web analytics

Bill Gates on Piketty and inequality

Written By: - Date published: 10:00 am, December 26th, 2014 - 64 comments
Categories: blogs, books, capitalism, class war, discrimination, tax - Tags: ,

Bill Gates is one of the richest people the planet has ever seen and for many years has been ranked as the wealthiest American.  He with a few friends founded Microsoft in the early days of the personal computer and through a series of events arguably well planned, arguably accidental but probably a combination of both managed to take Microsoft from being a small upstart to the dominant company involved in computing for the past few decades.  Forbes estimates his current worth at $82 billion US.

He is obviously someone with compassion.  Since 2000 through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation he has given away $30 billion to causes including the eradication of polio, malaria and ebola in the third world and he has also set up scholarships for education of poor American citizens through the United Negro College Fund.

His wealth would suggest that he would not be in agreement with Thomas Piketty, a respected economist who has argued that the concentration of wealth in the hands of the few is an inevitable feature of the capitalist system.  Pitketty’s book Capital in the Twenty-First Century argues that when the rate of return on capital is greater than the rate of economic growth in the long term then inequality and attendant problems such as social and economic instability increase.

The book has been well received, it was the top selling hardback non fiction book on the New York Times bestselling list shortly after its release.  As Ben Clark has described the book has caused consternation amongst the right who in that particular right approach to things want to undermine Piketty’s theory because of their fear that trickledown will once and for all be shown to be a fallacy.

Piketty argues that the consequence of capitalism is decreasing social mobility and potential democratic upheaval.  The only answer is State intervention.  From Wikipedia:

Piketty bases his argument on a formula that relates the rate of return on capital (r) to the rate of economic growth (g), where r includes profitsdividendsinterestrents and other income from capital; and g is measured in income or output. He argues that when the rate of growth is low then wealth tends to accumulate more quickly from r than from labor, and tends to accumulate more among the top decile and centile, increasing inequality. Thus the fundamental force for divergence and greater wealth inequality can be summed up in the inequality r > g.

Gates in a reasoned personal blog post agrees in part with Piketty’s analysis.  He encourages others to read the book.  He had the ability to ring Piketty and discuss his conclusions with him.  He agrees generally with Piketty’s theory concerning inequality:

I very much agree with Piketty that:

  • High levels of inequality are a problem—messing up economic incentives, tilting democracies in favor of powerful interests, and undercutting the ideal that all people are created equal.
  • Capitalism does not self-correct toward greater equality—that is, excess wealth concentration can have a snowball effect if left unchecked.
  • Governments can play a constructive role in offsetting the snowballing tendencies if and when they choose to do so.

He questions Piketty’s r > g equation and notes the academic debate about the data.  He also says that the use the wealthy put to their capital is important, and a benefactor and business creator can be beneficial whereas an idle rich consumer is not.  While this is undoubtedly true it does not address the problem of inequality which capitalism inevitably creates.  The best intentions of the wealthy may not assuage the problems caused by inequality.

He also questions the concept of wealth being inherited and points out that in the United States wealth was often “created” by luck and hard work as opposed to England where it tended to be inherited.  He also points out that consumption data as opposed to income may give a better indication of the wealth of a person.  He advocates for a consumption tax a la GST and he is also a large believer in an inheritance tax.

Gates’ post is an interesting contribution to the debate on inequality and given his position and status his concessions that capitalism is currently causing inequality and that the state has a constructive role to play in lessening the effects are noteworthy.

To visually back up Piketty’s theory the following is a graphic printed in the New York Times a few years ago.

Marsh inequality graphic

64 comments on “Bill Gates on Piketty and inequality ”

  1. Chooky 1

    This is good! …my partner wanted this formidable looking book for Xmas …and got it !…but the hard back aint cheap…so I left the price sticker on the back as reminder ( I wont be reading it…i will just listen to the pontifications from the sofa )

    however I note Bill Gates and Miranda support Charter Schools …so they do need some education here

    http://www.gatesfoundation.org/Media-Center/Press-Releases/2003/06/Investing-in-HighQuality-Charter-Schools

    http://www.dissentmagazine.org/article/got-dough-how-billionaires-rule-our-schools

    • mickysavage 1.1

      Gates is very keen on the self made man angle. Forbes says he is 8 out of 10 in terms of an arbitrary scale where 1 is he had a gold plated silver spoon and 10 is he began life in abject poverty. I am not surprised that it affects his thinking.

      • karol 1.1.1

        Gates isn’t that far from people like Andrew Carnegie.

        And Carnegie provided support for those on the bottom tier of society, who would help themselves – the ideal of the “self made man” was rife back in the early decades of the 20th century, too.

        The Carnegie foundation also funded various cultural incentives developed under NZ’s first Labour government: eg with public libraries in NZ.

        Such ideals have been beneficial in the short term, but ultimately only enable capitalism and its wealth inequalities to be maintained long term.

        • mickysavage 1.1.1.1

          Yep that tension between respect for wealthy individuals who in their own way try to contribute and using this as a justification for continuing with a system that is neither fair nor rational given its outcomes.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 1.1.1.1.1

            My instinctive response to hearing someone gives generously to charity is “tax evader”. Closely followed by “John Gotti.”

            The question is, will Gates’ enthusiasm for Picketty extend to funding some lobbyists and polticians so that some actual change happens? What’s his plan?

            To call for more debate.

            • Tracey 1.1.1.1.1.1

              The Internet Party in USA

            • RedLogix 1.1.1.1.1.2

              It is the extremes of wealth and poverty which is the ethical issue; but it is a mistake to think that this somehow justifies or glamorises poverty.

            • TheContrarian 1.1.1.1.1.3

              Giving to charity as a tax evasion is a retarded idea.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                Probably a consequence of right wing brain syndrome I expect.

                • TheContrarian

                  I think you misunderstand – the idea that someone would use charity as a tax evasion is a retarded idea.

                    • TheContrarian

                      In NZ you can only claim back 1/3 of the tax on charitable donations. It makes no sense to use charity as a tax avoidence measure. for every $100 spent you get $33 back.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Yes, I appreciate that’s how you think it all plays out. Did you read the link?

                    • TheContrarian

                      Yes I read the link, I was specificially referring to donating to a charity as a tax avoidence measure as retarded.

                      Setting up a fake charity as a front for tax avoidence is another kettle of fish monkeys.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Were you?

                      I was explicitly referring to my instinctive response to hearing someone “gives generously to charity”.

                      There are registered charities that sell charity receipts to tax-return preparers for a commission. Taxpayers and tax-return preparers might counterfeit charity receipts of real charities.

                    • TheContrarian

                      Yes, I was.

                      We done now? Because I need to get some beers from the fridge downstairs.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Been there, done that 🙂

                    • Two things about why we shouldn’t support unlimited charitable offsets, over and above any potential for abuse in illegitimate tax offsets:

                      1) It depends on how charitable said “charity” actually is. A lot of investment in creating a friendly political environment for business can be deemed “charity” in some or all western countries. If we’re going to allow charitable donations to offset tax, then we should be VERY careful about what we define as charity, and exclude anything that is primarily about political party advocacy, or advocacy for actual or perceived economic growth.

                      2) In principle even when we define charities carefully it creates a large political inequality to provide differing tax incentives to the very wealthy as compared to people on lower or average incomes, as large donations, even donations to genuinely charitable causes, is an exercise of political power by the elite. In principle whether or not charity is used for tax evasion, I think allowing an uncapped offset to tax for charity is a bad idea, as it creates a financial incentive to use charities to achieve political or social advocacy goals. I’d much prefer to see the first $1,000 or $2,000 offset in full against your tax.

