Bold economic leadership… from the Opposition

Written By: - Date published: 12:45 pm, May 6th, 2010 - 61 comments
Categories: Economy, gst, labour, overseas investment, phil goff - Tags:

I’m glad to see Labour is stealing a march on the lazy Nats and building an alternative economic vision ahead of the Budget. It looks to be just the vision New Zealand needs, built on the twin planks of economic sovereignty and a fairer distribution of wealth.

Phil Goff will outline the vision in a major speech next week but there are already a few hints.

The first is either reducing GST back to 12.5% or taking the GST off food. Both would have about the same cost. Labour has previously argued for a single low rate of GST but the increase to 15% heightens the case for exempting food to provide relief to ordinary Kiwi families. Other countries manage just fine having no sales tax on food, there’s no reason we can’t do the same here. It’s not hugely complicated or expensive for businesses. In Australia, the government issues rulings on what is covered and what isn’t and businesses are entitled to rely on that advice.

Labour is considering tightening the rules on foreigners buying land, another old favourite of the Left. We can’t keep selling our assets abroad. Sure, we get the short-term gain but we get long term loss. We get a wad of cash now but lose the profit stream from the asset in the future. Land is a particularly important economic asset because they’re not making any more of it.

The idea of improving national savings is along the same lines: we have two choices in this world, we can live beyond our means now and finance it by selling off the family silver or we can save now for a richer tomorrow.

Listen to David Cunliffe’s very good interview on Radio NZ this morning (I especially like the way he dealt with Geoff Robertson’s jibes with good humour)

61 comments on “Bold economic leadership… from the Opposition ”

  1. Lanthanide 1

    Cunliffe could’ve said “I wouldn’t call a march of 20-50 thousand people in Auckland a “dream run” for National”. Oh well, the interview was still good.

  2. Jared 2

    Labour had the chance to drop GST on food in their last term, and they didn’t. I sincerely doubt that this “new policy” would be anything more than a recycled paper cup when Labour wins their next election.

    “As for dropping GST on food, says Clark, “I prefer Working for Families”.”
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz-election-2008/news/article.cfm?c_id=1501799&objectid=10540472&pnum=3

    • Lanthanide 2.1

      What part of “15% GST is too high on food” don’t you get? Labour thought 12.5% GST on everything was fine. Now that National are putting it up to 15%, they don’t want to promise that they are going to lower it (because honestly it is actually a good policy to have 15% and not 12.5%), but still want to help mitigate the impact on those who spend a higher proportion of their income on food, eg those on low incomes.

      In short: that was then, this is now.

      captcha: manipulation

      • Jared 2.1.1

        And with an increase to Working for Families to compensate for an increase in GST it could be argued that the increase in GST would have little to no impact on the purchasing power of those on lower incomes?

        • Lanthanide 2.1.1.1

          Except that if food is cheaper, people will be more likely to spend money on it – there are alarming stories about children from low income families going without meals because the parents blow their money on gambling, alcohol and drugs. Giving these same people higher WFF payments so they can do exactly the same cost/benefit calculation and pick the wrong option isn’t as helpful as changing the cost/benefit calculation in favour of food.

          It is also not the same to simply increase WFF if the GST exception on food applies to grocery items only and not to fastfood/restaurants, for example.

          Finally taking GST off food is of benefit to everyone. Increasing WFF payments is only of benefit to people who receive it. This last item is important in the politics of perception – left-leaning national supporters are more likely to vote for GST off food than they are for an increase in WFF payments. One core group of society that GST on food affects is the elderly, who are generally not eligible for WFF.

          • Bright Red 2.1.1.1.1

            drugs are GST free 😉

          • Joe Blog 2.1.1.1.2

            After working for several years within Work and Income I would agree with you. Perhaps it a voucher system would be better?

            [lprent: You should consider changing your pseudonym. It is very close to another commentator – who is currently banned for a few more days. I’m guessing that is why I had to rescue you out of the spam queue, you probably got moderated out.

            Either that or the anti-spam engine doesn’t like the word ‘voucher’ which is beloved by the blog spammer bots (along with gold, babies, and sex). ]

            • Joe Bloggs 2.1.1.1.2.1

              Joe Blog – get yerself another handle dude…

              …or I’ll see you down at high noon – once they let me out of this hoosegow

              [lprent: I let you out a day or so early. I was cleaning out the discussion controls yesterday. ]

            • Rex Widerstrom 2.1.1.1.2.2

              That certainly cramps the style of anyone who was planning on offering gold vouchers to women they call “baby” in exchange for sex.

            • kaplan 2.1.1.1.2.3

              Wow. The standard have their own version of the Peter Saunders twins!
              Thank god the moderators have a higher IQ than Paula Bennett.

              [lprent: Gee, thanks I guess…. On second thoughts, even being compared to Paula is insulting… 😈 ]

            • felix 2.1.1.1.2.4

              Where can I get a voucher for a sexy gold baby?

        • Akldnut 2.1.1.2

          Jared And with an increase to Working for Families to compensate for an increase in GST it could be argued that the increase in GST would have little to no impact on the purchasing power of those on lower incomes?

          It also makes a mockery of Nat wanting to make people less reliant on welfare and gives them the opportunity to sprout on how there is too much money being paid to low income earners thru WFF – just abother con job in the making, transfering what little wealth low income earners have into the govt coffers and transferred via tax cuts to the rich.

