consenting process, Minister for Emergency Management and Recovery Mark Mitchell and Environment Minister Penny Simmonds say.  “Faster consenting means work to build stop banks, spillways and other infrastructure can get underway sooner, increasing flood ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Judge Craig Coxhead and Nathan Milner newest Māori Land Court appointments
    Tangata tū tangata ora, tangata noho tangata mate. Minister for Māori Development Tama Potaka today announced acting Deputy Chief Judge Craig Coxhead as the new Deputy Chief Judge, and Nathan Milner as Judge of the Māori Land Court. "I want to congratulate Judge Coxhead and Mr Milner on their appointments ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government signs Indo-Pacific Economic agreements to boost trade
    Trade Minister Todd McClay and Climate Change Minister Simon Watts, today signed three Indo Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) agreements that will boost investment, grow New Zealand’s digital and green economies and increase trade between New Zealand and the 14 IPEF partners. IPEF’s partners represent 40 per cent of global GDP ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government signs Indo-Pacific Economic agreements to boost trade and cooperation
    Trade Minister Todd McClay and Climate Change Minister Simon Watts, today signed three Indo Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) agreements that will boost investment, grow New Zealand’s digital and green economies and increase trade between New Zealand and the 14 IPEF partners. IPEF’s partners represent 40 per cent of global GDP ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago

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