              • Mike S

                In reply to another post of yours. Companies can claim the full amount as a tax deduction so charitable donations certainly have benefits for corporates. Perfectly legal though.

          • greywarshark 1.1.1.1.2

            Yes the reason that Gates and Carnegie stand out in the social distribution and interaction arena is because there are so few of such people out of the many who sit back complacently or scrabble away addictively getting more money, more power, more deals. Just playing the money game it becomes rather than enjoying setting up and running a business suceessfully. It’s doing what you have to to make a profit and add to your putea.

            Grandpa McDuck probably personifies most of the type. –
            Scottish Scrooge McDuck with modern cynicism to music!!

            (Do you catch the allusion to Howard Hughes and toilets.)


            Nice work from Swedish Art School.

            This is how politicians like us to believe about economics while they feel free to do the opposite, or bend the system to 45 degrees.

        • Tracey 1.1.1.2

          Tindall also leans his project funding to those already helping themselves.

          We still need charity funding for those not even able to afford the first step to help themselves but have great ideas/projects.

  2. Steve Alfreds 2

    Picketty’s work shows the importance of economic history.

    The following blog by Brian Easton regarding comments by the head of Treasury is interesting.

    http://pundit.co.nz/content/are-new-zealand-economists-going-in-the-right-direction

    Unfortunately I think a lot of our universities have been focusing on teaching the neo-liberal approach and not economic history.

  3. The Murphey 3

    Q. Citing Bill Gates commentary on inequality created by unchecked capitalism should be read as ironic ?

  4. Molly 4

    Another good graphic animation along the lines of Wealth Inequality in America, showing the buying power of the Congress backed minimum wage changes since 1938 in the US.

    In terms of 2014$ value minimum wages peaked in 1968 at $10.75.

  5. Chooky 5

    the mega wealthy thinking Americans will be concerned about greater economic inequality and social upheaval eg Ron Paul ( they will be remembering lessons from history French and Russian revolutions ),…and they will be trying to explain socio economic inequality away

    http://blogs.berkeley.edu/2014/10/28/innocent-bystanders-monetary-policy-and-inequality-in-the-u-s/

    however it is what the mega wealthy decide to do about this widening inequality that counts:

    eg will they be trying to take over all State functions eg education , health , social welfare, police , military ? …in order to keep a lid on social discontent and upheaval ….as well as a tight grip on their money

    …or will they be funding socialist parties (like Mana…does the US have any Left parties?) and Left media which represent the most disadvantaged in society?

    …will they advocate tax reform?…. and greater government funding and State control of essential services eg schooling , health, social welfare , housing ?

    ….i am not holding my breath

    • Chooky 5.1

      actually i dont actually agree with the politics of the economics writer of the link above ie Yurly Goroduichenko… but the point he is making about Ron Paul and the concern over economic inequality in the USA is valid

      here is another link on Ron Paul…’Dont Blame the Rich for the Income Gap’

      http://firstread.nbcnews.com/_news/2011/10/28/8523896-ron-paul-dont-blame-the-rich-for-income-gap

      • tricledrown 5.1.1

        Ron paul extremist economic solution get rid of govt.
        Giving apple as an example shows what his agenda is really all about.
        Defending the modern day robber barrons like Apple who exploit slave labour where their are no labour laws so a few shareholders can maximize their profits.
        He is no more than a propagandist for the uber rich.
        If their were no bailouts the worlds economies would of tanked!
        Ron Paul is a rednecks dream feed them a few half truths and they will believe any bullshit!

        • Chooky 5.1.1.1

          @ trickledown …agreed…although I havent studied Ron Paul’s theory…but it seems like a concerned US mega rich man’s ‘solution’ is to get rid of government

          imo Scandinavian countries which have a lot of govt intervention and a heavily funded social welfare state …and dont have a great gap between rich and poor ….and which heavily tax the very wealthy…and have a well funded free State education… is the way to go

          the opposite of USA

          • tricledrown 5.1.1.1.1

            Chooky the myth is that the US taxes are lower than those in mixed economies like the Scandinavian countries and New Zealand.
            By the time you Combine State,Fedearal,Stamp Duties,Capital Gains,Land Taxes,Health insurance,High Student loans.
            The US taxpayer synopsis pays far more for all of their services around 66% of the average wage compared to 45% for New Zealand and Scadinavian countries.
            Health Insurance and College fees don’t show up in their income taxe statistics!

            • Paul Campbell 5.1.1.1.1.1

              yes – most people for get this – when I lived in the California I paid 33% Fed tax, 10% state tax, 6% social security and ~8% sales tax

              People in NZ often forget state taxes in the US and Australia that pay for things like police and schools when they try and compare NZ taxes with elsewhere – I’m on the high NZ marginal rate and I pay at least 10% less than I paid in the US – and I get free medical/etc – then again I don’t get to pay for wars

              People don’t know how lucky they are ….

  6. Philip Ferguson 6

    Some light holiday reading on how capitalism works (and doesn’t work) contra Picketty:

    What is exploitation? https://rdln.wordpress.com/2011/12/29/what-is-exploitation/

    How capitalism works – and why it doesn’t: https://rdln.wordpress.com/2011/07/21/how-capitalism-works-%E2%80%93-and-doesn%E2%80%99t-work/

    Understanding GST and tax policy: https://rdln.wordpress.com/2011/08/08/understanding-gst-and-tax-policy/

    Capitalist crisis, Keynesian delusions: https://rdln.wordpress.com/2011/09/06/capitalist-crisis-keynesian-delusions/

    Thomas Picketty’s ideas reach New Zealand: http://rdln.wordpress.com/2014/04/29/thomas-pickettys-ideas-reach-new-zealand/

    Phil

    • BLiP 6.1

      TL/DR . . . synopsis, plox.

      Picketty is wrong; discuss – 50 words or less.

      • dave brown 6.1.1

        Piketty is wrong because he fails to understand that capitalist inequality lies in the exploitation of wage labour by capital, of which the accumulation of wealth by an elite is a but a symptom. Therefore a wealth tax fails to correct capitalist inequality. Only a socialist revolution can do that.

        • Colonial Rawshark 6.1.1.1

          Also: easily accessible energy and resources in ever-increasing volumes has powered our civilisation’s economic growth.

          That’s over now. And the ignorant 0.1% has the furthest to fall. By far.

          • greywarshark 6.1.1.1.1

            But the tall tree, crashing takes a lot with it, whether it makes a sound in Indonesia, Brazil, or any place that there are tall trees.

            They will take our system of exchange with them these crashing uber-wealthies, and we need to have our grassroots emergency systems ready that operate on tight local currencies until agreement can be reached officially with other currencies to find points of trade and barter that are mutually useful.
            Credit will not be available then, except person to person.

        • BLiP 6.1.1.2

          That makes sense, thank you. Not sure a socialist revolution is the only option.

    • Murray Rawshark 6.2

      Can you elaborate on why you think neoliberalism was exhausted in Aotearoa by the mid 90s?

