Campbell & Gould on neoliberalism

Written By: - Date published: 7:20 am, November 4th, 2014 - 49 comments
Categories: capitalism, economy, Economy, monetary policy - Tags: , , ,

Bryan Gould is an interesting chap. Rhodes Scholar, British Labour MP, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Waikato, author of many books, occasional writer for The Herald, and author here at The Standard. Most recently, Bryan has been in the news because he is convenor of Labour’s current review process.

In this context it is interesting to read this extended discussion between the always excellent Gordon Campbell and Gould, as published in Campbell’s Werewolf. Here are some extracts on neoliberalism and the economy.

In his introduction Campbell writes:

The need to dislodge neo-liberalism as the only model of capitalist realism is pretty obvious. Its manifest failures are doing too much damage to too many people. A few weeks ago, Bloomberg Business News – not exactly a left wing rag – ran a story about the zombie ideas of the neo-liberal orthodoxy that simply refuse to die no matter how often they have been shown to fail. Bloomberg’s short list of disproven ideas – ‘that originated from or were widely dispersed by think tanks and their benefactors’ include :

• Austerity as a virtuous policy during recessions
• The efficient-market hypothesis
• Tax cuts pay for themselves (ie supply-side economics)
• Self-regulating markets
• Homo economicus (that individuals are profit-maximizing economic actors)

The interview / discussion follows:

Campbell : Voters here don’t seem to like neo-liberalism very much and nor do they believe in it, particularly. Yet hasn’t neoliberalism’s great success been in convincing people that this is the only credible way to run a modern economy?

Gould : I think that’s absolutely right. Its a real puzzle as to why the lessons we thought we’d learned repeatedly for the last century or more, have been forgotten, or ignored. Or even why the shocking outcomes of the Global Financial Crisis and the recession, have not shaken people’s faith in neo-liberalism, or in neo-classical economics. Its partly a function of the fact that public opinion tends to lag…but it is also something more significant. The advent of the global economy has taught people that it is big business that really has the power, and that it can dictate even to elected governments, particularly so in small countries like New Zealand. So there’s a tendency for people to listen to and to simply accept the messages being purveyed by elitists, and by big business.

OK, and here’s the 64 dollar question. Under Labour, what would a post GFC, post Third Way economic policy actually look like?

Well, the last two or three decades have been characterized by the belief that inflation is the main danger…And it was agreed that the best way to [control inflation] is to manipulate interest rates. But what is not recognised in New Zealand or other Western countries is that the main inflationary impact comes from the banks. As the Bank of England has recently recognized in a major paper earlier this year some 97% of all the money in circulation in the case of Britain – and its similar here – is originally created by banks, out of nothing. And they create it in order to lend it out on mortgage. Most people think that banks take in savings from depositors and then they lend that out again, to borrowers. No, not a bit of it. The amount that the banks lend has got nothing to do with the money that people deposit with them.

OK. But the political problem here is that if and when governments do exactly the same thing in order to meet social goals, that’s derided as ‘printing money’

Exactly….

And as the US has shown that you can do that – they called it ‘quantitative easing’ – when you’re bailing out the banks. But you’re regarded as being beyond the political pale if you do this for any social purpose, right?

Absolutely. You’ve got it.

So how then, does a centre-left party engage with the politics of this situation, beyond poking holes in it from a distance? In the current circumstances, what you’re saying simply isn’t a viable political programme – it sounds like Social Credit.

Yes, and that’s the central dilemma I believe, for the left. Oddly enough though, the relatively new Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has reverted to the – this is getting a bit esoteric , but its relevant…there was a famous in Japan, unknown in the West, economist called Osamu Shimomura. He was a Keynesian economist, and he realized, as Keynes had said, that there is no intrinsic reason for the scarcity of capital…and as Keynes also said, you can create money to invest in productive capacity even in advance of that productive capacity being available, provided it comes on stream within a reasonable period. So in other words, if you create money for productive investment – and it works – that’s not inflationary, but you’re growing the economy.

And that was the basis of the huge Japanese success of the 1960s, 70s and 80. Until they abandoned the policy for other reasons, and began to stagnate. The Chinese are doing the same. The Chinese simply write cheques on themselves when they want to buy something…. But we won’t invest, or borrow, or do anything that suggests growth, because we’re terrified of inflation.

It’s a long and fascinating discussion, an in-depth examination of the assumptions underlying our economy and the realistic alternatives that you won’t find anywhere else in the media. Make some time this week to go read it all. If I had my way it would be required reading for Labour’s leadership contenders – perhaps Gould can insist on it as part of his review!

49 comments on “Campbell & Gould on neoliberalism ”

  1. Marksman33 1

    Sounds like what CVs been on about, good on ya CV.

  2. adam 2

    Well worth the read. Leaves me uncomfortable, as it still tethered to a capitalist approach.

    Still just tinkering with a failing economic system – but you social democrats may as well fiddle whilst the world burns. It avoids having to do or act in any manner which might be hard.

    Oh, and you get some power for your corporate elects, rather than their corporate elects.

  3. The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 3

    Only have time to read the headline. Can someone tell me what these titans concluded?

    • r0b 3.1

      Banks print money every day in the form of mortgages. Governments print money to bail out failed banks. But governments may NOT print money to develop productive assets that pay for themselves (except those governments that did and it works).

      • dv 3.1.1

        And then the banks take billions out of the economy by the way of interest.

        • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 3.1.1.1

          So (and I am trying to contain my surprise) they are against what they call neo-liberalism?

          • felix 3.1.1.1.1

            You could have read it by now, dickhead.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 3.1.1.1.2

            Not quite: they discuss tried and tested alternatives that produce better outcomes for everybody.

            I can see why you’d hate and fear that. Perhaps you’d better not read it.

            • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 3.1.1.1.2.1

              tried and tested alternatives

              God, I loved the 70s. Everything was peachy and in no way totally fucked.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                Is that what they’re discussing? The 1970s? Which country are they talking about?

  4. Daveinireland 4

    We look forward to the Labour party adopting the UK Labour parties’ 1983 election manifesto.

  5. karol 5

    Hmmm… I was with Gould until he said that he saw Parker as the person most likely to follow the new direction Gould is advocating. Parker seems to me to be more of the dame soft-neoliberalism, don’t scare those who talk up the market as sorting things out for the better.

    Then Gould kind of implies that the Greens should butt out of social justice, as it’s Labour territory – well Gould hints at that, then backs off in favour of working something out post leadership election.

    In that Gould seems to be holding on to some FPtP notions. Here’s what he actually says:

    Gould: Ideally, what you say is right and its what we should be aiming at. One of the difficulties I think is that the Greens – who are the other obvious major party – have remedied one of their traditional weaknesses. So instead of just saving we want to save the planet but we have no analysis of how do that apart from not doing certain things – it is now well understood by them that if you want to save the planet, you have to intervene in the market. They’ve developed an economic policy hard edge that they used not to have. And inevitably, that has brought them into the space traditionally occupied by Labour…and that means [the Greens] are more and more seen as a left party, instead of potentially taking votes from the National Party. And, as I say, it brings them more and more into conflict with Labour. How do you resolve that? I don’t know. I think you could try to bring about a longer term identity of interest – and therefore of policy – that didn’t just come together after the election in order to form a coalition government. Perhaps there could involve campaigning on different aspects of a more or less common policy.

    Campbell: Which raises the obvious question about the wisdom of campaigning as a bloc – rather than competing head on with each other ?

    GouldWell, I wouldn’t want to get into that, at the moment. Because of the review.

    CampbellYes, but its interesting that you raised it in the way you did. Because it suggests you think the Greens should butt out of the social justice area.

    GouldYes. And the problem then of course, is there may well be elements in the Greens who see themselves as replacing Labour. So its not easy sell for them either, to say….to tell them to butt out.

    • felix 5.1

      “the Greens should butt out of social justice, as it’s Labour territory “

      If people in the Labour party really believe that – and I think many do – then the way to get the Greens to “butt out” is to make it true.

      • weka 5.1.1

        Yep. There’s a reason that the GP were able to take over this teritory so easily.

        However the GP aren’t now going to give it up. Social justice was always a big part of their kaupapa (inherited from the Values Party), and now that they’ve given it equal billing it’s fixed in the party in ways that can’t simply be put aside. This is the dilemma for Labour. Is it going to start trying to out compete the Greens on ground that the Greens are obviously doing better on, and thus perpetuate the idea that Labour can’t work with other parties? Or is it going to get over itself and realise that 50% is no longer real, and figure out how to build a strong left wing govt from several parties?

        I’d guess it will hedge its bets and look to NZF as along as Peters is around, and thus we will have another term or two of Labour faffing about giving NZ the appearance that it doesn’t really know what it is doing. Thanks Labour.

        • karol 5.1.1.1

          Yes. Agreed, weka.

          But, also, I don’t see a problem. I don’t know how a party could be left-wing, without embracing social justice. And, alternatively, as Gould acknowledges, developing and maintaining an environmentally sustainable policy, also means jettisoning “neoliberalism”.

          Furthermore Labour and The Greens come to social justice from totally different angles:

          for Labour, the workplace is central in terms of power relations – it needs collective organisation on behalf of the working class (via unions and political entities), to counter the power of the capitalist class. The need for social security, state housing, etc, arise from that, because the capitalist class treat workers as expendable, and fodder to the capitalist system, to be used and spat out as it suits them.

          For the Greens, social justice is part of looking at society as a whole, and seeing the need for human societies and communities to work together, in harmony with the environment and each other, for the whole system to work well, and in the interests of all.

          However, it may be hard to communicate the difference to many in the wider electorate.

          Probably it would help if both parties worked out slightly different priorities that they would promote. And it could be seen as a very good thing that they are in agreement on underlying values.

          • weka 5.1.1.1.1

            Yes, I don’t see a problem either, or at least there shouldn’t be one. Which begs the question of why Labour continue to see it as such.

            With all due respect to Gould, he comes across as old fashioned and still not up with MMP as it’s playing out in NZ. In other words, the GP aren’t going to go away, so what’s next?

            “Probably it would help if both parties worked out slightly different priorities that they would promote. And it could be seen as a very good thing that they are in agreement on underlying values.”

            Yes, these are the things that should be happening (and I think the communicating to the public stuff would be resolved once the basic paradigm had shifted). Hard to see much progress on that so long as Labour sees the GP as stealing its votes.

            • Tracey 5.1.1.1.1.1

              he is fpp. and part of the old guard who having wrongly pigeon holed greens as only being about the planet colour themselves surprised that they stand for other things so have told themselves that the greens have softened or broadened… same mentality the msm has

              • Draco T Bastard

                +1

                And the same that National has with it’s demand that the Greens return to being a party just about the environment.

      • Tracey 5.1.2

        yup, but that would take work, and actually standing for something

  6. RedLogix 6

    Sounds exactly what Steven Keen has been saying for yonks:

    As the Bank of England has recently recognized in a major paper earlier this year some 97% of all the money in circulation in the case of Britain – and its similar here – is originally created by banks, out of nothing. And they create it in order to lend it out on mortgage. Most people think that banks take in savings from depositors and then they lend that out again, to borrowers. No, not a bit of it. The amount that the banks lend has got nothing to do with the money that people deposit with them.

    Maybe 18 months ago Keen gave some seminars in NZ – I attended the Wellington one. Interestingly the back row in the room was about a dozen heavyweight Treasury and RB people. It was hard to tell exactly what they were thinking – but certainly there was a high level of engagement and agreement with what Keen was saying.

    https://d2pq0u4uni88oo.cloudfront.net/projects/1383150/video-456089-h264_high.mp4

  7. What Gould and other Keynesians don’t understand is that providing public money for investment still relies on private investors being motivated to invest.

    They will only do that if they can get a profit.

    That depends on the ability to compete in the productivity stakes by extracting more surplus value from workers.

    China has been able to do the Keynesian thing only because its state created money is directed into productive capacity and in a world wide expansionary policy to fuel its rapid growth.

    The big established monopolies of the Western powers however rely less on new technology than on cornering the market on existing technology with water-tight intellectual property rules.

    This means that newly printed money doesn’t go into production but into speculation in existing assets.

    This is why trillions of QE has ended up creating bubbles in housing, sharemarkets etc while actual productive growth is stagnating.

    This is the inherent limit of capitalist production, it depends upon applying new technology to create surplus-value from labour.

    While the free market is the fatal flaw for Keynesianism, so far the state capitalism of China (much more extensive than Keynesian policy) has not yet run up against that inherent limit.

    It is directing its sovereign fund and its SOEs billions into a value added strategy based on new technology such as shifting from carbon to renewable energy.

    China will prove to be the final test case of capitalisms incapacity to plan for the good of the majority and avoid destroying nature and humanity.

    A lot hinges on what happens in China only because it can do what Western powers have failed to do while mired in the market.

    However, state capitalism cannot overcome the inherent limits to capitalism because rule by a state cabal of capitalists still driven by profits cannot rule in the interests of the people.

    The trillions pocketed by the new capitalist class in China are at the expense of the billions of workers and peasants.

    When the masses in China and around the world tied to its powerhouse find that system reaching its limits, the social explosion will be epoch changing.

    What the new society that replaces capitalism will do is take over the productive capacity of capitalism but direct it to social ends.

    Essential to this will be matching the money supply to the total value being produced by workers, under the management and control of workers.

    A good source on the limits of capitalism and the failure of Keynesianism is Michael Roberts Blog
    http://thenextrecession.wordpress.com/

  8. Bill 8

    I’m surprised that such an extensive piece has not included the fact that in Scotland, the very same Labour Party they are referring to, is (by the latest poll) about to be obliterated due to the appeal of the left leaning (read ‘old Labour’?) SNP.

    Seems to me, the future direction of Labour is a no-brainer.

    Denounce neo-liberalism, apologise unreservedly for 1984 and what followed, and then get get the fuck on with it.

    • adam 8.1

      I’ve said for some time, labour is the dead weight around the lefts neck.

      Bill a cold day in hell, will it be, if you think the labour party will apologize.

      And why would the labour party start to do anything sensible now, when they have had the last thirty to realise, they took the backstabbing of working people to a whole new level.

      • Alex 8.1.1

        I am always intrigued by this needing to apologise for the reforms of the Fourth Labour Government. Admittingly, the sequence of the reforms was wrong, (Roger Douglas admits this himself), but something had to be done to fix the NZ economy. The inteventionist approach of 1935-1984 was failing, NZ was heading into bankruptcy. So I ask the question, what would those seeking Labour to apologise change? How would they undertake fixing the NZ economy in the 1980s?

        I often think there is a generational aspect to this debate that is missing. I grew up in during the reforms. Obviously judging from a number of the points listed through these threads a number of commentators remember the pre 1984 world.

        The reality is that more and more NZers are identify solely with the post 1984 world. Why would we now reopen rail lines that are uneconomic, build our tvs and appliances here (that would cost alot more than importing them), have the Government own hotels, insurance and forestries, like we did pre 1984? Instead of looking backwards, Labour needs to identify with the future and acknowledge that the reforms had to happen.

        • Nic the NZer 8.1.1.1

          In light of the fact that the country is not able to go bankrupt, how was the country heading for bankruptcy?

          • Alex 8.1.1.1.1

            Sorry, in order to condense I used the term bankruptcy.

            I meant the currency crisis, the lack of financial reserves, the need for Muldoon to have frozen wages, the failure of protectionist economic policies, high inflation, debt from the “Think Big” projects. Issues like these all had a significantly detrimental effect on the New Zealand economy, which meant that the economy needed to be radically overhauled.

            • Nic the NZer 8.1.1.1.1.1

              So the only reform which needed to happen was to end the fixed exchange rate?

            • Colonial Rawshark 8.1.1.1.1.2

              Nonsense.

              A debt restructuring and a gradual economic reform process would have sorted it out and allowed NZ to trade its way through the process.

              Of course, that would have meant that strategic NZ assets wouldn’t have been sold off to the corporate and oligarchic class.

              • Alex

                Nonsense is it? Always good to be look at thinks through 20/20 hindsight. So please elaborate what your “gradual economic reform process is”. So by your term “strategic assets” I am assuming that you would be happy with the sale of hotels, Government Print, Health Computing Service and other “non-strategic assets”.

                • Colonial Rawshark

                  Yep, utter nonsense. None of those assets you listed needed to be sold. None of those assets raised any appreciable amount of USD. The NZD that those sales raised could easily have been issued directly by the government. The economic hitman scheme was to take NZ assets away from NZers and put them into the hands of the 1%, and especially the 0.1%. That was done. It is still being done.

                  You are not apologising, but acting as a Rogernomics apologist.

                • Nic the NZer

                  Alex, you are the only person here who believes ‘there is no alternative’. Anybody with some sense realizes however that by completing economic forms slowly and incrementally its possible to work out what works along the way, and in a reasonably democratic way.

                  The benefit of hindsight is that you get to learn from your mistakes and hopefully do things better. Never the less we have today a Labour party which believes that government surpluses are good for the economy and that raising the retirement age is a sensible working class policy. Its clear that the neo-liberals don’t even contemplate that there is something to change about their massive economic failure, even with hindsight.

            • RedLogixFormes 8.1.1.1.1.3

              There were two big challenges facing the NZ economy in the Muldoon period; the first was the increasing impact of the Eurozone shutting NZ out of the UK agricultural market and for this reason we got SMP’s and other subsidies to farmers to artificially prop up their production and incomes.

              This was essential for National to prop up their support in the rural electorates.

              The second challenge was OPEC oil price shock in 1973 which badly impacted our overseas currency position and was one of the key drivers in the Think Big projects – the need to reduce our energy dependence.

              As Nic points out – the fiscal backlash from these could probably have been best dealt with just by floating our currency – and the RB indulging in a spot of quantitative easing. Indeed Social Credit proposed pretty much just that – but Muldoon again sneered at them with his now notorious ‘funny money’ meme.

              I’m just old enough to know that the Rogernomic neo-liberal path we took was NOT the only option we could have taken.

              • Draco T Bastard

                +1

              • Murray Rawshark

                I turned 28 in 1984. I can remember that Labour lied to the electorate before the election, and Rogernomics was not at all expected. When Douglas made his speech about the exploding kitchen almost immediately after winning, and the whole program was introduced at full speed, it became obvious that they had lied. They had it all ready and waiting.

                2014 Labour has learned exactly the wrong lesson. Before the recent election, they advertised all the unpleasant things they wanted to do, and kept the good things secret. Do they think neoliberalism is wrong because of how they introduced it?

            • greywarshark 8.1.1.1.1.4

              Alex
              You are conning us, and dense all right. You con-dense the facts and draw conclusions from them. You spout the dogma that you got when you went up the mountain to commune with the higher being. He gave you an early tablet with the guiding neo-liberal rules on it and you believe! Think again sunshine.

        • Colonial Rawshark 8.1.1.2

          I am always intrigued by this needing to apologise for the reforms of the Fourth Labour Government.

          The apology isn’t to you and the rogernomes, by the way.

        • Draco T Bastard 8.1.1.3

          Why would we now reopen rail lines that are uneconomic

          The rail lines aren’t uneconomic – the roads are.

          build our tvs and appliances here (that would cost alot more than importing them),

          No they wouldn’t be. In fact, importing them must cost more as it uses up more resources. The problem we have is that we have a financial system that makes it appear cheaper to import them. Basically, our economic system is delusional.

          have the Government own hotels, insurance and forestries, like we did pre 1984?

          Except for the hotels that would be because it’s actually better for the government to own and run those things. Here’s my take on insurance as an example. There’s more and more research coming out now that shows that government is actually better and more efficient at most things than the private sector.

          Reforms did need to happen in the 1980s just not the ones that we got. In fact, we needed the exact opposite from what we got. Essentially, we needed less capitalism and we got more with the result that we got more poverty, more inequality and less capability. The entire country got screwed just so that a few people could be richer.

    • shorts 8.2

      I don’t expect an apology – thats bad politics and pr…. denouncing neo-liberalism (and cutting the neo-lib hacks in the party) whilst pushing new policies with a new vision for our nation and its people – thats the sort of thing we’ve been waiting a long time for. Cunliffe started down that track

    • swordfish 8.3

      If this slump in Scottish Labour support continues then the chances of the Party winning next year’s UK General Election are in jeopardy. Labour’s UK-wide poll lead over the Tories is now averaging only about one percentage point (down from about a 3-4 point average over recent years) .

      Some senior SNP people – as well as pro-Independence figures from other Parties – want to mount a mass tactical-voting campaign for next May’s Election, a “yes-alliance” rallying disgruntled Labour, Green and Socialist voters in those key Labour areas that voted Yes in the Referendum (Glasgow, Dundee, North Lanarkshire). It’s been estimated that up to 20 Labour Westminster seats could be at risk.

      One suggestion is that a Yes-alliance could ask all pro-independence voters to back only those candidates who oppose the spending cuts being backed by all of Westminster’s major parties.

      • Bill 8.3.1

        The latest poll (and yes, it is just one poll, and taken after Labour’s leader resigned) would see Labour return 4 (four) mps to Westminster. the SNP would return 50+ (fifty plus), up from their current 6 (six).

        Regardless of that snapshot of sentiment, the ‘lefter than Labour’ SNP won an absolute majority in an MMP environmentbefore any referendum was on the table and on a low voter turnout of around 50%.

  9. Draco T Bastard 9

    So in other words, if you create money for productive investment – and it works – that’s not inflationary, but you’re growing the economy.
    …And that was the basis of the huge Japanese success of the 1960s, 70s and 80.

    So that would be Real Monetary Reform.

    Because the one thing employers know that they don’t want, is for their labour costs to go up. So, if there’s a pool of unemployed, and policies directed at driving down wages – then they feel happy. And a lot of government policy at present is geared exactly that way.

    Yep, which is why I’ve started saying that the unemployed should be treated as being in the job that the government has chosen for them and that they should get the minimum wage for a 40 hour week.

    So there’s a huge mechanism for raising top salaries, while [the global consensus] is that you must drive wages down, to keep your wage costs low.

    Keeping the majority of peoples wages down allows for more of the income to be diverted to those at the top – directors and shareholders.

    What you should be doing is putting forward policies that you think will work, and that will address the major issues, and be more successful than the current lot.

    Point out that the policies that Labour/Greens/The left have actually physically work and that the policies of National are pipe dreams that only benefit the 1% at everyone else’s expense.

  10. Aerobubble 10

    Key, in QT, said that minimum wages were as a proportion of average wages are very high compared to other nations. Now I accept labour has no ability to hold key to account as they all love him. But seriously. Keeping wages low, exporting raw materials, losing the added value game, and so naturally our average wage will be close to the min wage.

  11. Alex 11

    No, I believe that there were many other alternatives available. At no time do I say that I’m a supporter of Roger Douglas. What I say is that the economy needed radical overhaul. That reform had to happen. Incremental reforms could have led to a radical overhaul when completed. We had to get rid of the protectionist policies, open the economy to imported goods, remove tariffs so people could afford cheaper consumer goods, float the exchange rate, sell non-strategic assets to pay debt. Do I think Labour went to far and to fast, completely.

    And I agree Nic, good to see Labour learning from the mistakes of that period.

    • Nic the NZer 11.1

      Labour doesn’t appear to have learned anything, we were offered a choice between a party that promised harmful reforms, and a party which would not explain what (probably harmful) economic reforms it promised. Both are committed to harmful economic policies such as balanced budgets and inflation fighting.

      Did I mention that raising the retirement age is a terrible economic policy which no voter should think is a solution to anything? The NZ economy will do better if the retirement age stays right where it is than if its raised, and as an added benefit we don’t have to worry about pensioners struggling in poverty.

      The only thing you have shown needed to be done was to float the exchange rate, other reforms completely un-needed and imposed on top of Roger Douglas leaking to exacerbate the currency crisis (in the typical neo-liberal disaster capitalism fashion).

    • Draco T Bastard 11.2

      We had to get rid of the protectionist policies, open the economy to imported goods, remove tariffs so people could afford cheaper consumer goods, float the exchange rate, sell non-strategic assets to pay debt.

      We had to do none of those except floating the exchange rate.

      And I agree Nic, good to see Labour learning from the mistakes of that period.

      That’s just it – they’re not learning from the past. They’re still following the same delusional economic policies that the 4th Labour government introduced.

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  • Gordon Campbell on why we shouldn’t buy new planes for the PM
    Its not often that one has to agree with Judith Collins, but yes, it would indeed cost “hundreds of millions of dollars” (at least) to buy replacement aircraft to fly the Prime Minister on his overseas missions of diplomacy and trade. And yes, the public might well regard that spending ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    1 day ago
  • The Stadium Debate – What About the Transport Options?
    A few weeks ago, Auckland Council took another step in the long-running stadium saga, narrowing its shortlist down to two options for which they will now seek feasibility studies. The recommendation to move forward with a feasibility study was carried twenty to one by the council’s Governing Body for the ...
    2 days ago
  • Bernard’s mid-winter pick ‘n’ mix for Thursday, June 20
    Social Development Minister Louise Upston has defended the Government’s decision to save money by dumping a programme which tops up the pay of disabled workers. Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: It has emerged the National-ACT-NZ First Government decided to cut wages for disabled workers from the minimum wage to $2 an hour ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 days ago
  • Where the power really resides in Wellington
    The new Chief Executive of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet (DPMC) yesterday gave a Select Committee a brutally frank outline of the department’s role as the agency right at the centre of power in Wellington. Ben King, formerly a deputy Chief Executive at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    2 days ago
  • Climate Adam: Why we're still losing the fight against Methane
    This video includes conclusions of the creator climate scientist Dr. Adam Levy. It is presented to our readers as an informed perspective. Please see video description for references (if any). Carbon dioxide is the main culprit behind climate change. But in second place is methane: a greenhouse gas stronger than CO2, ...
    2 days ago
  • Climate Change: More ETS failure
    A few weeks ago, I blogged about the (then) upcoming ETS auction, raising the prospect of it failing, leaving the government with a messy budget hole. The auction was today, and indeed, it failed. In fact, it was such a failure that no-one even bothered to bid. Its easy to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • The Return of Jacinda.
    Oh, take me, take me, take meTo the dreamer's ballI'll be right on time and I'll dress so fineYou're gonna love me when you see meI won't have to worryTake me, take mePromise not to wake me'Til it's morningIt's all been trueEarly morning yesterday, well before dawn, doom-scrolling.Not intentionally, that’s ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    3 days ago
  • How good is the interim NW busway?
    This is a guest post by Pshem Kowalczyk, a long-time follower of the blog. With great fanfare, just over six months ago (on 12 November 2023), AT launched its interim busway for the NorthWest region, with the new WX express service at the heart of the changes. I live ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    3 days ago
  • Consumer confidence collapses after Budget, in contrast with rest of world
    The first widespread survey of consumers and voters since the Budget on May 30 shows a collapse in confidence. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The belt-tightening and tax-cutting Budget delivered on May 30 has not delivered the boost to confidence in the economy the National-ACT-NZ First Government might have ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • The end for the Air Force 757s
    The Air Force 757 that broke down with the Prime Minister on board in Port Moresby on Sunday is considered so unreliable that it carries a substantial stock of spare parts when it travels overseas. And the plane also carries an Air Force maintenance team on board ready to make ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    3 days ago
  • At a glance – Was 1934 the hottest year on record?
    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 ...
    3 days ago
  • It's not New Zealand they've never heard of, it's him
    Sometimes you’ll just be so dog-tired, you can only keep yourself awake with a short stab of self-inflicted pain.A quick bite of the lip, for instance.Maybe a slight bite on the tongue or a dig of the nails.But what if you’re needing something a bit more painful?The solution is as ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    3 days ago
  • Some “scrutiny” II
    Last month I blogged about the Ministry of Justice's Open Government Partnership commitment to strengthen scrutiny of Official Information Act exemption clauses in legislation", and how their existing efforts did not give much reason for confidence. As part of that, I mentioned that I had asked the Ministry for its ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on why the Biden “peace plan” for Gaza is doomed
    After months and months of blocking every attempt by the UN and everyone else to achieve a Gaza ceasefire, US President Joe Biden is now marketing his own three-stage “peace plan” to end the conflict. Like every other contribution by the US since October 7, the Biden initiative is hobbled ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    3 days ago
  • Raised crossings: hearing the voice of vulnerable pedestrians
    This is a guest post by Vivian Naylor, who is the Barrier Free Advisor and Educator at CCS Disability Action, Northern Region, the largest disability support and advocacy organisation in Aotearoa New Zealand. She also advises on AT’s Public Transport and Capital Projects Accessibility Groups. Vivian has been advocating and ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    4 days ago
  • Leaving on a Jet Plane
    So kiss me and smile for meTell me that you'll wait for meHold me like you'll never let me go'Cause I'm leavin' on a jet planeDon't know when I'll be back againOh babe, I hate to go“The true measure of any society can be found in how it treats its ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    4 days ago
  • Bernard's mid-winter pick 'n' mix for Tuesday, June 18
    The election promises of ‘better economic management’ are now ringing hollow, as NZ appears to be falling into a deeper recession, while other economies are turning the corner. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The economy and the housing market are slumping back into a deep recession this winter, contrasting ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Scrutiny week off to rocky start
    Parliament’s new “Scrutiny” process, which is supposed to allow Select Committees to interrogate Ministers and officials in much more depth, has got off to a rocky start. Yesterday was the first day of “Scrutiny Week” which is supposed to see the Government grilled on how it spends taxpayers’ money and ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    4 days ago
  • The choice could not be more stark’: How Trump and Biden compare on climate change
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Barbara Grady Illustration by Samantha Harrington. Photo credits: Justin Lane-Pool/Getty Images, Win McNamee/Getty Images, European Space Agency. In an empty wind-swept field in Richmond, California, next to the county landfill, a company called RavenSr has plotted out land and won ...
    4 days ago
  • Differentiating between democracy and republic
    Although NZ readers may not be that interested in the subject and in lieu of US Fathers Day missives (not celebrated in NZ), I thought I would lay out some brief thoughts on a political subject being debated in the … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    4 days ago
  • Bernard's mid-winter pick 'n' mix for Monday, June 17
    TL;DR: Chris Bishop talks up the use of value capture, congestion charging, PPPs, water meters, tolling and rebating GST on building materials to councils to ramp up infrastructure investment in the absence of the Government simply borrowing more to provide the capital.Meanwhile, Christopher Luxon wants to double the number of ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • You do have the power to change things
    When I was invited to come aboard and help with Greater Auckland a few months ago (thanks to Patrick!), it was suggested it might be a good idea to write some sort of autobiographical post by way of an introduction. This post isn’t quite that – although I’m sure I’lll ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    5 days ago
  • Turning Away – Who Cares If We Don't?
    On the turning awayFrom the pale and downtroddenAnd the words they say which we won't understandDon't accept that, what's happeningIs just a case of other's sufferingOr you'll find that you're joining inThe turning awayToday’s guest kōrero is from Author Catherine Lea. So without further ado, over to Catherine…I’m so honoured ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • Dissecting Tickled
    Hi,Tickled was one of the craziest things that ever happened to me (and I feel like a lot of crazy things have happened to me).So ahead of the Webworm popup and Tickled screening in New Zealand on July 13, I thought I’d write about how we made that film and ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand Webworm Popup + Tickled!
    Hi,I’m doing a Webworm merch popup followed by a Tickled screening in Auckland, New Zealand on July 13th — and I’d love you to come. I got the urge to do this while writing this Webworm piece breaking down how we made Tickled, and talking to all the people who ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    5 days ago
  • What China wants from NZ business
    One simple statistic said it all: China Premier Li Qiang asked Fonterra CEO Miles Hurrell what percentage of the company’s overall sales were made in China. “Thirty per cent,” said Hurrell. In other words, New Zealand’s largest company is more or less dependent on the Chinese market. But Hurrell is ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    5 days ago
  • Review: The Worm Ouroboros, by E.R. Eddison (1922)
    One occasionally runs into the question of what J.R.R. Tolkien would have thought of George R.R. Martin. For years, I had a go-to online answer: we could use a stand-in. Tolkien’s thoughts on E.R. Eddison – that he appreciated the invented world, but thought the invented names were silly, and ...
    5 days ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #24
    A listing of 35 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, June 9, 2024 thru Sat, June 15, 2024. Story of the week A glance at this week's inventory of what experts tell us is extreme weather mayhem juiced by ...
    5 days ago
  • Sunday Morning Chat
    After a busy week it’s a good day to relax. Clear blues skies here in Tamaki Makaurau, very peaceful but for my dogs sleeping heavily. In the absence of a full newsletter I thought I’d send out a brief update and share a couple of posts that popped up in ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • The Book of Henry
    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
    6 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 ...
    6 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
    6 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
    7 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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. ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    2 weeks ago

  • Reserve Bank chair reappointed
    Professor Neil Quigley has been reappointed as Chair of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand Board for a further term of two years, until 30 June 2026.  “Professor Quigley has played a key role in establishing the new Board after the commencement of the new RBNZ Act on 1 July ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • School attendance increases
    School attendance data released today shows an increase in the number of students regularly attending school to 61.7 per cent in term one. This compares to 59.5 per cent in term one last year and 53.6 per cent in term four. “It is encouraging to see more children getting to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Record investment in public transport services
    The Government has announced a record 41 per cent increase in indicative funding for public transport services and operations, and confirmed the rollout of the National Ticketing Solution (NTS) that will enable contactless debit and credit card payments starting this year in Auckland, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.“This Government is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • GDP data shows need to strengthen and grow the economy
    GDP figures for the March quarter reinforce the importance of restoring fiscal discipline to public spending and driving more economic growth, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  Data released today by Stats NZ shows GDP has risen 0.2 per cent for the quarter to March.   “While today’s data is technically in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Women continue to make up over 50 per cent on public sector boards
    Women’s representation on public sector boards and committees has reached 50 per cent or above for the fourth consecutive year, with women holding 53.9 per cent of public sector board roles, Acting Minister for Women Louise Upston says. “This is a fantastic achievement, but the work is not done. To ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government supporting Māori business success
    The Coalition Government is supporting Māori to boost development and the Māori economy through investment in projects that benefit the regions, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones and Māori Development Minister Tama Potaka say. “As the Regional Development Minister, I am focused on supporting Māori to succeed. The Provincial Growth Fund ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Better solutions for earthquake-prone buildings
    Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk has announced that the review into better managing the risks of earthquake-prone buildings has commenced. “The terms of reference published today demonstrate the Government’s commitment to ensuring we get the balance right between public safety and costs to building owners,” Mr Penk says.  “The Government ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days 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
    2 days 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
    2 days 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
    2 days 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
    2 days 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
    3 days 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
    3 days 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
    3 days 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
    3 days 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
    3 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 ...
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    3 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
    4 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
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    1 week 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 ...
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    1 week 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 ...
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    1 week 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 ...
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    1 week 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 ...
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    1 week 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 ...
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    1 week 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 ...
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    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
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    1 week 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 ...
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    1 week 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 ...
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    1 week 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 ...
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    1 week 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 ...
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    1 week 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 ...
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    1 week 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 ...
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    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
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    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week ago
  • Govt consulting on cutting red tape for exporters
    A new export exemption proposal for food businesses demonstrates the coalition Government’s commitment to reducing regulatory barriers for industry and increasing the value of New Zealand exports, which gets safe New Zealand food to more markets, says Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard.  “The coalition Government has listened to the concerns ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago

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