Brief thoughts on the 9 day fortnight

Written By: - Date published: 6:04 pm, March 11th, 2009 - 53 comments
Categories: economy, wages - Tags:

The 9 day fortnight scheme has finally been announced but I’ve got a few questions:

Why do the taxpayer and the worker have to pay but the employer not?

What about free training? Surely that would fit with the productivity argument National’s been making?

Does anyone realise that those on the average wage would take a greater than 6% pay cut under this scheme?

There’s $20m put aside. That’s less than half the cycleway. Or 30 job summits. What kind of commitment to keeping people in work is that?

If this government is all about how important small business is then why is it only companies with more than 100 workers that are eligible for the scheme?

You get 10 workers on the scheme for every one you can prove you needed to make redundant. Who checks the books? Will there be an expanded bureaucracy to do it?

Will workers on sites with no union be forced by their employers to take this pay cut?

If not, where is the provision to stop that happening?

Why doesn’t the scheme extend to the public service? For example, the Environment Ministry?

Why is the CTU backing this?

Update: I just heard John Key on the radio saying he “hoped” employers would top the rate up. John you don’t have to “hope” if you design the scheme so employers have to pay some kind of top up.

John’s problem is he doesn’t want to do anything centrist like make employers share the pain with their workers but he doesn’t want to be seen as the right-wing guy that made sure it’s taxpayers and workers that foot the bill.

I say actions speak louder than spin.

53 comments on “Brief thoughts on the 9 day fortnight ”

  1. Quoth the Raven 1

    I personally don’t like it at all. We should not be propping up large businesses at all in any manner. I know 100 employers isn’t particularly large, but the crisis we are in is a symptom of centralisation and we ought not to privelige large businesses. Let them fail.

  2. Bill 2

    If the company is looking at genuine redundancies and enters in to a ‘deal’ where they can lay off 1 in 10 for one day a fortnight on the proviso that no-one taking up the deal can be made redundant while on the scheme and then goes belly-up three months down the track….?

    As for the CTU backing it, it really does sound like workers are being encouraged to join their union so they can lose a days pay! I’m sure there has been commentary to the effect that only a union could broker a one day off deal because of the complexity of deciding whether the company is being genuine.

    If a company is going to go belly up then it will go belly up. If it isn’t then it wont. If it is looking at making some workers redundant, then is it not better to argue that net profits should take a back seat to workers continuing in employment?

    The whole thing strikes me as a pile of shit. I notice that at least the EPMU has demanded some bottom lines with regards employer top ups, but that has been contrasted with Kelly welcoming everything with open arms in the Herald. Yeah, I know, it’s the Herald and the piece is possibly misleading and the EPMU are not as isolated as the article implies.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10561053

    • Bill 2.1

      Edit not working.

      That last line should read “…and the EPMU possibly not as isolated as the article implies”

  3. SPC 3

    One wonders why the Environment Ministry did not apply this policy rather than lay off workers.

    The whole point is/was to share the burden and prevent the lay off of workers – which is why the focus is on larger employers – who can instead of cutting one job -reduce the hours of work of 10 (instead of losing 10 jobs reducing the hours of 100 etc).

    As for the issue of re-training – this would be better left to a focused programme offering the laid off/unemployed skills training in return for work.

  4. Johnty Rhodes 4

    QTR – the business will not fail, it will make people redundant first to try & cut overheads. In reality, business should be allowed to go to short weeks if it will save jobs in the long run, don’t you think? Employees will be better off doing this instead of being unemployed. This is the real crux of this debate. We live in unique times.

    However, letting business like Kiwirail fail is a great idea though. It does not even start to make money and road can carry the slack. I wonder what it’s NPV is? I agree with you there QTR:) If the idiot Cullen did not buy it in 2008, think of how little it would be worth now, Toll may of been in a position to offer $1 for it. Even then it would be a dog of a business.

    • Quoth the Raven 4.1

      Employees will be better off doing this than being unemployed in the short term. But what about the long term? We have a systematic failure and the system needs to change. Governments and large corporations are trying their best to stop the state-corporate plutocratic system from toppling. I don’t particularly like my tax dollars going to prop up poor business models and keeping up the profit line of large corporations. Thus is captialism though.
      We don’t live in particularly unique times it’s just that the terrible exesses of our corporate masters have been laid bare and the synergy between these corporates and the state is there for all to see.
      This is a clear cut case of privilege. Do you like privilege? This is capitalism at work not the market.
      Selling Kiwirail is not allowing it to fail if that’s what you mean. Kiwirail has no competitors anyway. Selling it would just provide a monopoly to a state favoured corproation. So hardly different from a state monopoly.

  5. Daveo 5

    The difference is the CTU doesn’t have members who they’ll have to sell this too, whereas its affiliates do. In my view Helen Kelly’s been co-opted. But that’s just my view.

    • Lew 5.1

      Daveo,

      The difference is the CTU doesn’t have members who they’ll have to sell this too, whereas its affiliates do. In my view Helen Kelly’s been co-opted. But that’s just my view.

      Not just your view.

      L

      • Daveo 5.1.1

        I don’t share Pablo’s views. He reads like the typical kind of armchair radical idiot who’s never had to organise workers in his life.

        You hear a lot of these types attacking the union movement based on ignorance and bigging up Unite because they’ve read McCarten’s ill-informed columns. Little do they know the guy’s a laughing stock in the broader movement with only 600 paid up members and the rest subsidised by McDonalds. He’s still riding Simon Oosterman’s successes with the Supersizemypay campaign.