          • Draco T Bastard 2.1.1.2.1

            The thing about NACT is that they don’t want people to be dependent upon welfare – they want them to be dependent upon them. Hence the BS about not being able to afford things without the rich even though the rich are only rich after stealing from the workers.

  3. Alexandra 3

    I agree, good stuff by Goff. Labour needs to keep up the emphasis on what it will do when in government next year and bring home a brave alternative. By the time the election comes even the love sick Keyites will be sick of the inertia of the lazy Nats.

  4. just saying 4

    Wow, an alternative budget ahead of the govt – just what I was asking them to do about a week ago on this very site. I do realise though that great minds etc….. lots of people thinking the same sorts of things at the same time.

    So glad Labour is no longer just reacting.
    Lot’s of great initiatives lately.

    High on my wish list, and if the Nats pinch it all the better because there is such a urgent need……work schemes partic for the under 25s. I know there are lots of problems with these things, but there isn’t time to wait for the private sector we – need to get these kids working now, before depression and alienation really bite into their souls. God knows there are so many useful community projects they could be involved in. Pleeeaase!

    • Lanthanide 4.1

      There’s something called “Community MAX” that Paula keeps droning on about whenever anyone asks about work programmes. I don’t know what it is about, but it’s targeted at under 25s I believe.

  5. Alexandra 5

    “Wow, an alternative budget ahead of the govt just what I was asking them to do about a week ago on this very site. I do realise though that great minds etc .. lots of people thinking the same sorts of things at the same time.”

    Wow, all credit to you then.

  6. 350ppm 6

    Twin planks will not be enough to prop us up. NZ’s economic policies need to be environmentally sustainable. Just ask any of the thousands who marched against mining in conservation areas.

  7. Nick C 7

    Should we discourage New Zealanders from buying land in other countries?

    • Draco T Bastard 7.1

      Yes.

    • Ari 7.2

      Land shouldn’t be owned by people who don’t live and work on it. It ought to be about a sense of personal connection and obligation to tend for things, not commodification.

  8. Herodotus 8

    Lets just tinker some more take a bit from here and allocate it somewhere else, that really will sort things out. Nat are already doing this tinkering with GST and PAYE rates so LAb will just copy the template.
    So we will give to families on in some cases $100k+ reduce GST and hey presto all is great. How short sighted this initially appears to me . What happens if some that receive WFF doesn’t really need it or use it to purchase rental properties. What is the existance income level and at what level can people participate for all the good NZ has to offer, not “forced” to work all and every hour of the day. But hey we will just give out the money.
    As some have already stated WFF does not cover those on benefits, retirees and those without families and many others. The old Lab has been reengerised to the new lab and there is nothing different for me!!
    I am sorry but this GST and WFF trade off is no better than GST increase offset with PAYE tax cuts.
    But at least I will have some alt reading around Budget time

    • Lanthanide 8.1

      Your comment is mostly incoherent, but National have indicated that in budget 2010 they will be tightening up rules around trusts to prevent people from sheltering income to qualify for WFF.

      Hopefully they will apply this same rule to student allowance and other benefits. It also completely puts paid to their “no-one pays the top rate because they hide their money in trusts” excuse for dropping the tax rate from 38% to 33%.

      • Draco T Bastard 8.1.1

        Hopefully they will apply this same rule to student allowance and other benefits.

        We can hope but, as this is the party of capitalists for capitalists and screw everyone else, I’m not holding my breath.

        It also completely puts paid to their “no-one pays the top rate because they hide their money in trusts’ excuse for dropping the tax rate from 38% to 33%.

        Considering that their whole existence for being is to cut tax rates for the rich I’m sure that they’ll manage to ignore such facts quite well. After all, they ignore facts that go against their ideology all the time so ignoring another couple won’t be an inconvenience at all.

  9. Rex Widerstrom 9

    Labour is considering tightening the rules on foreigners buying land, another old favourite of the Left.

    *cough* Yes, very old. Like… Norman Kirk old. If it had remained a Labour plank from ’84 on NZ First wouldn’t have had much traction and wouldn’t have surpassed Labour in the polls in 1995.

    And if Michael Cullen hadn’t turned the OIC into a giant rubber stamp, Labour might never have needed to suffer an unholy alliance with Winston (because it would have drawn back his support, most of which is traditional Labour voters)… and thus might just have won the last election.

    Hopefully this will erode the remaining ground under Winston’s feet and we’ve heard the last of him. And, of course, it’s the right thing to do.

    So excuse me while I go have a small celebratory sherry as I contemplate sovereignty finally returning as a guiding principle of a major political party 🙂

  10. Bored 10

    I would really like to know how Labour (or for that matter a re elected Nact) will respond to the reality of peak oil. Both parties have had the mantra of growth and progress as key to their policies to date. This in an infinite world would be just fine and dandy.

    We are not in an infinite world, we have declining energy available with price climbing. As energy is directly linked to economic output I would suggest we will be in contraction mode till we reach an energy available to output balance. How then will Labour in particular propose to address reality?

    • Lanthanide 10.1

      I doubt any party in NZ, aside from the Greens, is going to publically take Peak Oil seriously until at least one other major western nation has admitted it.

      National however seem to be acting as they privately don’t take it seriously either, with Joyce green-lighting the roading projects. Although as my boyfriend pointed out, transmission gully will be necessary if global warming inundates whatever the other road out of Wellington at the moment is.

      • Draco T Bastard 10.1.1

        If the road gets inundated then so does Wellington, ergo, the road isn’t needed.

        • Lanthanide 10.1.1.1

          Only if by “Wellington” you mean the entirety of it, such that there is no building above sea level.

          It is quite conceivable that large dykes will be built up around important cities to stop them being flooded, but it is less economically viable to do the same with long stretches of road. And if the choice is “build a road that cuts down commute time and avoids floods” vs “build dykes around this road to stop it from flooding” then the former option is suddenly much more appealing.

          Of course, transmission gully is apparently right across a fault line, so it’s just trading one potential disaster for another.

          • insider 10.1.1.1.1

            or you elevate the road. Ever heard of bridges and causeways?

            • Lanthanide 10.1.1.1.1.1

              I think you missed the point.

              In order to keep the road out of Wellington usable in a sea level rising situation, either the new transmission gully road needs to be built, or the existing road needs to be re-engineered, either with dykes or “bridges and causeways” as you suggest.

              You have to spend money either way, so in this context building transmission gully actually isn’t such a bad option.

        • ianmac 10.1.1.2

          Or as Steven Joyce said today during question time, you could shift Wellington and then you wouldn’t need a major highway. Huh?

          • Jim Nald 10.1.1.2.1

            Did he?

            That would be the same kind of argument about shifting his brains into his rear.
            Or moving his large intestines to the frontal lobes of his cerebral cortex.
            Then the country won’t need any major policy thinking.

    • Draco T Bastard 10.2

      That’s a question that I keep asking myself. But their support of building trains in NZ is a step in the right direction – even if it is for the wrong reasons. It will help us with self-sufficiency in the long run and even with ecological sustainability as well. Our factories in the long run aren’t going to be powered by hydrocarbons but geothermal, wind and hydro and we only need them to be large enough to supply our own community.

    • insider 10.3

      So tell us when it is happening. THis year? next year? Five years ago? 130 years ago? There have been lots of ‘expert’ predictions none of them yet correct

      • Lanthanide 10.3.1

        At the moment the rosiest estimates are 35 years out. The most pessimistic are 5 years ago. Many commentators are thinking sometime prior to 2020, and possibly before 2015 with things starting to bite 2012 or so (helping to vindicate all those spouting Mayan 2012 calendar bullshit).

        • Herodotus 10.3.1.1

          Spending a few $B on roads would be the least of our issues. I think tourism would be a no go, agriculture and horticulture would struggle, as I heard that it takes about 4-5 kj to produce 1kj of food.
          Perhaps whilst energy is cheep we should be investing in as much concrete & steel to produce as many dams to create electricity, then there would be less trauma as we in NZ would have the essentials, as long as the generators and lines coy are state owned. Cheep power our own limited oil supply to oil & grease the machinery, water and sun and a small pop.
          Perhaps we should have an isolationist policy to keep a substainable pop that the land can manage the only other change I could suggest is to educate engineers and the such , place accountants, laywers and other professions of limited use.

          • Draco T Bastard 10.3.1.1.1

            We, as a country, actually have enough energy from renewable resources – if we don’t increase our population.

  11. So who at the standard has worked for Faux news?

    A headline with ” Bold Economic Leadership” with a picture of Goff looking off into the sunset??

    yeppers.

    • Bright Red 11.1

      Brett responds with a strong economic argument against Labour’s policies that makes us all stop and think.

      • Lanthanide 11.1.1

        Clearly he has no conception of what Faux News actually spout and imply.

  12. Jenny 12

    Great stuff Marty

    “Congratulations to Darien, Labour, the Greens, Progressives, the Maori Party.” MartyG

    With news that the Maori Party has voted against their coalition partner and with the opposition, and that Labour are reconsidering their stance on GST off food, the possibility of serious détente between Maori and Labour could see further weakening of the coalition.

    Rahui Katene welcomes Labour’s GST off food policy.

  13. Herodotus 13

    So we now have a food tax by stealth. No political announcement is as it initial appears. the statement headline is GST of food. I await the detail, tactics like this could reinforce the resentment out there with Labour… that they are back to their old tricks inferring one thing but delivering something inferrior, just when there was a chance that Nat had allowed an opening. What do we get … the potential for an own goal.
    Jenny the GST is potentiall on some food that politicians and civil servants decide as complying to THEIR way of things.
    Make things easier keep GST status quo BUT support the needy adequately by increasing their support or nominal tax rate for the 1st tier. Remember reducing GST back to 12.5% favours those with the most spending. A 430 Ferrari,GST reverting back to 12.5% WILL save the purchaser over $12.5k in tax. Looks like both parties like supporting the wealthy with tax cuts!!!

    • Jenny 13.1

      GST, Roger Douglas’s iniquitous flat tax. No amount of clever histrionics, and vague mutterings of doom, can rehabilitate it. The only resentment being reinforced here, is the resentment being harboured by bitter die hard rogernomes.

      Herodotus, you may harbour hope that, as you say, “No political announcement is at it initial appears.” Inferring of course that you’re hoping Labour will resile from this initial statement.

      Cynical manipulations and back room dealings may possibly achieve this end. But the political cost of a back track over this now, may be substantial.

