Conscience and alcodollars

Written By: - Date published: 8:02 am, April 28th, 2010 - 37 comments
Categories: capitalism - Tags: , ,

Looks like the government is rapidly backing away from recommendations to crack down on alcohol despite it causing more social costs than any other drug.

Personally I take a liberal view on drugs of all kinds including alcohol (especially single malts) but I suspect that the Nats back down has a lot more to do with not getting off-side with one of New Zealand’s most powerful industries than any libertarian argument.

Meanwhile it looks like their plan to make pseudoephedrine prescription only as part of their “war on p” may breach the bill of rights as it breaches people’s right to be presumed not guilty.

And across the country the police have busted dozens of people on a variety of charges related to pot.

So the question is, is a drug only a moral issue for the Nats when it doesn’t make one of their rich mates richer than the Queen?

But then again what would you expect from a government that appointed a booze marketeer to run our largest city?

37 comments on “Conscience and alcodollars ”

  1. D14 1

    Cover the cost of treatment of alcohol associated injury in the A&E by charging the alcohol industry the cost of treatment.

  2. vto 2

    Fiddling with the rules will make zip difference. Raising the age to 20 – ha ha ha ha. It’s the older folks with the problem at least as much, if not more, actually.

    Put a maximum age on alcohol – that would make a greater difference to alcohol harm. Let’s see – no alcohol over the age of 40.

    Now that would make a difference.

  3. tc 3

    To paraphrase a recent UK drug expert out here…..govt’s continue to ignore the evidence and ban/rank based on political reasons not medical/social/cost benefit factors.

    He lost his gov’t job for stating the fact the taking ‘E’ is safer then riding a horse yet alcohol is by a few country miles the most costly drug in our society….followed by tobacco and made the point that it needs targetting above all other drugs in society.

    This is where it gets political as the booze lobby is powerful, and only gives a shit about it’s bottom line to shareholders not society.

  4. Joshua 4

    Instead of putting up the tax on alcohol, why don’t we put up the tax on alcohol companies – say 50% on all profit – and funnel that money towards social programmes aimed at overcoming addiction. People should not be able to profit off the harm they cause to others.

    • Matt 4.1

      It would be good, but it wouldn’t effect consumption – a 10% rise in price would lead to at least a 10% reduction in consumption and a similar reduction in overall harm.

    • Jum 4.2

      Yay. Run for office Joshua. Your first policy just made the NAct government redundant, forever.

  5. marco 5

    Totally agree with you on this. I like a drink, like most people, but if I go over the top and end up in A and E then I should pay for it in some way. It seems increasing the tax or making the alcohol companies pay for the social cost of alcohol is the easiest way of doing this. This could also be adjusted each year so if the social cost goes down then so does the cost of alcohol.

    • Lanthanide 5.1

      If the social cost going down eventuates in the price of alochol going down, you’ll just have a rubberband effect where the social cost goes up again.

      • Marco 5.1.1

        Possibly, however it could also signal a change of attitude towards alcohol. That is in effect what is needed in NZ.

        • Matt 5.1.1.1

          When prices go down consumption goes up. Its not an attitude change that is needed, it is a change in the way we make alcohol available for sale that is needed.

  6. Olwyn 6

    The alcohol question always revolves around a regulate or not-regulate dichotomy, without questioning why we have a binge drinking culture in the first place. Even the “it’s not the drinking, it’s how we’re drinking” ads take the form of a stern telling off, while most of the beer ads actually advocate binge drinking. People in other countries can drink slowly all evening and have a good time simultaneously, why not us? Perhaps it is a perversion of our practical attitude – why waste time eating and dancing and socialising when you can cut to the chase and knock back several beers in quick succession?

    • Bill 6.1

      My, my. You trying to cut to the heart of the matter there Olwyn?

      Don’t know that that’s allowed, is it?

      Anyhow, here’s a wee pause for thought that may or may not be complete b/s.

      But when I look at the drunken desperation exhibited by younger people on a Fri/Sat night, I’m pretty sure that it is on a whole other level to the out of it mess I used to aim to attain at that age. There’s a desperation and a ragged edge that I’m sure was absent in previous decades…but maybe I was just too out of it to notice at the time?

      Moving on. When did teenagers ever eat and dance and sensibly incorporate drinking into their socialising? The eating has always come at the end of the night as the ultimate or penultimate act depending on the urge to up-chuck…oh, and a few other factors.

      Remember when you were 15? There was absolutely nothing to do and so you’d just ‘hang around’? Then the step from ‘nothing to do’ with no money to ‘nothing to do’ with money comes along. And businesses step on up and look to part you from your cash. And they and we know that taking drugs when there is nothing to do is much, much better than not taking drugs when there is nothing to do. And alcohol enjoys a moral monopoly.

      Will this change? No. Because we are to be consumers. And if we were engaged in non-market activities, something that expanded our understanding of what it is to be alive, then we might slip away from the marketeers grasp. And we might not experience the listless boredom of a 15 year old hanging around the actual or virtual street corner anxious to be beguiled by the only obvious promised pathway to excitement and maturity and purpose…getting out of it.

      Wouldn’t it be nice if education and society were something broader than preparing for the job market and a life of dedication to ‘paying your way’?

    • Jum 6.2

      Absolutely. Overseas countries are so much more civilised about their drinking. If they could just get over their going to war at the drop of a Bush order, they’d be perfect. It appears that we back off war but our warlike nature comes out in our drinking habits. Some might say we have not evolved enough. I might say a curfew on all those who might harm those more vulnerable and the problem would be solved.

      captcha stone(d)

  7. bearhunternz 7

    It’s always the “booze barons” at fault isn’t it? They hold people down and force them to drink their product. I’m completely in agreement with the idea of charging people at A&E if their drinking caused their injury. I’m also for drunks paying to be detoxed by police and a law change obliging judges to impose tougher penalties on offenders who were under the influence of alcohol when the offending happened. The sooner people get the message that it isn’t okay to get pissed and damage people or property, the sooner we can get to a better drinking culture.

    As for taxing the producers, I’m not sure that’s sensible. If you do that, you can kiss goodbye to a couple of hundred wineries currently operating on the margins of survival. And even the major “alcopop” producer reported a $44 million loss last year, so it can’t be selling THAT many of them…

    • Joe Bloggs 7.1

      Agree 100% bear – Blaming the so-called “booze barons” for the reluctance of youth to drink responsibly is just mischaracterisation.

      Ironic to see such spin from the UMR-meisters when Labour had the whole of the last decade to address the social ills arising from drinking, but did sweet f.a.

      And the reference to Doug McKay is similarly trite – expect to variously see him described by the radical left as a whaler, a battery chicken potentate, a biscuit tycoon, and a mercenary magnate of casual therapeutics over the coming years – ‘cos he’s also worked in seafood poultry, biscuits and casual therapeutics as well.

    • Jum 7.2

      If these alcohol pushers are willing to spend billions on PR (look at Key) to achieve their sales then they must know their manipulations of people are paying off with liquor sales, beauty product sales, car sales, slimy Key politician PR spin. Don’t insult my intelligence by trying to convince me that these PR people aren’t influencing people’s habits. Galbraith recognised that people pre-19thC did not need admen. We don’t need them now. It interests me that the right love admen but continue to preach individualism. They know about brainwashing, which makes them cynical liars in the extreme.

  8. walter 8

    Drinking isn’t a problem, intoxication is, so why not:
    – Enforce the law that says bars aren’t allowed to serve intoxicated people.
    – Enforce the law that says you can’t be drunk in a public place.

    By the way, did you see the hospitality lobby wanker on tv last night saying ‘the problem is people drinking at home, then coming to the bars’ The audacity of the man! The only problem with people drinking at home is that his lobby isn’t making any money off them.

    • Lanthanide 8.1

      The police already spend huge resources patrolling the streets on weekend nights as it is.

      • freedom 8.1.1

        ‘The police already spend huge resources patrolling the streets on weekend nights as it is”

        They are consuming these resources because of violence and property crimes, committed by people affected by excesses of alcohol who are often struggling with stresses of economic uncertainty and more often they are just frustrated by being little more than cogs in a broken machine, lashing out for some sensation of affecting the world around them.

        bring in as many law changes as you want, the problems will not just go away. The costs will warp and shift, the people will still be left angry, forgotten and brutally aware that something is definitely wrong in our world and it has very little to do with walking into a bar after 2am

  9. freedom 9

    It is the uneducated hypocrisy of the ‘ alcohol is ok but marijuana is evil ‘ argument that irks me.

    Marijuana is illegal because of Hemp.

    It is early in the 20th Century, Hemp reserach proves it will replace petrochemical products. This scares many large corporations which had just been given the same legal rights as a real person to lobby government. These newly annointed Media and Chemical Industries, had just invested in expensive and pollution-heavy paper processing and Synthetic Fabric plants. So these companies, such as those owned by Hearst Industries, the largest media company in the world at that time, decided to act!

    Hearst Industries created a campaign that within two years had sold the public on the Reefer Madness of Marijuana. The evil crazed dope smoker was born. All proof of which was quickly fabricated and reported in his newspapers. then blindly reported elsewhere (nothing’s changed there then)

    At this time it was ILLEGAL NOT TO GROW HEMP on US farms. Hemp was subsidised by the Government to support the textile industry. Ropes, sail canvas, fabric of all varieties and of course paper were all being derived solely from Hemp. New products were being developed at an amazing rate but the Chemical companies were pushing the development of all sorts of cool new Petrochemically derived products and wanted Hemp out of the way. It was far more profitable to process controlled oil reserves than work with free citizens who might want a share of the profits. ( see modern Dairy for a working exaple of how much profit farming can produce for individuals ) Not surprisingly the laws were changed and thousands of US farms became overnight bankrupts.