  7. Macro 7

    There is far more to the problem of galloping inequality within the Capitalist economy than that posited by Piketty. The error lies much deeper than the problem of rates of return on Capital as opposed to productive investment. The fundamental and ethical flaw in the Capitalist theory lies in the concept developed by John Locke in his “Second Treatise on Government” published in 1690 which is the primary document upon which Capitalism, as we know it today, is based.
    Locke made some fundamental and ethical errors in his work – which have never been challenged by succeeding economists. For instance, on the one hand he maintains that;there is a limit to the possession of private property – in that there is “good and enough left over for others” and “Since every man has a property in his own person.. the labour of his body and the work of his hands are properly his.” But after a rather tortured dissertation on money, into which I have neither the time nor space to critique here he concludes..”But since gold and silver, being little use to the life of man in proportion to food, raiment, and carriage, has its value only on the consent of men – it is plain that men have agreed to disproportionate and unequal possession of the earth, that having, by a tacit and voluntary consent, found out a way how a man may fairly possess more than he himself can use the product of“. In other words – Locke contradicts his earlier requirement that there is “good and enough left over for others”.
    This is just one example of the fundament flaws that lie in the very foundations of economic theory currently espoused within our universities and have never been addressed since 1690.
    It is little wonder that our global economies, based as they are upon such flimsy foundations, are now collapsing.

  8. OncewasTim 8

    Am I just being a cnut – or naturally cynical? Probably both, but wealth and richness earned over time without taking account of those you’ve crushed on the way up that bullshit ladder – to the position where ‘philanthropy’, good wholesome values and worshipping media telling the world how fucking wonderful one is – just seems to me to be a bit crass.
    Maybe that crassness has uses tho’ – (like the Clinton/Gates get in behind doing summit about African HIV). [Better they di than they didn’t]

    I’m afraid I’m just a bit cynical about a salesman – prepared to bury other backyard ‘entra – pren -oooores’ (in terms of ripping off smarter folk in the early days of MS development over memory management routines – STILL kinda shite)

    There seem to be technical glitches in here that don’t allow me to reference the previous.
    To cut a long story short though – if we going to embrace the Gates (and darling wife) – good – go for it. Just don’t forget the context and the background. The guys’s a frog that has plenty to atone for – which may be the very reason (i.e a guilty conscience) for his philanthropic endeavour.
    And since he has – isn’t about time a Moikil Fay, or a Rich White, or that old beer baron from ‘old money (whose name eludes me – not particularly buzzniss stute – but with a very guilty conscience and busy now questioning his mortality) keep making headlines

    • Tracey 8.1

      doug myer??

    • greywarshark 8.2

      Questioning his mortality or morality? Or both. He hasn’t bothered to do too much philosophical thinking up to now if it’s who I’m thinking of. Perhaps the money game has palled, and now he has acquired piles he is appalled at what he hasn’t done with his life and wants to redeem himself.

      Plenty to do in NZ if he wished, encouraging the ordinary who aren’t entrepreneurs or aware of having ideas lying nascent but just wanting to have a job that allows them to live and have some time for being their own person and enjoy a circle of friends, family, interest, and still have a bit of money left over.

  9. BLiP 9

    . . . I very much agree with Piketty that:

    – High levels of inequality are a problem—messing up economic incentives, tilting democracies in favor of powerful interests, and undercutting the ideal that all people are created equal.

    – Capitalism does not self-correct toward greater equality—that is, excess wealth concentration can have a snowball effect if left unchecked.

    – Governments can play a constructive role in offsetting the snowballing tendencies if and when they choose to do so . . .

    ^^^QFT

    And we tolerate living in a country where our political masters tell us there is no such thing as “inequality” yet we see it every day.

    • greywarshark 9.1

      Warren Buffett comes out with some pithy uneasy comments in the USA.
      Buffett pointed out that the wealth of the 400 richest Americans has increased more than fivefold over the past 20 years.
      As Buffett put it, “My gang has been leaving the middle class in the dust.”

      And …Branko Milanovic, a World Bank economist, published “The Haves and the Have-Nots,” a study of global income inequality last year, one of his most striking observations was the extent to which the subject was taboo in the United States.

      As Milanovic explained, “I was once told by the head of a prestigious think tank in Washington, D.C., that the think tank’s board was very unlikely to fund any work that had ‘income’ or ‘wealth inequality’ in its title. Yes, they would finance anything to do with poverty alleviation, but inequality was an altogether different matter.”

      Read the item for further details.
      http://blogs.reuters.com/chrystia-freeland/2012/11/30/income-inequality-government-warren-buffett-and-growth/

  10. These graphs are excellent, mainly because they point to the fact that inequality has increased as the result of labour’s declining share of rising productivity.
    That shows that there can be no solution to the problem of inequality without the working class, whose productivity is the basis of capital accumulation, taking control of production.
    Piketty type tax and spread solutions are like Marmite without the bread.
    http://redrave.blogspot.co.nz/2014/12/nz-piketty-vs-marx.html

  11. Draco T Bastard 11

    He is obviously someone with compassion. Since 2000 through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation he has given away $30 billion to causes including the eradication of polio, malaria and ebola in the third world and he has also set up scholarships for education of poor American citizens through the United Negro College Fund.

    Of course, if we didn’t have rich people we wouldn’t have needed the Gates to actually do this as it would have already been in progress as the resources would have been available to do it.

  12. Ad 12

    Excellent graphs Mickey.

    I suspect NZs Great Divergence was later (1984) and harder.

    This year I’d like to see posts here that are tales about our own personal stories to reverse inequality in this world and in NZ. Otherwise it’s fucking depressing.

    • greywarshark 12.1

      I’d like to see ideas and tales for changing inequality in New Zealand and making the country more resilient ready for the next crash which will come as the economic waves continue to combine to crash on our shore and everybody else’s.

      The rest of the world seems more needy, but also there is more of it which would swallow up all our contributions. We must be considerate to people elsewhere but most of our energy needs to go into preventing our own slide further towards the uber under-privileged. We are just above that level now.

  13. Ad 13

    Gordon Campbell at Scoop comments on the massively negative review of MBIE dumped before Christmas.

    MBIE are the uber-ministry charged with making us all wealthy. Campbell describes it as a large ship looking for an iceberg. Would love to see a Green or Labour version of GIF. Sigh. What a waste.

    • greywarshark 13.1

      I prefer the acronym put this way MoBIE, they don’t, no doubt because of the similarity to Moby Dick and the hunt that was a great cautionary tale.

      If Campbell said this about them, he perhaps also thinks of the ‘at sea’ aspect!
      MBIE are the uber-ministry charged with making us all wealthy. Campbell describes it as a large ship looking for an iceberg

  14. aerobubble 14

    Bill Gates did not invent the microchip. Just because the mass soap maker, who creates the first soap, that grates your skin, doth not make them more worthy.
    Investors bring capital, they are essentialy whores, you can go the money markets amd select any number of whores who will quite happily lend you their money (time) and pass on any number of diseases (interest) that will persist depending on how desperate your fetish.
    Capital, when over paid, paid more than workers, will inevitably lead to inequality.
    Karl Marx knew it, anyone in a job knows they are paid les than their value they provide. Even Buffett afmitted he coul never have actually create the worth he now has in money.
    Capitalism is a solution to a flawed problem, and does not solve the problem, just attempts to. Neoliberalism just decides to give up on the flaws let them run amok.

    • Chooky 14.1

      +100…agreed aerobubble…just because you have money to invest does not necessarily make for wise investments for the public good..In the following case it is undermining State funded public education in the USA and Bill Gates is party to this.

      ‘Public Schools for Sale’

      Bill Moyers continues his conversation with education historian Diane Ravitch about the privatization of public education. In this extra video, they talk about the problem with charter schools being run by billionaires, celebrities and individuals with no experience in education; the fact that taxpayers are increasingly funding religious schools and why hedge-fund managers see education as an emerging market.

      “Bill Gates, Paul Tudor Jones, Eli Broad the Walton family, these are all people, they don’t need any more money … But they have misguided ideas because they believe that by destroying public education, they’re helping children. They’re hurting our democracy and hurting children,” Ravitch tells Moyers.

      http://billmoyers.com/segment/web-extra-public-schools-for-sale/

      http://billmoyers.com/episode/public-schools-for-sale/

      • aerobubble 14.1.1

        BG reply to Pickett is the private market can act to better society. Yet we evolved democracy to do this already, having worked out the back fighting, etc. Knowing already that charity comes with hooks, i.e christianity, big corp, ‘the other’, etc. Government requires progressive taxation to keep a few super wealthy from sitting arpund a committee table and cut and pasting their needs onto the rest of us.

        • aerobubble 14.1.1.1

          Welcome to the era of the private central committee, the media has become their PR vehicle, our govt must stay out of their way, our banks bailed with tax payer money. Good night democracy.

          • aerobubble 14.1.1.1.1

            WE invented lawyers to keep rich people paying through the nose, in legal quandy whenthey get biger heads than the average joe.

      • Sable 14.1.2

        When is this site going to stop regurgitating MSM bullshit and do its own research. Agree with you Chooky.

  15. Sable 15

    Yeah I’d think twice about trusting anything Gates has to say…..he is in my opinion a capitalist through and through. Search Bill Gates, GM crops, for example….

  16. gnomic 16

    William Henry Gates III came from a rather privileged background. We are talking silver spoon. Daddy was a dentist if I’m not mistaken (and that’s in itself a whole new can of worms in the NZ context in terms of unequal access, and no doubt worldwide). Go on Bill, free dentistry worldwide. Nah, didn’t think so.

    Besides that he had pretty well unique access to computers enabled by family leverage if I’m not wrong at a time when this was impossible for the masses.

    Is this the Bill well known for his charitable offerings which offer up Microsoft technology (TM) to libraries, schools, etc? Maybe that was yesterday since MS Technology is largely discounted in the market presently.

    Bill critiques Picketty? Yah, whatever. Likely to be the work of an intern working for nothing? Or maybe a ‘thinktank’ paid for by Bill and his ilk.

    .

  17. Robert M 17

    It has been obvious since the 1970s that inequality was growing in Britain and the US. In France and Europe that was masked by greater state support and entitlement for people and industry. The reasons have a great deal to do with increased competion from first Japan, then south asia and now China. There arent the margins to pay good wages and people depend more on state top ups. Also better tech and bio tech makes items cheaper, and therefore less money to distribute.
    It part I think the effects that Piketty highlights are just the intelligent in Asia getting there share and the average westerner being less valuable and useful getting less.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 17.1

      For me, the take-home message in your comment is that you don’t appear to have read Capital In The Twenty-First Century.