      Creating as it would a public perception that everything else in Goff’s alternative economic vision, could also be subject to being watered down and traded away under back room horse trading and pressure.

      Who knows, maybe this sort of public perception may make a difference to whether Labour does well in next years election.

  14. Thomas 14

    Removing the GST on food will be a welcome, positive & progressive move if Labour implements it giving the chance.
    Many are asking how the lost revenue from the implementation of this policy will be be collected, there are many ways but I’ll give you a couple now, simply increase the tax accordingly on alcohol & tobacco,
    The problem with GST on food items at the moment is that a beneficiary pays the same for a pound of butter as does a wealthy person.

  15. millsy 15

    GST off food.

    If this is the best that Labour/the left can do, then they are very much in trouble. The benefit of removing GST from food would be minimal, but the costs will be huge, and we would have a lot of unintended concequences (such as the rich buying GST free pate and caviar – or free ipods with that $350 bag of oranges). Far better to pare it back to the original 10%, with a tax free bracket, paid for by soaking those at the top (the more you earn the more tax you should pay), or even aboloish it altogether…

    But for the moment, from me the message is: go away and try a little bit harder.

    • bahandhumbug 15.1

      “the more you earn the more tax you should pay”

      Isn’t this the way it works at the moment ?

    • Red Rosa 15.2

      Dead right millsy. Presumably restaurant meals count as ‘food’ – hard to see why not. An upmarket CBD ‘business lunch’ would feed a family for a week. Both get GST off. This idea should have been buried years ago.

      • Herodotus 15.2.1

        RR Please do not take it that ALL food will be exempt. There is a chance nad refer Jenny 6:16 re Maori idea that it is limited to healthy food. Then letthe horse trading begin as to what is healthy. Rememer Lab/Progressives intro a tax on drink exceeding 14% to reduce alco pops what happens alco pops reduced their %. Re healthy food is Weetbixs ok how about cocopops . If cocopops sugar/salt is over a % then just reduce the % to marginally under simple, yet if maybe of still”unhealthy”. Me thinks a wasp nest is being upset, unless there are some extremely wise people in communicating this policy or leaving the small print to post the electon. It has happened before by all.

      • Lanthanide 15.2.2

        Restaurant meals are food, but that has no bearing on what the final policy will be. Labour have broadly indicated that they might drop GST from food. What their eventual policy is likely to be is “GST off food excluding prepared meals at restaurants and takeaway places”.

        You know that the government has complete sovereign control in NZ, and there isn’t any formal constitution that blocks them from doing whatever they want, right? There’s no reason they can’t make a law that targets food sold only by grocery stores and not food sold at restaurants, the only question is how many loopholes will be left, how easy those loopholes are to identify and exploit and how easy they are to close.

        • millsy 15.2.2.1

          And what about the free DVD player with the $200 bunch of bananas?

    • Thomas 15.3

      The problem with pulling GST back to the original 10% is that it would make it more attractive & affordable for the wealthy when they make purchases on expensive items such as a new lamborghini or ferrari etc etc.

      • felix 15.3.1

        And why is that a problem?

        I mean I can think of a few problems in a very broad sense, but within the bounds of this topic, what is the problem with making it easier to buy Ferraris at the same time as making it easier to buy food, clothes, and everything else?

  16. Thomas 16

    Also easier for the richest in society to even better their already rosy lifestyles when accessing the high end food clothes & everything else, & thus widening the gap between the rich & poor.

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    Hi,We’ll get to the horrific world of male diet influencers (AKA Beefy Boys) shortly, but first you will be glad to know that since I sent out the Webworm explaining why the assassination attempt on Donald Trump was not a false flag operation, I’ve heard from a load of people ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    3 days ago
  • It's Starting To Look A Lot Like… Y2K

    Do you remember Y2K, the threat that hung over humanity in the closing days of the twentieth century? Horror scenarios of planes falling from the sky, electronic payments failing and ATMs refusing to dispense cash. As for your VCR following instructions and recording your favourite show - forget about it.All ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    4 days ago
  • Bernard’s Saturday Soliloquy for the week to July 20

    Climate Change Minister Simon Watts being questioned by The Kākā’s Bernard Hickey.TL;DR: My top six things to note around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the week to July 20 were:1. A strategy that fails Zero Carbon Act & Paris targetsThe National-ACT-NZ First Coalition Government finally unveiled ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Pharmac Director, Climate Change Commissioner, Health NZ Directors – The latest to quit this m...

    Summary:As New Zealand loses at least 12 leaders in the public service space of health, climate, and pharmaceuticals, this month alone, directly in response to the Government’s policies and budget choices, what lies ahead may be darker than it appears. Tui examines some of those departures and draws a long ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    4 days ago
  • Flooding Housing Policy

    The Minister of Housing’s ambition is to reduce markedly the ratio of house prices to household incomes. If his strategy works it would transform the housing market, dramatically changing the prospects of housing as an investment.Leaving aside the Minister’s metaphor of ‘flooding the market’ I do not see how the ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    4 days ago
  • A Voyage Among the Vandals: Accepted (Again!)

    As previously noted, my historical fantasy piece, set in the fifth-century Mediterranean, was accepted for a Pirate Horror anthology, only for the anthology to later fall through. But in a good bit of news, it turned out that the story could indeed be re-marketed as sword and sorcery. As of ...
    5 days ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Friday, July 19

    An employee of tobacco company Philip Morris International demonstrates a heated tobacco device. Photo: Getty ImagesTL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy on Friday, July 19 are:At a time when the Coalition Government is cutting spending on health, infrastructure, education, housing ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Friday, July 19

    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 8:30 am on Friday, July 19 are:Scoop: NZ First Minister Casey Costello orders 50% cut to excise tax on heated tobacco products. The minister has ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Weekly Roundup 19-July-2024

    Kia ora, it’s time for another Friday roundup, in which we pull together some of the links and stories that caught our eye this week. Feel free to add more in the comments! Our header image this week shows a foggy day in Auckland town, captured by Patrick Reynolds. ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    5 days ago
  • Weekly Climate Wrap: A market-led plan for failure

    TL;DR : Here’s the top six items climate news for Aotearoa this week, as selected by Bernard Hickey and The Kākā’s climate correspondent Cathrine Dyer. A discussion recorded yesterday is in the video above and the audio of that sent onto the podcast feed.The Government released its draft Emissions Reduction ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Tobacco First

    Save some money, get rich and old, bring it back to Tobacco Road.Bring that dynamite and a crane, blow it up, start all over again.Roll up. Roll up. Or tailor made, if you prefer...Whether you’re selling ciggies, digging for gold, catching dolphins in your nets, or encouraging folks to flutter ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • Trump’s Adopted Son.

    Waiting In The Wings: For truly, if Trump is America’s un-assassinated Caesar, then J.D. Vance is America’s Octavian, the Republic’s youthful undertaker – and its first Emperor.DONALD TRUMP’S SELECTION of James D. Vance as his running-mate bodes ill for the American republic. A fervent supporter of Viktor Orban, the “illiberal” prime ...
    5 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Friday, July 19

    TL;DR: As of 6:00 am on Friday, July 19, the top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day are:The PSA announced the Employment Relations Authority (ERA) had ruled in the PSA’s favour in its case against the Ministry ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • The Hoon around the week to July 19

    TL;DR: The podcast above of the weekly ‘hoon’ webinar for paying subscribers last night features co-hosts and talking with:The Kākā’s climate correspondent talking about the National-ACT-NZ First Government’s release of its first Emissions Reduction Plan;University of Otago Foreign Relations Professor and special guest Dr Karin von ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #29 2024

    Open access notables Improving global temperature datasets to better account for non-uniform warming, Calvert, Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society: To better account for spatial non-uniform trends in warming, a new GITD [global instrumental temperature dataset] was created that used maximum likelihood estimation (MLE) to combine the land surface ...
    5 days ago
  • We're back again! Join us for the weekly Hoon on YouTube Live

    Photo by Gabriel Crismariu on UnsplashWe’re back again after our mid-winter break. We’re still with the ‘new’ day of the week (Thursday rather than Friday) when we have our ‘hoon’ webinar with paying subscribers to The Kākā for an hour at 5 pm.Jump on this link on YouTube Livestream for ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Gut Reactions.

    Trump Writes His Own Story: Would the “mainstream” media even try to reflect the horrified reaction of the MAGA crowd to the pop-pop-pop of the would-be assassin’s rifle, and Trump going down? Could it even grasp the sheer elation of the rally-goers seeing their champion rise up and punch the air, still alive, ...
    6 days ago
  • Dodging Bullets.

    Fight! Fight! Fight! Had the assassin’s bullet found its mark and killed Donald Trump, America’s descent into widespread and murderous violence – possibly spiralling-down into civil war – would have been immediate and quite possibly irreparable. The American Republic, upon whose survival liberty and democracy continue to depend, is certainly not ...
    6 days ago
  • 'Corruption First' Strikes Again

    There comes a point in all our lives when we must stop to say, “Enough is enough. We know what’s happening. We are not as stupid or as ignorant as you believe us to be. And making policies that kill or harm our people is not acceptable, Ministers.”Plausible deniability has ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Thursday, July 18

    TL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy today are:The inside stories of KiwiRail’s iRex debacle, Westport’s perma-delayed flood scheme and Christchurch’s post-quake sewer rebuild, which assumed no population growth, show just how deeply sceptical senior officials in Treasury, the Ministry of ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • What's that Jack Black?

    Ah-rah, deeSoo-guh-goo-gee-goo-geeGoo-guh fli-goo gee-gooGuh fli-goo, ga-goo-buh-deeOoh, guh-goo-beeOoh-guh-guh-bee-guh-guh-beeFli-goo gee-gooA-fliguh woo-wa mama Lucifer!I’m about ready to move on, how about you?Not from the shooting, that’s bad and we definitely shouldn’t have that. But the rehabilitation of Donald J Trump? The deification of Saint Donald? As the Great Unifier?Gimme a bucket.https://yellowscene.com/2024/04/07/trump-as-jesus/Just to re-iterate, ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • June 2024: Earth’s 13th-consecutive warmest month on record

    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Jeff Masters and Bob Henson June 2024 was Earth’s warmest June since global record-keeping began in 1850 and was the planet’s 13th consecutive warmest month on record, NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information, or NCEI, reported July 12. As opposed to being focused in ...
    6 days ago
  • Connecting the dots and filling the gaps in our bike network

    This is a guest post by Shaun Baker on the importance of filling the gaps in our cycling networks. It originally appeared on his blog Multimodal Adventures, and is re-posted here with kind permission. In our towns and cities in Aotearoa New Zealand, there are areas in our cycling networks ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    6 days ago
  • Webworm Down Under Photos!

    Hi,I wanted to share a few thoughts and photos from the Webworm popup and Tickled screening we held in Auckland, New Zealand last weekend.In short — it was a blast. I mean, I had a blast and I hope any of you that came also had a blast.An old friend ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Thursday, July 18

    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 6:30 am on Thursday, July 18 are:News: Christchurch's sewer systems block further housing developments RNZ’s Niva ChittockAnalysis: Interislander: Treasury, MoT officials' mistrust of KiwiRail led ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Thursday, July 18

    TL;DR: As of 6:00 am on Thursday, July 18, the top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day are:Verbatim: Climate Change Minister Simon Watts held a news conference in Auckland to release the Government’s Emissions Reduction Plan, including ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • The politics of managed retreat

    Climate change deniers are now challenging the Government over a key climate change adaptation policy. That begs the question of whether New Zealand First will then support Government moves to implement processes to deal with a managed retreat for properties in danger of flooding because of sea level rise and ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    6 days ago
  • Some changes are coming

    Warm welcome again to those who are here. The Mountain Tui substack was officially started on the 2nd of July. I wrote about what led me here on this post. Since then, it’s been a learning to navigate the platform, get to meet those in the community, and basically be ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    6 days ago
  • About fucking time

    The US Supreme Court has been rogue for years, with openly corrupt judges making the law up as they go to suit themselves, their billionaire buyers, and the Republican Party. But now, in the wake of them granting a licence for tyranny, President Biden is actually going to try and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: False accounting and wishful thinking

    National released their draft 2026-2030 Emissions Reduction Plan today. The plan is required under the Zero Carbon Act, and must set out policies and strategies to meet the relevant emissions budget. Having cancelled all Labour's actually effective climate change policies and crashed the carbon price, National was always going to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • The Enemies Of Sunshine And Space.

    Our Houses? The Urban Density debate is a horrible combination of intergenerational avarice and envy, fuelled by the grim certainty that none of the generations coming up after them will ever have it as good as the Boomers. To say that this situation rankles among those born after 1965 is to ...
    6 days ago
  • Still the 5 Eyes Achilles Heel?

    The National Cyber Security Centre (NZSC), a unit in the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) dedicated to cyber-security, has released a Review of its response to the 2021 email hacking of NZ members of the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China (IPAC, … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    6 days ago
  • Britain's Devastating Electoral Slip.

    Slip-Sliding Away: Labour may now enjoy a dominant position in Britain’s political landscape, but only by virtue of not being swallowed by it.THE BRITISH LABOUR PARTY’S “landslide victory” is nothing of the sort. As most people understand the term, a landslide election victory is one in which the incumbent government, or ...
    7 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on why right wingers think all governments (including their own) are incompetent

    Since open denial of climate change is no longer a viable political option, denial now comes in disguise. The release this week of the coalition government’s ‘draft emissions reductions plan” shows that the Luxon government is refusing to see the need to cut emissions at source. Instead, it proposes to ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    7 days ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Wednesday, July 17

    TL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy this morning are:Chris Penk is set to roll back building standards for insulation that had only just been put in place, and which had been estimated to save 40% from power costs, after builders ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    7 days ago
  • Open Letter to Pharmac

    All this talk of getting oldIt's getting me down, my loveLike a cat in a bag, waiting to drownThis time I'm coming downAnd I hope you're thinking of meAs you lay down on your sideNow the drugs don't workThey just make you worse but I know I'll see your face ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    7 days ago
  • A blanket of misinformation

    Two old sayings have been on my mind lately. The first is: “The pen is mightier than the sword”, describing the power of language and communication to help or to harm. The other, which captures the speed with which falsehoods can become ingrained and hard to undo, is: “A lie can ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    7 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Wednesday, July 17

    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day to 7:00 am on Wednesday, July 17 are:Scoop: Government considers rolling back home insulation standards RNZ’s Eloise GibsonNews: Government plans tree-planting frenzy as report shows NZ no longer ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    7 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Wednesday, July 17

    TL;DR: As of 6:00 am on Wednesday, July 17 , the top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day were:Simon Watts released the Government’s draft Emissions Reduction Plan (ERP), which included proposed changes to the Emissions Trading Scheme ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    7 days ago
  • “Shhhh” – National's 3 Waters is loaded with higher costs and lays a path to ...

    This is a long, possibly technical, but very, very important read. I encourage you to take the time and spread your awareness.IntroductionIn 2022, then Labour Party Prime Minister Jacinda Adern expended significant political capital to protect New Zealand’s water assets from privatisation. She lost that battle, and Labour and the ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    1 week ago
  • Plugging a video channel: Dr Gilbz

    Dr. Ella Gilbert is a climate scientist and presenter with a PhD in Antarctic climate change, working at the British Antarctic Survey (BAS). Her background is in atmospheric sciences and she's especially interested in the physical mechanisms of climate change, clouds, and almost anything polar. She is passionate about communicating climate ...
    1 week ago
  • Some “scrutiny” again

    Back in 2022, in its Open Government Partnership National Action Plan, the government promised to strengthen scrutiny of Official Information Act exemption clauses in legislation. Since then they've run a secret "consultation" on how to do that, with their preferred outcome being that agencies will consult the Ministry of Justice ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Crashing New Zealand's health system is not the way to prosperity, Prime Minister

    Another day, and yet another piece of bad news for New Zealand’s health system. Reports have come out that General Practitioners (GP) may have to close doors, or increase patient fees to survive. The so-called ‘capitation’ funding review, which supports GP practices to survive, is under way, and primary care ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    1 week ago
  • Closer Than You Think: Ageing Boomers, Laurie & Les, Talk Politics.

    Redefining Our Terms: “When an angry majority is demanding change, defending the status-quo is an extremist position.”“WHAT’S THIS?”, asked Laurie, eyeing suspiciously the two glasses of red wine deposited in front of him.“A nice drop of red. I thought you’d be keen to celebrate the French Far-Right’s victory with the ...
    1 week ago
  • Come on Darleen.

    Good morning all, time for a return to things domestic. After elections in the UK and France, Luxon gatecrashing Nato, and the attempted shooting of Trump, it’s probably about time we re-focus on local politics.Unless of course you’re Christopher Luxon and you’re so exhausted from all your schmoozing in Washington ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • How the Northwest was lost and may be won

    This is a guest post by Darren Davis. It originally appeared on his excellent blog, Adventures in Transitland, which we encourage you to check out. It is shared by kind permission. The Northwest has always been Auckland’s public transport Cinderella, rarely invited to the public funding ball. How did ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    1 week ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Tuesday July 16

    Luxon has told a Financial Times’ correspondent he would openly call out China’s spying in future and does not fear economic retaliation from Aotearoa’s largest trading partner.File Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy on Tuesday, ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Tuesday, July 16

    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 6:00 am on Tuesday, July 16 are:PM Christopher Luxon has given a very hawkish interview to the Financial Times-$$$ correspondent in Washington, Demetri Sevastopulu, saying ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Tuesday, July 16

    Photo by Ryunosuke Kikuno on UnsplashTL;DR: The top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day to 6:00 am are:BNZ released its Performance of Services Index for June, finding that services sector is at its lowest level of activity ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • The second crisis; assumption was the mother

    Late on the night of July 16, 1984, while four National Cabinet Ministers were meeting in the Beehive office of Deputy Prime Minister Jim McLay, plotting the ultimate downfall of outgoing Prime Minister Sir Robert Muldoon, another crisis was building up in another part of the capital. The United States ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • Can we air condition our way out of extreme heat?

    This is a re-post from The Climate Brink by Andrew Dessler Air conditioning was initially a symbol of comfort and wealth, enjoyed by the wealthy in theaters and upscale homes. Over time, as technology advanced and costs decreased, air conditioning became more accessible to the general public. With global warming, though, ...
    1 week ago
  • Review: The Zimiamvian Trilogy, by E.R. Eddison (1935-1958)

    I have reviewed some fairly obscure stuff on this blog. Nineteenth century New Zealand speculative fiction. Forgotten Tolkien adaptations. George MacDonald and William Morris. Last month I took a look at The Worm Ouroboros (1922), by E.R. Eddison, which while not strictly obscure, is also not overly inviting to many ...
    1 week ago

  • Charity lotteries to be permitted to operate online

    Minister of Internal Affairs Brooke van Velden says lotteries for charitable purposes, such as those run by the Heart Foundation, Coastguard NZ, and local hospices, will soon be allowed to operate online permanently. “Under current laws, these fundraising lotteries are only allowed to operate online until October 2024, after which ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • Accelerating Northland Expressway

    The Coalition Government is accelerating work on the new four-lane expressway between Auckland and Whangārei as part of its Roads of National Significance programme, with an accelerated delivery model to deliver this project faster and more efficiently, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says. “For too long, the lack of resilient transport connections ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • Sir Don to travel to Viet Nam as special envoy

    Sir Don McKinnon will travel to Viet Nam this week as a Special Envoy of the Government, Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced.    “It is important that the Government give due recognition to the significant contributions that General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong made to New Zealand-Viet Nam relations,” Mr ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • Grant Illingworth KC appointed as transitional Commissioner to Royal Commission

    Minister of Internal Affairs Brooke van Velden says newly appointed Commissioner, Grant Illingworth KC, will help deliver the report for the first phase of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into COVID-19 Lessons, due on 28 November 2024.  “I am pleased to announce that Mr Illingworth will commence his appointment as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • NZ to advance relationships with ASEAN partners

    Foreign Minister Winston Peters travels to Laos this week to participate in a series of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)-led Ministerial meetings in Vientiane.    “ASEAN plays an important role in supporting a peaceful, stable and prosperous Indo-Pacific,” Mr Peters says.   “This will be our third visit to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • Backing mental health services on the West Coast

    Construction of a new mental health facility at Te Nikau Grey Hospital in Greymouth is today one step closer, Mental Health Minister Matt Doocey says. “This $27 million facility shows this Government is delivering on its promise to boost mental health care and improve front line services,” Mr Doocey says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • NZ support for sustainable Pacific fisheries

    New Zealand is committing nearly $50 million to a package supporting sustainable Pacific fisheries development over the next four years, Foreign Minister Winston Peters and Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones announced today. “This support consisting of a range of initiatives demonstrates New Zealand’s commitment to assisting our Pacific partners ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • Students’ needs at centre of new charter school adjustments

    Associate Education Minister David Seymour says proposed changes to the Education and Training Amendment Bill will ensure charter schools have more flexibility to negotiate employment agreements and are equipped with the right teaching resources. “Cabinet has agreed to progress an amendment which means unions will not be able to initiate ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • Commissioner replaces Health NZ Board

    In response to serious concerns around oversight, overspend and a significant deterioration in financial outlook, the Board of Health New Zealand will be replaced with a Commissioner, Health Minister Dr Shane Reti announced today.  “The previous government’s botched health reforms have created significant financial challenges at Health NZ that, without ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Minister to speak at Australian Space Forum

    Minister for Space and Science, Innovation and Technology Judith Collins will travel to Adelaide tomorrow for space and science engagements, including speaking at the Australian Space Forum.  While there she will also have meetings and visits with a focus on space, biotechnology and innovation.  “New Zealand has a thriving space ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Climate Change Minister to attend climate action meeting in China

    Climate Change Minister Simon Watts will travel to China on Saturday to attend the Ministerial on Climate Action meeting held in Wuhan.  “Attending the Ministerial on Climate Action is an opportunity to advocate for New Zealand climate priorities and engage with our key partners on climate action,” Mr Watts says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Oceans and Fisheries Minister to Solomons

    Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones is travelling to the Solomon Islands tomorrow for meetings with his counterparts from around the Pacific supporting collective management of the region’s fisheries. The 23rd Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Committee and the 5th Regional Fisheries Ministers’ Meeting in Honiara from 23 to 26 July ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government launches Military Style Academy Pilot

    The Government today launched the Military Style Academy Pilot at Te Au rere a te Tonga Youth Justice residence in Palmerston North, an important part of the Government’s plan to crackdown on youth crime and getting youth offenders back on track, Minister for Children, Karen Chhour said today. “On the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Nine priority bridge replacements to get underway

    The Government has welcomed news the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) has begun work to replace nine priority bridges across the country to ensure our state highway network remains resilient, reliable, and efficient for road users, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.“Increasing productivity and economic growth is a key priority for the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Update on global IT outage

    Acting Prime Minister David Seymour has been in contact throughout the evening with senior officials who have coordinated a whole of government response to the global IT outage and can provide an update. The Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet has designated the National Emergency Management Agency as the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand, Japan renew Pacific partnership

    New Zealand and Japan will continue to step up their shared engagement with the Pacific, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.    “New Zealand and Japan have a strong, shared interest in a free, open and stable Pacific Islands region,” Mr Peters says.    “We are pleased to be finding more ways ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New infrastructure energises BOP forestry towns

    New developments in the heart of North Island forestry country will reinvigorate their communities and boost economic development, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones says. Mr Jones visited Kaingaroa and Kawerau in Bay of Plenty today to open a landmark community centre in the former and a new connecting road in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • 'Pacific Futures'

    President Adeang, fellow Ministers, honourable Diet Member Horii, Ambassadors, distinguished guests.    Minasama, konnichiwa, and good afternoon, everyone.    Distinguished guests, it’s a pleasure to be here with you today to talk about New Zealand’s foreign policy reset, the reasons for it, the values that underpin it, and how it ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Delivering 24 hour pothole repairs

    Kiwis and freight operators will benefit from the Coalition Government delivering on its commitment to introduce targets that will ensure a greater number of potholes on our state highways are identified and fixed within 24 hours, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  “Increasing productivity to help rebuild our economy is a key ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Peer Support Specialists rolled out in hospitals

    Five hospitals have been selected to trial a new mental health and addiction peer support service in their emergency departments as part of the Government’s commitment to increase access to mental health and addiction support for New Zealanders, says Mental Health Minister Matt Doocey.  “Peer Support Specialists in EDs will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Consultation opens for the Emissions Reduction Plan

    The Government’s draft Emissions Reduction Plan shows we can stay within the limits of the first two emissions budgets while growing the economy, Climate Change Minister Simon Watts says. “This draft Emissions Reduction Plan shows that with effective climate change policies we can both grow the economy and deliver our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Benefit stats highlight need for welfare reset

    The coalition Government is providing extra support for job seekers to ensure as many Kiwis as possible are in work or preparing for work, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says. “While today’s quarterly data showing a rise in the number of people on Jobseeker benefits has been long ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • School attendance continues to increase

    Provisional school attendance data for Term 2 2024 released today has shown more students are back in class compared to last year, with 53.1 per cent of students regularly attending, compared with 47 per cent in Term 2 2023, Associate Education Minister David Seymour says. “The Government has prioritised student ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • $22.7m of West Coast resilience projects underway

    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has welcomed news of progress being made by the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) on the first of several crucial resilience projects underway on the South Island’s West Coast.“State highways across the West Coast are critical lifelines for communities throughout the region, including for freight and tourism. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Migrant school leavers to get part-time work rights

    The coalition Government is providing migrant school leavers with greater opportunities, by increasing access to part-time work rights for those awaiting the outcome of a family residence application, Immigration Minister Erica Stanford has announced.  “Many young people who are part of a family residence application process are unable to work. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Funding to support use of NZ Sign Language

    Seven projects have received government funding totalling nearly $250,000 to maintain and promote the use of New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL). Initiatives that received an NZSL Board Community Grants this year include camps that support the use of NZSL through physical and sensory activities, and clubs where Deaf people and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Inflation data shows progress in economic recovery

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