Choosing ‘enough’ rather than ‘more’

Written By: - Date published: 6:05 am, September 18th, 2020 - 104 comments
Categories: business, covid-19, Economy - Tags: , , ,

Some snips from an interview about steady state economics with Rob Dietz, the Program Director of the Post Carbon Institute and co-author of Enough is Enough: Building a Sustainable Economy in a World of Finite Resources.

You can think of steady-state economics as a sustainable alternative to mainstream or neoclassical economics, which assumes perpetual growth of production and consumption. So steady-state economics is the study and practice of how to maintain an economy with a stable level of resource consumption and a stable population. Such an economy keeps material and energy use within ecological limits, and the unsustainable (and unrealistic) goal of continuously increasing income and consumption is replaced by the goal of improving quality of life for all. In short, the focus is enough rather than more.

Tara, not Tina then.

Let’s start by establishing working definitions of the terms “widespread prosperity” and “resource sustainability.” Widespread prosperity means that everyone is able to meet his or her basic needs for physical health and sustenance, plus some standard of comfort. No one lives in poverty, and daily life offers opportunities for fulfillment and enjoyment beyond toil just to stay alive.

Widespread prosperity is nicely aligned with left wing values.

Resource sustainability entails three operating rules: First, we use renewable parts of nature, such as trees and fish, no faster than they can regenerate. Second, we minimize the use of nonrenewable resources, such as fossil fuels and minerals, and find renewable substitutes over the long term. And third, we emit pollutants no faster than ecosystems can safely assimilate them.

Widespread prosperity + resource sustainability = green politics.

On what aspects need to remain steady and which can grow,

… it is important to consider what’s on and off the list of things to hold steady in a steady-state economy. Only a few items need to be held steady: The number of people, the total quantity of artifacts, and the quantity of material and energy flowing through the economy. In contrast, the list of items that can evolve is long. It includes knowledge, technology, information, wisdom, the mix of products, income distribution and social institutions. The goal is to have the items on this second list improving over time, so that the economy can develop qualitatively without growing quantitatively.

Looking at what can be done in a covid world,

An unplanned, unmanaged recession causes struggles and tough times, especially for those with lower incomes and less secure living arrangements. It’s hard, therefore, to talk about the positive consequences of such a thing. One way that makes sense is to view the COVID-19 recession as a harmful event that we don’t want to repeat and that we can learn from. The big question is how to go about avoiding a repeat of past mistakes. Doing the same thing as before – trying to coax more growth out of an already overgrown economy – makes no sense. We’ll continue to experience more environmental and social breakdown and more recessions. As proponents of degrowth frequently mention, there’s an acute difference between enacting fair policies that intentionally contract the economy over a set time period versus waiting for the next recession to blindside us from some disruption caused by consuming and polluting too much.

Changing to steady state requires regulation that require businesses to adapt to the new market, as well as systems that promote business models better suited to such an economy,

How can the private sector be brought along to support a steady-state economy?

One method of engaging the private sector is to enact steady-state policies, such as scientifically sound caps on resource use and emissions, and then let businesses cope and adapt. With such a policy, businesses would have to be much more efficient and careful with their use of materials and energy, but they would have the flexibility to respond in their own ways. There’s a certain hands-off appeal to this approach, but there are also good reasons to be more proactive. If we want to tamp down the growth imperative in the overall economy, then it makes sense to tamp it down in individual business – doing so means favoring business structures that work well in a non-growing economy (for example, cooperatives, nonprofits, and benefit corporations instead of typical shareholder-owned corporations).

In the end it’s about values,

How about businesses themselves? Would this require a complete rethinking of their purpose and raison d’être?

Much of business culture is about making money, but it doesn’t have to be that way. If businesses have social and environmental goals built into their DNA, they are far more likely to find innovative ways to stay in business while serving a public purpose. We all need to make ends meet, but we also all need meaning and purpose in our lives. The places where we work can be held accountable for achieving both of these aims.

Full interview at Resilience.

104 comments on “Choosing ‘enough’ rather than ‘more’ ”

  1. Robert Guyton 1

    My challenging the inclusion of the word, "prosperous" in the regional council's vision statement for Southland was met with blank stares from the councillors – whaddayamean???
    Voluntary austerity is worth discussing. Not a popular call though.

    • Pat 1.1

      It is not austerity however….and it is not even necessarily 'less' for a proportion of society, but I agree the concept is a difficult sell because it does mean considerable change and restrictions on some activities which many consider a 'right'

      • Robert Guyton 1.1.1

        I think we all should have less/fewer of the "things" that contribute to the buggering-up overall. Fewer non-essential fripperies.

        • Pat 1.1.1.1

          Many would agree with you…until it impinged on their choices

          • Robert Guyton 1.1.1.1.1

            Their choices or their God-given rights?

            • Pat 1.1.1.1.1.1

              as stated earlier, (for many) there is no distinction

              • Robert Guyton

                Either way, it's crashing the system. If that doesn't change, we lose.

                  • Robert Guyton

                    A new story has to be conceived, told and adopted by all. Then change will occur. Up till now, they’ve called that “religion”, but that’s been seen through and now we need a process with complete integrity; I wonder at Dennis’s “intelligent design” and how that might materialise.

                    • Pat

                      It does but I suspect (as Nate Hagens describes) we are fighting against our evolution and that suggests there is no intelligent design at play but rather an interaction of behaviours and environment that we are unlikely to overcome…evolution is a slow process.

                      https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0921800919310067

                    • Dennis Frank

                      A dynamic interplay (a dialectic energised). Economies are organic insofar as they emerge from trading patterns. When governance regulates them, effects on behaviour dichotomise via murphy's law.

                      So some good happens, when things go according to plan, along with the unintended consequences. Intelligent design applies the principle of negative feedback to achieve stability.

                      How? Tweaking. Learning from experience. Humans do this (or not) naturally. Tactical adjustment and alteration of strategy or method combine in this style of governance.

                      The feedback loop depends on public input into govt decision-making. Bureaucratic defense of the status quo must be eliminated. Labour can't cope with this challenge – they're so thick they believe the bureaucrats are on their side! Even open insubordination fails to learn them to the contrary.

                    • Robert Guyton

                      There is no (or precious little) intelligent-design at play and yes, the present interaction between behaviours and environment are challenging to over come, however, I don't/won't accept that we will fail; a way-through must be found. I'm greatly encouraged by the idea that using good/bad as the measure for choosing, along with right/wrong, is not the paths to be chosen; the beacon to follow is beauty and elegance; of thought, action, behaviour, endeavour, use of resources physical and intellectual and above all, imagination and story-making. Pretty straight-forward. Probably have that sorted by this afternoon 🙂

                    • Pat

                      Economies are more than just trade and you may rail against bureaucracy Dennis but the interaction unfettered would (and is) accelerate the decline. Do we learn from experience?…history would suggest perhaps briefly but it is quickly forgotten, certainly at a societal level even if not at the individual.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Sometimes, we need to lose to learn.

                  Much better doing it through science but some people just don't like that idea as it gets in the way of their God-given rights.

        • Dennis Frank 1.1.1.2

          A frippery is "a showy or unnecessary ornament in architecture, dress, or language". Okay, eliminate suit-wearing first.

          There's an unnecessary ornament in architecture on the Auckland skyline that folks have been calling the skytower. Too showy, extract the damn thing. Kill that casino stone dead as a side-benefit.

          As regards ornamental language, we could de-pollute by limiting the number of syllables allowed in a word. That would reduce the level of trauma amongst the simple-minded.

          • Robert Guyton 1.1.1.2.1

            That way, "simple-minded" should read, "thick".

            • Dennis Frank 1.1.1.2.1.1

              Differentiating the two is easy: Labour voters the first, National voters the other. Many folk despair that this is even possible. I advise using a high-powered microscope to see the difference.

          • Draco T Bastard 1.1.1.2.2

            Okay, eliminate suit-wearing first.

            I'm pretty sure that you won't get too many complaints about that. Bloody horrible things to wear.

        • Hunter Thompson II 1.1.1.3

          Quite a sensible approach, that. For about a century we humans have let our wants outstrip our needs.

          Perhaps the Covid-19 crisis is Nature's way of telling us there are too many people on the planet?

          Longer term, there is the risk of international conflict over the few natural resources that are left to sustain life, be it water, fertile soil or whatever.

        • greywarshark 1.1.1.4

          Can we set aside space and resources for essential fripperies? Robert at 1 1 1

      • weka 1.1.2

        It is not austerity however….and it is not even necessarily 'less' for a proportion of society, but I agree the concept is a difficult sell because it does mean considerable change and restrictions on some activities which many consider a 'right'

        this is one of out biggest challenges imo. We can lead from the front, and I agree with RG that we need to change the story.

        One of the first posts I wrote was about the US movement Riot for Austerity. Not the language to use now, but the movement was useful.

        https://thestandard.org.nz/climate-change-change-pt-1-what-are-we-waiting-for/

        • Pat 1.1.2.1

          There have been many wise voices attempting just that for at least 50 years, many very high profile and who had the ear of those in power and yet here we are.

          I suspect it is as simple as ..'We do it because we can and we will continue to do so until we cannot.'

          • weka 1.1.2.1.1

            there are pretty clear lines running through all the movements, including Riot for Austerity, to where we are now, and they show us the change that has happened and is still happening.

            There's a risk in framing us as not having progressed. If the change is a large one, we might still be on the crest of the tipping point.

            The right direction movements work in large part because they're not the mainstream. A kind of beneficent colonisation while no-one else is paying attention.

            • Pat 1.1.2.1.1.1

              There is also risk in framing a non existent progression….the first step to change is a recognition of the need to do so,

              If we convince ourselves we have progressed when we have not then we will continue as before….blind faith in incrementalism.

              • weka

                is that what you are arguing then? That all those movements have failed to effect any societal change.

                Transition Towns, permaculture, decolonisation, Riot for Austerity, XR, regenag, Soil and Health/organics, tiny house, downshifting, food forests, Occupy…

                Because what I'm hearing in my networks is that involvement in turning society around has exploded this year because of covid. You won't hear about this in the MSM, but you can see aspects of it, see Dennis' link to Newsroom below, that's the crossover to the mainstream happening as we speak.

                In every rohe in NZ there are people who know how to grow food for more than themselves without using fossil fuels and outside of the global food supply chain that is about to go into crisis. Those people are also as we speak figuring out how to do so as the climate changes. They're thinking about how to upscale when/as the time comes. They're saving seed, and their practices are grounded in both prevention and adaptation. Their skills, knowledge and techniques are built on the what our parents and grandparents were doing 50 years ago when it was still normal for lots of people to grow food, but in the intervening decades we've learnt new things and created new pathways for out times. This is huge.

                What I see about Riot for Austerity is that Sharon Astyk and the hundreds of people that did that project now have fifteen years of experience as well as influence, and that covid now makes the knowledge base more able to be spread. This is how change happens. Once it gets into parliament, it's way down the track, but if we are only looking at the finish line we miss the progress of the race.

                • Pat

                  As you yourself note those movements are not mainstream, and they are tiny in the scheme of things…the measures of progress are shown by increasing consumption and increasing degradation…and the will to change is reflected in our political support.

                  I dont suggest that what you describe isnt important or useful to those so engaged but it cannot be described as societal change or even progress until such time as it is reflected in the measures described above….if and when that happens then I will happily concede progress is being made.

                  • Pat

                    consider…Im sure there will have been people on Easter Island that thought cutting down the last trees was a bad idea and were quite possibly even trying to raise seedlings and replanting.

                  • Robert Guyton

                    Have you/can you factor-in tipping-points to your assessment, Pat?

                    It may be that the change sought by the food-foresters, the tiny-house-dwellers and the permaculturalists has already occurred and the "increasing consumption and degradation" you describe is just a last-gasp hangover. Here's hoping!

                    .

                    • Pat

                      "Religion, no. Custom, yes."

                      I disagree and present our current situation as evidence

                    • Robert Guyton

                      Will you expand on your claim (that our current situation is evidence)?

                    • Pat

                      "Will you expand on your claim (that our current situation is evidence)?"

                      Your observation that there have been cultures that practiced restraint re environmental limits but as stated those societies have been overwhelmed…whether by misfortune ( miscalculation or 'events') or by subjugation…if it were not so then the current paradigm would not dominate (to the point of exclusivity).

                    • Robert Guyton

                      Hmmm. Those small societies/tribes couldn't stave-off the rolling maul that is civilisation, even though they may have developed good strategies about their similarly-sized neighbours. That could be viewed as a failing in their system, or it could be sheeted-home to us, the civilised. Compare the best we have done in creating civilisation, with the exploding of our sun; no matter how clever we think we are, we aren't going to deflect that, if it happens anytime soon. Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater though, Pat. Now that we know how voracious civilisation is, how it conspires to consume all it touches, we can devise an effective counter to it, if we wish to.

                    • Pat

                      Which takes us back to where we began….we can know all this but we will not choose to change it…until change is forced upon us.

                  • weka

                    I marched in the anti-Tour protests. I saw small numbers of people effect societal change as part of a larger movement. Likewise the peace movement in the 80s. NZ's first big environmental win, Manapouri, has had a decades long influence on NZ's relationship with the environment.

                    I've seen huge change in the awareness of and willingness to act upon the climate crisis in the time I've been writing at TS. In 2016 it was deeply depressing because on TS most people weren't there yet. I saw the change in the MSM. Those changes happened because people on the edge pushed for change.

                    It's defeatist to see change as only something where everyone gets on board at once. Change happens in fits and starts, sometimes its insidious. I don't know if we will act in time, but I see people influencing society all the time.

                    XR is a brilliant example, game changer stuff. What you are suggesting is that there's not change until there is absolute change, but we can't have absolute change without a process. This isn't incrementalism, it's how change happens, by process and by the relationships between all the things.

                    • Pat

                      Yes society is being influenced all the time…..in all directions, but the fact remains humans have throughout history sought to grow until constrained from without….and those that didnt were overwhelmed by those who did.

                    • Robert Guyton

                      " humans have throughout history sought to grow until constrained from without…"

                      Some societies have learned to impose story-backed "rules of engagement and behaviour" allowing them to operate within natural limits, including population size, and avoid violent conflict with neighbours. We can do the same, if we recognise the imperative and borrow ideas from those societies, tailored to our modern needs. It's not impossible. It is imperative. In my opinion.

                      "…and those that didn't were overwhelmed by those who did."

                      Back to the "how to manage pathogens" issue. Attack from other human agencies is the big challenge we face. We haven't devised a way yet (tried various things, love thy neighbour (Christian), fight with a thin stick and stop when blood is first drawn (Moriori). Now, we have to counter pathological corporations that have no soul to appeal to, and algorithmic memes on the internet that heartlessly seek and destroy reason. Gotta get it done though, or we're screwed.

                    • weka

                      Pat, constrained from without is precisely the situation we are in.

                    • Pat

                      @ Weka

                      yes we are constrained from without but not yet to the point of collapse….the constraint is enforced not willingly adopted, be it environmental or in conflict.

                      @Robert

                      Has religion (or custom) ultimately prevented growth?

                    • Robert Guyton

                      Religion, no. Custom, yes. many ancient cultures practiced population control and anti-expansive behaviours. Not all were so tidy, but we should look at those that found the balance and emulate them, somehow…mostly through the employment of social mores, rather than punative responses (spearing as punishment, etc.) This needs investigating, imo.
                      It’s all about the stories we tell ourselves, our children, our neighbours.
                      Tribes found it easier to organise sub-tribe behaviour, rather than inter-tribe behaviour. We have to accept all of humanity as one tribe before we can successfully manage the sub tribes with story and mores. We have to communicate these ideas/tell these stories over and over and over (Yay, the internet!!) and we have to gain the confidence of our children, or they’ll reject those stories as they search human history for excitement.

                    • greywarshark

                      NZ population growth has gone below replacement level IIRR. In countries that are simpler than NZ It has been found that if a woman can have a skill to make extra money for the family there are less children and the parents are likely to put money into paying for an education for their children.

                      NZ has got better off, then got complacent, then got poverty of spirit, then got neolib and freemarket dumped on us removing opportunity for choice of jobs and creating unrealistic competition for everything. If we want to get on, we need to get back to the garden and the wonder of us being golden and stardust and all that imaginative stuff that's at back of a vibrant life, just living. And can be great even without mountain bikes etc.

  2. Ad 2

    For the next year at least most people will have no choice at all about their "state"; we will just survive, propped up by welfare and state support.

    There are about 2,100,000 people in full time jobs. Another half a million part time. 99% of us are heavily subsidised by tax and by the state going deeper into debt than anyone has ever seen. Feeding a nation of 5,000,000.

    Our GDP is through the floor – though it will recover. Our incomes have plummeted overall. Our harvests won't have enough workers. Our children are growing up with deep uncertainty, and are trapped here unlike any previous generation.

    We sure don't need more abstract think pieces from international experts telling us about the "state" we are in.

    What we need is a continuation of a Labour government run by Jacinda Ardern and Grant Robertson.

    • Pat 2.1

      GDP is a (monetary) measure of activity and in the grand scheme of things means sweet FA.

      • Stuart Munro 2.1.1

        It isn't entirely meaningless, but it is certainly a minority activity.

      • RedLogix 2.1.2

        GDP is a universally accepted measuring tool for total economic activity. It's easily calculated, and it's definition is standard and consistent over time and geography which makes it uniquely useful for comparison purposes.

        Everyone understands that the GDP number lacks nuance, and that it does not distinguish between categories of economic activity and that it doesn't tell us anything much about the 'good and bad activity' or the 'quality of life' that people enjoy on average.

        GDP is a bit like your bank account balance, the number doesn't tell you anything about what you've been spending on, but whether it's going up or down over time is a really important thing.

        • Pat 2.1.2.1

          GDP is nothing like a bank balance…there is no recognition of a stock at all, only (selected) activity.

          • RedLogix 2.1.2.1.1

            It was only a rough analogy.

            • Phil 2.1.2.1.1.1

              The better analogy is that GDP is like your income (because, at a national level, that's EXACTLY what it is) but it doesn't tell you much about your wealth, nor does it pass any moral judgement on your spending habits.

              • Descendant Of Smith

                "nor does it pass any moral judgement on your spending habits."

                Nor any morality on your income earning habits.

              • Pat

                Im not sure that it even measures income….that I suspect would be more accurately defined by balance of trade. As all are measured in monetary terms and therefore governed by perceived value they are only a reflection of a point in time and subject to potentially huge variation of worth…especially in a world of fiat currency.

                • Nic the NZer

                  If your income is measured by your balance of trade how are you measuring the overall worlds income?

                  We don't trade with other planets (yet).

                  • Pat

                    Two points….why do we need to measure global income ?(as you note we dont trade outside this planet) and Bancor

                    • Phil

                      why do we need to measure global income ?

                      Basically for the same reason we want to know our own individual/household income. Because we as a nation trade with others, and that trade is typically done at an agreed value in a commonly understood unit of account.

                      Or, to put it more glibly, our nation doesn't pay for imported cars & technology products in units of sunshine & clean water & smiles, we pay for it with the money that farmers or tourism operators earn from those things.

                    • Nic the NZer

                      The point is your attempted new measure ignores most of the economic activity. Its not even really a self consistent definition (the worlds measure would be less than any of the countries which make up the world).

                  • Phil

                    Fun (?) Fact:

                    Because nations tend to put more focus on accurately measuring imports (contra exports) in order to levy tariffs, if you add up all the imports and exports data in the world today, it looks like the world is a net importer from another planet.

                    • Pat

                      @ Phil

                      and none of that requires us to measure global GDP…the exchange is in currency whos relative value is determined by demand….nothing to do with the size of the world economy

                    • Phil

                      the exchange is in currency whos relative value is determined by demand

                      What do you think drives that demand for currency in the first place?!

                      The fundamental drivers of exchange rates are the relative levels of interest rates, inflation, and growth (as measured by GDP)

                    • Pat

                      Even if that is completely accurate it still does not require us to measure global GDP

          • Nic the NZer 2.1.2.1.2

            This is because GDP is a measure of income flow, in the stock-flow sense. Also indicates why saving (holding onto income, rather than spending it) reduces the aggregate flow.

    • Tiger Mountain 2.2

      Yes, re-election of the “Arden/Robertson Govt.” is needed–but definitely not a continuation of their default neoliberalism and fawning pro business attitude.

      State activity needs to be expanded in these times, with massive housing builds, restoration of full public ownership of all sorts of things, including power generation and supply, a new Ministry of Works, District Councils to have full funding and resourcing, etc.

      Entrepreneurial capitalism needs to be firmly discouraged and wound back. A very good life can be had for the many in Aotearoa when the few are sat on their arses.

      • Robert Guyton 2.2.1

        I think we need to vigorously review what "a good life" means. Each individual, that is, given the opportunity, information, encouragement and experience to decide for themselves what a good life for them would be, given the constrains of the world around them. That'll mean an end to plastic straws, but so be it!

        • Dennis Frank 2.2.1.1

          Kim Hill asked Jane Fonda during her interview last week what that tinkling sound was. "Oh, that's my metal straw."

          She didn't need to explain that the sound came from it hitting the sides of her glass. Nor did Kim ask what she was drinking…

        • Tiger Mountain 2.2.1.2

          Put it this way–not super yachts for all–rather a greener life style.

          Living wages, Coastal shipping, rail expanded, free Wifi, farefree public transport, basic income, free quality healthcare, animal rights enforced, more regional/local based living, etc.

    • Nic the NZer 2.3

      As can be seen, income need not be a concerved item of the economy. What this suggests is that when you face a large task (of shifting to a sustainable economy) and a large under or unemployed group, that employing them to undertake that task would resolve both issues at once.

      On the other hand if we as a country rely largely on the private sector to undertake that then this opportunity goes to waste.

      • Dennis Frank 2.3.1

        Governance via intelligent design is a big ask. Especially for a re-elected PM addicted to business as usual. Still, if the Greens get back in and the old (Alliance) red/green brand gets revived by Jacinda, we could get the transformational govt she promised. Let's hope for the best!

        I mean, having the first Labour govt as role model really ought to make it easy to get over their timidity, eh?

        • Robert Guyton 2.3.1.1

          Where can we get us some of that "intelligent design" doowhacky, Dennis?

          Sounds like the Good Sh*t!

          • Dennis Frank 2.3.1.1.1

            I'd crowd-source it. Govt oughta tell the people: "Look, you know representative democracy is a recipe for mediocre governance. People vote for reps they identify with, so the bell-curve injects average intelligence into parliament. That has got us into the shit we're now in."

            "Now for something completely different. We're organising a competition, to flush out the most intelligent governance designers from their habitual anonymity. We'll be the judge of the best contributions, but so will you. Public feedback will prioritise the best designs, but we'll produce our own selection separately as a discussion alternative."

            "Public debate of the two lists will proceed, and out of that process the govt will get a sense of the designs most likely to get traction. Popularity will blend with future promise. We will choose the designs most likely to ensure a steady-state economy."

    • weka 2.4

      try reading the interview Ad, you might learn something. The interview is predicated on the things you mention, so channeling Sabine as if you're the only one that knows how bad things are and need to lecture the rest of us is boring. You might not need a different path than the pinning our hopes on a vaccine one, but lots of other people do. The vaccine = NZ economic recovery model won't save us from climate change or the ecological crises, and it's unlikely to save us from the economic shit show that the rest of the world is about to go through.

  3. RedLogix 3

    Much of business culture is about making money, but it doesn’t have to be that way. If businesses have social and environmental goals built into their DNA, they are far more likely to find innovative ways to stay in business while serving a public purpose.

    The nub of the OP lies here in my view. The modern world we live in is utterly dependent on a myriad of business activities most people have relatively little grasp of. Literally every built object and service in the environment around you has a fascinating and complex story of how it came into being. And almost all of it driven by businesses trying to make money.

    Put simply, I view business as a good thing. But like all good things it can also go too far, which was the sickness introduced by the neo-liberal revolution of the 80's.

    The useful question is, where does the boundary lie? How do we know when the capitalist/business model tips from being a net positive to a net negative? Part of the neo-lib problem is that the model does not capture a wide enough definition of benefit and harm. It narrows down the scope of the definition to that of the interests of the business shareholders only. And in many cases enforces this by law. That is clearly one thing that needs to be changed.

    The second boundary over which neo-liberalism stepped over was the idea that impersonal markets were the best and final arbiter of all economic questions of value. The obvious fatal error here is that the environment doesn't get to place bids in the market, and the poor and vulnerable were excluded as well.

    And my final suggestion is that neo-liberal economics makes the same mistake we see with identity politics, in that it reduces all questions to one of power. In the neo-lib system power is not measured in terms of ‘social virtue’, but rather money terms alone. All social transactions become mediated by cash or the exertion of it's leverage. It becomes the sole arbiter of prestige, rank and influence. In a world where some inequality is always inevitable, this merely amplifies the psychological impact.

    The problem is not growth but rather the quality of this growth. For most of human history the two metaphorical birds 'more and better' sat right next to each other; if you got one you got the other. As we reach the ecological limits of the planet this is no longer true. Yet as I've said elsewhere, bringing 10b humans into the modern world demands a massive increase in human energy and resource use. We cannot do this with the systems we currently have, therefore we must rapidly improve these economic systems. This will demand far greater energy availability and closed loop resource recycling, and this will happen best when we correctly realign the incentives for the business model by addressing the boundary issues I've described above.

    • Tiger Mountain 3.1

      Neoliberalism seeks to reduce all human activity to a business transaction, which apart from seeming bloodless AI style, does not seem a great mode of operation with our planet in “last chance power drive” existential balance.

      Really why have private ownership of production and services at all, when capitalism is essentially the enforced ability to privately appropriate for a few, what is socially produced by many?

      • RedLogix 3.1.1

        All you are doing here is substituting the extremism of the neo-liberal revolution with the extremism of a marxist one.

        • Tiger Mountain 3.1.1.1

          One would hope we are past “reds under the bed” territory with what the world is facing in 2020. Change is possible, but private capitalist ownership, and international finance capital, backed by massive war machines, surveillance and media impede that.
          Jeff Bezos vacuumed up multi billions during C19, while millions of US working class people could not even get their $600 payments renewed. What is wrong with that picture?

          The Soviets replaced their degenerate workers state, with one partially at least, advised by, surprise, Roger Douglas, the man himself. It is pointless raising the 20th century socialist experiments, undermined full on by reaction and fascism, and as a reason not to retire capitalism now in a new era.

          How even a more social democratic NZ could unfold will need wide public support and participation.

          • RedLogix 3.1.1.1.1

            I'm reluctant to drag this thread any further OT, but put simply when you advocate for the elimination of private property and then bleat 'reds under the bed' when called on it, you really have gone off the plantation.

    • Dennis Frank 3.2

      The problem is not growth but rather the quality of this growth.

      To shift the paradigm, forceful action is required. The past half-century since Daly first outlined the new paradigm, mainstreamers have ignored him, consequently the left & right advocated tinkering with the status quo instead.

      The Greens advocate the new paradigm – but not forcefully. Impotent to catalyse the shift, they straddle the boundary between problem & solution.

      "In short, a steady-state economy is an economy with enough as a goal. It prioritises well-being above consumption, and long-term health above short-term gains. It focuses on innovation and development instead of growth. The pursuit of endless economic growth, with all of its downsides, is clearly unsustainable in the 21st century. A steady-state economy is the sustainable alternative to perpetual economic growth." [p46, Enough is Enough, 2013]

      That's a useful summary of the new paradigm. To make the shift, it must be publicised. To get media traction, GDP must be eliminated as both measure of economic success and a goal of governance. People have to have the guts to say so in public arenas. Doing so must now be seen as an essential survival skill!

      • Robert Guyton 3.2.1

        How about we aim for "not quite enough". After all, most of humanity has way less than enough; they could rise to "not quite enough" as we well-to-do sink to the same point, following our outrageously excessive recent behaviour where we gorged ourselves on more than enough (for anyone). We owe a debt also, to the non-human living world that we've gobbled-up to fill our maws – perhaps we could, as a form of apology, go without for a while?

        • greywarshark 3.2.1.1

          The practise of 'Lent' and the word lent would be worthy of some consideration here.

        • Drowsy M. Kram 3.2.1.2

          yes "Not quite enough" is (paradoxically) still enough – could throw on another layer of insulation, but maybe I'll learn more by doing a little shivering.

        • Dennis Frank 3.2.1.3

          The Bilderbergers have used neoliberalism for that: the left & right both obeyed their dictum so it worked. Consequently a large swathe of third-world countries went into development mode & the stats have been circulating awhile that showed the project did work.

          Not quite enough would prove un-marketable. Enough makes more sense. Enough folk have a natural aversion to greed to provide a healthy counter-balance to the left & right supporters of bau. The inertia built-in will drive greed in the third world regardless of what we do, but if advanced countries adopt a plan for the common good then it will gradually seep into mass consciousness and operate as a prescription for sanity.

          That said, left/right growth addiction is powerful psychology. Only appropriate leadership from leftist politicians can reduce damage in the medium term. Their reluctance to provide it must be overcome.

      • Robert Guyton 3.2.2

        " People have to have the guts to say so in public arenas. "

        Laid this one on my fellow councillors at a recent meeting, Dennis. Cloth-eared, I reckon.

        • Dennis Frank 3.2.2.1

          Safety in numbers. Watch how sheepdogs get the result, then apply that technique. Leftists always default to reason or appealing to intelligence when not projecting moral outrage. They have an entire repertoire of tools that don't work in their toolkit. I put a lengthy analysis of the psychology driving their thinking online years ago as a public service.

      • Draco T Bastard 3.2.3

        The pursuit of endless economic growth, with all of its downsides, is clearly unsustainable in the 21st century.

        It was always unsustainable but Malthus was ignored. Now we have the problems from acting in wilful ignorance, in acting as though having more humans and more consumption is always good.

    • RedBaronCV 3.3

      Interesting Ad. When you talk about the environment not placing a bid – does this represents the weak individual interest of the many. e.g nobody in the town needs polluted water so all have a weak or distributed interest in that but the corporate upstream polluter has a strong interest in low costs so continues to pollute. How can we aggregate and elevate the interests of the many into a viable input or constraint?

      Doughnut economics is an interesting framework

      • RedLogix 3.3.1

        As I suggested above, capitalism clearly steps over a line when it legally enforces that idea that a corporation must put the interests of it's shareholders over an above all others.

        Yet even with this horrible flaw, there are many large corporates who work around this legal requirement by arguing that ethical and environmental considerations act in the best interests of the shareholders in the long run. Not all big corporates are amoral engines of capitalist greed, look a bit closer and many do make attempts at broadening their goals.

        There is no question however that the need to produce quarterly results drives a lot of poor short-term decision making. It's entirely possible to re-shape share ownership rules and governance goals to shift the incentives to much longer term outcomes, and a lot of work has already been done with this in mind.

        Just a simple legislative change to allow Boards to operate multiple 'stakeholder' models and allow them to openly balance shareholder interests against ethical, environmental, community and employee interests would be a relatively easy low hanging fruit.

    • Phil 3.4

      Part of the neo-lib problem is that the model does not capture a wide enough definition of benefit and harm. It narrows down the scope of the definition to that of the interests of the business shareholders only. And in many cases enforces this by law. That is clearly one thing that needs to be changed.

      I disagree with your problem definition here.

      Principles for how someone acts in the interest of the shareholder have existed for as long as Principal-Agent relationships have existed, since the dawn of organised civilisation. The laws that codify how a corporation should be run (and for whom) can trace their origins back to at least the 1500's and Royal Charters.

      • Draco T Bastard 3.4.1

        Many of our laws and our legal system can trace their roots back to Ancient Rome.

        Which really should give us pause. Something that old simply isn't going to be fit for purpose.

        • Phil 3.4.1.1

          Right, which is exactly why RL's assertions like "capitalism clearly steps over a line when it legally enforces that idea that a corporation must put the interests of it's shareholders over an above all others." in 3.3.1 are a fundamentally gross misrepresentations of both legal history and economic structures.

    • Draco T Bastard 3.5

      Put simply, I view business as a good thing. But like all good things it can also go too far, which was the sickness introduced by the neo-liberal revolution of the 80's.

      It's not a sickness introduced in the 1980s. It's an essential part of capitalism.

      How do we know when the capitalist/business model tips from being a net positive to a net negative?

      As soon as private ownership is mentioned as that is when the bludging of the owners begins.

      The obvious fatal error here is that the environment doesn't get to place bids in the market, and the poor and vulnerable were excluded as well.

      A market system can only work when everyone has the same amount of money ($1 is the same for everyone), no ownership in business (removes the bludging and dictatorship) and the whole thing is heavily regulated so that prices actually reflect the costs (including the damage to the environment).

      In a world where some inequality is always inevitable

      It is not inevitable. We choose to have inequality because we've believed (erroneously) that it was good. Now that we're learning more we should be making society more equitable. Especially now that we're learning just how bad competition is for society.

      The problem is not growth but rather the quality of this growth.

      No, the problem is growth. Getting bigger.

      For most of human history the two metaphorical birds 'more and better' sat right next to each other

      They didn't really even if that's what we thought was true. Nothings changed except that we're starting to realise that more is not better.

      Yet as I've said elsewhere, bringing 10b humans into the modern world demands a massive increase in human energy and resource use. We cannot do this with the systems we currently have, therefore we must rapidly improve these economic systems.

      And what if we actually can't, that it actually physically impossible to do so?

      Because that's what it actually looks like.

  4. Dennis Frank 4

    Lucie Greenwood is a climate and sustainability advisor for New Zealand businesses, as well as researcher of positive systems change in our economic and financial systems. https://www.newsroom.co.nz/2020/05/28/1204683/designs-for-a-sane-economy-after-covid-19

    A cultural shift to ‘enoughness’ and non-consumptive means of happiness could be the way forward after Covid-19, argues Lucie Greenwood.

    For those concerned that a ‘business as usual’ economy is fast steering us towards climate and ecological collapse, while simultaneously failing to serve human wellbeing, the pandemic is seen as a circuit-breaker affording a rare opportunity for intentional redesign.

    Aotearoa’s Virtual Town Hall conversations have already hinted at the possibility of adopting Kate Raworth’s ‘doughnut model’ (following in Amsterdam’s footsteps) to guide transition towards an economy that meets core human needs while respecting planetary boundaries.

    These are two excellent first principles for designing a sane economic system. A third, called for by Rachel Taulelei, is to ground economies in place, to reflect local ecologies, cultures and aspirations.

    To turn these three principles into more than talk, we urgently need to weave them into a clear vision for an alternative economy for Aotearoa New Zealand.

    Even renewables won't be able to save us in time, which is why the IPPC’s only scenario that gives us a possibility of preventing catastrophic levels of warming (and doesn’t rely on questionable negative emissions technologies) is one of de-growth.

    The pandemic-induced recession has given us a sharp jolt of de-growth and I heard on the news that return to normal is projected as taking three years. I hope that's wrong. Survival depends on not returning to normal!

    Drug-addicted morons of the left & right will attempt to seduce the public into faith in suit-wearers again, assuming that the thick & the simple-minded still have sufficient numbers to control the game of democracy. Suckers abound, but reality may defeat them this time. Three years of cold-turkey could terminate the addiction.

    • Robert Guyton 4.1

      Trouble is, those happy with enough can't cope with the pathological few who want as much as they can get, therefore, inequality is created, resentment follows and the race to the bottom ensues. All good ideas have to have a anti-pathology clause built in, otherwise, rinse and repeat. Pathological behaviour in human consciousness is like blackholes in space; they are there and unless they are recognised, mapped and avoided, lives are lost!

      • Dennis Frank 4.1.1

        Yes, I agree that the greed-driven portion of humanity make the economy unsustainable, so the system must be redesigned to eliminate their (apparent) control. That's why I advocated a sustainable solution to the Greens in 2015: use consensus to identify the ratio of income inequality that drew most public support, then legislate it into effect.

        When I ran it by readers here a couple of years later no design flaw was identified via feedback. I was not surprised that Metiria Turei (to whom I sent the historical documentation along with the rationale) didn't choose to support the solution. Leftist politicians usually prefer the gravy train to solving endemic social problems.

        • Drowsy M. Kram 4.1.1.1

          "I was not surprised that Metiria Turei (to whom I sent the historical documentation along with the rationale) didn't choose to support the solution. Leftist politicians usually prefer the gravy train to solving endemic social problems."

          Dennis, that reads as if you believe Turei the politician preferred the gravy train to solving endemic social problems. Would that view place you in the ‘Collins camp‘?

          Judith Collins, hammered in the final nail, calling Turei a "sanctimonious hypocrite" in an "ugly" jacket.”
          https://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/metiria-opens-castle-doors

          • Dennis Frank 4.1.1.1.1

            Doing a binary on me?? Sheesh, teaching old dogs new tricks sure is hard! Waste of time? Not if you subscribe to the effect of the drip on stone theory of progress.

            Being agnostic, I tend to leave sanctimony to true believers. The gospel according to google tells us St Jude is "the patron saint of desperate cases and lost causes." Nat thinking must be due to the resonance induced by the archetype.

            As for leftist hypocrisy, I'd rather let their behaviour speak for themselves. It is so eloquent on that basis…

            • Drowsy M. Kram 4.1.1.1.1.1

              Apologies Dennis, happy to defer to you re insights on what motivates Green party politicians, but do you truly believe Turei preferred the gravy train to solving endemic social problems, or am I misunderstanding your words?

              "I was not surprised that Metiria Turei (to whom I sent the historical documentation along with the rationale) didn't choose to support the solution. Leftist politicians usually prefer the gravy train to solving endemic social problems."

              • weka

                Turei was one of the least gravy train MPs in parliament. Dennis has history with the GP, imo it sometimes influences his view of the Greens.

                • Drowsy M. Kram

                  Thanks Weka; so maybe the ‘old dog‘ really does believe what he wrote.

                  • Dennis Frank

                    The logic that applies is analogy: if it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, chances are it is a duck.

                    I was merely drawing the inference. Her behaviour is consistent with that of her herd. It's how herding works. It conforms. I'm nonconformist – so your assumption about my belief is invalid.

                    Folks with a portfolio of belief systems tend to not be true believers. The culture of postmodernism multiplied them considerably. It's not as if I'm some kind of anomaly any more…

                    • weka

                      her herd aren't gravy train types, so your position still doesn't make sense.

                    • Drowsy M. Kram

                      Ah, so you identify with the nonconformist herd – too brave for me.

                      Regarding your belief about my assumption (?), "if it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, chances are it is a duck."

                      Nevertheless, thanks for attempting to answer my question; answers can be more difficult to ellicit from the mercurially inclined – especially slippery pollies and their ilk.

                    • arkie

                      Her behaviour is consistent with that of her herd. It’s how herding works.

                      The Greens MP tithe their parliamentary salaries to the party:

                      Tithing has been a feature of the Green Party since we first had MPs in 1999. All candidates commit to paying the standard 10 per cent tithe if they become MPs as part of their candidate agreement with the party.

                      Once they become an MP it is part of the Party Caucus agreement. At the 2019 AGM there was decision that the tithing arrangement should recognise the increased salary of ministers if we did have ministers after the 2020 election.

                      https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12346294

                      Not sure this is consistent with your characterisation of Ms Turei.

                      As for:

                      I’m nonconformist…

                      … It’s not as if I’m some kind of anomaly any more…

                      I believe the correct term is Edgelord.

                    • Drowsy M. Kram

                      Thanks arkie for introducing the term 'Edgelord' @3:58 pm – new to me and more accurate than 'shock jock' which I was tempted to use.

            • Tiger Mountain 4.1.1.1.1.2

              Agnostic?-more right opportunist…

              • Dennis Frank

                Keep guessing. The Opportunists haven't even got close to being nonconformist enough for me. Have you seen them repudiating neoliberalism yet? Thought not. As clueless as Labour… 🙄

  5. Maurice 5

    If one is good

    Then two must be twice as good

    … and too many

    Are just enough!

    The greedy will always take from those who believe they can make do with less.

    Others making do with less simply encourages the greedy

    … such is the Human condition which is based upon raw survival instinct and as such almost impossible to change without massive external FORCE

    The questions then simply become:

    1) How much FORCE are we capable of applying

    2) How much FORCE are we prepared to apply

    3) How much FORCE will those who push back be able and willing to apply?

    The sheer brutality of those who oppose is one of the fundamental governing factors we would do well to both know and understand.

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    Upholding The Status-Quo: The Left’s election defeat is not the work of the Atlas Network. It is not even the work of David Seymour and Act. It is the work of ordinary citizens who liked the Right’s stories better than they liked the Left’s. If the Right’s stories were made ...
    5 days ago
  • BARRIE SAUNDERS: Treaty Principles – all rather problematic
    Barrie Saunders writes – When ACT’s leader said they wanted legislation to state what the Treaty principles mean, my first thought was this will be controversial and divisive.  Clearly it is. The first reference to the principles of the Treaty were contained in the 1975 Act establishing the Treaty of ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    5 days ago
  • Luxon Rejects The “Rejection Election” At His Peril.
    Fitting Right In: National retailed a reactionary manifesto of right-wing, racially-charged policies to the electorate throughout 2023. No talk back then of ignoring the overwhelming political preferences of the voting public and making a strong stand on principle. If Luxon’s pollsters and focus-groups were telling him that the public was ...
    5 days ago
  • Valentine’s Day went unnoticed on the Beehive website – but it is not “baa, humbug” to celeb...
    Buzz from the Beehive None of our ministers – a quick check with the Beehive website suggests – found cause to mention, let along celebrate, Valentine’s Day. But two ministers – Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Rural Communities Minister Mark Patterson – ensured that National Lamb Day did not pass ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    5 days ago
  • Are You A Leftist?
    Nothing To Lose But Our Chains: The emancipatory movement which the Left, understood correctly, has always been, cannot accommodate those who are only able to celebrate one group’s freedom by taking it from another. The expectation, always, among leftists, is that liberty enlarges us. That striking-off a person’s shackles not ...
    5 days ago
  • An unlawful directive
    An interesting question in the Parliamentary written questions feed today, from Jan Tinetti to the Minister of Education: Has she or her Office directed the Ministry of Education to not release Official Information Act material prior to the full twenty working days, if so, why? Given that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • I’ve been doing this all wrong
    Here are six words that are not easy to say but god it can feel good when you finally say them:I’ve been doing this all wrongFive years ago today I said to myself:What if I'm doing this all wrong?Five years ago today I said to Karren: I think I’m going to ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    5 days ago
  • New study suggests the Atlantic overturning circulation AMOC “is on tipping course”
    This is a re-post from RealClimate by Stefan Rahmstorf A new paper was published in Science Advances today. Its title says what it is about: “Physics-based early warning signal shows that AMOC is on tipping course.” The study follows one by Danish colleagues which made headlines last July, likewise looking for early warning signals ...
    5 days ago
  • Valentines from ACT.
    Some of us make a big deal out of Valentine’s Day. We’ll buy the flowers, eye watering though the price spike might be. Say the things we should be saying anyway, although diminished by being scheduled for delivery. Some of us will even write long free-form newsletters with declarations of ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • Tax cuts paid for by 13k more kids in poverty
    MSD advised the government that the indexation change it passed under urgency last night is likely to put around 7,000 extra children (and potentially up to 13,000) into poverty. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The Government has reverted indexation for main beneficiaries to price inflation from wage inflation under ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Fuel Tax Fight and Rail Fail update
    The two stories we covered at the start of the week continue to be in the headlines so it’s worth looking at the latest for each of them. Regional Fuel Tax Mayor Wayne Brown promised some ‘argy-bargy’ over the government’s decision to cancel the Regional Fuel Tax and he’s ...
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: Arsonists
    Today, a major fire broke out on the Port Hills in Ōtutahi. Like its 2017 predecessors, it is almost certainly exacerbated by climate change. And it is still burning. The present government did not start the fire. But they piled the tinder high last time they were in power, gutting ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • I don’t know!
    http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/73411 7 examples And who actually makes the decisions? Vladimir Putin: I don’t know. America is a complex country, conservative on the one hand, rapidly changing on the other. It’s not easy for us to sort it all out.   Tucker Carlson: Do you think Zelensky has the freedom to negotiate the settlement to this conflict? Vladimir Putin: I don’t know the details, of course it’s difficult for me to judge, but ...
    6 days ago
  • Fresh thinkers
    Fresh thinking will always give you hope.It might be the kind that makes you smite your brow, exclaiming: Why didn't we think of that! It's obvious!It might be the kind that makes you go: Dude you’re a genius.Sometimes it will simply be Wayne Brown handing Simeon Brown his weasel ass ...
    More than a fieldingBy David Slack
    6 days ago
  • It is not about age, it is about team.
    Much attention has been directed at Joe Biden’s mental lapses and physical frailty. Less attention has been spent on Donald Trump’s cognitive difficulties and physical limitations, with most focus being devoted to his insults and exaggerated claims (as if they … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    6 days ago
  • ROBERT MacCULLOCH: Fletcher Building – it is time to break up NZ’s most useless company.
    Robert MacCulloch writes –  Gosh, the CEO of Fletcher Building, Ross Taylor, says today’s announcement of a half-year loss of $120 million for the company is “disappointing” and was “heavily impacted” by the Convention Centre losses. He must be crying all the way to the bank (to quote Las ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    6 days ago
  • Mortgage rates seen high for even longer
    Government and borrower hopes for early mortgage cost relief look likely to be thwarted. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: Stronger-than-expected US inflation data out overnight is expected to delay the first US Federal Reserve rate cut into the second half of 2024, which in turn would hold mortgage rates ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Member’s Day
    Today is a Member's Day, the first of the new Parliament. And to start the Parliament off, there's a bunch of first readings. A bunch of other bills have been postponed, so first up is Duncan Webb's District Court (Protecting Judgment Debtors on Main Benefit) Amendment Bill, followed by Katie ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Three Waters go down the legislative gurgler – but what should we make of Local Water Done Well?
    Buzz from the Beehive Local Government Minister Simeon Brown – it seems fair to suppose – was flushed with success after the repeal of Labour’s divisive and unpopular Three Waters legislation. As he explained, repealing this legislation is a necessary first step in implementing his government’s Local Water Done Well ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    6 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on five of Luxon’s Gaza absurdities
    Earlier this week, PM Christopher Luxon met with 48 public service CEOs to make sure they were on board with his plans to cut spending on public services so that National can proceed to give the revenue away to those New Zealanders least in need. This wasn’t the only absurdity ...
    6 days ago
  • Love and the Fairer Sex.
    This morning I woke early with many thoughts in my head of things said, events of the week, things that matter. I’m afraid none of them involved Seymour, Willis, or Luxon so if you’re looking for something political maybe take the day off and come back tomorrow. You won’t find ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    7 days ago
  • He stood up to Muldoon and Lange and the Fji army
    Gerald Hensley, who died aged 88 on Saturday, was the key official who presided over the tumultuous events that followed the election of the Lange Labour Government in 1984. He was also instrumental in helping a key Fijian official escape the country during one of the 1987 coups. A diplomat ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    7 days ago
  • At a glance – Has Arctic sea ice returned to normal?
    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 ...
    7 days ago
  • Halo dunia!
    Selamt datang di WordPress. Ini adalah pos pertama Anda. Sunting atau hapus, kemudian mulai menulis! ...
    1 week ago
  • The PM wants a turnaround
    As a treat today I have lined up a favourite in the music slot. I love Turnaround, I cannot hear it too often, and I feel in need of a treat when I make myself listen to the Prime Minister the way I did this morning.He too, has favourites that ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • The PM wants a turnaround
    As a treat today I have lined up a favourite in the music slot. I love Turnaround, I cannot hear it too often, and I feel in need of a treat when I make myself listen to the Prime Minister the way I did this morning.He too, has favourites that ...
    More than a fieldingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • ELE LUDEMANN: Trusting locals
    Ele Ludemann writes- A government-knows-best and predilection for central control was another unfortunate feature of the 2017-2023 Labour governments. One of the worst polices as a result of that was what started as Three Waters and became several more. The National-led government is much more trusting of locals ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    1 week ago
  • Legislation to flush away Three Waters has become a certainty – but we must wait for details on th...
    Buzz from the Beehive A  three-day information drought was broken, just after Point of Order published yesterday’s Buzz from the Beehive, and two significant ministerial announcements were made. First, the Budget will be delivered on 30 May, telling us which genuine savings have been made by eliminating waste and which ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    1 week ago
  • Rise of the Lobbyists.
    An unpopular opinion, I love Auckland.Not so much the transport or the house prices - those are pretty dire. But there’s a lot to like. We’ve a vibrant, multicultural city in a beautiful location with, mostly, friendly locals. From the native bush of the Waitakeres to the Gulf islands, it’s ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • The holes in National’s water reform pipes
    Young renters just have to watch on as pipes keep failing and the Government and councils point fingers at each other, because all the incentives are for ratepayers to block rates increases, water meters, water charges and the creation of new entities. File Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: The National-ACT-NZ First coalition ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • After years of stability, Antarctica is losing ice
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by SueEllen Campbell Until recently, Antarctica’s ice has seemed surprisingly stable. In contrast to the far north, the southern continent’s massive ice sheets, glaciers, ice shelves (ice that floats on the ocean), and seasonal ice appeared to be reliably frozen: Enough snow fell ...
    1 week ago
  • Auckland’s Persistent Rail Issues
    Over the last few weeks in our weekly roundup we’ve commented on the frequent delays and cancellations that have occurred on the rail network this year since the rail network went back into full operation on the 22-Jan – with Kiwirail proclaiming they had ‘successfully delivered summer holiday infrastructure upgrades ...
    1 week ago

  • Greater support for social workers
    The Coalition Government is enhancing the professionalism of the social work sector and supporting the vulnerable people who rely on them, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says.  The Social Workers Registration Legislation Amendment Bill passed its third reading in Parliament today. It amends the Social Workers Registration Legislation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • Government delivers greater freedom and choice for sick New Zealanders
    The coalition government is delivering on its commitment to making principled decisions by getting rid of red tape that doesn’t make sense and allowing sick New Zealanders greater freedom and choice to purchase effective cold and flu medicines. A bill amending the Misuse of Drugs Act 1975 is being introduced, and changes to the Medicines ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    9 hours ago
  • Government begins reset of welfare system
    The Coalition Government is taking early action to curb the surge in welfare dependency that occurred under the previous government by setting out its expectations around employment and the use of benefit sanctions, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says. In 2017, 60,588 sanctions were applied to beneficiaries who ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • State of the Nation
    Ka nui te mihi kia koutou. Kia ora, good morning, talofa, malo e lelei, bula vinaka, da jia hao, namaste, sat sri akal, assalamu alaikum. Thank you for coming to my first State of the Nation as Prime Minister. Thank you for coming to a speech where I don’t just ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • West Coast tourism attractions officially open
    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones will attend the official opening of two highly anticipated tourism projects on the West Coast today – Pike29 Memorial Track, dedicated to the memory of the Pike River miners, and Pounamu Pathway. “The Pike29 Memorial Track is a way to remember and honour the men ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Independent ferry service advisory group in place
    Appointments to the Ministerial Advisory Group tasked with providing independent advice and assurance on the future of KiwiRail’s inter-island ferry service have been made, State Owned Enterprises Minister Paul Goldsmith says. “It’s important for New Zealand that KiwiRail is focused on ensuring safe, resilient, and reliable ferry services over the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Joint statement from the Prime Ministers of Australia, Canada, and New Zealand
    The Prime Ministers of Australia, Canada and New Zealand today issued the following statement on reports of Israel’s planned military operation in Rafah. We are gravely concerned by indications that Israel is planning a ground offensive into Rafah.   A military operation into Rafah would be catastrophic. About 1.5 million Palestinians ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Govt will deliver on expanded breast screening
    The coalition Government has made the first steps in delivering on its promise to  extend free breast screening to women aged 70-74, Health Minister Shane Reti says. “As part of the 100 day plan, the Government has now met with officials and discussed what is needed in order for the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government announces woolshed roadshows in support of sheep farmers
    The Government celebrates National Lamb Day (15 February 24) and congratulates sheep farmers on the high-quality products they continue to produce. Agriculture Minister McClay hosted bipartisan celebrations of National Lamb Day with industry representatives at Parliament this week to mark the anniversary of the first frozen lamb exports that left ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Speech: Address to the NZ Economics Forum
    It’s great to be back at the New Zealand Economics Forum. I would like to acknowledge everyone here today for your expertise and contribution, especially the Pro Vice-Chancellor, Head of the Waikato Management School, economists, students and experts alike. A year has passed since I was last before you, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government tackling high construction costs
    The Government is focused on reducing sky-high construction costs to make it more affordable to build a home, Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk says.  Stats NZ data shows the cost of building a house has increased by 41 per cent since 2019, making housing even more unaffordable for Kiwi ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Labour’s Three Waters legislation repealed
    The Coalition Government’s legislative plan to address longstanding issues with local water infrastructure and service delivery took an important step today, with the repeal of Labour’s divisive and unpopular Three Waters legislation, Local Government Minister Simeon Brown says. “Repealing this legislation is a necessary first step in implementing our Local ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Cost of living support for beneficiary households
    The Coalition Government is delivering on its commitment to ease the cost-of-living by increasing main benefit rates in line with inflation and ensuring the Minimum Family Tax Credit threshold remains aligned with this change, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says. The Social Security (Benefits Adjustment) and Income Tax ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government announces agriculture delegations to better support Primary sector
    The coalition Government has announced ministerial delegations to support key areas across the Primary sector to deliver for New Zealand’s food and fibre sector, Agriculture Minister Todd McClay announced today. “I will be supported in my roles as Minister of Agriculture, Trade, Forestry and Hunting and Fishing, by three Associate ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Waikato MoU reinforces Govt’s commitment to increase NZ doctors
    The Government has taken an important step forward in addressing a critical shortage of New Zealand-trained doctors, with today’s signing of a Memorandum of Understanding for a third medical school, Minister of Health Dr Shane Reti has announced.  “Today’s signing by the Ministry of Health and the University of Waikato ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Speech – Lunar New Year 2024
    Annyeonghaseyo, greetings and welcome all. It is my pleasure as the Minister for Ethnic Communities to welcome you to the first Lunar New Year Event in Parliament. Thank you to our emcees for greeting us in the different languages that represent the many cultures that celebrate the Lunar New Year. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • More funding to Hawke’s Bay and Tairāwhiti
    Urgent work to clean-up cyclone-affected regions will continue, thanks to a $63 million boost from the Government for sediment and debris removal in Hawke’s Bay and Tairāwhiti.                                                                                                   The funding will help local councils continue urgent work removing and disposing of sediment and debris left from Cyclone Gabrielle.   “This additional ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Budget will be delivered on 30 May
    Plans to deliver tax relief to hard-working New Zealanders, rebuild business confidence and restore the Crown’s finances to order will be unveiled on 30 May, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says. The plans will be announced in the Budget which is currently being developed by Ministers.  “The last government’s mismanagement of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government advances Local Water Done Well
    The Coalition Government is continuing work to restore council ownership and control of water assets by repealing Three Waters and appointing a Technical Advisory Group to provide expert advice on the implementation of Local Water Done Well, Local Government Minister Simeon Brown says. “The Government will pass a bill to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New diplomatic appointments
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has today announced five new diplomatic appointments.  "Strong and effective diplomacy to protect and advance our interests in the world is needed now more than ever," Mr Peters says.  “We are delighted to appoint senior diplomats from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade to these ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Speech to the Committee for Auckland
    It is great to be here today at this event as Minister for Auckland and Minister ofTransport. Let me start by acknowledging each one of you and thanking the Committee forAuckland for hosting this event and inviting me to speak here today. The Committee for Auckland has been a symbol ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Getting Transport Back on Track in Auckland
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has today confirmed his high-level transport priorities for Auckland, in the lead up to releasing the draft Government Policy Statement on Land Transport. “Our economic growth and productivity are underpinned by a transport network that enables people and freight to move around safely and efficiently. At ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government to axe Auckland Regional Fuel Tax
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has confirmed that the Auckland Regional Fuel Tax will end on 30 June 2024. “Today, I can confirm that the Government has agreed to remove the Auckland Regional Fuel Tax in line with our coalition commitments, and legislation will be introduced to parliament to repeal the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister Calls for Work to Tackle Kina Barrens
    Changes to fishing rules and a significant science programme are being undertaken to address kina barrens, says Minister for Oceans and Fisheries Shane Jones. “There has been tremendous interest from iwi, communities and recreational fishers who had raised concerns about such kina infestations being a major threat to Northland’s marine ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government law and order crackdown begins
    The coalition Government is making good on its promise to restore law and order by removing government funding for Section 27 reports and abolishing the previous Labour Government’s prison reduction target, Justice Minister Paul Goldsmith and Corrections Minister Mark Mitchell say.  “In recent years, the development of Section 27 reports ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Greater focus on getting people into work
    The coalition government will refocus employment efforts and the welfare system so that supporting people who can work into jobs is the number one priority, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says. “Of concern in the labour market statistics released by Stats NZ today was the number of youth not ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • One year on, NZ appeals for release of Phillip Mehrtens
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has appealed to those holding New Zealand pilot Phillip Mehrtens in remote Papua, Indonesia, to release him immediately.  Phillip Mehrtens was taken hostage a year ago on 7 February in Paro, Papua, while providing vital air links and supplies to remote communities. “We strongly urge those holding ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Ministers reaffirm Pacific connections this week
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters and Health Minister and Minister for Pacific Peoples Dr Shane Reti are reaffirming the importance of New Zealand’s connections to the Pacific by visiting Tonga, Cook Islands and Samoa this week.  “New Zealand enjoys strong and long-standing relationships with our Pacific partners - especially in Polynesia, where we ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Rt Hon Christopher Luxon – Waitangi speech
    E ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā iwi, rau rangatira ma. Tēnā koutou katoa. He tino mihi ki te mana whenua o tēnei rohe.  Mihi mai, mihi mai, mihi mai. Te whare e tū nei, tēnā koe.                               He-wāhi whakahirahira tēnei mō Aotearoa. Ka huri nga whakaaro, ki nga mate. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government awards primary sector scholarships to students
    Six university students studying agriculture and science have been awarded scholarships as part of the coalition Government’s efforts to boost on-the-ground support for farmers and growers. “The coalition Government is committed to improving support and operating conditions for farmers and growers,” Agriculture Minister Todd McClay says. “We’re backing a range ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • High Court Judge appointed
    Attorney-General Judith Collins today announced the appointment of Wellington Barrister Jason Scott McHerron as a High Court Judge. Justice McHerron graduated from the University of Otago with a BA in English literature in 1994 and an LLB in 1996. From 1996 to 1999 he worked as a solicitor in the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • New Zealand provides further humanitarian support to Gaza and the West Bank
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced that New Zealand is providing a further $5 million to respond to the extreme humanitarian need in Gaza and the West Bank.  “The impact of the Israel-Hamas conflict on civilians is absolutely appalling,” Mr Peters says.  “That is why New Zealand has contributed $15 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Government consults on expanding COVID-19 Inquiry terms of reference
    The Government is delivering on its commitment to enable public input into expanding the scope of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into COVID-19 Lessons, says Internal Affairs Minister Brooke van Velden. “As committed to in both the ACT-National and NZ First-National coalition agreements, the public will be given the opportunity ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Tai Tokerau Water Boost
    A further $5 million loan has been advanced to the Tai Tokerau Water Trust for Te Waihekeora Reservoir, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones says.  “Water is a precious resource, Kānoa – Regional Development and Investment Unit at the Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment have done amazing work in the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Fast track consenting in the fast lane
    The Government is progressing changes to resource management laws as part of its 100 Day Action Plan, with the first steps taken to establish a new fast-track consenting one-stop shop regime. “This new regime, which forms part of National’s coalition agreement with New Zealand First, will improve the speed and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • JOINT STATEMENT ON AUSTRALIA-NEW ZEALAND MINISTERIAL CONSULTATIONS (ANZMIN) 2024
    Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence the Hon Richard Marles MP and Minister for Foreign Affairs Senator the Hon Penny Wong hosted New Zealand Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Rt Hon Winston Peters MP and Minister of Defence Hon Judith Collins KC MP on 1 February ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Minimum wage set for cautious increase
    The adult minimum wage rate will increase by 2 per cent to $23.15 an hour from 1 April 2024, Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Brooke van Velden announced today. “This Government is committed to striking the right balance between protecting the incomes of our lowest paid workers and maintaining labour ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Increased security improves ED safety over summer
    Increasing the number of security staff in emergency departments (EDs) over the busy Christmas and New Year period improved the safety of both staff and patients, Health Minister Dr Shane Reti says. 200 additional security staff (93 FTEs) were provided to 32 EDs in response to concerns raised by ED ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Step Closer for European Union Free Trade Agreement
    New Zealand has moved closer to ratifying the New Zealand – European Union Free Trade Agreement (FTA), with the First Reading of legislation to bring the Agreement into force being held in Parliament today.   “Almost a decade after preparatory talks first began on an FTA with the European Union, I’m pleased to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago

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