        Before Pablo gets too excited about Unite’s results he should start asking what they’ve actually achieved, beyond a column in the Herald. Same goes before he bags the rest of the movement as ‘party apparatchiks’ and ‘sellouts’.

        • Bill 5.1.1.1

          And in the words of a ‘class betrayer.’ (Pablo’s words)

          The Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union said the pay out was “underwhelming”.

          “Unless employers are willing to meet this subsidy with a substantial top-up of their own it’s unlikely to be accepted by workers,” national secretary Andrew Little said.

          “As far as the EPMU is concerned, this will be a bottom line.”

          Mr Little said the amount was “miserable”.

          “Five hours at the minimum wage is a miserable level of subsidy for a day’s lost pay and our members simply won’t wear that sort of loss.”

  6. SPC 6

    As for creating jobs, which is more relevant in a downturn – the Job Summit missed out on two of the better ideas.

    Government finance to farmers to do the work required to get the effluent and nutrients out of our waterways – farmers can pay back the loaned money. It’s work that needs doing asap and not just for the jobs it would create.

    The other is completing some of the building projects that have been stopped because finance has been cut off. The government can increase its housing stock – let them out to those on the waiting lists and then later sell them when the market recovers. This would sustain jobs in the building sector and mitigate the boom bust cycle.

    PS Bill English has replied to my 2008 letter on funding the Super Fund – he says that to sustain the present level of NZ Super in the future we need to establish a reserve now to mitigate the rising cost to taxpayers. He says the government is committed to continuation of the Fund as an effective vehicle for pre-funding NZS costs. All very bi-partisan in tone.

    As to my idea of transferring state assets into the Fund rather than cash, he says the government will not sell state assets and says the Fund would need to be able continue trading in its assets to maximise profits – so they must reject the option of passing on state assets into the Fund (I suggested the Fund only off-load them in the longer term to Kiwi Saver funds so they stayed in local ownership).

    Given todays news the most interesting thing to note is this

    “Indeed, the Funds liquidity in a time of economic downturn is one of its advantages in the marketplace, as it is able to exploit opprotunities to acquire assets while company stock prices are low relative to future potential earnings”.

    Which is an argument to use ones ability to borrow money and maximise opportunities now – not to reduce ones financing of the Fund …

  7. mike 7

    “Why do the taxpayer and the worker have to pay but the employer not?”

    IB – the whole point of this is to take pressure off the employer during the downturn to minimise redundancies. Should a worker not have a choice between sacrificing some pay to keep his job?

    • Quoth the Raven 7.1

      I bet if Labour had announced this you’d be saying “Shouldn’t the taxpayer have a choice?”

      • gingercrush 7.1.1

        And the counter-argument would be that many on the left would agree with such decision making. Partisan politics plays both ways QtR. Maybe the hard-left wouldn’t have a bar of it. But I have no doubt that moderate left voters would agree with this. Maybe some of them do now. But certainly had this been a Labour policy, all those soft left voters would be saying, “Well done Labour”.

        I take note that if you go to the right-wing blogs, the majority of them are saying they hate this idea and that workers should get nothing. So it plays both way. I don’t think its perfect. But anything that can save jobs surely is a good thing.

        • Quoth the Raven 7.1.1.1

          Absolutely correct. I bet many Labour supporters would like this. I don’t.
          But anything that can save jobs surely is a good thing.
          No not necessarily so at all. There are numerous ways to save jobs and I’m sure many would be better than this. Saving jobs by privileging large businesses is not the way to go.

        • Quoth the Raven 7.1.1.2

          I take note that if you go to the right-wing blogs, the majority of them are saying they hate this idea and that workers should get nothing.

          I just had a look at Kiwiblog and the righties over there don’t like it. That’s bloody funny. This is a big slip up for National. Their incompetence is being laid bare.

          • gingercrush 7.1.1.2.1

            Yeah but I don’t think the majority of users that comment on blogs are that reflective of National or Labour voters. Blogs on the whole tend to attract the harder voters. So people that will vote Act or the Green party. That isn’t to say many are Labour or National voters.Just that I don’t think many reflect those two parties.

  8. djp 8

    Why do the taxpayer and the worker have to pay but the employer not?

    Er, the whole point was to reduce costs to businesses so they wont make people redundant

    Not that I am a fan of this idea at all.

  9. Jum 9

    Johnty Rhodes
    March 11, 2009 at 7:16 pm ‘letting business like Kiwirail fail is a great idea’. Reading the arrogant slop you consider to be comment is proof enough of your selfish rightwing dysfunction.

    There are two things that will make National redundant once again in 2011 and that is ruining Kiwirail preparing for selling off, and the other is the effect on those who cannot drive, who cannot afford a car, who don’t feel able to drive in cities and those who are forced to transport the above to where they need to go all at 100% extra cost as opposed to the wonderful free travel for the olds. (Unless NAct is planning to quash that too.)

    ‘Unique times’ – nonsense. Whenever people are becoming satisfied with life and gaining some control over their own lives and are less dependent on their employers’ goodwill, we have a ‘unique’ financial disaster… funny that. Moneymen-made disasters are never unique, never accidental and never in the interests of the vulnerable.

