web analytics

Brash’s curate’s egg

Written By: - Date published: 10:28 am, November 4th, 2010 - 24 comments
Categories: Economy - Tags: , ,

I can’t be bothered doing a detailed rebuttal of Don Brash’s latest 2025 Taskforce report. It’s 150-odd pages of the same fear-mongering and shoddy statistics as last time, used to argue for the imposition of an even more radical version of his failed neoliberal agenda. It ought to be and will be ignored by everyone who matters. That said, Brash’s latest offering is a curate’s egg – nearly all of it foul and rotten but with one partially redeeming section:

Public investment projects to be justified by the business case. It is crucial that state investment in infrastructure is only undertaken when robust and transparent cost-benefit analysis shows it is warranted. We should know whether, for example, building Transmission Gully will provide a net benefit to the economy.

Now, I’m really bad at darts but let me have enough throws and eventually I’ll hit the bulls-eye. Brash is like that with economics. And this is a bulls-eye.

Government investment should be justified by the costs and benefits (in every sense, not just monetary) to the country. That would see National’s stupid Roads of National Significance canned immediately. But it should go wider to include SOEs, which are currently required to make decisions purely to maximise their own benefit/cost, ignoring the rest of the country. That leads to the crazy situation of Kiwirail importing trains it could make itself for nearly the same price and the country losing all the flow-on benefits in jobs and taxes.

So, well done, Don. I’m not sure it was quite worth how many hundreds of thousands that your ‘taskforce’ of neoliberal pensioners have cost us, since this report will just be binned like the last one (this whole exercise is about making John Key look moderate compared to the ‘scary Right’ after all). But at least you got one thing partially right and, in doing so, condemned National’s entire infrastructure investment policy.

24 comments on “Brash’s curate’s egg ”

  1. Bored 1

    Your taxes and mine have been lavished at this pack of chicken entrail readers, and various associated tarot and tea leaf readers. At no point has the historic record been checked for accuracy and validity, otherwise the assertions made would be laughed out of court. Why the hell are we paying the bill for this trite bollocks?

    • Jim Nald 1.1

      Indeed, Key has no compunction using the people’s money to keep his former party leader on the public payroll vomitting out the same old stuff that Key then publicly rejects.

      What’s the point to the people?

      These manufactured advice and engineered media moves are nauseating to the extreme.

  2. randal 3

    it is about time someone called national bluff.
    the fact is new zealand is never going to achieve the same wage level as australia and we are always going to export people there.
    the longer we spend time arguing this stupid nonsense the more time is diverted from dopin g sometyhing positive.why do you think they gave this one to brash.

    • Jim Nald 3.1

      agree.
      call national’s bluff.
      with the national govt’s record to date, closing the gap with australia is just talk and amounts to false aspirations & empty ambition.

      at the rate they blow hot air, it would be quicker for us to close the gap by buying a one-way ticket to oz.

    • They gave it to Brash and his ilk to justify paying them a huge payout .
      However the problem is not the gap,between Australia and NZ its the wage gap between rich and not so rich (poor) ) in Aotearoa. Social Democracy and Socialism is the redistibution of wealth in a fair way .
      I observe some of the very wealthy in my town and I wonder just where they get their loot.? At the same time I also observe the poor who seem to work harder and harder to make ends meet. Bugger the gap between Aussie and NZ lets get our home house in order.
      Just as an after thought ; Isnt it amazing how these seat polishers who have never done a physical days work in their lives advocate raising the super payment up to 67 and more.

    • Colonial Viper 3.3

      the fact is new zealand is never going to achieve the same wage level as australia and we are always going to export people there.

      Now we may not match their wage levels, but we should be able to build a far better, equal and happier society. That in itself will attract real talent to NZ and retain the best people here.

      • KJT 3.3.1

        The reason we still have immigrants arriving for skilled jobs is because of New Zealand’s social cohesion and the social wage. They can earn more in relation to costs in India.
        NACT will find once they have finally got rid of the things that differentiate NZ there will be no one, who actually does anything useful, wanting to work here.

  3. Nick C 4

    “Now, I’m really bad at darts but let me have enough throws and eventually I’ll hit the bulls-eye. Brash is like that with economics.”

    This is one of those posts where im keen to know whether you have any qualifications in economics Marty. Because if not that is a rather brazen comment to dismiss someone with a PHD.

    [lprent: And you know that we don’t allow discussion on who people are IRL. Take the opinion as it stands and ask a real question….

    As an aside, it is sometimes completely irrelevant what people studied to what level decades ago at uni. In all my degrees I never completed one in IT although I did do quite a lot of courses. But somehow I kept learning and seem to have somehow been a professional programmer for 20 odd years. Economics is a lot like that as well. You’re immersed in it all of the time. ]

    • Colonial Viper 4.1

      een to know whether you have any qualifications in economics Marty. Because if not that is a rather brazen comment to dismiss someone with a PHD.

      I had to chuckle.

      Perhaps you missed the fact that AIG had 15 PhD’s working for them purely in portfolio risk management. Because the maximum exposure the US Govt ended up with bailing AIG out was no less than US$152B, one could say that each PhD qualified risk analyst at AIG cost the company just over US$10B each.

      Very seriously, taxi drivers are better at predicting what the economy is going to do in the next 6 months then your most any ‘Economist’ (I am speaking here specifically about ‘Financial Economists’).

      Here’s a general rule of thumb: for almost any economics question under the sun you are better off with no advice rather than the advice of an financial economist. ESPECIALLY the ones whith PhDs. Why? Because with no advice you won’t be tempted to do anything stupid or systemically risky.

      And AIG would not be in the ****, and would not have taken the American taxpayer with them.

      captcha: unaware

    • Draco T Bastard 4.2

      We followed the advice of people with the PhDs and the economy collapsed when they said it wasn’t going to, real jobs for real people in real countries have been in decline for the last 3 decades and have been replaced by make-work jobs in the service sector and the “financial industry”.

      Basically, listening to these idiots have made us worse off.

      • The Baron 4.2.1

        Anti-intellectualism now too Draco? You sound more like Pol Pot every day.

        • Draco T Bastard 4.2.1.1

          Nope, I’m quite happy to listen to the people with PhDs that tell me that the Earth’s climate is changing. They actually have reality backing them. I’m not willing to listen to what the economists say because nothing they say is related to reality.

  4. Off topic. Kinda, but not…

    All sides of politics seem wedded to the idea of an “independent” central bank, which takes one of the most significant controls on the economy out of the hands of elected leaders – who are accountable for their decisions – and places it in those of the Reserve Bank Board, who aren’t. These people then get to yank it back and forth while looking at only one dial on the dashboard… if we’re going too fast (in their opinion) they apply the brake regardless of whether another dial tells us that’s going to stall the entire engine.

    Yet to suggest scrapping the MPA is looked upon as some sort of weird Social Credit-like nuttiness.

    This “Reserve Bank board” aren’t omniscient oracles high atop a mountain, infallible and all-seeing. They once had, as their leader and mouthpiece, this very same Don Brash!

    Humans are fallible. They make errors of judgment (as it seems the RBA has in raising the cash rate in Australia yesterday on the basis that “there’s no problem at all wth inflation but we kinda think there could be maybe at some point sometime in the future”).

    I’d rather have them made by fallible humans I can unelect every three years, not by Don Brash (or, for that matter, whoever the current leftist economist bogeyman of the Right happens to be). Wouldn’t you?

  5. I am not too sure if Brash deoes have a PhD in economics. Anyway I am bloody thankfull he is not prime minister, but don’t get me wrong I don’t like the present PM either.

  6. Rodel 7

    re Don Brash
    Q-Why did God create economists?
    A- To make meteorologists look good.

    • Colonial Viper 7.1

      Financial economics is a failed field.

      Bin it. Send all from that field out to work the fields, where they might finally contribute something useful to society instead of destroying the livelihoods of millions of people.

      • nic 7.1.1

        Why pussyfoot around? Lets just send anyone wearing glasses straight to a re-education camp.

      • The Baron 7.1.2

        Oh I just spoke WAY too soon. Draco, you may have competition for Chairman after all!

        Viva la revolution! Who has the lighter fluid for the book burning!

    • Rodel 7.2

      or maybe
      Q Why did God create Don Brash?
      A To make our PM look good.

      Is it a bad cop-good cop pantomime?
      Nah. They’re not that good.

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Major milestones for Māori COVID-19 vaccine rollout as new campaign launches
    Whānau Ora and Associate Health (Māori Health) Minister Peeni Henare acknowledges two major milestones in the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccination programme for Māori. “I am very pleased to announce more than 50 percent of eligible Māori have received their first dose and 25 per cent are now fully vaccinated,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • Government funding to fight infectious diseases
    $36 million for research into Covid-19 and other infectious diseases The investment will improve our readiness for future pandemics Research will focus on prevention, control, and management of infectious diseases The Government’s investing in a new Infectious Diseases Research Platform to boost Aotearoa New Zealand’s Covid-19 response and preparedness for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • Quarantine-free travel with Australia to remain suspended for a further 8 weeks
    Suspension to be reviewed again mid to late November Decision brought forward to enable access from Australia to first tranche of around 3000 rooms in MIQ Air New Zealand working at pace to put on more flights from Australia from October    The suspension of quarantine-free travel (QFT) with Australia has ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Extra support for Ethnic Communities to share vaccination information
    Extra support is being made available to Ethnic Communities to help them share COVID-19 vaccination information within their communities, Minister for Diversity, Inclusion and Ethnic Communities Priyanca Radhakrishnan said. “We know we need to get every eligible person in New Zealand vaccinated. A fund being launched today will allow for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • School holidays remain unchanged for Auckland region
    School holidays in Auckland will continue to be held at the same time as the rest of the country, starting from Saturday, 2 October, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “I’ve carefully considered advice on the implications of shifting the dates and concluded that on balance, maintaining the status quo ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government continues crackdown on gangs and organised crime
    Operation Tauwhiro extended until March 2022 Since it was launched in February, Operation Tauwhiro has resulted in:   987 firearms seized $4.99 million in cash seized 865 people charged with a firearms-related offence Gangs and organised crime groups will continue to be relentlessly targeted with the extension of Police’s successful ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Speech to Body Positive 'HIV Treatments Update Seminar 2021'
    E ngā mana E ngā reo E ngā iwi Tēnā koutou katoa Ka huri ki ngā mana whenua o te rohe nei. Tēnā koutou. He mihi hoki ki a tatou kua tau mai nei I raro I te kaupapa o te rā. Nō reira tēnā koutou katoa Acknowledgements It’s a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • NZ economy’s strong momentum will support rebound from Delta outbreak; COVID fund replenished
    The economy showed strong momentum in the period leading up to the recent Delta COVID-19 outbreak, which bodes well for a solid economic rebound, Grant Robertson said. GDP rose 2.8 percent in the June quarter, following on from a 1.4 percent increase in the previous March quarter. This was a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Projects create benefits into the future
    Making a well-known lake swimmable and helping to halt the decline of the endangered hoiho/yellow-eyed penguins are among a suite of new projects being supported by the Government’s Jobs for Nature programme across the southern South Island, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says. “It’s no secret that many of our most ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Opening statement for Whāriki Indigenous Small Business Roundtable
      Kei ngā tōpito e wha o te āo e rere ana te mihi maioha ki a koutou nō tawhiti, nō tata mai e tāpiri ana ki tēnei taumata kōrero mo te ao hokohoko arā mā ngā pākihi mo ngā iwi taketake Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa – Pai Mārire.  ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New members appointed to Kāpuia
    The Government is adding four additional members to Kāpuia, the Ministerial Advisory Group on the Government’s Response to the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the terrorist attack on Christchurch mosques. “I’m looking forward to having Pamela MacNeill, Huia Bramley, Melani Anae and Katherine Dedo  join Kāpuia and contribute to this group’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Timeline confirmed for Emissions Reductions Plan
    Cabinet has agreed to begin consulting on the Emissions Reduction Plan in early October and require that the final plan be released by the end of May next year in line with the 2022 Budget, the Minister of Climate Change, James Shaw confirmed today. “Cabinet’s decision allows organisations and communities ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Pay parity pathway for early learning teachers confirmed
    Pay parity conditions and higher funding rates for education and care services will come into force on 1 January, 2022, Minister of Education Chris Hipkins confirmed today. The Government signalled this work in Budget 2021. “From 1 January, 2022, centres opting into the scheme will receive government funding and be ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Nurses Organisation Conference 2021
    Kia Ora tatau katoa.   Ka tuku mihi ki nga nēhi, He pou Hauora o Aotearoa, E ora ai tatou.   Whakatau mai  I runga i te kaupapa o te ra Te NZNO conference.   Tena koutou tena koutou Tena tatou katoa   Good morning, and thank you inviting me ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government investment in farmer-led catchment groups sweeps past 150 mark
    171 catchment groups have now been invested in by the Government 31 catchment groups in the Lower North Island are receiving new support More than 5,000 farmers are focussed on restoring freshwater within a generation through involvement in catchment groups  Government investment in on-the-ground efforts by farmers to improve land ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Fight to protect kauri on track
    The Government is pitching in to help vital work to protect nationally significant kauri forests in Auckland, Minister of Conservation Kiri Allan says. “Ensuring the survival of these iconic trees for future generations means doing everything we can to prevent the potential spread of kauri dieback disease,” Kiri Allan said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Joint statement of Mr Bernard Monk; Hon Andrew Little, Minister Responsible for Pike River Re-entry,...
    [Note: The Parties have agreed on terms to fully and finally settle the proceeding and will jointly issue the below statement.] At the heart of this litigation are the lives of the 29 men tragically lost at the Pike River mine on 19 November 2010 and to whom we pay ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • More financial support for businesses
    Today’s decision to keep Auckland in a higher COVID Alert Level triggers a third round of the Wage Subsidy Scheme which will open for applications at 9am this Friday. “The revenue test period for this payment will be the 14th to the 27th of September. A reminder that this is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Aotearoa New Zealand provides further humanitarian support for Afghanistan
    Aotearoa New Zealand is providing a further $3 million in humanitarian assistance in Afghanistan, Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta announced today.  “There is significant humanitarian need in Afghanistan, with the crisis disproportionately affecting women and girls,” said Nanaia Mahuta. The UN has estimated that 80% of the quarter of a million ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Innovative te reo prediction tool announced in Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori
    A new Māori language prediction tool will play a key role in tracking our te reo Māori revitalisation efforts, Minister for Māori Development Willie Jackson announced today. He Ara Poutama mō te reo Māori (He Ara Poutama) can forecast the number of conversational and fluent speakers of te reo Māori ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Further Government support for people to access food and essential items
    The Government is responding to need for support in Auckland and has committed a further $10 million to help people access ongoing food and other essential items, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced today. This latest tranche is targeted at the Auckland region, helping providers and organisations to distribute ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Half a million Pfizer vaccines from Denmark
    The Government has secured an extra half a million doses of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines from Denmark that will start arriving in New Zealand within days, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today. “This is the second and larger agreement the Government has entered into to purchase additional vaccines to meet the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Inland Revenue providing essential COVID support for businesses
    Inland Revenue is seeing increased demand for Resurgence Support Payments and other assistance schemes that it administers, but is processing applications quickly, Revenue Minister David Parker said today. David Parker said the Resurgence Support Payment, the Small Business Cashflow (loan) Scheme and the Wage Subsidy are available at the same ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand marks 20th anniversary of 9/11 attacks
    New Zealand is expressing unity with all victims, families and loved ones affected by the September 11 2001 terrorist attacks, and all terrorist attacks around the world since, including in New Zealand. “Saturday marks twenty years since the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the United States, which killed nearly 3,000 people ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Speech to SPREP Environment Ministers
    Talofa Honourable Ulu of Tokelau Faipule Kelihiano Kalolo Tēnā koutou katoa and warm Pacific greetings from Aotearoa to your excellencies, ladies and gentlemen. The new science released by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change on 8 August paints an alarming picture of the projected impacts of climate change on the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Additional Resurgence Support Payments to support business
    Businesses affected by higher Alert Levels will be able to apply for further Resurgence Support Payments (RSP). “The Government’s RSP was initially intended as a one-off payment to help businesses with their fixed costs, such as rent. Ministers have agreed to provide additional payments to recognise the effects of an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • More Dawn Raids scholarships announced
    Details of the ‘Manaaki New Zealand Short Term Training Scholarships’, a goodwill gesture that follows the Government’s apology for the Dawn Raids of the 1970s, were released today by Pacific Peoples Minister Aupito William Sio. “These scholarships that are targeted to the Pacific will support the kaupapa of the Dawn Raids’ ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • One-way quarantine-free travel for RSE workers starting in October
      One-way quarantine-free travel for Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) workers from Samoa, Tonga and Vanuatu starts in October New requirement for RSE workers to have received their first vaccination pre-departure, undertake Day 0 and Day 5 tests, and complete a self-isolation period of seven days, pending a negative Day 5 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt boosts Pacific suicide prevention support
    Applications have opened for the Pacific Suicide Prevention Community Fund as the Government acts to boost support amid the COVID delta outbreak. “We know strong and connected families and communities are the most important protective factor against suicide and this $900,000 fund will help to support this work,” Health Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt parks the expiry of licenses, WoFs and regos
    As a result of the Delta outbreak, driver licences, Warrants of Fitness (WoFs), Certificates of Fitness (CoFs), vehicle licences (‘regos’) and licence endorsements that expired on or after 21 July 2021 will be valid until 30 November 2021, Transport Minister Michael Wood has announced today. “While this extension won’t officially ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19 community fund to provide support for vulnerable women and girls
    Minister for Women Jan Tinetti today announced a $2 million community fund that will provide support for women and girls adversely affected by COVID-19. “We know that women, particularly those who are already vulnerable, are disproportionally affected by the kind of economic disruption caused by COVID-19,” Jan Tinetti said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Next phase of support for Fiji’s COVID-19 response announced
    A further NZ$12 million of support for Fiji’s COVID-19 response has been announced by Foreign Minister Hon Nanaia Mahuta today. The package builds on previous tranches of assistance Aotearoa New Zealand has provided to Fiji, totalling over NZ$50 million. “Fiji remains in a very challenging position in their response to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Robotic asparagus harvester aimed at addressing industry challenges
    The Government is backing a $5 million project to develop a commercial-scale autonomous robotic asparagus harvester, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor announced today. The Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures fund (SFF Futures) is contributing $2.6 million to the project. Project partner Robotics Plus Limited (RPL) will build on a prototype asparagus ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Additional Pfizer vaccines to arrive tomorrow
    More than a quarter of a million additional doses of the Pfizer vaccine are on their way from Spain to New Zealand, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today. The additional doses will arrive in Auckland on Friday morning to help meet the current surge in demand for vaccination. “It’s been ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Young people to have their voices heard in Youth Parliament 2022
    The dates and details for Youth Parliament 2022 have been announced today by Minister for Youth Priyanca Radhakrishnan, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives. Youth Parliament is an opportunity for 141 young people from across Aotearoa New Zealand to experience the political process and learn how government works. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Boosting support for tertiary students affected by COVID-19
    Students facing a hard time as a result of COVID-19 restrictions will continue to be supported,” Education Minister Chris Hipkins confirmed today. The Government is putting a further $20 million into the Hardship Fund for Learners, which will help around 15,000 students to stay connected to their studies and learning. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • COVID-19: Immediate relief available for Māori and iwi organisations
    The Government has reprioritised up to $5 million to provide immediate relief to vulnerable whānau Māori and communities during the current COVID-19 outbreak Minister for Māori Development Willie Jackson announced today. The COVID-19 2021 Whānau Recovery Fund will support community-driven, local responses to gaps in access and provision of critical ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New beef genetics programme to deliver cows with smaller environmental hoof-print
    The Government is backing a genetics programme to lower the beef sector’s greenhouse gas emissions by delivering cows with a smaller environmental hoof-print, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor announced today. Informing New Zealand Beef is a seven-year partnership with Beef + Lamb New Zealand that is expected to result in more ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Appointments to the New Zealand Qualifications Authority
    Education Minister Chris Hipkins today announced new appointments to the board of the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA). Former Associate Minister of Education, Hon Tracey Martin, has been appointed as the new Chair for NZQA, replacing the outgoing Acting and Deputy Chair Professor Neil Quigley after an 11-year tenure on ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Govt supports residential house building by allowing manufacture of building supplies
    The Government has agreed to allow some building product manufacturing to take place in Auckland during Covid lockdown to support continued residential construction activity across New Zealand. “There are supply chain issues that arise from Alert Level 4 as building products that are manufactured domestically are mostly manufactured in Auckland. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago