Budget 2008: Analysis

Written By: - Date published: 3:00 pm, May 22nd, 2008 - 69 comments
Categories: budget 2008, election 2008 - Tags:

The tax cuts are smaller up front than Labour had been hoping to deliver but the economic position at present means there is simply not the money in the coffers to give huge cuts right now. Labour is bringing forward the cuts and the boost to Working for Families to October 1, instead of April 1 which would be the usual date, and targeting money at lower income families first. The cuts in following years will be larger than most expected and will spread the benefits into upper middle income levels ($50K plus), with the tax bill for someone on $50,000 reducing 15% by 2011.

Labour’s broadband plan is much more sophisticated than National’s and will actually work in delivering better internet without putting Telecom back into a monopoly position. It doesn’t aim to build in record time a network massive bandwidth that most people have no use for. Instead, it takes a more prudent and cost-effective approach to gradually increase broadband speeds. Sure, National’s investment figure is bigger but there is a vacuum behind it, as if the plan was made up on day and Key plucked the$1.5 billion figure from the air. It was good to see that Labour’s plan specifically includes money for a new trans-Tasman cable, for which the government will be anchor tenant. It’s all very well having lightening fact connections in New Zealand but not much good if the data can’t get overseas. The Labour plan also targets those who have most use for faster broadband, businesses.

The tax cuts and the global economic slowdown mean the fiscal position of the Government will be much tighter in the coming years than it has been in the last few budgets. The operating deficit will be down to a couple of percent of GDP. Government debt will remain stable at around 18% of GDP over the next three years. Labour is not increasing debt to pay for tax cuts but rather than decrease debt further it is giving tax cuts. By phasing the cuts in over three years, the inflationary impact from them is reduced. Inflation is expected to fall under 3% in the medium term. That’s the Reserve target, so interest rates can be expected within the nest few months.

This means there is little free room, only about $1.7 billion, for spending or tax cuts promises heading into the election without going into an operating deficit (that is, borrowing to fund day to day spending, rather than borrowing for investment). Which sets us up for an interesting election: where will the money come from for both major parties to offer vote-grabbing policies, and what will be left for policy concessions to minor parties in governing deals?

As we predicted, this budget leaves National in a bind. If they offer larger tax cuts than Labour, it will have to increase borrowing or cut spending. It also eliminates the over-taxation argument. There was this weird perception that Cullen was sitting on a huge pile of gold at the end of each year, when, in fact, the operating surpluses were being used to fund capital investment and pay-down debt. Now, Labour has delivered tax cuts and kept debt levels steady. It has already meant less new social spending than Labour would probably have liked.

It now comes down to a simple choice for voters: reasonable tax cuts, not more government debt, and moderate increases in government spending or large tax cuts (mostly for the rich, no doubt), more government debt, and less spending on public services.

69 comments on “Budget 2008: Analysis ”

  1. IrishBill 1

    Hey Steve, good stuff. I see Key is already paving the way for tax cuts for the rich by talking about them as creating an incentive for people to become wealthier. Other than that Spin bingo was pretty much dead right.

    Good budget I thought. I would have liked to see the tax cuts limited to bracket-creep only but it’s good to see some serious and sensible investment. I’m not as sure as you about the contestable fund for broadband (it smells a little bit like “let the market decide”) and I would have liked to see benefits increased.

  2. T-rex 2

    Just read the summary – Good on Cullen for actually acting like the minister of finance for a responsible government, rather than digging the nation into a hole for the sake of playing father christmas for the next 12 months.

    Yes Bill English, I’m looking at you.

  3. randal 3

    randal is yer avridge kiwi joker and it sounded pretty good to me

  4. erikter 4

    “The tax cuts are smaller up front than Labour had been hoping to deliver but the economic position at present means there is simply not the money in the coffers to give huge cuts right now.”

    Following your logic, SP, why didn’t Labour offer tax cuts given the massive surpluses of the last few years? Why now and not then?

    And the Nobel Prize of Cynicism and Disregard for the NZ Public goes to …… Michael Cullen.

  5. Matthew Pilott 5

    Following your logic, SP, why didn’t Labour offer tax cuts given the massive surpluses of the last few years? Why now and not then?

    erikter, did you read the bit where massive surpluses were spent on paying debt? I guess not.

  6. Because reducing debt, and saving for the future in previous budgets – it’s about balance, eh?

  7. $12 bucks a week!!!

    I hope Aunty Helen is enjoying her last few days on the job.

  8. Opps I mean months.

  9. gobsmacked 9

    I’m happy with the budget. I don’t believe in the media myth of “circuit-breaker” – nothing Cullen could have said today would have sent Labour zooming up the polls – not even “I resign”! 😉 But it does force National to copy or cut, and so a real debate can start.

    The budget delivers in many of the right areas, and if Labour do lose the election, National can either keep what Labour have delivered, or get dumped out after one fractious term and at least one change of leader. (Hey, I’m almost looking forward to seeing them do it – it’ll be quite a show).

  10. chris 10

    I’m assuming that you Brett Dale are going to be better off by $12 a week which means you’re earning less than 30k p/a.If that’s the case you’ve got me wondering, WTF do you support the Tories?.

  11. Occasional Observer 11

    Nobody believes Labour will deliver them.

    Nine years of no tax cuts, and only now Cullen begrudgingly offers this paltry, measly, sum.

    Labour doesn’t trust New Zealanders with their own money. Their tax cut plans have no credibility.

    This budget feels very much like the one that David Caygill delivered in 1990: remember the $89 million surplus which turned into a multi-billion dollar deficit?

    National will be left to bring some responsible fiscal management back to New Zealand.

    Good on you all, at the Standard, for risking your own credibility as well, though. After months and months of saying tax cuts were bad, you’re doing an excellent about-face of heralding them now. Yes, yes, we get the message, Steve. Labour good, National bad.

    For a guy who doesn’t support the Labour Party, Steve, you’re putting an outstanding effort into confusing us.

  12. OO. The tax cuts are going to be passed into law this evening. National will vote against it.

    We’ve never said tax cuts are bad, we’ve said there are responsible tax cuts, sustainable ones that don’t cut spending or necessitate borrowing, that help out those in need, and bad tax cuts, ones that need to be funded through spending cuts or borrowing and go mainy to the rich.

  13. Chris:

    Because I believe in choice and personal responsibility.

    I believe that if ya have extra cash at the end of your pay cheque, you should invest it, and not spend it on booze, cigarettes or at the TAB, unlike those on the left.

  14. Steve Pierson:

    Perhaps Tax cuts should not only be for those who are in need, but for those who actually work.

  15. IrishBill 15

    I’ve said tax-cuts are bad and I stand by that. See my first comment.

  16. gobsmacked 16

    “I believe that if ya have extra cash at the end of your pay cheque, you should invest it, and not spend it on booze, cigarettes or at the TAB”

    Nanny State!

  17. chris 17

    So Brett, you think that because I’ve always supported the Labour movement I piss my money away on drink, fags and gambling.
    I guess you must be a Tory but on 30k p/a I doubt you’d be of the “born to rule” variety.

  18. Matthew Pilott 18

    I believe that if ya have extra cash at the end of your pay cheque, you should invest it, and not spend it on booze, cigarettes or at the TAB, unlike those on the left.

    Now you’re not entirely stupid Brett, why do you get these urges to lash out like a filthy bigot every now and then?

  19. erikter 19

    SP would make Houdini and any contortionist proud.

    After endless ranting about odious tax cuts, he’s now found they come in two flavours: “good” and “bad”. Of course, the ones promised by Cullen are “good”.

    They are just absurd statements from a Labour apologist.

  20. Matthew Pilott 20

    Occasional Observer – people don’t fall for NP spin as easily as you presumably do.

    National will be left to bring some responsible fiscal management back to New Zealand.

    Debt-funded tax cuts eh? Whoopeee! You speak with some certainty about a party with no policy – I find your blind faith almost touching, though vaguely lemmingesque, OO.

  21. Matthew Pilott:

    How is my comment bigoted?

    Dont you agree that a high percentage of people on very low wages or benefits, drink, gamble and smoke and go to KFC?

    Did I mention someone’s race/gender/religion/culture????

    Please tell me.

  22. Matthew Pilott 22

    Don’t be daft Brett.

    You tell me how it is you came to the conclusion that “the left” wants poor people to spend money on diggers, turps and gambling. And KFC, so it seems.

  23. Would you agree people who are on a low wage,are more likely to vote Labour than National?

    Would you also agree, that people on a low wage tend to drink and smoke and play the pokies more???

    Do you also agree that a lot of poorer people have a poor diet, eg: KFC and McDonald’s.

    Anyway, whats the difference between a bigot and a filthy bigot?

  24. Felix 24

    Brett

    If you look closely you can see it around the eyes.

    Peter Brown – garden variety bigot.
    Pauline Hanson – filthy bigot.

  25. Matthew Pilott 25

    Brett, that has nothing to do with whether the left wants people to spend their money on vices. I’m part of ‘the left’ by any general definition, and I don’t want people to spend all their money on crap that’s bad for them – so where did you get the idea that that is what ‘the left’ wants?

    I guess the difference is that I was feeling grumpy in general (read: ill and sore), on top of being annoyed at your comment.

  26. I didnt say the left wants people to spend money on their vices.

    I said:

    I believe that if ya have extra cash at the end of your pay cheque, you should invest it, and not spend it on booze, cigarettes or at the TAB, unlike those on the left.

    I personally believe if you have extras cash, YOU should invest it, but a lot of poorer people spend their extra cash on the above mention things, and people who are poorer tend to vote Labour.

    I am not suggesting that LABOUR wants people to spend their money on this, quite the opposite in fact.

  27. Steve 27

    What with the exodus to Australia (surely only going to continue unabated now) and the retirement (rich pricks)of baby boomers what happens when the number of people reliant on the state and on various arrays of govt benefits and handouts and middle class assistance paid for by other people out number the amount of people working for a living and funding these measures? Is there a tipping point? Do they just raise taxes accordingly in another couple of years? Is that what the global warming thing and its associated taxes is really about?

    For example – This WFF thing makes me sick. Why should I as a single person fund other people’s lives just to have families? At the very least couples who want to have children but can’t should be compensated by the state as they miss out, if we’re going down that road.

    I just think the govt and the reliance of them that they create needs to be reined in big time. For a start why 120 + mps for a country of 4 million? Why twenty something indvidual health boards and countless councils, departments, commisisions? You’d think NZ was an empire not a small country.

    The indians only need about a few chiefs, not about 10,000 of them.

  28. Vanilla Eis 28

    Steve: Those kids qualifying their parents for WFF will be the ones paying your Super in 40 years, so I wouldn’t begrudge them too much just now.

    As for the number of MP’s, every Political Science lecturer I’ve talked to seems to think that proportionately we’re under-represented, especially when you consider countries such as the United States and Australia. We don’t have both State and Federal Governments, but feel free to move there and moan about politician numbers if you wish.

  29. Policy Parrot 29

    “I didnt say the left wants people to spend money on their vices.

    I said:

    I believe that if ya have extra cash at the end of your pay cheque, you should invest it, and not spend it on booze, cigarettes or at the TAB, unlike those on the left.

    I personally believe if you have extras cash, YOU should invest it, but a lot of poorer people spend their extra cash on the above mention things, and people who are poorer tend to vote Labour.

    I am not suggesting that LABOUR wants people to spend their money on this, quite the opposite in fact.”

    I guess that would be your excuse to give the poor nothing then, eh Brett?

  30. pinetree 30

    “The tax cuts are going to be passed into law this evening. National will vote against it…..”

    Really? I’d have thought they have pout themselves in a space where they’d have to vote for it….there’s enough hypocrisy floating around as it is without that little farce…

    Not a bad budget I thought, it’s never going to be entirely to my way of thinking, but not much to quibble on the direction of the spend – I’m broadly happy with where it goes (my priorities are a little different, but that’s a tory/left thing), but I’m always keen to see that the execution/implementation is the best that it can be…

    …but sometimes I do feel that the weight (or true potential) of a dollar is not really felt in the right places….opportunity cost and all that….

    We’ll see what key comes up with……whenever that is….I’m growing impatient, if for no other reason to have something decent to debate with you guys !

  31. gobsmacked 31

    Key has announced National’s economic policy. He did it tonight on Campbell Live, and again on Close-Up. He was pressed by both the interviewers to reveal details, and finally, he did. And National’s policy is …

    *drum roll*

    They’re going to close the embassy in Sweden.

    I am not making this up. You couldn’t.

  32. But I wanted to be the Ambassador to Sweden! The fu*kr’s just lost my vote…

  33. Might as well as close the Swedish embassy, we dont do much business with them.

    If any labour supporter thinks that is national’s main policy then you better grow up.

    Wait until the announcement comes, Aunty Helen’s 12 bucks is going to be nothing.

  34. POLICY PARROT:

    I would give the poor a better education, one where you learn about business and budgeting and the real world, not PC teachings.

    I would give the poor, those on low incomes like myself, a bigger tax cut, and tell them, its your money you choose to do what you like it with it, its your choice.

    I would cut GST and make lower the petrol tax.

  35. DS 35

    “For a start why 120 + mps for a country of 4 million? Why twenty something indvidual health boards and countless councils, departments, commisisions? You’d think NZ was an empire not a small country.”

    The US state of New Hampshire has a state legislature where the lower house has 400 members. New Hampshire has about 1.2 million people, so if New Zealand had the same level of representation, we’d have over 1300 MPs.

    New Zealand, with a mere 120 MPs, is hardly overrepresented.

  36. pinetree 36

    “It was good to see that Labour?s plan specifically includes money for a new trans-Tasman cable…”

    Just out of interest….that wouldn’t be the Kordia link would it….if so then I hope the $15m (?) is not just underwritten SoE capex….

    Still, nice to break the Sthn X “monopoly”, as I believe Telstra is whacking a whopping great big piece of glass Sydney to Hawaii….

  37. Lew 37

    From what I can stomach of the KB comment thread and those comments above, i see a few common arguments from those who don’t like these tax cuts. Here are three, there are probably more:

    1. `Too much, and yet simultaneously not enough’. This one seems logically indefensible unless you presume that what people really mean is `not targetted at me’.

    2. `There is a billion dollars per year worth of fat in the public service which can be cut without significant adverse impacts on taxpayers’. Leaving aside the fact that John Key has said he’d cap the core public service rather than cut it, taking this as given without due diligence is an incredibly risky platform upon which to base policy.

    3. `Cullen doesn’t believe it’, aka `Cullen is being hypocritical’. So what? The legislation will be passed by the time you get up tomorrow morning. If it’s really policy you care about, well, here’s some policy for you. This one is a masked `I don’t like Cullen and I won’t like him no matter what he does.’ A fair and reasonable standpoint, but only if people declare it as such.

    L

  38. National disgrace 38

    Brett, closing the embassy may not be National’s main policy, but it’s the only one he was able to articulate when questioned on both current affairs shows tonight. He’s so impressive.

  39. gobsmacked 39

    National Disgrace is right. It’s not my job to think up policies for John Key. It’s his job to tell us HIS policies. He wants to be Prime Minister. He was asked for policy, and closing the embassy in Sweden was his reply (a fact that you have not disputed, Brett, because he said it).

    Since he used exactly the same line on both programmes, that was clearly the prepared message that he wanted to get across. Bigger tax cuts, one less embassy. (Must be a feckin huge embassy …)

    Brett, if you don’t like Key’s answers, tell him, not us.

  40. ak 40

    The Swedish embassy is this years “hip-hop tours” without the veiled racism. Brash-lite.

    Like the thousands of useless “health bureaucrats” twiddling their thumbs through $5 billion a year, Slippery is about to find his mythological demons a little hard to deliver on a plate – particularly with so many already “me-tooed” off the menu.

    The inherent contradiction of running simultaneous “Corrupt! Corrupt!”, “NZ Sucks” and “We’ll do the Same” campaigns is coming back to bite their tight, shiny wee tooshes.

    Honeymoon’s over, smiling assassin, and them good ol’ EFA blues are a-crooning: you can’t buy my love no more.

  41. If you guys really think all we will here from key is about the Swedish embassy, well your sadly mistaken.

    It wasnt the time or place for Key to go through his policies, but when he does, the country will sit up and take notice.

  42. Lew 42

    There’s poetry on this comment thread. Not good poetry, but real love has gone into it.

    L

  43. outofbed 43

    Anyone else hear Keys budget reply speech comments, about not being interested in Vietnam or the Sprinkbok tour?
    And Clark’s later put down ? Loved it

  44. erikter 44

    “But I wanted to be the Ambassador to Sweden!”

    Don’t worry robinson, we’ll send you to Somalia, instead.

  45. T-Rex 45

    Brett, you make my brain sad.

  46. randal 46

    listen to the crap leighton smith is pushing out on newstalk zb this morning…will somebody please buy him a ticket out of here

  47. Lew 47

    randal: He actually said he’d leave of his own accord: “If you don’t throw this lot out on their collective arses, then I’m leaving the country”.

    L

  48. Pascal's bookie 48

    “If you don’t throw this lot out on their collective arses, then I’m leaving the country’.

    Labour should put that on a billboard with his picture.

  49. National disgrace 49

    You’re right Brett, if John Key did announce an actual policy, I would indeed sit up and take notice! I’d be shocked. His ‘peek a boo” wait and see is not cute, or credible any more. Pathetic. He’s history.
    I note interest rates have shot up already in response to the ‘miserable block of cheese’. Imagine how much your mortgage will go up if Key pledges to borrow and splash three times as much.

  50. erikter 50

    Don’t you worry about Leighton Smith.

    He will remain in the country because his prediction will come to pass: Labour will be soundly defeated at the polls!

  51. Matthew Pilott 51

    I believe that if ya have extra cash at the end of your pay cheque, you should invest it, and not spend it on booze, cigarettes or at the TAB, unlike those on the left.

    Generally being a cogent commentor, Brett, I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt and retract the ‘filthy bigot’ remark. I read that as a comparison of your beliefs with those on the left, not on the spending habits of the unwashed masses.

    It’s still a fairly ugly stereotype. A lot of people with more money than sense make some big gambles and hit the sauce with the best of ’em, but I truly can’t be bothered rehashing a debate on worthless stereotypes.

    You just sound more nanny-state than the incumbent when you make such a statement: “don’t give them money, they’ll just fritter it away. Tsk tsk.”

    For example – This WFF thing makes me sick. Why should I as a single person fund other people’s lives just to have families?

    Steve gets gastronomically discombobulated over WFF. Steve, WFF being a tax rebate, families are getting more of their own tax take back. If you’re going to blow chunks over something, it pays to be sure you know what you’re talking about.

    Erikter, you’re the one who wants fully privatised healthcare and education – I daresay the state doesn’t do much public provisioning in Somalia, I think you’d be far happier in your small-governmental utopia than ‘sod – I don’t think he minds paying taxes for a decent society.

    I think we’ll send you there, you’ll be so happy! Low tax, user pays, oh gosh you’ll just love it!

  52. Billy 52

    I have a question or two. In previous years since about 2004, Dr Cullen has told us that a cautious fiscal stance was necessary both as a buffer against possible future economic shocks and because too great a spending stimulus could also have placed undue pressure on monetary conditions.

    So now we have a tax cut. They cause the surplus to become very skinny indeed, leaving no further protection against economic shocks. Interest rates are still very high (in fact, higher than at any time since 2004).

    So was he lying before when he said there was no room for tax cuts? If Dr Cullen is to be consistent with the rules he has set for himself over the last nine years, isn’t the only justification for these tax cuts political?

  53. Matthew Pilott 53

    Billy, sometimes macroeconomic concerns are well over my head, but I’ll take a small punt.

    I think we’re experiencing those ‘future economic shocks’ to a small degree now – hugely increased prices have reduced spending, and enabled said tax cuts to occur. Given the change in the economic climate since 2005, it’s worng to hold what Cullen said in 2004 as relevant now. You seem to be taking Cullen’s comments ceteris paribus which is by no means the case.

  54. Billy 54

    Matthew Pilott,

    Here’s what I think. I think we could have afforded tax cuts in any of the years since 200. Cullen just didn’t want to give them because, being a socialist (or social democrat, if there is a difference) he doesn’t like tax cuts.

    Now, politically and for no other reason, he has to give them, even though by the criteria he set the conditions are much less favourable than at any time at least since 2004.

    munera accipit frequens, remittit nunquam

  55. Billy 55

    Tax cuts since the year 200 would have been nice, but I meant 2004. Must have been the influence of the Latin.

  56. RedLogix 56

    Here’s what I think. I think we could have afforded tax cuts in any of the years since 200. Cullen just didn’t want to give them because, being a socialist (or social democrat, if there is a difference) he doesn’t like tax cuts.

    And in the seven years of plenty Joseph as Pharoah’s chief minister could have cut taxes and allowed everyone to spend up large. He would have been most popular with the people.

    And in consequence during the seven years of famine, the people would have starved… and the good times would have meant nothing. This ancient story from the Old Testament pre-dates Keyensian economics by some 5000 years, but the moral of the story remains the same… self-control and restraint may not be popular, but it is ultimately life-giving.

    (Seeing as how we are indulging in history here…)

  57. Matthew Pilott 57

    Now, politically and for no other reason, he has to give them, even though by the criteria he set the conditions are much less favourable than at any time at least since 2004.

    I could just as equally say that he didn’t budget tax cuts because they weren’t needed and would have been inflationary.

    Now, as inflation on inelastic consumption has eroded our purchasing ability, Cullen comes through with the goods.

    Our two viewpoints have a lot in common Billy – they’re based upon assumptions, guesses and our opinion of the actors/agents involved.

    There’s not a lot of fact to clearly prove you’re right and I’m wrong, or vice versa; we’re talking about motivations in the end.

    To illustrate: Maybe, deep down, Cullen has been bursting at the seams (he is often bright red, to the point of vermillion, after all) to give us tax cuts, but conditions just weren’t right – and now he’s the happiest man in the land (deep down inside – on the outside he had to be somewhat begrudging to maintain the facade) because he’s had the excuse to do so.

    Redlogix: shush, we’re Godless commies Social Democrats, you’ll confuse Billy by getting biblical…

  58. Matthew Pilott 58

    What happened to the strikeout of “commies”? It looked far snazzier when that was there. Other HTML seems to work. Odd.

    [lprent: I’m not sure – it always worrks works for me.]

  59. Billy 59

    So Matthew, you reckon we would have been getting these tax cuts even if it weren’t an election year? I know it requires a guess, but what is yours?

  60. Matthew Pilott 60

    Hmm… There is always that point. Why can’t you run for PM instead of Key?

    Another guess, I couldn’t say for sure. Election or no, given every second story in the papers has been about food or petrol prices, and there’s a lot of hurt from interest rates, there would be a big incentive to act.

    If price increases have reduced discretionary spending, tax cuts aren’t going to be as inflationary so I’d say it’s much better than even odds.

    One big point though: I also think Labour are very smart operators, politically. If they wanted to give tax cuts purely for political gain, don’t you think they would have done so in the last budget, so by now we’d have had almost two months of fatter pay cheques? And perhaps another one to look forward to in April 2009 (they could have even brought that one forward to 1 Oct).

  61. Billy 61

    I would be unelectable, Matthew. I have an appalling stutter, incontinence, a twitch, a hair lip and an eye patch.

  62. Billy. Are you Nick Smith?

  63. Matthew Pilott 63

    Funny, Billy, I thought you looked rather handsome in that photo. I suppose incontinence is hard to photograph.

    Out of interest, have you seen the film Taxidermia? I think you described one of the main characters.

    [Matthew, stop trying to pick up tories on the blog. SP]

  64. Billy 64

    No, but I have just read the plot summary at IMDb. Implausably, it is:

    Gyorgy Palfi’s grotesque tale of three generations of men, including an obese speed eater, an embalmer of gigantic cats, and a man who shoots fire out of his penis.

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0410730/

  65. Matthew Pilott 65

    Billy, I wouldn’t recommend it to many people. You’d think with a description like that, it wouldn’t leave a lot to the imagination. It doesn’t…

    Highly recommended to a select few.

    SP – Isn’t this the new it place to be seen in? (you know that this looks like jealousy from you)

  66. Billy 66

    Well, despite the hair lip, incontinence and so on, I do look like a young Sophia Loren only hotter and more left wing…

  67. Matthew Pilott 67

    ‘Sod! I think Billy’s after you again! (or was it the other way around?)

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    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    2 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
    2 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 ...
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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 ...
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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. ...
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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 ...
    4 days 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
    4 days 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
    4 days 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
    4 days 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 ...
    4 days 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
    4 days 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
    4 days 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
    4 days 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 ...
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    6 days 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. ...
    6 days 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
    6 days 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, ...
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Monday, June 10
    TL;DR: The six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty in the past day to 8:36 pm on Monday, June 10 were:20,000 protested against the Fast-track approval bill on Saturday in Auckland, but PM Christopher Luxon says ‘sorry, but not sorry’ about the need for ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • In Defence of Kāinga Ora
    Given the headlines around the recent findings of the ‘independent’ review of Kāinga Ora by Bill English, you might assume this post will be about social housing, Kāinga Ora’s most prominent role. While that is indeed something that requires defending, I want to talk about the other core purpose of ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    6 days ago
  • Baby You're A Rich Man
    “How does it feel to beOne of the beautiful peopleNow that you know who you areWhat do you want to beAnd have you traveled very far?Far as the eye can see”Yesterday the ACT party faithful were regaled with craven boasts, sneers, and demands for even more at their annual rally.That ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • Stopping a future Labour government from shutting down gas exploration
    A defiant Resources Minister Shane Jones has responded to Saturday’s environmental protests by ending Labour’s offshore oil exploration ban and calling for long-term contracts with any successful explorers. The purpose would be to prevent a future Labour Government from reversing any licence the explorers might hold. Jones sees a precedent ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    6 days ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #23
    A listing of 32 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, June 2, 2024 thru Sat, June 8, 2024. Story of the week Our Story of the Week is Yale Climate Connection's Resources for debunking common solar and wind myths, by ...
    7 days ago
  • Fission by the river
    This is where we ate our lunch last Wednesday. Never mind your châteaux and castles and whatnot, we like to enjoy a baguette in the shadow of a nuclear power plant; a station that puts out more than twice as much as Manapouri using nothing more than tiny atoms to bring ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Fact Brief – Is the ocean acidifying?
    Skeptical Science is partnering with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. This fact brief was written by John Mason in collaboration with members from the Gigafact team. You can submit claims you think need checking via the tipline. Is the ocean acidifying? Acidification of oceans ...
    1 week ago
  • 20,000+ on Queen St.
    The largest protest I ever went on was in the mid 90s. There were 10,000 people there that day, and I’ve never forgotten it. An enormous mass of people, chanting together. Stretching block after block, bringing traffic to a halt.But I can’t say that’s the biggest protest I’ve ever been ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Josh Drummond's Columns
    Hi there,I wanted to put all of Josh Drummond’s Webworm pieces all in one place. I love that he writes for Webworm — and all of these are a good read!David.Why Are So Many “Christians” Hellbent on Being Horrible?Why do so many objectively hideous people declare themselves “Christian”?Meeting the Master ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • Bernard’s Saturday soliloquy and weekend Pick ‘n’ Mix for June 8/9
    Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: On reflection, the six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty this week were:The Government-driven freeze in building new classrooms, local roads and water networks in order to save cash for tax cuts is frustrating communities facing massive population ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • The no-vision thing
    Hello! Here comes the Saturday edition of More Than A Feilding, catching you up on the past somewhat interrupted week. Still on the move!Share Read more ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • When Journalists are Disingenuous
    Hi,One of the things I like the most about Webworm is to be able to break down the media and journalism a little, and go behind the scenes.This is one of those times.Yesterday an email arrived in my inbox from journalist Jonathan Milne, who is managing editor at Newsroom.I don’t ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • Me, elsewhere: Just say you’ll do the thing
    Wrote something over at 1/200 on a familiar theme of mine: The way we frame the economy as a separate, sacred force which must be sacrificed to, the way we talk about criminals as invaders who must be repelled, the constant othering of people on the benefit, people not in ...
    Boots TheoryBy Stephanie Rodgers
    1 week ago
  • A Voyage Among the Vandals: Accepted
    A nice bit of news today: my 4600-word historical fantasy-horror piece, A Voyage Among the Vandals, has been accepted by Phobica Books (https://www.phobicabooks.co.uk/books) for their upcoming Pirate Horror anthology, Shivering Timbers. This one is set in the Mediterranean, during the mid-fifth century AD. Notable for having one of history’s designated ...
    1 week ago
  • Ministerial conflicts of interest
    Since the National government came to power, it has been surrounded by allegations of conflicts of interest. Firstly, there's the fast-track law, which concentrates power in the hands of three Ministers, some of whom have received donations from companies whose projects they will be deciding on. Secondly, there's the close ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The 2024 Budget Forecasts Are Gloomy Prognosis About The Next Three Years.
    There was no less razzamatazz about the 2024 Budget than about earlier ones. Once again the underlying economic analysis got lost. It deserves more attention.Just to remind you, the Budget Economic and Fiscal Update (BEFU), is the Treasury’s independent assessment and so can be analysed by other competent economists (although ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • A government that can't see twenty feet ahead
    There are two failings that consistently characterise a National government. One is a lack of imagination, the other is their willingness to look after their mates, no matter what harm it might do to everyone else.This is how we come to have thousands of enormous trucks carving up our roads. ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • A post I hope is incorrect
    In May, we learned that National MP David MacLeod had "forgotten" to declare $178,000 in electoral donations. Filing a donation return which is false in any material particular is a crime, and the Electoral Commission has now referred MacLeod to police, since they're the only people who are allowed to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Māori Cannot Re-Write New Zealand’s Constitution By Stealth.
    The Kotahitanga Parliament 1897: A Māori Parliament – at least in the guise of a large and representative body dedicated to describing the shape of New Zealand’s future from a Māori perspective – would be a very good idea.THE DEMAND for a “Māori Parliament” needs to be carefully unpicked. Some Pakeha, ...
    1 week ago
  • Cowpats and Colonials.
    Dumbtown, is how my friend Gerard refers to people like ZB listeners - he’s not wrong.Normally on a Friday I start by looking at Mike Hosking’s moronic reckons of the week which he vomits down the throats of his audience like helpless baby birds in a nest, grateful for the ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Gordon Campbell on cutting the sick leave of vulnerable workers
    Should sick leave be part and parcel of the working conditions from Day One on the job, just like every other health and safety provision? Or should access to sick leave be something that only gradually accumulates, depending on how long a worker has been on the payroll? If enacted ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    1 week ago
  • Nobody Move: Ageing Boomers, Laurie & Les, Talk Politics.
    So long as we live in a democracy, economic policy can never be anything other than social-democratic.“HEH!”, snorted Laurie, as he waved his debit card over the EFTPOS machine. “Same price as last week. I guess budgets aren’t what they used to be.”“I wouldn’t know,” replied the young barman, wearily, ...
    1 week ago
  • In Search Of Unity.
    Kotahitanga: New Zealand’s future belongs to those who do not fear a nation carved out of unity and solidarity, and are willing to trust the carvers. Some New Zealanders will be required to step up, and others, perhaps for the first time in their lives, will be expected to step ...
    1 week ago
  • Weekly Roundup 7-June-2024
    Welcome to another Friday roundup! Here are some recent links and stories that caught our eye, perfectly timed for your watercooler discussions and weekend reading. As always feel free to share more in the comments. Our header image this week is by Patrick Reynolds, and shows Te Komititanga from above. ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    1 week ago
  • The Hoon around the week to June 7
    As Workplace Relations and Safety Minister, ACT’s Brooke van Velden is fronting proposed changes to sick pay regulations and The Holiday Act. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The podcast above of the weekly ‘hoon’ webinar for paying subscribers features talking with:The Kākā’s climate correspondent talking about the ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Did we boil the oceans by cutting pollution?
    Lowering aerosol emissions from shipping has altered clouds, with potentially drastic effects. Photo: Getty ImagesTL;DR: Here’s the top six news items of note in climate news for Aotearoa-NZ this week, and a discussion above between Bernard Hickey and The Kākā’s climate correspondent Cathrine Dyer:New evidence is increasingly pointing at efforts ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #23 2024
    Open access notables Abrupt reduction in shipping emission as an inadvertent geoengineering termination shock produces substantial radiative warming, Yuan et al., Communications Earth & Environment: Human activities affect the Earth’s climate through modifying the composition of the atmosphere, which then creates radiative forcing that drives climate change. The warming effect ...
    1 week ago
  • Fragments
    The best observation I’ve read this week about the deep, profound harm Trump is doingTrump has hurled threats and smears at witnesses, jurors and the judge (including his family)... [he] has tried to intimidate witnesses and delegitimize the New York courts as corrupt. In continuing to incite his mob (that ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • March for Nature
    Do do do do do do do doDo do do do do doDi di di di di di di di di di diNature enter me…In 2018 the Labour lead government banned new oil and gas exploration in Aotearoa. A change welcomed by those who care deeply for our environment and ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Bernard’s Dawn Chorus and pick ‘n’ mix for Thursday, June 6
    The Transport Minister is trying to push through urgent legislation that would allow him to change emissions standards for car imports without approval from Parliament, after only consulting car importers. Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: Just as two major reports showed fossil fuel burning was warming the planet to dangerous levels and ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • A Better Broadway: Act 2
    This is a guest post by reader Grant A, the second of a pair about how to fix Broadway. If you missed the beginning of the show, here’s the link to Act 1 from yesterday. Yesterday, I discussed changing traffic circulation around Broadway in Newmarket. This included implementing a car-free ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    1 week ago

  • 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 days ago
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