    • Johnty Rhodes 9.1

      dum jum – National redundant in 2011, red nose day is it? phil-in as our PM, LMAO. Kiwirail was fucked before 8 Nov. Remember, Labour had only $120M set aside for it when it needs $2bn. So no-one in their right mind would not buy KR, even Cullen would not buy it twice, on second thoughts…………

      Remember, it is these private businesses that have given us employment & reasonable wealth over the years, not the government. To come out the other side after this mess is sorted out we will still need private business to employ.

      Remember comrades, the Soviet Union was a real great place to live in, Tui Billboard.

  10. Bill 10

    How many possums we got? How many rabbits?

    And we’re going to have how many unemployed?

    In no way would this be a goer for everyone, but….

    Free market ideology says you find a niche; exploit and export….

    Where else has possums? All that fur for a clothing industry (foreign based, of course!)….and food…..and rabbit is way over $30 per kg at the supermarkets right now. Free range (possibly or probably) organic.

    So set aside x million $ and split it by the number of possum culled in a season. As time goes by and possum numbers fall, the fund level is maintained and possum is worth…..lets just say, very worth while.

    Same for rabbits…or farm them instead of or as well as sheep.

    Crazy idea, right? But any more crazy than a fucking cycle way? Or compelling people to take time off work so they can stay in work?

    • gingercrush 10.1

      My father does possuming in the winter. As of late the price of fur has been down from what its been. And of course its not always consistent so you need some good savings when things get tough. He’s at the freezing works at the moment.

      Possuming nor rabbits are a solution in themselves. But I’m sure there are people in rural communities that with a bit of money to help them out could make a real go at possuming.

      • Bill 10.1.1

        Neither possuming, rabbits, cycle ways nor a nine day fortnight.

        Probably not massive bailouts either. Nor slash and burn and privatisation at basement bargain prices.

        Maybe, and not unrealistically, there is no solution and capitalism really is in a death spiral.

        And the old style socialism is not a solution either as it was predicated on there actually being resources to exploit and distribute more equitably.

        Meanwhile…

        • Quoth the Raven 10.1.1.1

          Exactly, Bill.

        • Draco T Bastard 10.1.1.2

          Capitalism is a failed system – we just haven’t come up with the solution (or, that could be, not a solution TPTB will permit) yet so capitalism is the fall back option.

    • Tigger 10.2

      Maybe workers can shoot possums WHILE building the cycleway…

  11. Richard 11

    This whole idea reminds me of carless days – seemed like a good idea to some, a pain in the arse to most, and totally ineffective.
    Any employer who thinks redundancies are going to be necessary in the next six months will never sign up to this. Those who do sign up will not be expecting redundancies, but wouldn’t mind cutting wage costs by 10% over the quiet winter months.
    As far as jobs go, I expect more jobs to be created in administering this scheme than will actually be saved by the scheme itself. Yes, thats right John Key – more evil beaurecreats!

  12. I must say, political stereotypes are being completely turned upside down at the moment. Here’s a National govt saying they’ll bill taxpayers to sub me $60 so I can spend one day a fortnight down the pub. WTF? Not even the Alliance came up with anything like that!

    Which leaves poor old Phil Goff yet again left with no avenue of attack beyond declaring it doesn’t go far enough – “The govt must subsidise more pub days!” Sucks to be him.

    • IrishBill 12.1

      No, it’s the national government saying they’ll use taxpayer dollars to sub employers out of their payroll obligations. And they’ll provide a vehicle to reduce workers’ take home pay as well. That sounds like exactly the crony capitalism I’d expect from them.

    • The aim is supposedly to prevent redundancies and keep people in employment – ie, taking some weight off the employer’s payroll is exactly what it’s intended to be about. If it works I don’t have a problem with it, given that the alternative would appear to be to hold employers to their “payroll obligations” and watch them announce redundancies, outsource the jobs or go under. Also: it won’t be offered to me, but frankly I’d take 9 days’ work per fortnight for 9 days’ pay and no taxpaer subsidy like a shot.

      • IrishBill 12.2.1

        You’re lucky you can survive a pay cut. Plenty of people can’t.

      • Psycho Milt 12.2.2

        Can they survive redundancy and unemployment better?

        I’m skeptical about this kind of circus myself – as somebody pointed out already, it could just amount to taxpayers working to ensure the sustainability of poor business practices. But on the offchance it does turn out to work, that’s some people’s jobs saved. If you’re saying the decent thing is to stand staunch for full hours on full pay or no hours on no pay, it doesn’t seem to me the people who end up on no hours and no pay would be likely to thank us for it.

        • IrishBill 12.2.2.1

          No, I’m saying the decent thing to do would be to make employers pay 50% of the shortfall.

  13. Bill 13

    Just realised that WINZ are going to love this!

    If a qualifying factory worker is on min wage, then every second week they will earn $384 before tax plus $60 top up (also taxed?).

    So, every second week they will have to recalculate entitlements such as housing supp and so forth.

    Maybe redundant workers could apply for a job at WINZ to help with the increased workload?

    • Lew 13.1

      Bill,

      (also taxed?)

      Yes, any top-up will be paid as salary/wages and taxed accordingly. This is as it should be, else it would be better to take the 5h top-up than to work 5h at minimum wage.

      L

      • Bill 13.1.1

        It’s 8 hours lost wage, not 5. Anyway…

        • Lew 13.1.1.1

          It’s three hours’ lost wage, assuming minimum wage. But the point of taxing it is to avoid a moral hazard where people would be more inclined to take the money than to work.

          L

          • IrishBill 13.1.1.1.1

            There’s no moral hazard if there is a strict criteria for access to the scheme. I’ve still not seen any sign from National of how that will be administered.

            Cap: “Rough year”. I think it will be a little longer than that.

  14. Jum 14

    Johnty Rhodes
    March 11, 2009 at 8:05 pm

    The fact you can somehow turn the obvious disadvantages to people not able to use public transport into communism proves your dysfunctional state yet again.

    Kiwirail will cost less in the future than roading will. (The taxpayers are paying all the roading costs and if ppp will be paying all the social costs.) Typical of a right extremist to imagine it is cheaper to transport by truck (private firm), instead of rail; cheaper to repair all our roads from constant damaging use (private firm), instead of repairing rail tracks or laying new ones. Yes the obvious of course is private businesses get more money out of the taxpayers and the taxpayers get nothing out of the government like subsidised transport for school children, stress free travel, the social aspects and tourism of relaxing while travelling long distance, etc.

    As usual the extreme righties don’t consider others; it’s all about ‘take’ in your language, and you have learnt nothing about conserving the future unless its yours. Selfish prxxks.

  15. Mike 15

    What happens to the 8% holiday pay for that missing day? And the employer’s Kiwisaver contributions?

    This poorly thought out scheme seems to be based more on public relations than actual outcomes.

  16. rainman 16

    “This poorly thought out scheme seems to be based more on public relations than actual outcomes”

    Ah, I see you’ve met our government then.

    It will be a long three years, that’s for sure.

  17. sally 17

    “This poorly thought out scheme seems to be based more on public relations than actual outcomes.”

    Welcome to the Crosby|Textor Coalition.

  18. Rachael Le Mer 18

    I will hire more gals for the influx of bored men expected to frequent my establishment. How exciting, life is one big holiday for me.

  19. Rich 19

    I just did the sums,.

    $20 million will pay for the subsidy for less than 8,000 workers. Since 10 workers need to be on this scheme to save one job, this will *save* less than 800 jobs (even assuming that every firm using the scheme was actually going to make people redundant).

    By some reckonings, the coming depression will wipe out 150,000 jobs in NZ.

    Like the cycleway, this is just a bogus scheme that gives the impression of doing something.

    • Draco T Bastard 19.1

      It’s unlikely that one policy will save 150k jobs. Not that I think NACT are trying to save jobs though.

      • Tane 19.1.1

        Best case scenario is 2,500 jobs saved. That’s based on a Government prediction of 25,000 people taking up the scheme on the basis of ten people per one job saved, and the scheme having a 100% success rate in saving jobs.

  20. gobsmacked 20

    John Key’s Big Idea …

    “Fishing Friday”.

    • Bill 20.1

      Very Catholic that.

      Maybe phase two will involve being reconciled with our place in the scheme of things, saying words over our Friday fish and looking forward to our righteous heavenly reward.

      Except…been in phase two for a few generations now. So the reinstatement of fish on a Friday it is then. Followed by dessert of pie in the sky. Oh how we progress!

