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Diplomatic Values

Written By: - Date published: 5:39 pm, November 21st, 2022 - 4 comments

Trudeau got a 10-minute stand-up with Xi followed by a public shirt-fronting, Albanese a 32-minute sit-down, and Jacinda Ardern a 50-minute formal bilateral. In the carefully calibrated world of the diplomatic dance-card, that says something. New Zealand would be foolish not to take advantage of what is on offer from China.

Can We Prepare for 2023?

Written By: - Date published: 7:48 am, November 20th, 2022 - 69 comments

2023 is going to hit New Zealanders hard. Since the 2011 Christchurch earthquakes New Zealand has been beset by a new major crisis about once every two years. 2022 was our year off and get ready we are in for a strange and hard recession.

Why Is Labour Such a Hard Sell Now?

Written By: - Date published: 7:40 am, November 10th, 2022 - 140 comments

So why is Labour and Ardern struggling when the economy is so strong?

Democracy is on the Ballot – watershed US midterms this week.

Written By: - Date published: 1:46 am, November 7th, 2022 - 3 comments

At a campaign event last week President Biden said that in these mid-term elections “democracy is on the ballot”. This is absolutely true, and the outcome will be decided by those who show up to vote.

How Brexit Shanked Britain

Written By: - Date published: 8:05 am, October 17th, 2022 - 23 comments

The political and economic disasters now unfolding in Britain are the responsibility of the Conservative Party from their 2016 Brexit vote through to now.

Minister Robertson, UK Pensions, and Risk

Written By: - Date published: 9:44 am, October 15th, 2022 - 19 comments

The political question is whether Kiwis currently losing money on paper can remember this: all investment involves risk and it’s entirely fair for our government to only manage so much of that risk and for the rest to fall on us the investor. Will irrational anxiety beat rational risk in our upcoming politics?

Even more anarchy in the UK

Written By: - Date published: 9:19 am, October 15th, 2022 - 20 comments

I never thought that I would write a post suggesting that Boris Johnson’s reign as UK Prime Minister was not so bad. But that is the state that we have reached as Liz Truss sacks Kwasi Kwarteng for implementing her policies.  And polling suggests that if an election was held tomorrow the Tories could win as few as four seats.

If Truss was the answer it is difficult to work out what the question was

Written By: - Date published: 9:34 am, September 30th, 2022 - 52 comments

Liz Truss has been UK Prime Minister for just over three weeks.  Instead of enjoying a honeymoon in a short term she has crashed the UK economy and political support for her party and her days must be numbered.

Why Is New Zealand So Strong?

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, May 25th, 2022 - 36 comments

As New Zealand signs up to another alliance to shore up our economic security in the face of fast retreats in economic globalisation, it’s worth taking stock of why New Zealand’s economy is so strong.

The politics of high inflation – can governments do anything?

Written By: - Date published: 10:46 am, May 19th, 2022 - 13 comments

It is clear that we will continue to face these economic challenges with tools that are ill-equipped to face the problems. Only a truly international response can create an economy that delivers for all.

Budget Day: there are real alternatives

Written By: - Date published: 9:34 am, May 19th, 2022 - 9 comments

Budget Day, where our centre left neoliberal government straddles the line between compassion and BAU. Given the pressures of climate, the pandemic and global instability, what are the real alternatives?

Can This Government Be Saved?

Written By: - Date published: 5:43 pm, March 25th, 2022 - 118 comments

Can Labour win a third term? Here are some pathways up, and some pathways down.

The empire strikes back

Written By: - Date published: 8:53 am, March 15th, 2022 - 146 comments

Labour’s announcement of a temporary reduction in fuel excise duties and a halving of public transport fares ups the ante on the debate on how to alleviate hardship caused by overseas induced inflation.

Prime Minister Ardern on Climate Change and the economy

Written By: - Date published: 12:27 pm, February 9th, 2022 - 33 comments

The full text is worth perusing across multiple areas, but Prime Minister Ardern’s speech in Parliament yesterday gave useful hints about how the economy and climate change are being integrated into a single economic strategy.

Revisiting Riverton: the Longwood Loop food resiliency project

Written By: - Date published: 6:15 am, December 22nd, 2021 - 22 comments

Key here is the resilience politics of greenies, DIYers and anarchists, where we just don’t wait for the government to act, we get on with and build the new ways ourselves.

See what happens when you put a woman in charge?

Written By: - Date published: 7:41 am, November 24th, 2021 - 120 comments

Remarkably low Covid death and infection rates, good and improving vaccination rates, low unemployment and debt to GDP …

Pandora papers and NZ

Written By: - Date published: 8:42 am, October 9th, 2021 - 18 comments

While we have mainly been occupied with containing the current Covid-19 outbreak, world news has been looking at documents revealing probable dirty capital and tax dodging by the affluent. NZ has a delayed local problem with this. Warning was given. We should just terminate the supporting legislation and replace it with transparency. (Updated)

Have we just thrown the fight, before the war has ended?

Written By: - Date published: 8:59 am, October 6th, 2021 - 53 comments

With all the unfortunate rhetoric around “giving up on the elimination strategy”.

Small businesspeople around me, who have quietly carried on with the program, and have been supportive of the Government strategy of elimination, even though, in many cases, it has been personally costly, are telling me,, “why did we bother”!

It doesn’t matter if it is the actual Government intention, or the media interpretation, the damage has now been done.

Ardern Needs to do More Than Manage Crisis

Written By: - Date published: 2:23 pm, August 25th, 2021 - 24 comments

For a country that has sought to form advantage for itself with strong and hard COVID-19 lockdowns, we’re not gaining any more advantage than yet another binge-purge cycle of supply tension and shortages, rapid economic downturn softened by tens of billions of subsidy, followed by unsustainable booms, over and over again.

RIP Michael Cullen

Written By: - Date published: 10:41 am, August 20th, 2021 - 15 comments

Former Labour Deputy Prime Minister Michael Cullen has died.

We are stuck

Written By: - Date published: 7:13 am, August 12th, 2021 - 45 comments

New Zealand has one of the most concentrated and oligopolistic economies in the world, and also one of the least commercially protected societies. Will we ever be able to break out of it? If you look across our society, it is the relationships of less than 20 main companies with our government that form a […]

What if all New Zealanders had enough to live on?

Written By: - Date published: 6:10 am, August 6th, 2021 - 97 comments

Rather than economics, can we talk about the values that underlie how we manage the country?

Minister Robertson’s Economic Development Strategy

Written By: - Date published: 7:32 am, July 15th, 2021 - 20 comments

Minister Roberston’s recent speech to the Trans Tasman Business Circle sets out both how this government is using the pandemic to reset whole sectors of the economy, and also how it is getting its head around economic and social challenges. The points made were unsurprising, but his intended direction was unclear.

Riverton rocks: support the pilot for social and economic rejuvenation and resilience in rural NZ

Written By: - Date published: 6:05 am, May 31st, 2021 - 12 comments

The South Coast Environment Centre is creating a local food network that connects growers and customers directly, creates food resiliency, and keeps money in the local economy. Today is the last day of their Pledgeme, and they need a bit more support to push them over the top.

What local food can look like (and why)

Written By: - Date published: 6:05 am, May 21st, 2021 - 10 comments

The South Coast Environment Centre is creating a local food network that connects growers and customers directly, creates food resiliency, and keeps money in the local economy. This is an exemplar of climate, economic and community sustainability.

Branko Marcetic: Labour’s public sector pay freeze isn’t just a betrayal of frontline workers – it’s a rejection of mainstream economic thinking

Written By: - Date published: 6:04 am, May 8th, 2021 - 24 comments

Consistent with how they’ve governed so far, Ardern and Robertson are happy to demand workers sacrifice for the greater good — but asking the rich to do the same is a red line they simply won’t cross.

Regenerative agriculture and climate solutions

Written By: - Date published: 6:05 am, May 6th, 2021 - 94 comments

Research is now showing the advantages of regenerative agriculture. Are we wise enough to make best use of them?

Too much too far?

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, April 23rd, 2021 - 97 comments

As we lead up to Budget 2021, there’s much more shape to the whole direction of this government.

About Grant Robertson’s bright line tax statement

Written By: - Date published: 10:39 am, March 28th, 2021 - 217 comments

Media has been abuzz with comment about how last election Grant Robertson has backtracked on a promise on not extending the bright line test.  Should politicians stick to their pronouncements no matter what?  Or should they change their minds if circumstances demand a change in course?

So! You want a “plan”?

Written By: - Date published: 4:36 pm, March 11th, 2021 - 50 comments

Expecting a bit much aren’t you? We haven’t had that since Muldoon. At least he had them. The kind of people now asking for a plan were those who complained about governments that “interfered with the sacred ‘free market’” and screamed about “central planning”, “picking winners”, “protectionism” etc. They prefer just getting cheap labour to give the illusion of economic growth. And build a cycleway!

Reasons to abandon NZ’s Five-Eyed Folly

Written By: - Date published: 2:35 pm, February 4th, 2021 - 29 comments


Wayne Brown’s recent suggestion “Is it time to sell our seat on FiveEyes?” is from someone well placed by experience to form an educated opinion. “Trade sanctions of the type Australia is facing are a weapon used by both USA and China. So let’s have a debate on whether we need Five Eyes, or whether it’s time for us to trade on independently.”

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