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • A strong start – but can Luxon last?
    The first thing Chris Luxon did publicly after being elected as the 15th leader of the National Party was thank his colleagues. It was the proper thing to do. For it is only thanks to the cloak and dagger politics that they’ve engaged in over the past three years that ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    5 hours ago
  • Air New Zealand flight attendant named CEO after one year on job
    A 51-year-old flight attendant has completed a swift and stunning rise to CEO of Air New Zealand. New Zealand’s national carrier, Air New Zealand, has expressed great enthusiasm in announcing its new CEO today: 51-year-old Nathan Guy, a flight attendant who has spent about 1200 hours on the job. Guy ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    7 hours ago
  • A true story
    by Daphna Whitmore In a recent debate on free speech I closed with a true story. A woman I know – a writer – tweeted a joke in response to a man having just insulted her on the platform. The joke featured some violent imagery, but it also featured absurdist ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    8 hours ago
  • Māui Tikitiki a Tāranga inspires Māui Hudson’s research journey
    Māui Hudson says the characteristics of his namesake, the Māori diety Māui Tikitiki a Tāranga, enables and inspires him to confidently walk into new spaces of research. He hails from Te Whakatōhea, Ngāruahine and Ngāpuhi. Māui is a trained physiotherapist but is well-known for his leadership in creating guidelines and ...
    SciBlogsBy Rosemary Rangitauira
    10 hours ago
  • Driven to help the planet and humanity thrive
    Mihi mai ki a Dr Te Kīpa Kēpa Morgan, a professional engineer, who’s inspiring a different value system that he says can help humanity thrive and safeguard the sustainability of our planet. Kēpa affiliates to Ngāti Pikiao (Te Arawa), Ngāti Kahungunu and Ngāi Tahu. For more than a decade, Kēpa’s main ...
    SciBlogsBy Rosemary Rangitauira
    11 hours ago
  • Gordon Campbell on why an attack on Iran is back on the agenda
    Reportedly, Christopher Luxon has the edge on Simon Bridges in National’s leadership contest although there is no firm evidence for that hunch. So, one hesitates about joining a media echo chamber that amplifies Luxon’s chances ahead of the 3pm caucus meeting today. You know how it goes: Luxon doesn’t quite ...
    13 hours ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 30 November 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Dr David Bromell, Senior Associate, Institute for Governance and Policy Studies: “While working as a public policy advisor, NZ Politics Daily was a daily “must read” as it alerted me to wider public policy issues than workplace-based media scanning, which generally covered only subject areas that related directly to ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    13 hours ago
  • The Simple Thing That’s Hard To Do.
    What's Not To Like? There’s a reason why the self-evident benefits of a “one world government” arouse such visceral opposition from those with a vested interest in both the local and the global status quo. A world run for the benefit of all human-beings strikes at the very heart of the ...
    16 hours ago
  • A Stay of Execution: The National Library of New Zealand Caves to Authors
    Well, well. Looks like Christmas has arrived early, with a victory over vandalism. You may recall this little furore about the future of the National Library of New Zealand’s Overseas Published Collection: https://phuulishfellow.wordpress.com/2021/11/22/lack-of-public-service-announcement-the-national-library-of-new-zealand-internet-archive-and-alleged-digital-piracy/ Well, those outrageous plans to digitise and pirate copyrighted works have got enough negative attention ...
    1 day ago
  • Climate Change: We can do it!
    RNZ reports on the other story to come out of the government's emissions budget Cabinet paper: the scale of the changes we need to make: The massive scale of the nationwide changes needed quickly to cut climate gas emissions is laid bare in newly-released government documents. [...] The number ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Climate Change: Cold feet?
    Ministry for the Environment has dumped more cabinet papers related to its recent initial consultation on the emissions reduction plan. The key document is an August cabinet paper on Emissions Budgets for 2022-2025, 2026-2030 and 2031-2035, which made the dubious in-principle decision to increase the first period's emissions budget (which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Rating The Contenders.
    There Can Be Only One: Some might ask why National MPs would install yet another “successful business person” at the helm of their party? Isn’t one Todd Muller enough? Especially when Simon Bridges could become the first National politician of Māori descent to become Prime Minister.LET’S GET SOMETHING out of ...
    1 day ago
  • Gordon Campbell on Omicron, and the Bridges/Luxon dilemma
    At this early stage, the Omicron variant seems to be more infectious, and more able to bypass the protection offered by vaccines and by the antibodies generated by previous infection. The fact that it is being spread around the globe by travellers who were all presumably fully immunised and had ...
    2 days ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 29 November 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Dr Kevin Moore, Associate Professor in Psychology & Tourism, Lincoln University: “For me, the big advantage of NZ Politics Daily is the breadth of opinion and sources it gathers. Together. There is always a mix of news reporting, news analysis, opinion pieces and blog posts. That breadth ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    2 days ago
  • National is still very much the same Party even without Collins leading it… that’s the real issu...
    Judith Collins regarded Thatcher as “a personal hero” of hers. But like her hero though, it took the UK Conservative Party and their ideological counterparts here to get rid of both of them, from the inside. There’s a sort of bizarre symmetry to that really. Both were rather messy ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 days ago
  • 2021 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #48
    Listing of articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week: Sun, November 21, 2021 through Sat, November 27, 2021 The following articles sparked above average interest during the week: To Breed or Not to Breed?, The Vaccine for Fake News, Ten ways to confront the climate ...
    2 days ago
  • A professor without honour in his own country
    Michael Corballis just three months before his death appeared in an interview on the Hui with Mihirangi Forbes. She made no effort to conceal her disdain for his defence of science and proceeded to lecture him on not knowing enough about mātauranga Maori to comment on it and accused him ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 days ago
  • Businessman – and Political Novice
    The drums are beating – see Heather Du Plessis-Allan in today’s Herald – for Christopher Luxon’s bid to become National’s new (and latest) leader. It is conceded that he is a political tyro but – such is National’s current plight – it is suggested that he is a risk worth ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    3 days ago
  • No, Elizabeth Stuart Would Not Have Stopped the English Civil War (Probably)
    As you might have noticed, A Phuulish Fellow is a fairly eclectic blog. Even an organic one. I have my interests, and write about them as the fit takes me. And sometimes I stumble across an article I feel the need to comment on. Today, I ran across a ...
    3 days ago
  • Rumour Has It: A Númenórean Character List?
    Today we have another Amazon rumour on our hands. And for a change, it is not coming out of Fellowship of Fans. No, instead we have the following tweet doing the rounds, ostensibly listing (mostly) Númenórean characters and their code names. It’s an interesting leak, if true. And that’s ...
    4 days ago
  • Covid as Warriors
    The book I am currently working on – tentative title ‘In Open Seas’ – looks at the current and future New Zealand. One chapter describes the policy towards Covid using the trope of warfare. It covers an important period in our history but show how policy evolves and why, as ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    4 days ago
  • COVID-19: the B.1.1.529 variant – what do we know?
    There’s a lot of news about a new variant originally reported in southern Africa. Early signs have prompted calls for immediate precautionary blocks on travel from the region to restrict its spread. The WHO has called an emergency conference on this variant. Here’s a round-up of what we know so ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    4 days ago
  • National Party board denies it unanimously agreed to Collins’ Faustian bargain with Satan
    Sources close to party president Peter Goodfellow say he was totally blindsided by Collins’ claims he was party to this particular satanic ritual. National Party president Peter Goodfellow is today issuing a strong denial on behalf of the party’s board, saying they did not, at any point, agree to the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    4 days ago
  • The cost of optimism
    Yesterday the National Party imploded in a messy knife-fight that cost it its leader and probably one of the contenders. So naturally, the government has taken the opportunity to do a dump of its pandemic advice, including the Cabinet papers on its controversial decisions to repeatedly lower the Auckland alert ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on National’s less than stellar choices
    Amid all the jostling in the National caucus ranks, spare a thought for Andrew Bayly. Who? Well might you ask. Plucked from obscurity by Judith Collin, elevated from number 18 to number 3 in the caucus rankings and given the Finance portfolio – a role in which he has been ...
    4 days ago
  • Are New Zealand’s universities doing enough to define the limits of academic freedom?
    Matheson Russell, University of Auckland   The news last week that University of Auckland public health researcher Simon Thornley was retracting a co-authored paper about supposed vaccination risks during pregnancy raised deeper questions about the limits of academic freedom. Thornley’s own head of department had called for the paper to ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    5 days ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 26 November 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Jean Drage, Political scientist specialist in local government: “With 78 local authorities and central government currently intent on reform, local government is a challenging area of research to keep on top of. Thank goodness for Bryce’s NZ’s Politics Daily. It is a gem, especially as it also ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    5 days ago
  • Josh Van Veen: Bridges is not the one
    Simon Bridges failed to bluff Judith Collins out of the leadership. A campaign to rehabilitate his image began shortly after the election and culminated in the publication of a memoir in August. There were persistent rumours of a deal with rival Christopher Luxon and MPs from the ‘liberal’ wing of ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    5 days ago
  • Smokefree cars – an important step towards protecting children from the hazards of smoking
    Richard Edwards, Jude Ball, Janet Hoek, George Thomson, Nick Wilson*  On November 28 new legislation to protect children from smoking and vaping in cars will come into force. This blog sets out the background and rationale for the new law, and discusses implementation, evaluation and the next steps to protect ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    5 days ago
  • Judith's Last Stand.
    Going Out With All Guns Blazing: Why didn’t Judith Collins stick with the strategy that had kept her, National’s most improbable of leaders, in power for more than a year? One might just as well ask why Rob Muldoon (that other unforgiving right-wing populist National Party leader) got drunk and ...
    5 days ago
  • Act’s Precarious Ascendancy.
    On The Lookout: It is easy to imagine how closely Seymour has been watching the National Opposition for the slightest sign of a Clark figure emerging. A respected politician, who enjoys broad support across the party and, much more importantly, who impresses the ordinary centre-right voter as having what it ...
    5 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #47, 2021
    104 articles by 574 contributing authors Physical science of climate change, effects Delayed impacts of Arctic sea-ice loss on Eurasian severe cold winters Jang et al. Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres 10.1029/2021jd035286 Observations of climate change, effects Divergent responses of terrestrial carbon use efficiency to climate variation from 2000 ...
    5 days ago
  • Labour’s Eyes Wide Shut To “Unruly Tenants”.
    Not Seeing The Problem: They say there are none so blind as those who will not see. And, right now, Kāinga Ora is studiously not looking. It is clear to everyone that the Minister responsible, Poto Williams, has (like so many of her colleagues) been entirely captured by her officials. ...
    5 days ago
  • Is the mob coming for Charles Darwin?
    Richard Dawkins recently noted the giants of the past are being sanctimoniously judged by nonentities of the present whose only qualification is still being alive to do so. How will the future judge our own time when we are not around? Peter Franklin from Unherd examines whether the woke can ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    5 days ago
  • Blowing a Hole in Your Own Wall: Idiotic Tampering with MIQ
    Managed Isolation/Quarantine has been a fact of life for New Zealand for eighteen months. It’s not popular – there are only so many spaces available at any given time, and the process is famously opaque – but it is the key to saving New Zealand from rampant Coronavirus. That, ...
    5 days ago
  • Now Labour wants secret trials
    Today, the government introduced the Security Information in Proceedings Legislation Bill to the House. The Bill would allow the government to use classified information in civil or criminal proceedings and keep it secret from the other party. So people suing the government for human rights abuses could lose, and defendants ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • The end of a toxic leader
    If there's one thing that Judith Collins is usually good at, it's using scandalous information about other people to her advantage. Not above undermining her own political party, Collins has been known to even leak against her own fellow MPs, particularly those who posed a threat to her as the ...
    5 days ago
  • A transformative government in Germany
    Back in September Germans went to the polls, and handed the politicians a tough job, with no easy majorities for anyone. The Social Democrats, Free Democrats, and Greens agreed to work together in a "traffic light" coalition, but given their political differences (its basicly ACT/Greens/Labour), expectations for real change were ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Political Harakiri
    The National party must always have known that they were taking a risk when they elected Judith Collins as leader. There were, after all, good reasons why they repeatedly declined to accept her candidature when she offered herself – as she frequently did. She was always an inappropriate person to ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    5 days ago
  • Thanksgiving advice, 2021: How to deal with climate change-denying Uncle Pete
    This is a re-post from the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists by Richard Somerville “Birds of a feather flock together,” so I am sure that nearly all of those reading this article accept the main findings of climate science. Yet many people don’t. Instead, they believe a variety of climate ...
    6 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the demotion of Simon Bridges
    So Simon Bridges has been bounced from the front bench and stripped of his shadow portfolio responsibilities for the crudely “inappropriate” comments that he allegedly made to a female colleague, Jacqui Dean – and personally apologised for – about five years ago. After years of mocking Labour for its supposed ...
    6 days ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 25 November 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Dr Rosemary Wette, Associate Professor, Applied Linguistics, University of Auckland: “I’ve been browsing regularly through NZ Politics Daily for several months now. It gives me access to a range of views on current issues (helpfully organised by topic) that I wouldn’t otherwise have time to look up, or ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    6 days ago
  • The bizarre case of the Royal Society investigating academics defending science
    The Royal Society has begun a disciplinary investigation against a group of academics. The academics were defending science and in the past would have expected support from the Royal Society. The Free Speech Union has launched a campaign to defend the academics and academic freedom. Māori professor under investigation for ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • Ian Powell: Unionism and nursing in New Zealand
    In the around 35 years I worked for unions (over 30 with the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists and earlier with the New Zealand Educational Institute) I often cogitated over the distinction between unions and unionism. They are intertwined but not inseparable. I associate unionism with collective consciousness able to ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    6 days ago
  • Bryce Edwards: Today’s constitutional disgrace in Parliament
    This Government has a problem with urgency. Critics from both left and right have long complained about their lack of urgency on issues such as climate change, housing, and inequality. Likewise, in terms of the Covid response, there’s been a chorus of criticism that Labour has been complacent and sluggish ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    6 days ago
  • Vaping needs much tighter regulation as we approach Smokefree Aotearoa 2025: Two new studies
    Nick Wilson, Janet Hoek, Jennifer Summers, Driss Ait Ouakrim, Andrew Waa, Richard Edwards, Tony Blakely* Two recent studies provide new insights into the impact vaping may have on public health. The first estimates that use of modern vaping devices could be around a third as harmful to health as smoking. ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    6 days ago
  • Strange Defeat: A Guest Post By Dr. Chris Harris.
    They Did Things Differently Then: And we might still be doing things differently, if the world these "Country Lads" were fighting for, and which endured for nearly 30 years after World War II, had not been supplanted by the world we inhabit now. In spite of its reality, New Zealand's ...
    6 days ago
  • More than 147km – the transformative potential of the Wellington bike network plan
    Feature image by Luke Pilkinton-Ching, University of Otago Wellington   Caroline Shaw, Anja Mizdrak, Ryan Gage* Wellington City Council is currently consulting on a cycle network for Wellington. This is a big deal. WCC are proposing a 147km cycle network around the city, the vast majority of which is new. ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    7 days ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 24 November 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Liz Brown, Senior communications advisor, Association of Salaried Medical Specialists: “The NZ Politics Daily is a fabulous resource providing a comprehensive one stop shop on what’s making news and how stories are being covered. I look forward to seeing it pop into my inbox every morning.” Anyone can sign ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    7 days ago
  • Climate Change: Taking us for a ride
    Agricultural emissions has been an oozing sore in our climate change policy for over a decade. Exempted from the ETS in 2008, farmers were meant to be brought in and start paying for their emissions in 2012. Of course, National put a stop to that, and exempted them forever. When ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: An industry in denial
    Over the past few years it has become clear that coal has no future in Aotearoa. Rising carbon prices, a ban on new boilers and a legislated phase-out for existing infrastructure are going to drive it out of the market. To reinforce this, the government signed up for an anti-coal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The “most open and transparent government ever” again
    The government is about to pass new vaccination mandate legislation under urgency. So obviously, they'd want to ensure it gets the best possible scrutiny in the limited time available by releasing the supporting policy documents, right? Of course not: On the eve of legislation to enable vaccination passes being ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Gordon Campbell on farmers playing the victim, plus Chile’s right turn
    Among the farming lobby groups, the good cop/bad cop routine has been working a treat. It suits Federated Farmers to keep daylight between itself and the Groundswell movement. Month in, year out the Federation continues to engage with the government over the very same water degradation/climate change regulations that Groundswell ...
    1 week ago
  • Important People
    The Herald has returned to form with a vengeance. In today’s issue, Barry Soper snipes at Jacinda’s handling of her regular press conferences. It seems that she did not give him an early chance to ask his very important question and took no account of his need to depart immediately ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Parliament, the Courts and the end of three strikes (for now)
    Last week, Parliament embarked on the process of repealing the so-called “three strikes” provisions in the Sentencing Act 2002. Given that Labour, the Greens and Te Paati Māori all supported this repeal Bill at first reading (and that NZ First no longer is in government to block the move), three strikes’ eventual legislative demise seems ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    1 week ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 23 November 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Martyn Bradbury, Editor, The Daily Blog “’NZ Politics Daily’ is one of the most important news and political resources run in New Zealand. The expert collation of opinion and news makes it an invaluable day to day resource as well as an incredible treasure for researchers in the future. ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand’s Emission Reduction Plan
    By Paul Callister and Robert McLachlan Fifty years ago, on 26 November 1971, the film “Notes on a New Zealand City: Wellington”, directed by Paul Maunder, premiered on Wellington TV. The narrator asks if Wellington’s future will involve suburban sprawl, traffic, motorways, suburban shopping malls, and the decentralization of employment; ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Dissing The Farmers.
    Neale vs The Revolting Farmers: One has to admire the way Capital Government Relations CEO, Neale Jones, covers-off all the bases of the current political zeitgeist. In a masterfully composed tweet, he lambasts the Groundswell protesters as sexists, racists and reactionaries, clinging for dear life to “a purely extractive economic ...
    1 week ago
  • How will carbon pricing impact inflation?
    This is a re-post from the Citizens' Climate Lobby blog Inflation — the decline of purchasing power as prices rise — is currently at its highest level in 30 years. This has led to concern among the public and policymakers about the rising costs of many important products like food, shelter, gasoline, ...
    1 week ago
  • (Lack of) Public Service Announcement: The National Library of New Zealand, Internet Archive, and Al...
    The National Library of New Zealand has not covered itself in glory in recent times. The decision to axe most of the Overseas Collection (some 600,000 books) in order to make way for more New Zealand items (which it collects already, and which amounts to some 3,000 items ...
    1 week ago
  • Game over for the HRPP
    Since its election loss earlier this year, Samoa's Human Rights Protection Party has been pinning its hopes on the upcoming by-elections to regain power. That was a pretty forlorn hope - with 18 seats, they would have had to win all seven by-elections and have two additional women appointed to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Chinese influence and American hate diffusion.
    Over the last decade concerns have been raised about Chinese “influence operations” in NZ and elsewhere. Run by CCP-controlled “United Front” organisations, influence operations are designed to promote PRC interests and pro-PRC views within the economic and political elites of the targeted country as well as Chinese diaspora communities. The ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • The Real Interests Of The Country.
    Off Message: Into the extremely fraught relationship between Town and Country, the Groundswell organisers have blundered like an Aberdeen-Angus steer in an organic vege-shop. Unreasonably proud of their rural economic virtues, and dangerously forthright in their enumeration of the cities’ political vices, these Kiwi equivalents of America’s “good ole boys” ...
    1 week ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 22 November 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Minna Reid, Law student, Victoria University of Wellington “As a Uni student, staying up to date with current affairs is always important. The Daily Politics & Democracy Project by Bryce Edwards is of great service for this. It offers varying news sources I would not have found myself ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    1 week ago
  • Free speech is a people’s frank confession to itself
    by Daphna Whitmore The government is devising new “Hate Speech” laws to save New Zealand from something that has not been defined. When asked what is hate speech the Prime Minister replied “You know it when you see it”. The Human Rights Commission is supporting the law change and sees ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • 2021 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #47
    Listing of articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week: Sun, November 14, 2021 through Sat, November 20, 2021 The following articles sparked above average interest during the week: Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheeple? A.I. Maps 20 Years of Climate Conspiracies, COP Negotiators Demand Nations ...
    1 week ago
  • The F Words, by Barbara Gregorich
    Book review Barbara Gregorich is a writer and long time anti-capitalist in the US. She and her husband were interviewed for Redline about the social movements of the 1960s. Her latest book The F Words, has been reviewed by Guy Miller for Redline. The F Words by Barbara Gregorich bears ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • The Scourge of the Aimless Kick
    The below-par All Black performance against France was – sadly – afflicted, again, by what has become a feature of New Zealand rugby – the scourge of the aimless kick. It is surely a truism that, to win a rugby match, you must have the ball. But time and time ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Delta Rocks Gibraltar: Lessons to be learned from Covid-19’s global resurgence.
    Hard To Beat: Perhaps the most important lesson to be drawn from what is happening in Gibraltar is that vaccination is not a magic bullet. Yes, it makes it harder to contract the virus, and significantly ameliorates its worst effects, but it does not confer absolute immunity to Covid-19 – ...
    1 week ago
  • I’ll take the masks and vaccines, thank you
    From Stuff:I don't want to be pedantic, but I'm pretty sure neither masks nor vaccines figure much in the Gospel of Saint John; nor has Jesus shown much efficacy in protecting people from anything. ...
    1 week ago
  • Hell To Pay: The alarming similarities between the Anti-Vaccination Movement and the creators of the...
    Never Let Go: If the violent prejudices of the Jim Crow South, echoing through contemporary struggles, teach us anything, it is that the defence of rationality, science and progressivism must never be allowed to falter. Those pre-modern night-riders, filled with unrelenting hate, are still out there. If the troops of ...
    2 weeks ago
  • A Peak Out of Auckland? + Other Covid Musings
    At last, we have some cause for optimism out of Auckland’s interminable Covid outbreak. Knowing our luck, it might be a false dawn… but there are some signs that we have seen the peak:
    2 weeks ago
  • Sing Song about Hard Times
    Celebrating Poet Anne KennedyThe 2021 Prime Minister's Award for Literary Achievement for Poetry went to Anne Kennedy. I have enjoyed her work since her first collection Sing Song. The poems’ setting is in the domestic life of a family of four, told from the mother’s perspective: moving house, the gruelling ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    2 weeks ago
  • A good problem to have
    Norway is the global success story on electric car uptake, with early policy and a well-signalled 2025 cutoff point for fossil vehicles resulting in 77% of new cars being EV's. But now they have a problem: not enough dirty cars to tax: Norway’s electric dream has been credited to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the politics of anger, plus a music playlist
    Angry? Are you talkin’ to ME? Of late, the Code Red levels of resentment inspired by the government’s Covid policy almost make one hanker for the days when people could write best-selling books about New Zealanders being The Passionless People. Not anymore. A hissy fit arms race seems to be ...
    2 weeks ago