  21. BLiP 21

    John Key’s 9 Day Fortnight = Titanic + Deck Chairs

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    Now in the land of Angus beef and the mighty ABsWhere the steaks were juicy and the rivers did run foulIt would often be said,This meal is terrible,andNo, for real this is legit the worst thing I've ever eatenBut this was an thing said only to others at the table,not ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    4 days ago
  • Fact Brief – Is ocean acidification from human activities enough to impact marine ecosystems?
    Skeptical Science is partnering with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. This fact brief was written by Sue Bin Park in collaboration with members from the Skeptical Science team. You can submit claims you think need checking via the tipline. Is ocean acidification from human ...
    4 days ago
  • Happiness is a Warm Gun
    She's not a girl who misses muchDo do do do do do, oh yeahShe's well-acquainted with the touch of the velvet handLike a lizard on a window paneI wouldn’t associate ACT with warmth, other than a certain fabled, notoriously hot, destination where surely they’re heading and many would like them ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • Still doing a good 20
    Hello! Here comes the Saturday edition of More Than A Feilding, catching you up on the past somewhat interrupted week. Still on the move!Share Read more ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    5 days ago
  • Coalition of the Unwilling?
    What does Budget 2024 tell us about the current government? Muddle on?Coalition governments are not new. About 50 percent of the time since the first MMP election, there has been a minority government, usually with allied parties holding ministerial portfolios outside cabinets. For 10 percent of the time there was ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    5 days ago
  • Of red flags and warning signs in comments on social media
    Somewhat surprisingly for what is regarded as a network of professionals, climate science misinformation is getting shared on LinkedIn, joining other channels where this is happening. Several of our recent posts published on LinkedIn have attracted the ire of various commenters who apparently are in denial about human-caused climate change. Based ...
    5 days ago
  • All good, still
    1. On what subject is Paul Henry even remotely worth giving the time of day?a. The state of our nationb. The state of the ACT partyc. How to freak out potential buyers of your gin palace by baking the remains of your deceased parent into its fittings2. Now that New ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    5 days ago
  • The looting is the point
    Last time National was in power, they looted the state, privatising public assets and signing hugely wasteful public-private partnership (PPP) contracts which saw foreign consortiums provide substandard infrastructure while gouging us for profits. You only have to look at the ongoing fiasco of Transmission Gully to see how it was ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • The Illusion of Power: How Local Government Bureaucrats Overawe Democratically-Elected Councillors..
    The Democratic Façade Of Local Government: Our district and city councillors are democratically elected to govern their communities on one very strict condition – that they never, ever, under any circumstances, attempt to do so.A DISINTEGRATION OF LOYALTIES on the Wellington City Council has left Mayor Tory Whanau without a ...
    6 days ago
  • Lowlights & Bright Spots
    I can feel the lowlights coming over meI can feel the lowlights, from the state I’m inI can see the light now even thought it’s dimA little glow on the horizonAnother week of lowlights from our government, with the odd bright spot and a glow on the horizon. The light ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • Weekly Roundup 14-June-2024
    Another week, another roundup of things that caught our eye on our favourite topics of transport, housing and how to make cities a little bit greater. This Week in Greater Auckland On Monday, Connor wrote about Kāinga Ora’s role as an urban development agency Tuesday’s guest post by ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    6 days ago
  • The Hoon around the week to June 14
    Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The podcast above of the weekly ‘hoon’ webinar for paying subscribers features co-hosts and talking with:The Kākā’s climate correspondent about the National-ACT-NZ First Government’s moves this week to take farming out of the ETS and encourage more mining and oil and ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Climate policy axed in broad daylight, while taxpayer liabilities grow in the dark
    In 2019, Shane Jones addressed the “50 Shades of Green” protest at Parliament: Now he is part of a government giving those farmers a pass on becoming part of the ETS, as well as threatening to lock in offshore oil exploration and mining for decades. Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: Here’s the ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Rage Bait!
    Hi,Today’s newsletter is all about how easy it is to get sucked into “rage bait” online, and how easy it is to get played.But first I wanted to share something that elicited the exact opposite of rage in me — something that made me feel incredibly proud, whilst also making ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    6 days ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Friday, June 14
    Seymour said lower speed limits “drained the joy from life as people were forced to follow rules they knew made no sense.” File Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Friday, June 14 were:The National/ACT/NZ First ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Friendly but frank talks with China Premier
    It sounded like the best word to describe yesterday’s talks between Chinese Premier Li Qiang and his heavyweight delegation of Ministers and officials and Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and New Zealand Ministers and officials was “frank.” But it was the kind of frankness that friends can indulge in. It ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    6 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #24 2024
    Open access notables Wildfire smoke impacts lake ecosystems, Farruggia et al., Global Change Biology: We introduce the concept of the lake smoke-day, or the number of days any given lake is exposed to smoke in any given fire season, and quantify the total lake smoke-day exposure in North America from 2019 ...
    6 days ago
  • Join us for the weekly Hoon on YouTube Live
    Photo by Mathias Elle on UnsplashIt’s that 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 our chat about the week’s news with special guests:5.00 ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Geoffrey Miller: China’s message to New Zealand – don’t put it all at risk
    Don’t put it all at risk. That’s likely to be the take-home message for New Zealand Prime Minister Christopher Luxon in his meetings with Li Qiang, the Chinese Premier. Li’s visit to Wellington this week is the highest-ranking visit by a Chinese official since 2017. The trip down under – ...
    Democracy ProjectBy Geoffrey Miller
    6 days ago
  • The Real Thing
    I know the feelingIt is the real thingThe essence of the soulThe perfect momentThat golden momentI know you feel it tooI know the feelingIt is the real thingYou can't refuse the embraceNo?Sometimes we face the things we most dislike. A phobia or fear that must be confronted so it doesn’t ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    7 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on how moderates empower the political right
    Struth, what a week. Having made sure the rural sector won’t have to pay any time soon for its pollution, PM Christopher Luxon yesterday chose Fieldays 2024 to launch a parliamentary inquiry into rural banking services, to see how the banks have been treating farmers faced with high interest rates. ...
    7 days ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Thursday, June 13
    In April, 17,656 people left Aotearoa-NZ to live overseas, averaging 588 a day, with just over half of those likely to have gone to Australia. Photo: Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Thursday, June 13 ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    7 days ago
  • Our guide to having your say on the draft RLTP 2024
    Auckland’s draft Regional Land Transport Plan (RLTP) 2024 is open for feedback – and you only have until Monday 17 June to submit. Do it! Join the thousands of Aucklanders who are speaking up for wise strategic investment that will dig us out of traffic and give us easy and ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    7 days ago
  • The China puzzle
    Chinese Premier Li Qiang arrives in Wellington today for a three-day visit to the country. The visit will take place amid uncertainty about the future of the New Zealand-China relationship. Li hosted a formal welcome and then lunch for then-Prime Minister Chris Hipkins in Beijing a year ago. The pair ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    7 days ago
  • Fossil fuels are shredding our democracy
    This is a re-post of an article from the Climate Brink by Andrew Dessler published on June 3, 2024. I have an oped in the New York Times (gift link) about this. For a long time, a common refrain about the energy transition was that renewable energy needed to become ...
    1 week ago
  • Life at 20 kilometres an hour
    We are still in France, getting from A to B.Possibly for only another week, though; Switzerland and Germany are looming now. On we pedal, towards Budapest, at about 20 km per hour.What are are mostly doing is inhaling a country, loving its ways and its food. Rolling, talking, quietly thinking. ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Hipkins is still useless
    The big problem with the last Labour government was that they were chickenshits who did nothing with the absolute majority we had given them. They governed as if they were scared of their own shadows, afraid of making decisions lest it upset someone - usually someone who would never have ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Exercising with the IDF.
    This morning I did something I seldom do, I looked at the Twitter newsfeed. Normally I take the approach of something that I’m not sure is an American urban legend, or genuinely something kids do over there. The infamous bag of dog poo on the front porch, set it on ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Helm Hammerhand Anime: First Pictures and an Old English ‘Hera’
    We have some news on the upcoming War of the Rohirrim anime. It will apparently be two and a half hours in length, with Peter Jackson as Executive Producer, and Helm’s daughter Hera will be the main character. Also, pictures: The bloke in the middle picture is Freca’s ...
    1 week ago
  • Farmers get free pass on climate AND get subsidies
    The cows will keep burping and farting and climate change will keep accelerating - but farmers can stop worrying about being included in the ETS. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Wednesday, June 12 were:The ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Six ideas to secure Te Huia’s Future
    This is a guest post by our friend Darren Davis. It originally appeared on his excellent blog, Adventures in Transitland, which features “musings about public transport and other cool stuff in Aotearoa/ New Zealand and around the globe.” With Te Huia now having funding secure through to 2026, now is ...
    Greater AucklandBy Darren Davis
    1 week ago
  • The methane waka sinks
    In some ways, there may be less than meets the eye to the Government announcement yesterday that the He Waka Eke Noa proposal for farmers to pay for greenhouse gas emissions has been scrapped. The spectre of farmers still having to pay at some point in the future remains. That, ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • At a glance – Does positive feedback necessarily mean runaway warming?
    On February 14, 2023 we announced our Rebuttal Update Project. This included an ask for feedback about the added "At a glance" section in the updated basic rebuttal versions. This weekly blog post series highlights this new section of one of the updated basic rebuttal versions and serves as a ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Farmers get what they wanted – for now
    Since entering office, National has unravelled practically every climate policy, leaving us with no effective way of reducing emissions or meeting our emissions budgets beyond magical thinking around the ETS. And today they've announced another step: removing agriculture entirely. At present, following the complete failure of he waka eka noa, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Presumed Innocent?
    The blue billionaireDistraction no interactionOr movement outside these glazed over eyesThe new great divideFew fight the tide to be glorifiedBut will he be satisfied?Can we accept this without zoom?The elephant in the roomNot much happens in politics on a Monday. Bugger all in fact. Although yesterday Christopher Luxon found he ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Gordon Campbell on our doomed love affair with oil and gas
    What if New Zealand threw a fossil fuel party, and nobody came? On the weekend, Resources Minister Shane Jones sent out the invitations and strung up the balloons, but will anyone really want to invest big time in resuming oil and gas exploration in our corner of the planet? Yes, ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    1 week ago
  • Building better housing insights
    This is a guest post by Meredith Dale, senior urban designer and strategist at The Urban Advisory. There’s a saying that goes something like: ‘what you measure is what you value’. An RNZ article last week claimed that Auckland was ‘hurting’ because of a more affordable supply of homes, particularly townhouses ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    1 week ago
  • Putin would be proud of them
    A Prime Minister directs his public service to inquire into the actions of the opposition political party which is his harshest critic. Something from Orban's Hungary, or Putin's Russia? No, its happening right here in Aotearoa: Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has announced the Public Service Commission will launch an ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Resources for debunking common solar and wind myths
    This is a repost from a Yale Climate Connections article by SueEllen Campbell published on June 3, 2024. The articles listed can help you tell fact from fiction when it comes to solar and wind energy. Some statements you hear about solar and wind energy are just plain false. ...
    1 week ago
  • Juggernaut
    Politics were going on all around us yesterday, and we barely noticed, rolling along canal paths, eating baguettes. It wasn’t until my mate got to the headlines last night that we learned there had been a dismayingly strong far right result in the EU elections and Macron had called a ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Numbers Game.
    Respect Existence, Or Expect Resistance? There may well have been 50,000 pairs of feet “Marching For Nature” down Auckland’s Queen Street on Saturday afternoon, but the figure that impresses the Coalition Government is the 1,450,000 pairs of Auckland feet that were somewhere else.IN THE ERA OF DRONES and Artificial Intelligence, ...
    1 week ago
  • Media Link: AVFA on post-colonial blowback.
    Selwyn Manning and I discuss varieties of post colonial blowback and the implications its has for the rise of the Global South. Counties discussed include Palestine/Israel, France/New Caledonia, England/India, apartheid/post-apartheid South Africa and post-colonial New Zealand. It is a bit … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Policy by panic
    Back in March, Ombudsman Peter Boshier resigned when he hit the statutory retirement age of 72, leaving the country in the awkward (and legally questionable) position of having him continue as a temporay appointee. It apparently took the entire political system by surprise - as evinced by Labour's dick move ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • PSA: NZ's Richest Company, Zuru, Sucks
    Hi,Today the New Zealand press is breathlessly reporting that the owners of toy company Zuru are officially New Zealand’s wealthiest people: Mat and Nick Mowbray worth an estimated $20 billion between them.While the New Zealand press loses its shit celebrating this Kiwi success story, this is a Webworm reminder that ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Monday, June 10
    TL;DR: The six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty in the past day to 8:36 pm on Monday, June 10 were:20,000 protested against the Fast-track approval bill on Saturday in Auckland, but PM Christopher Luxon says ‘sorry, but not sorry’ about the need for ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • In Defence of Kāinga Ora
    Given the headlines around the recent findings of the ‘independent’ review of Kāinga Ora by Bill English, you might assume this post will be about social housing, Kāinga Ora’s most prominent role. While that is indeed something that requires defending, I want to talk about the other core purpose of ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    1 week ago
  • Baby You're A Rich Man
    “How does it feel to beOne of the beautiful peopleNow that you know who you areWhat do you want to beAnd have you traveled very far?Far as the eye can see”Yesterday the ACT party faithful were regaled with craven boasts, sneers, and demands for even more at their annual rally.That ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Stopping a future Labour government from shutting down gas exploration
    A defiant Resources Minister Shane Jones has responded to Saturday’s environmental protests by ending Labour’s offshore oil exploration ban and calling for long-term contracts with any successful explorers. The purpose would be to prevent a future Labour Government from reversing any licence the explorers might hold. Jones sees a precedent ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #23
    A listing of 32 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, June 2, 2024 thru Sat, June 8, 2024. Story of the week Our Story of the Week is Yale Climate Connection's Resources for debunking common solar and wind myths, by ...
    1 week ago
  • Fission by the river
    This is where we ate our lunch last Wednesday. Never mind your châteaux and castles and whatnot, we like to enjoy a baguette in the shadow of a nuclear power plant; a station that puts out more than twice as much as Manapouri using nothing more than tiny atoms to bring ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    2 weeks ago

  • Prime Minister wraps up visit to Japan
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has just finished a successful three-day visit to Japan, where he strengthened political relationships and boosted business links. Mr Luxon’s visit culminated in a bilateral meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio followed by a state dinner. “It was important for me to meet Prime Minister Kishida in person ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • Major business deals signed on PM’s Japan trip
    Significant business deals have been closed during the visit of Prime Minister Christopher Luxon to Japan this week, including in the areas of space, renewable energy and investment.  “Commercial deals like this demonstrate that we don’t just export high-quality agricultural products to Japan, but also our world-class technology, expertise, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • Strategic Security speech, Tokyo
    Minasan, konnichiwa, kia ora and good afternoon everyone. Thank you for the invitation to speak to you today and thank you to our friends at the Institute for International Socio-Economic Studies and NEC for making this event possible today.  It gives me great pleasure to be here today, speaking with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • National Infrastructure Pipeline worth over $120 billion
    The National Infrastructure Pipeline, which provides a national view of current or planned infrastructure projects, from roads, to water infrastructure, to schools, and more, has climbed above $120 billion, Infrastructure Minister Chris Bishop says. “Our Government is investing a record amount in modern infrastructure that Kiwis can rely on as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    14 hours ago
  • Making it easier to build infrastructure
    The Government is modernising the Public Works Act to make it easier to build infrastructure, Minister for Land Information Chris Penk announced today. An independent panel will undertake an eight-week review of the Act and advise on common sense changes to enable large scale public works to be built faster and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • NZ enhances North Korea sanctions monitoring
    New Zealand will enhance its defence contributions to monitoring violations of sanctions against North Korea, Prime Minister Christopher Luxon announced today.  The enhancement will see the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) increase its contributions to North Korea sanctions monitoring, operating out of Japan. “This increase reflects the importance New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Speech to Safeguard National Health and Safety Conference
    Good afternoon everyone. It’s great to be with you all today before we wrap up Day One of the annual Safeguard National Health and Safety Conference. Thank you to the organisers and sponsors of this conference, for the chance to talk to you about the upcoming health and safety consultation. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Ōtaki to north of Levin alliance agreements signed
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has welcomed an important milestone for the Ōtaki to north of Levin Road of National Significance (RoNS), following the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) signing interim alliance agreements with two design and construction teams who will develop and ultimately build the new expressway.“The Government’s priority for transport ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Improvements to stopping Digital Child Exploitation
    The Department of Internal Affairs [Department] is making a significant upgrade to their Digital Child Exploitation Filtering System, which blocks access to websites known to host child sexual abuse material, says Minister of Internal Affairs Brooke van Velden.  “The Department will incorporate the up-to-date lists of websites hosting child sexual ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New vaccine research aims to combat prevalent bovine disease
    A vaccine to prevent an infectious disease that costs New Zealand cattle farmers more than $190 million each year could radically improve the health of our cows and boost on-farm productivity, Associate Agriculture Minister Andrew Hoggard says. The Ministry for Primary Industries is backing a project that aims to develop ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Making it easier to build granny flats
    The Government has today announced that it is making it easier for people to build granny flats, Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters and RMA Reform Minister Chris Bishop say. “Making it easier to build granny flats will make it more affordable for families to live the way that suits them ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • High Court Judge appointed
    Attorney-General Judith Collins today announced the appointment of Auckland King’s Counsel Gregory Peter Blanchard as a High Court Judge. Justice Blanchard attended the University of Auckland from 1991 to 1995, graduating with an LLB (Honours) and Bachelor of Arts (English). He was a solicitor with the firm that is now Dentons ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Health workforce numbers rise
    Health Minister Dr Shane Reti says new data released today shows encouraging growth in the health workforce, with a continued increase in the numbers of doctors, nurses and midwives joining Health New Zealand. “Frontline healthcare workers are the beating heart of the healthcare system. Increasing and retaining our health workforce ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government to overhaul firearms laws
    Associate Justice Minister Nicole McKee has today announced a comprehensive programme to reform New Zealand's outdated and complicated firearms laws. “The Arms Act has been in place for over 40 years. It has been amended several times – in a piecemeal, and sometimes rushed way. This has resulted in outdated ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government delivers landmark specialist schools investment
    The coalition Government is delivering record levels of targeted investment in specialist schools so children with additional needs can thrive. As part of Budget 24, $89 million has been ringfenced to redevelop specialist facilities and increase satellite classrooms for students with high needs. This includes: $63 million in depreciation funding ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Major health and safety consultation begins
    A substantial consultation on work health and safety will begin today with a roadshow across the regions over the coming months, says Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Brooke van Velden.  This the first step to deliver on the commitment to reforming health and safety law and regulations, set out in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Growing the potential of New Zealand’s forestry sector in partnership
    Forestry Minister Todd McClay, today announced the start of the Government’s plan to restore certainty and confidence in the forestry and wood processing sector. “This government will drive investment to unlock the industry’s economic potential for growth,” Mr McClay says. “Forestry’s success is critical to rebuilding New Zealand’s economy, boosting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government cancels forestry ETS annual service charges for 2023-24
    Annual service charges in the forestry Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) will be cancelled for 2023/24, Forestry Minister Todd McClay says. “The sector has told me the costs imposed on forestry owners by the previous government were excessive and unreasonable and I agree,” Mr McClay says. “They have said that there ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Speech to the LGNZ Infrastructure Symposium
    Introduction Thank you for having me here today and welcome to Wellington, the home of the Hurricanes, the next Super Rugby champions. Infrastructure – the challenge This government has inherited a series of big challenges in infrastructure. I don’t need to tell an audience as smart as this one that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government boosts Agriculture and food trade with China
    Trade and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard welcomed outcomes to boost agricultural and food trade between New Zealand and China. A number of documents were signed today at Government House that will improve the business environment between New Zealand and China, and help reduce barriers, including on infant formula ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • NZ and China launch Services Trade Negotiations
    Trade Minister Todd McClay, and China’s Commerce Minister Wang Wentao, today announced the official launch of Negotiations on Services Trade between the two countries.  “The Government is focused on opening doors for services exporters to grow the New Zealand’s economy,” Mr McClay says.  As part of the 2022 New Zealand-China Free Trade Agreement Upgrade ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Prime Minister Luxon meets with Premier Li
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon met with Chinese Premier Li Qiang at Government House in Wellington today.  “I was pleased to welcome Premier Li to Wellington for his first official visit, which marks 10 years since New Zealand and China established a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership,” Mr Luxon says. “The Premier and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government and business tackling gender pay gap
    The coalition Government is taking action to reduce the gender pay gap in New Zealand through the development of a voluntary calculation tool. “Gender pay gaps have impacted women for decades, which is why we need to continue to drive change in New Zealand,” Acting Minister for Women Louise Upston ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Funding Boost for Rural Support Trusts
    The coalition Government is boosting funding for Rural Support Trusts to provide more help to farmers and growers under pressure, Rural Communities Minister Mark Patterson announced today. “A strong and thriving agricultural sector is crucial to the New Zealand economy and one of the ways to support it is to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Latest data shows size of public service decreasing
    Spending on contractors and consultants continues to fall and the size of the Public Service workforce has started to decrease after years of growth, according to the latest data released today by the Public Service Commission. Workforce data for the quarter from 31 December 23 to 31 March 24 shows ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Speech to the Law Association
    Thank you to the Law Association for inviting me to speak this morning. As a former president under its previous name — the Auckland District Law Society — I take particular satisfaction in seeing this organisation, and its members, in such good heart. As Attorney-General, I am grateful for these ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • 25 years on, NZ reaffirms enduring friendship with Timor Leste
    New Zealand is committed to working closely with Timor-Leste to support its prosperity and resilience, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “This year is the 25th anniversary of New Zealand sending peacekeepers to Timor-Leste, who contributed to the country’s stabilisation and ultimately its independence,” Mr Peters says.    “A quarter ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Inquiry requested into rural banking
    Promoting robust competition in the banking sector is vital to rebuilding the economy, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  “New Zealanders deserve a banking sector that is as competitive as possible. Banking services play an important role in our communities and in the economy. Kiwis rely on access to lending when ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Ministry for Regulation targets red tape to keep farmers and growers competitive
    Regulation Minister David Seymour, Environment Minister Penny Simmonds, and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard have today announced a regulatory sector review on the approval process for new agricultural and horticultural products.    “Red tape stops farmers and growers from getting access to products that have been approved by other OECD countries. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Government to reverse blanket speed limit reductions
    The Coalition Government will reverse Labour’s blanket speed limit reductions by 1 July 2025 through a new Land Transport Rule released for public consultation today, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  The draft speed limit rule will deliver on the National-ACT coalition commitment to reverse the previous government’s blanket speed limit ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Chair appointments for NZSO, CNZ and NZ On Air
    Minister Paul Goldsmith is making major leadership changes within both his Arts and Media portfolios. “I am delighted to announce Carmel Walsh will be officially stepping into the role of Chair of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, having been acting Chair since April,” Arts Minister Paul Goldsmith says.  “Carmel is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Government focus on long-term food, fibre growth
    Food and fibre export revenue is tipped to reach $54.6 billion this year and hit a record $66.6b in 2028 as the Government focuses on getting better access to markets and cutting red tape, Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones say. “This achievement is testament ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • Govt consulting on cutting red tape for exporters
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