    The story goes on and gets worse but you know the end result. Hypocrisy strived ahead and the medically, financially and morally bankrupt lies of the modern world put Marijuana, the oldest known socially used and all natural drug, on a list at par with opiuim and other dangerously addictive narcotics. Which it is not.

    Alcohol is a far more dangerous drug no matter how you look at the argument. It is more addictive. It is more processed and contains numerous chemically dangerous additives for the human body. It contributes to violence and all manner of other social problems. I have known smokers and drinkers for many years. In my experience not one single smoker has ever committed violence unless there was alcohol or another narcotic consumed as well.

    As far as the organised crime problem of gangs and the underworld roving schoolyards with tinnies of destruction. The first step is to be honest and look at the facts, then lift your hysteria for a moment and address the actual motives. Fear, Ignorance and our old friend, Profit.

  10. Lanthanide 10

    There are 13 states in the US that allow hemp licenses, however none have issued the licenses due to federal law against hemp growing.

    All of this could quickly change as California is looking to legalise (not just de-criminalise) possession and sale of marijuana later this year.

    captcha: unacceptable

    • freedom 10.1

      the law changes for marijuana are logically driven from a medicine based argument and thankfully gaining some traction. Sadly they will have little to no affect on the required Re-Industrialisation of Hemp that this modern world so desperately needs to replace the reliance upon Petrochemicals

      • Lanthanide 10.1.1

        Except as you pointed out one of the foundation arguments for prohibitting hemp is because of the myth that it can be smoked like marijuana, which is an illegal drug that is bad for you. If marijuana is no longer considered an illegal drug that is bad for you, it knocks down one large impediment against growing hemp.

        • freedom 10.1.1.1

          agreed, but for the century of generationally ingrained dishonesty that has given the Industrial Military money-machine a petrochemical powerbase beyond the dreams of the emporers of Rome

          but i would love to be proven wrong and see the world awoken to the gargantuan profits that Hemp could provide

  11. todd 11

    Walter.
    By the way, did you see the hospitality lobby wanker on tv last night saying ‘the problem is people drinking at home, then coming to the bars’ The audacity of the man! The only problem with people drinking at home is that his lobby isn’t making any money off them.

    A few years back my son and friends always got hammered at home (enough so that they all chucked)then got in a taxi and hit town.As he was 20 years old apart from telling him he was doing himself real harm there was little I could do.Some times they were refused entry but often as not they got in to any bar they liked.If you listen to the young ones they will tell you they wont pay the club bar prices so they but cheap booze to get hammered then hit town.
    In a small bar i own i double prices after 11pm so most cant aford the prices and just go home.(mostly older over 30ts)

  12. wyndham 12

    For years the Nats hammered the then Labour government about “Nanny State”. Fervent Nats such as Hooten and Farrar used the term incessantly.
    So that now leaves the present government with no room to move, even on a matter such as alcohol abuse which requires some real decisions.

    They’d prefer to see our youth go to hell in the proverbial handcart rather than be accused of Nanny Stateism.

    Conscience ? What conscience ?

  13. “By the way, did you see the hospitality lobby wanker on tv last night saying ‘the problem is people drinking at home, then coming to the bars’ The audacity of the man! The only problem with people drinking at home is that his lobby isn’t making any money off them.”

    Walter, the problem is precisely that younger people are sitting in someone’s house getting mangled before heading to town. If they are obviously intoxicated, they will be refused entry to the pub. This is one reason why there are a lot of drunk youngsters roaming the streets late at night. Bars account for less than 30% of the booze consumed in NZ, yet the Law Commission’s report recommendations will impact almost entirely on bars. So bars will be hit in the pockets again, while off-licences and supermarkets will continue to prosper and younger drinkers will continue to get hopelessly pissed on cheap booze in uncontrolled environments. That’ll help reduce alcohol harm all right…

    • vto 13.1

      Better to have them in bars spending their $50 on 4 litres of beer…

      thank having them at home spending their $50 on 20 litres of beer…

      The logic of this report is all arse about, you’re right.

  14. Steve 14

    Interesting that they flat out reject an increase in alcohol tax, but are quite content to push through an increase in that on tobacco (totally agree with the latter and think the former is a better control than increasing the purchase age)

  15. Herodotus 15

    Why not just use the existing law. A shop gets caught out selling to minors, loss of licence + fine. Can you imagine cnr dairy or a large supermarket that has lost its ability to sell. No 3 strikes, just 1. The police dont give me 3 stikes on speeding then I get the penalty.
    Allow 18-19 year olds to buy alcohol in the bars/clubs etc (A controlled enviroment) just not the ability for takeaways or drinking in public. Like a L for driving this could be viewed in a similar light.

  16. Jenny 16

    A whole new demographic for Broad Brother to repress.

    Thousands of law abiding young people will be turned into criminals overnight.

    I would like to argue that raising the drinking age to 20 as well as being a stupid and punitive action is a right wing attack on civil freedoms.

    Sure I can accept that there is a New Zealand wide drinking problem and particularly a youth drinking problem, and that something needs to be done. But all studies show that the most effective way to lessen this harm is to make alcohol more expensive with targeted excise taxes. This has proven particularly true for young drinkers.
    In Australia, the problematic youth market for alcopops collapsed when targeted taxes were brought in following public concern at the distressing levels of youth drinking.

    Unfortunately I have not been able to find the link, but I once read in New Scientist, of a Swedish study on problem youth drinking, that showed that by putting the prices up, which as well as making alcohol harder for young people to purchase, created a teen culture of peer pressure where those few young people who were still tempted to spend their limited amount of money on alcohol, were discouraged by the disapproval of their peer group.

    The National Act government has ignored the strong recommendation of the Law Commission Report on the pressing need to raise the price of alcohol through excise taxes, and instead zeroed in on an authoritarian approach.

    Like any other Big Brother intrusive spearhead, for instance the 1930s prohibition, or the current illegality of marijuana, prohibition will not stop young adults drinking. (indeed it could make it more daring and therefore glamorous, it could also put them at the mercy of possibly unscrupulous older people who will be still able to buy cheap booze for them)

    This punitive approach will only lead to greater criminalisation of young people, with the possibility of details of many thousands of normally law abiding citizens entering the police data base and being held there for the rest of their lives.

    Our extreme right wing, war on terror nut job, of a Police Commissioner, Broad Brother, will just love this.

    After years of young people being accustomed to being allowed to drink, this latest law change is not only a godsend to those in prominent positions who have been lobbying hard for more authoritarian police powers but could also give licence to any bullies in the front line of the force.

    So to all you young people over the age of 18 even if you are teetotal, defend your friends and next year make your vote count and throw this instinctively repressive right wing administration out of office.

  17. SPC 17

    What’s required is a definition of public drunkenness – one by a set blood alcohol level.

    This allows the arrest and fining of those drunk in a public place. If the last licensed establishment to serve the person a drink was co-fined, this would ensure host responsibility (a block on drunks entering the premises and controls at the bar on who is being served).

    All that needs to be targeted is public drunkenness – as we have in the past those who drank and then drove.

    As for treatment of problem drinkers, this funding needs to increase – and so some increase in tax is required. As for alcopops – while the market has expanded/diversified, these have always existed if in a smaller range and larger bottles. It was always easy to home-mix them anyway.

    The problem with the report line is that it would encourage drinking cheaper product at home and (if the age was effectively enforced) have teens turning up at parties hosted by 18 and 19 year olds – it is the text message generation (it would have to increase the teen pregnancy rate).

  18. eye saw 18

    with regard to the new “rules” on purchasing items from the switched on/off gardener stores where if one purchases ,say a bag of fertiliser then one has to supply photo id ,full name, date of birth,address,phone number and time of last visit to toilet and did you clean your teeth and ask your mum,details so the police can come and take these details and then begin investigations on you.

    Now is this legal?
    What legislation is it under?
    I thought the police were there to enforce laws not invent new ones.
    This has implications of a police state.

  19. You make something illegal and it creates a black market. Simple as that.

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  • Phone calls at Kia Kaha primary
    It is quiet reading time in Room 13! It is so quiet you can hear the Tui outside. It is so quiet you can hear the Fulton Hogan crew.It is so quiet you can hear old Mr Grant and old Mr Bradbury standing by the roadworks and counting the conesand going on ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    4 days ago
  • A question of confidence is raised by the Minister of Police, but he had to be questioned by RNZ to ...
    It looks like the new ministerial press secretaries have quickly learned the art of camouflaging exactly what their ministers are saying – or, at least, of keeping the hard news  out of the headlines and/or the opening sentences of the statements they post on the home page of the governments ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    4 days ago
  • Xmas  good  cheer  for the dairy industry  as Fonterra lifts its forecast
    The big dairy co-op Fonterra  had  some Christmas  cheer to offer  its farmers this week, increasing its forecast farmgate milk price and earnings guidance for  the year after what it calls a strong start to the year. The forecast  midpoint for the 2023/24 season is up 25cs to $7.50 per ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    4 days ago
  • MICHAEL BASSETT: Modern Maori myths
    Michael Bassett writes – Many of the comments about the Coalition’s determination to wind back the dramatic Maorification of New Zealand of the last three years would have you believe the new government is engaged in a full-scale attack on Maori. In reality, all that is happening ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    4 days ago
  • Dreams of eternal sunshine at a spotless COP28
    Mary Robinson asked Al Jaber a series of very simple, direct and highly pertinent questions and he responded with a high-octane public meltdown. Photos: Getty Images / montage: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR The hygiene effects of direct sunshine are making some inroads, perhaps for the very first time, on the normalised ‘deficit ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • LINDSAY MITCHELL: Oh, the irony
    Lindsay Mitchell writes – Appointed by new Labour PM Jacinda Ardern in 2018, Cindy Kiro headed the Welfare Expert Advisory Group (WEAG) tasked with reviewing and recommending reforms to the welfare system. Kiro had been Children’s Commissioner during Helen Clark’s Labour government but returned to academia subsequently. ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    4 days ago
  • Transport Agencies don’t want Harbour Tunnels
    It seems even our transport agencies don’t want Labour’s harbour crossing plans. In August the previous government and Waka Kotahi announced their absurd preferred option the new harbour crossing that at the time was estimated to cost $35-45 billion. It included both road tunnels and a wiggly light rail tunnel ...
    4 days ago
  • Webworm Presents: Jurassic Park on 35mm
    Hi,Paying Webworm members such as yourself keep this thing running, so as 2023 draws to close, I wanted to do two things to say a giant, loud “THANKS”. Firstly — I’m giving away 10 Mister Organ blu-rays in New Zealand, and another 10 in America. More details down below.Secondly — ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    4 days ago
  • The Prime Minister's Dream.
    Yesterday saw the State Opening of Parliament, the Speech from the Throne, and then Prime Minister Christopher Luxon’s dream for Aotearoa in his first address. But first the pomp and ceremony, the arrival of the Governor General.Dame Cindy Kiro arrived on the forecourt outside of parliament to a Māori welcome. ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    4 days ago
  • National’s new MP; the proud part-Maori boy raised in a state house
    Probably not since 1975 have we seen a government take office up against such a wall of protest and complaint. That was highlighted yesterday, the day that the new Parliament was sworn in, with news that King Tuheitia has called a national hui for late January to develop a ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    4 days ago
  • Climate Adam: Battlefield Earth – How War Fuels Climate Catastrophe
    This video includes conclusions of the creator climate scientist Dr. Adam Levy. It is presented to our readers as an informed perspective. Please see video description for references (if any). War, conflict and climate change are tearing apart lives across the world. But these aren't separate harms - they're intricately connected. ...
    5 days ago
  • They do not speak for us, and they do not speak for the future
    These dire woeful and intolerant people have been so determinedly going about their small and petulant business, it’s hard to keep up. At the end of the new government’s first woeful week, Audrey Young took the time to count off its various acts of denigration of Te Ao Māori:Review the ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    5 days ago
  • Another attack on te reo
    The new white supremacist government made attacking te reo a key part of its platform, promising to rename government agencies and force them to "communicate primarily in English" (which they already do). But today they've gone further, by trying to cut the pay of public servants who speak te reo: ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • For the record, the Beehive buzz can now be regarded as “official”
    Buzz from the Beehive The biggest buzz we bring you from the Beehive today is that the government’s official website is up and going after being out of action for more than a week. The latest press statement came  from  Education Minister  Eric Stanford, who seized on the 2022 PISA ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: Failed again
    There was another ETS auction this morning. and like all the other ones this year, it failed to clear - meaning that 23 million tons of carbon (15 million ordinary units plus 8 million in the cost containment reserve) went up in smoke. Or rather, they didn't. Being unsold at ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell On The Government’s Assault On Maori
    This isn’t news, but the National-led coalition is mounting a sustained assault on Treaty rights and obligations. Even so, Christopher Luxon has described yesterday’s nationwide protests by Maori as “pretty unfair.” Poor thing. In the NZ Herald, Audrey Young has compiled a useful list of the many, many ways that ...
    5 days ago
  • Rising costs hit farmers hard, but  there’s more  positive news  for  them this  week 
    New Zealand’s dairy industry, the mainstay of the country’s export trade, has  been under  pressure  from rising  costs. Down on the  farm, this  has  been  hitting  hard. But there  was more positive news this week,  first   from the latest Fonterra GDT auction where  prices  rose,  and  then from  a  report ...
    Point of OrderBy tutere44
    5 days ago
  • ROB MacCULLOCH:  Newshub and NZ Herald report misleading garbage about ACT’s van Veldon not follo...
    Rob MacCulloch writes –  In their rush to discredit the new government (which our MainStream Media regard as illegitimate and having no right to enact the democratic will of voters) the NZ Herald and Newshub are arguing ACT’s Deputy Leader Brooke van Veldon is not following Treasury advice ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    5 days ago
  • Top 10 for Wednesday, December 6
    Even many young people who smoke support smokefree policies, fitting in with previous research showing the large majority of people who smoke regret starting and most want to quit. Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: Here’s my pick of the top 10 news and analysis links elsewhere on the morning of Wednesday, December ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Eleven years of work.
    Well it didn’t take six months, but the leaks have begun. Yes the good ship Coalition has inadvertently released a confidential cabinet paper into the public domain, discussing their axing of Fair Pay Agreements (FPAs).Oops.Just when you were admiring how smoothly things were going for the new government, they’ve had ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • Why we're missing out on sharply lower inflation
    A wave of new and higher fees, rates and charges will ripple out over the economy in the next 18 months as mayors, councillors, heads of department and price-setters for utilities such as gas, electricity, water and parking ramp up charges. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: Just when most ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • How Did We Get Here?
    Hi,Kiwis — keep the evening of December 22nd free. I have a meetup planned, and will send out an invite over the next day or so. This sounds sort of crazy to write, but today will be Tony Stamp’s final Totally Normal column of 2023. Somehow we’ve made it to ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    5 days ago
  • At a glance – Has the greenhouse effect been falsified?
    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 ...
    6 days ago
  • New Zealaders  have  high expectations of  new  government:  now let’s see if it can deliver?
    The electorate has high expectations of the  new  government.  The question is: can  it  deliver?    Some  might  say  the  signs are not  promising. Protestors   are  already marching in the streets. The  new  Prime Minister has had  little experience of managing  very diverse politicians  in coalition. The economy he  ...
    Point of OrderBy tutere44
    6 days ago
  • You won't believe some of the numbers you have to pull when you're a Finance Minister
    Nicola of Marsden:Yo, normies! We will fix your cost of living worries by giving you a tax cut of 150 dollars. 150! Cash money! Vote National.Various people who can read and count:Actually that's 150 over a fortnight. Not a week, which is how you usually express these things.And actually, it looks ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    6 days ago
  • Pushback
    When this government came to power, it did so on an explicitly white supremacist platform. Undermining the Waitangi Tribunal, removing Māori representation in local government, over-riding the courts which had tried to make their foreshore and seabed legislation work, eradicating te reo from public life, and ultimately trying to repudiate ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Defence ministerial meeting meant Collins missed the Maori Party’s mischief-making capers in Parli...
    Buzz from the Beehive Maybe this is not the best time for our Minister of Defence to have gone overseas. Not when the Maori Party is inviting (or should that be inciting?) its followers to join a revolution in a post which promoted its protest plans with a picture of ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    6 days ago
  • Threats of war have been followed by an invitation to join the revolution – now let’s see how th...
     A Maori Party post on Instagram invited party followers to ….  Tangata Whenua, Tangata Tiriti, Join the REVOLUTION! & make a stand!  Nationwide Action Day, All details in tiles swipe to see locations.  • This is our 1st hit out and tomorrow Tuesday the 5th is the opening ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    6 days ago
  • Top 10 for Tuesday, December 4
    The RBNZ governor is citing high net migration and profit-led inflation as factors in the bank’s hawkish stance. Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: Here’s my pick of the top 10 news and analysis links elsewhere on the morning of Tuesday, December 5, including:Reserve Bank Governor Adrian Orr says high net migration and ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Nicola Willis' 'show me the money' moment
    Willis has accused labour of “economic vandalism’, while Robertson described her comments as a “desperate diversion from somebody who can't make their tax package add up”. There will now be an intense focus on December 20 to see whether her hyperbole is backed up by true surprises. Photo montage: Lynn ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • CRL costs money but also provides huge benefits
    The City Rail Link has been in the headlines a bit recently so I thought I’d look at some of them. First up, yesterday the NZ Herald ran this piece about the ongoing costs of the CRL. Auckland ratepayers will be saddled with an estimated bill of $220 million each ...
    6 days ago
  • And I don't want the world to see us.
    Is this the most shambolic government in the history of New Zealand? Given that parliament hasn’t even opened they’ve managed quite a list of achievements to date.The Smokefree debacle trading lives for tax cuts, the Trumpian claims of bribery in the Media, an International award for indifference, and today the ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • Cooking the books
    Finance Minister Nicola Willis late yesterday stopped only slightly short of accusing her predecessor Grant Robertson of cooking the books. She complained that the Half Yearly Economic and Fiscal Update (HYEFU), due to be made public on December 20, would show “fiscal cliffs” that would amount to “billions of ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    6 days ago
  • Most people don’t realize how much progress we’ve made on climate change
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections The year was 2015. ‘Uptown Funk’ with Bruno Mars was at the top of the music charts. Jurassic World was the most popular new movie in theaters. And decades of futility in international climate negotiations was about to come to an end in ...
    7 days ago
  • Of Parliamentary Oaths and Clive Boonham
    As a heads-up, I am not one of those people who stay awake at night thinking about weird Culture War nonsense. At least so far as the current Maori/Constitutional arrangements go. In fact, I actually consider it the least important issue facing the day to day lives of New ...
    7 days ago
  • Bearing True Allegiance?
    Strong Words: “We do not consent, we do not surrender, we do not cede, we do not submit; we, the indigenous, are rising. We do not buy into the colonial fictions this House is built upon. Te Pāti Māori pledges allegiance to our mokopuna, our whenua, and Te Tiriti o ...
    1 week ago
  • You cannot be serious
    Some days it feels like the only thing to say is: Seriously? No, really. Seriously?OneSomeone has used their health department access to share data about vaccinations and patients, and inform the world that New Zealanders have been dying in their hundreds of thousands from the evil vaccine. This of course is pure ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • A promise kept: govt pulls the plug on Lake Onslow scheme – but this saving of $16bn is denounced...
    Buzz from the Beehive After $21.8 million was spent on investigations, the plug has been pulled on the Lake Onslow pumped-hydro electricity scheme, The scheme –  that technically could have solved New Zealand’s looming energy shortage, according to its champions – was a key part of the defeated Labour government’s ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    1 week ago
  • CHRIS TROTTER: The Maori Party and Oath of Allegiance
    If those elected to the Māori Seats refuse to take them, then what possible reason could the country have for retaining them?   Chris Trotter writes – Christmas is fast approaching, which, as it does every year, means gearing up for an abstruse general knowledge question. “Who was ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    1 week ago
  • BRIAN EASTON:  Forward to 2017
    The coalition party agreements are mainly about returning to 2017 when National lost power. They show commonalities but also some serious divergencies. Brian Easton writes The two coalition agreements – one National and ACT, the other National and New Zealand First – are more than policy documents. ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Fossils
    When the new government promised to allow new offshore oil and gas exploration, they were warned that there would be international criticism and reputational damage. Naturally, they arrogantly denied any possibility that that would happen. And then they finally turned up at COP, to criticism from Palau, and a "fossil ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • GEOFFREY MILLER:  NZ’s foreign policy resets on AUKUS, Gaza and Ukraine
    Geoffrey Miller writes – New Zealand’s international relations are under new management. And Winston Peters, the new foreign minister, is already setting a change agenda. As expected, this includes a more pro-US positioning when it comes to the Pacific – where Peters will be picking up where he ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    1 week ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the government’s smokefree laws debacle
    The most charitable explanation for National’s behaviour over the smokefree legislation is that they have dutifully fulfilled the wishes of the Big Tobacco lobby and then cast around – incompetently, as it turns out – for excuses that might sell this health policy U-turn to the public. The less charitable ...
    1 week ago
  • Top 10 links at 10 am for Monday, December 4
    As Deb Te Kawa writes in an op-ed, the new Government seems to have immediately bought itself fights with just about everyone. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: Here’s my pick of the top 10 news and analysis links elsewhere as of 10 am on Monday December 4, including:Palau’s President ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Be Honest.
    Let’s begin today by thinking about job interviews.During my career in Software Development I must have interviewed hundreds of people, hired at least a hundred, but few stick in the memory.I remember one guy who was so laid back he was practically horizontal, leaning back in his chair until his ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Geoffrey Miller: New Zealand’s foreign policy resets on AUKUS, Gaza and Ukraine
    New Zealand’s international relations are under new management. And Winston Peters, the new foreign minister, is already setting a change agenda. As expected, this includes a more pro-US positioning when it comes to the Pacific – where Peters will be picking up where he left off. Peters sought to align ...
    Democracy ProjectBy Geoffrey Miller
    1 week ago

  • First step to flexible labour market
    The Government is delivering on its commitment to repeal the Fair Pay Agreement legislation by Christmas 2023. “We are moving quickly to remove this legislation before any fair pay agreements are finalised and the negative impacts are felt by the labour market,” says Minister van Velden.  “Fair pay agreements undermine ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    37 mins ago
  • Extending 90-day trial periods to all employers
    The Government is delivering on its commitment to extend the availability of 90-day trial periods to all employers.  “Extending 90-day trial periods to all employers gives businesses the confidence to hire new people and increases workplace flexibility,” says Minister van Velden.  “Whether a business has 2 or 200 employees, bringing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    37 mins ago
  • COP28 National Statement for New Zealand
    Tēnā koutou katoa Mr President, Excellencies, Delegates. An island nation at the bottom of the Pacific, New Zealand is unique.          Our geography, our mountains, lakes, winds and rainfall helps set us up for the future, allowing for nearly 90 per cent of our electricity to come from renewable sources. I’m ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Ministers visit Hawke’s Bay to grasp recovery needs
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon joined Cyclone Recovery Minister Mark Mitchell and Transport and Local Government Minister Simeon Brown, to meet leaders of cyclone and flood-affected regions in the Hawke’s Bay. The visit reinforced the coalition Government’s commitment to support the region and better understand its ongoing requirements, Mr Mitchell says.  ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand condemns malicious cyber activity
    New Zealand has joined the UK and other partners in condemning malicious cyber activity conducted by the Russian Government, Minister Responsible for the Government Communications Security Bureau Judith Collins says. The statement follows the UK’s attribution today of malicious cyber activity impacting its domestic democratic institutions and processes, as well ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Disestablishment of Te Pūkenga begins
    The Government has begun the process of disestablishing Te Pūkenga as part of its 100-day plan, Minister for Tertiary Education and Skills Penny Simmonds says.  “I have started putting that plan into action and have met with the chair and chief Executive of Te Pūkenga to advise them of my ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Climate Change Minister to attend COP28 in Dubai
    Climate Change Minister Simon Watts will be leaving for Dubai today to attend COP28, the 28th annual UN climate summit, this week. Simon Watts says he will push for accelerated action towards the goals of the Paris Agreement, deliver New Zealand’s national statement and connect with partner countries, private sector leaders ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand to host 2024 Pacific defence meeting
    Defence Minister Judith Collins yesterday announced New Zealand will host next year’s South Pacific Defence Ministers’ Meeting (SPDMM). “Having just returned from this year’s meeting in Nouméa, I witnessed first-hand the value of meeting with my Pacific counterparts to discuss regional security and defence matters. I welcome the opportunity to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Study shows need to remove distractions in class
    The Government is committed to lifting school achievement in the basics and that starts with removing distractions so young people can focus on their learning, Education Minister Erica Stanford says.   The 2022 PISA results released this week found that Kiwi kids ranked 5th in the world for being distracted ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Minister sets expectations of Commissioner
    Today I met with Police Commissioner Andrew Coster to set out my expectations, which he has agreed to, says Police Minister Mark Mitchell. Under section 16(1) of the Policing Act 2008, the Minister can expect the Police Commissioner to deliver on the Government’s direction and priorities, as now outlined in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand needs a strong and stable ETS
    New Zealand needs a strong and stable Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) that is well placed for the future, after emission units failed to sell for the fourth and final auction of the year, Climate Change Minister Simon Watts says.  At today’s auction, 15 million New Zealand units (NZUs) – each ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • PISA results show urgent need to teach the basics
    With 2022 PISA results showing a decline in achievement, Education Minister Erica Stanford is confident that the Coalition Government’s 100-day plan for education will improve outcomes for Kiwi kids.  The 2022 PISA results show a significant decline in the performance of 15-year-old students in maths compared to 2018 and confirms ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Collins leaves for Pacific defence meeting
    Defence Minister Judith Collins today departed for New Caledonia to attend the 8th annual South Pacific Defence Ministers’ meeting (SPDMM). “This meeting is an excellent opportunity to meet face-to-face with my Pacific counterparts to discuss regional security matters and to demonstrate our ongoing commitment to the Pacific,” Judith Collins says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Working for Families gets cost of living boost
    Putting more money in the pockets of hard-working families is a priority of this Coalition Government, starting with an increase to Working for Families, Prime Minister Christopher Luxon says. “We are starting our 100-day plan with a laser focus on bringing down the cost of living, because that is what ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Post-Cabinet press conference
    Most weeks, following Cabinet, the Prime Minister holds a press conference for members of the Parliamentary Press Gallery. This page contains the transcripts from those press conferences, which are supplied by Hansard to the Office of the Prime Minister. It is important to note that the transcripts have not been edited ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Lake Onslow pumped hydro scheme scrapped
    The Government has axed the $16 billion Lake Onslow pumped hydro scheme championed by the previous government, Energy Minister Simeon Brown says. “This hugely wasteful project was pouring money down the drain at a time when we need to be reining in spending and focussing on rebuilding the economy and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • NZ welcomes further pause in fighting in Gaza
    New Zealand welcomes the further one-day extension of the pause in fighting, which will allow the delivery of more urgently-needed humanitarian aid into Gaza and the release of more hostages, Foreign Minister Winston Peters said. “The human cost of the conflict is horrific, and New Zealand wants to see the violence ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Condolences on passing of Henry Kissinger
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters today expressed on behalf of the New Zealand Government his condolences to the family of former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, who has passed away at the age of 100 at his home in Connecticut. “While opinions on his legacy are varied, Secretary Kissinger was ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Backing our kids to learn the basics
    Every child deserves a world-leading education, and the Coalition Government is making that a priority as part of its 100-day plan. Education Minister Erica Stanford says that will start with banning cellphone use at school and ensuring all primary students spend one hour on reading, writing, and maths each day. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • US Business Summit Speech – Regional stability through trade
    I would like to begin by echoing the Prime Minister’s thanks to the organisers of this Summit, Fran O’Sullivan and the Auckland Business Chamber.  I want to also acknowledge the many leading exporters, sector representatives, diplomats, and other leaders we have joining us in the room. In particular, I would like ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Keynote Address to the United States Business Summit, Auckland
    Good morning. Thank you, Rosemary, for your warm introduction, and to Fran and Simon for this opportunity to make some brief comments about New Zealand’s relationship with the United States.  This is also a chance to acknowledge my colleague, Minister for Trade Todd McClay, Ambassador Tom Udall, Secretary of Foreign ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • India New Zealand Business Council Speech, India as a Strategic Priority
    Good morning, tēnā koutou and namaskar. Many thanks, Michael, for your warm welcome. I would like to acknowledge the work of the India New Zealand Business Council in facilitating today’s event and for the Council’s broader work in supporting a coordinated approach for lifting New Zealand-India relations. I want to also ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Coalition Government unveils 100-day plan
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has laid out the Coalition Government’s plan for its first 100 days from today. “The last few years have been incredibly tough for so many New Zealanders. People have put their trust in National, ACT and NZ First to steer them towards a better, more prosperous ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand welcomes European Parliament vote on the NZ-EU Free Trade Agreement
    A significant milestone in ratifying the NZ-EU Free Trade Agreement (FTA) was reached last night, with 524 of the 705 member European Parliament voting in favour to approve the agreement. “I’m delighted to hear of the successful vote to approve the NZ-EU FTA in the European Parliament overnight. This is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago

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