  • More Vietnam Veterans to receive compensation for Agent Orange Exposure
    Minister for Veterans, the Hon Meka Whaitiri announced today that two new conditions associated with Agent Orange exposure have been added to the Prescribed Conditions List. Under the 2006 Memorandum of Understanding signed between the Crown and representatives of Vietnam veterans and the Royal New Zealand RSA. Vietnam veterans in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    9 hours ago
  • Government commits to international effort to ban and regulate killer robots
    Minister of Disarmament and Arms Control Phil Twyford announced today that New Zealand will push for new international law to ban and regulate autonomous weapons systems (AWS), which once activated can select and engage targets without further human intervention. “While the evidence suggests fully autonomous weapons systems are not yet ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    11 hours ago
  • New freedom camping rules – right vehicle, right place
    Tougher freedom camping laws will be introduced to prevent abuse which has placed an unfair burden on small communities and damaged our reputation as a high quality visitor destination. Tourism Minister Stuart Nash has confirmed that new legislation will be introduced to Parliament following an extensive round of public consultation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • Government invests to support a classic Kiwi summer
    Vaccinated New Zealanders can look forward to Kiwi summer events with confidence, while artists and crew will have more certainty, following the launch of details of the Arts and Culture Event Support Scheme, Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Carmel Sepuloni announced today. “The Government recognises that the arts and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • Grace period for expired driver licences cruises into 2022
    Due to the ongoing Delta outbreak and extended lockdowns, all New Zealand driver licences and licence endorsements that expired on or after 21 July 2021 will now be valid until 31 May 2022, Transport Minister Michael Wood announced today. “This further extension to the validity of driver licenses recognises that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • Delivered: 1,000 extra transitional homes
    A further 1,000 transitional homes delivered  New housing development starts in Flaxmere, Hastings  The Government has delivered the next 1,000 transitional housing places it promised, as part of its work to reduce homelessness. Housing Minister Dr Megan Woods is marking the milestone in Hastings at a new development that includes ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • Traffic light levels announced
    The levels at which different parts of New Zealand will move forward into the COVID-19 Protection Framework this Friday have been announced. Northland, Auckland, Taupō and Rotorua Lakes Districts, Kawerau, Whakatane, Ōpōtiki Districts, Gisborne District, Wairoa District, Rangitikei, Whanganui and Ruapehu Districts will move in at Red The rest of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Financial support to move to traffic light system
    A new transition payment will be made available particularly for affected businesses in Auckland, Waikato and Northland to acknowledge the restrictions they have faced under the higher Alert Levels. Transition payment of up to $24,000 as businesses move into traffic light system Leave Support Scheme and Short Term Absence Payment ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New Ambassador to Russia announced
    Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta today announced the appointment of Sarah Walsh as New Zealand’s next Ambassador to Russia. “Aotearoa New Zealand and Russia have a long-standing relationship, engaging on a range of regional and global interests including disarmament and Antarctica issues. We also work together as members of the East ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New Permanent Representative to the UN announced
    Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta today announced the appointment of Carolyn Schwalger as Permanent Representative to the New Zealand Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York. “Aotearoa New Zealand is a founding member of the UN and we have worked hard to ensure our stance on human rights, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Further COVID-19 economic support for Cook Islands and Fiji announced
    Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta today announced a further package of support for the Cook Islands and Fiji for COVID-19 economic support and recovery. “Aotearoa New Zealand remains committed to supporting our Pacific fanau and vuvale to respond to the impacts of COVID-19 on their economies, and move towards long-term ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New law will clear the air for tamariki in vehicles
    From today, it’s illegal to smoke or vape in most vehicles carrying children aged under 18 years old - whether the vehicle is moving or not. “Second-hand smoke poses an unacceptable risk to our tamariki and rangatahi,” Associate Minister of Health Dr Ayesha Verrall said. “We know children in vehicles ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Nine countries designated very high risk
    Nine southern African countries are being added to the very high risk countries list following public health advice around the newly discovered COVID-19 variant Omicron, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said. This afternoon, a public health risk assessment was carried out to assess the emerging evidence and any risk to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Foreign Affairs Minister concludes final stage of world trip
    Foreign Affairs Minister Hon Nanaia Mahuta today departed North America to return home to Aotearoa, concluding the last stage of her 17-day world trip. The final leg of her trip saw her visit the United States of America and Canada for a number of high-level discussions. While in Washington D.C., ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Milestone launch of Pacific Languages Unit
    Today’s official launch of the Pacific Languages Unit is a milestone for our Pacific communities, the Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio said. The Pacific Languages Unit brings together a new set of language supports within the Ministry for Pacific Peoples to provide advice, commission research, maintain standards, promote ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Public Health Lecture – University of Otago
    Public Health - Lessons from New Zealand’s COVID-19 response and opportunities for the future E nga mana, E nga reo,                                          E nga iwi. Tēna koutou katoa. Ka huri ki nga mana whenua o te rohe nei. Tēna koutou. He mihi hoki ki a tatou kua tau mai nei I raro I ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand statement on situation in Honiara, Solomon Islands
    Aotearoa New Zealand is deeply concerned by the events which have been unfolding in Honiara, Solomon Islands, since Wednesday. “New Zealand is a long-standing partner of Solomon Islands, and there are deep and enduring connections between our two countries,” Acting Foreign Affairs Minister David Parker said. “Our engagement in Solomon ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Nailed it! Over 500 apprentices get jobs boost
    Over 500 apprentices and cadets have been placed into work across New Zealand thanks to the Government’s booming build programme, that’s both constructing public houses, and maintaining older homes. Housing Minister Megan Woods announced the milestone today at a public housing construction site in Riccarton, Christchurch. “This Government’s investment in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Investment to support maternal mental health
    Associate Minister of Health Dr Ayesha Verrall has announced an investment to help expand maternal mental health services in five District Health Boards. “Supporting parent’s mental wellbeing during their child’s first 1000 days, from conception to two years of age, is critical to the long-term emotional, mental and physical wellbeing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Workplace vaccination requirements extended to cover Police and NZ Defence Force
    With the support of the organisations, additional vaccination requirements will cover sworn members, recruits and authorised officers of the New Zealand Police, and all New Zealand Defence Force staff. First doses of the vaccine for workers in these organisations are required by 17 January 2022, and second doses by 1 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Aotearoa New Zealand and Canada to pursue greater Indigenous collaboration
    During her visit to Ottawa, the Honourable Nanaia Mahuta, New Zealand Minister of Foreign Affairs and Associate Minister for Māori Development, met with the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Canadian Minister of Indigenous Services, and the Honourable Marc Miller, Canadian Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, to further expand and develop the positive relationship ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Māori vaccination rates reach 80% first dose
    Associate Minister of Health (Māori) Hon Peeni Henare today confirmed that Māori across the motu have now reached 80 percent for first doses of the COVID-19 vaccination nationally. “We have seen a huge increase in vaccinations for Māori throughout November, since the beginning of the month the increase for first ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Subsequent Children legislation to change
    The Government has today introduced legislation that will reverse provisions in the Oranga Tamariki Act as part of a path to rebuild trust and confidence in the organisation. “The Oranga Tamariki Amendment Bill makes a number of changes but by far the most important is the partial repeal of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Security Information in Proceedings Legislation Bill introduced to Parliament
    The Minister of Justice has confirmed the introduction of the Security Information in Proceedings Legislation Bill to Parliament. National security information is information which, if disclosed, would be likely to prejudice New Zealand’s security, defence, or international relations. “This Bill adds to the Government’s work to strengthen New Zealand’s protections ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Shortcomings revealed in power cut investigation
    No household should have had their power disconnected 18 recommendations, mostly EA and Transpower related The EA must strengthen its oversight of the system operator An investigation into power cuts that left more than 34,000 households without electricity on one of the coldest nights of the year has found that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • COVID-19 Protection Framework supported by new testing and contact tracing strategy
    Wider use of rapid antigen testing from 1 December Increasing daily laboratory capacity to 60,000 PCR tests Q1 2022 A new national telehealth case investigation service with 475 investigators A nearly $1 billion investment in testing, contact tracing and case investigation A new national testing strategy will provide better protection ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Supporting New Zealanders to recover from COVID-19 in the community
    $300 million boost to Pharmac to buy new medicines to treat COVID-19 Care in the Community approach will see most cases receive initial contact from a healthcare provider wiithin 24 hours Support pack provided within 48 hours Regular health checks throughout recovery The Government is increasing the support for New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Additional support for people isolating at home
    New regional MSD COVID-19 welfare teams to coordinate social service support for those isolating at home Regional teams working alongside other government agencies, iwi/Māori and community providers for housing, food and income support Government investment of $204.1m into welfare system support for Care in the Community Minister for Social Development ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Tax bill provides vital support for families
    A boost to Working for Families tax credits, as part of a package of financial support that will see 346,000 families better off, has been passed into law late last night.  Revenue Minister David Parker said the measures would lift the incomes of those receiving the Family Tax Credit, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New text service to support disabled peoples’ vaccinations
    Efforts to support disabled peoples’ vaccinations go from strength-to-strength with the launch of a new text service, Minister for Disability Issues Carmel Sepuloni announced today. The service, run by Whakarongorau Aotearoa on behalf of the Ministry of Health, is in response to feedback from the disability community and is an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Proactive Calendar Release – October 2021
    ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Pacific community reach vaccination milestone
    Pacific communities across the nation have rolled up their sleeves and played their part to reach a major vaccination milestone, 90 percent  have now had their first vaccination, Aupito William Sio, Minister for Pacific Peoples and Associate Minister of Health said. “Reaching this milestone reflects the work Pacific Health Providers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Reconnecting New Zealand – the next steps
    Fully vaccinated Kiwis and other eligible travellers can travel to NZ from Australia without staying in MIQ from 11.59pm Sunday, 16 January 2022 Fully vaccinated Kiwis and other eligible travellers can travel to NZ from all other countries from 11.59pm Sunday, 13 February 2022 All fully vaccinated individuals will be ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Shot in the arm for Canterbury tourism
    A brand new tourism attraction launched in the Canterbury high country is designed to transform the regional economy from seasonal peaks and troughs of past visitor trends. Regional Economic Development and Tourism Minister Stuart Nash has officially opened the Ōpuke Pools at Methven, which received government backing from the Provincial ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Combined efforts connecting locals to nature
    A Government investment in six community and iwi-led projects across the Hawke’s Bay district will provide nature-based jobs for more than 60 locals, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says. “Combined, these projects are contributing to a really ambitious conservation effort across the region, while at the same time up-skilling and offering ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Empowering Diverse Communities
    Minister for the Prevention of Family Violence and Sexual Violence Marama Davidson has approved five funding grants to support national-level family violence and sexual violence prevention initiatives for LGBTQIA+ people, disabled people, older people and new migrant communities. “Local community initiatives are a key lever in reducing violence. The Government ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Moriori Claims Settlement Bill passes Third Reading
    The Moriori Claims Settlement Bill has passed its third reading at Parliament, marking the completion of the historical Treaty of Waitangi settlement process for Moriori. “This is the final milestone for Moriori and the Crown and is a new beginning in our relationship,” Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Andrew ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Permanent drug-checking law passed and new providers appointed
    Drug-checking services will continue to operate legally at festivals, pop-up clinics, university orientation weeks and other places this summer and beyond, thanks to a law passed today, Health Minister Andrew Little says. The services have been legal since last summer under temporary legislation that expires next month. The Government’s Drug ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Pacific communities supported to transition to the COVID-19 Protection Framework
    The Government has agreed to support Pacific health providers and communities’ transition to the new COVID-19 Protection Framework, Minister for Pacific Peoples and Associate Minister of Health, Aupito William Sio said. The Government recognises that there is a clear need to prepare new systems and healthcare approaches, to protect and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government helps Pasifika Festivals to ride the COVID wave
    As we transition into a new way of managing COVID and take steps towards giving vaccinated New Zealanders more freedoms to enjoy Aotearoa’s arts and culture, 19 Pasifika festivals across the motu are receiving funding through the Pasifika Festivals Initiative, Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Carmel Sepuloni said. These ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago