Could the real Labour Party please stand up

Written By: - Date published: 8:21 am, October 29th, 2020 - 35 comments
Categories: capitalism, jacinda ardern, labour, poverty, uncategorized - Tags:

Could the real Labour Party stand up please?

Every Labour Party in government has made strong moves to show that the whole country can change for good.  Including the first, the second, the third, the fourth and the fifth.

Every Labour government except this one.

Not everyone likes strong and bold government: sometimes they take risks and get voted out (as in 1960).

Sometimes idealistic and unruly characters get in there and need to be given positive things to do.

Ardern is certainly a master at making people feel like they’ve been listened to, both on the mainstream media and through her staggering Facebook and Twitter following. But when faced with a large political choice Ardern generally does as little as possible. Unless it’s an emergency: then she acts.

We do not need to get through another term on the basis of publicity about weddings, babies, and national emergencies.

We need to get the Labour government to focus on decreasing inequality and poverty in all its forms and effects. The new government needs to show that Labour has changed the country for good. Otherwise there’s no reason to vote for them in 2023.

Unlike some activist groups in the United States that have assisted Joe Biden, there’s no push for radical action such as to abolish Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency, defund the police, or cancel the debts of Pacific islands. There have been no immoderate demands.

And local capitalism loves that.

A New Zealand Herald report on Tuesday headlined “Nothing to unsettle capital markets in Labour landslide,” declared that financial markets had taken the Labour Party’s victory “in their stride”. The New Zealand dollar was trading at US66.13 cents on Monday, up from US66.04 late Friday. Our sharemarket’s top 50 index was “a few points softer” at 12,418.61.

According to Shane Solly of Harbour Asset Management, Labour had widely been expected to win and there was “nothing obvious to worry the capital markets.”

This is the only time in our history that electing a Labour government has been met with applause by the capital markets. That’s a measure of the ambition of this Labour government.

The public sector’s own bank, the Reserve Bank, is writing a comedy by on the one hand saying that it might just look at reintroducing loan-to-value ratios for housing loans within an exploding housing market that they themselves formed yet on the other hand it is doing what it’s told by buying tens of billions of Government bonds and keeping interest rates at near-zero which makes it incredibly attractive for home buyers to get loans. Ta-daaaa.

Unemployment is going up well above the RB band and interest is plummeting below the band: the Reserve Bank is simply not doing its’ job. It is simply tame and ineffective.

Our most active public capitalists are NZSuperfund and ACC, and they act without apparent regard for how they damage the government (see Light Rail, KiwiBuild, and Transmission Gully).

So it’s no wonder the capital markets are happy with Labour in government: they can do what they want.

Yet the upsurge in voting for the left came from young people in electorates like Auckland Central.

That surge is going to keep growing as further fresh intakes of voters emerge in 3 years. Next time it won’t be the crusties making defensive rural vote decisions who are going to get Labour and the Greens home. The young will be the reason the left win again. So that means the young have to be listened to. And the young need economic wins that are so big they reverse inequality.

Of course, it might not be easy to prevail on Ardern and Robertson. They are defined by a simple philosophy: re-regulate nothing, low effort, lots of cash, form no new institutions, excite no one with any fresh initiative, spend no political capital, and just keep throwing public cash. And say ‘sorry it takes time’, a lot.

They could also reasonably argue that they stood with near-zero in their manifesto and that’s what people voted for: they have the mandate for doing very little.

But 2023 will come around and it will be very different to this outlier year.

The voting base that got her there in 2017 is the same voting base that will get her there in 2023: us.

It’s time to hold Prime Minister Ardern accountable from the left.

35 comments on “Could the real Labour Party please stand up ”

  1. RedLogix 1

    I absolutely agree that 'doing as little as possible' is not an option. But this doesn't imply the only alternative is to 'do a whole bunch of things as radical as possible'.

    In my view there is a great deal of centrist looking stuff to be done that if intelligently negotiated, could effectively address the urgent issue of gross inequality that is gnawing at the foundations of our small nation.

    But first we need to be able to have an informed and reasoned debate on what are the root causes of inequality. We can measure the outcomes easily enough, what we cannot seem to address honestly are the myriad causes of it, and even more intractably, we really don't know where the most efficient levers to change it are located.

    At least a large part of the answer lies in a simple question of incomes. But the post-WW2 era when NZ last had a relatively tolerable income distribution, was also embedded in a society, both local and global, that looked very different to the one we have now.

    If I'm reading the mood at the moment, I believe there is an opportunity for this govt to engage on this, there is widespread consensus that none of the political systems we have inherited from the 20th century and by themselves adequate for our new 21st purposes.

    • Ad 1.1

      Right now any sturdy plan would suffice. Currently not evident.

      I've got a little post coming on some concrete suggestions on climate change by the Sustainable Business Council, who are sensibly targeting the Climate Commission.

      • RedLogix 1.1.1

        Here's an interesting program from over the ditch that would address a huge need in NZ's disability sector:

        http://www.sdahousingaustralia.com.au/

        (Random link, there is a whole bunch of other material available.)

        Housing specifically designed for community living, what these people want and where they want it. A truckload of money is being put into this; yet amazingly enough in the long run they believe it will be far more cost effective.

    • Draco T Bastard 1.2

      In my view there is a great deal of centrist looking stuff to be done that if intelligently negotiated, could effectively address the urgent issue of gross inequality that is gnawing at the foundations of our small nation.

      Considering that centrism is pretty much holding on to BAU then no there isn't.

      We can measure the outcomes easily enough, what we cannot seem to address honestly are the myriad causes of it , and even more intractably, we really don't know where the most efficient levers to change it are located.

      Well, you're certainly not willing to accept the main cause. And until we do that as a nation then there's nothing that's going to happen to all the minor causes that are a direct result of that main cause.

      The main cause and the main lever is ownership. We really do have to get rid of capitalism.

      At least a large part of the answer lies in a simple question of incomes.

      Yes. People shouldn't get an income from the work of others through ownership.

      But the post-WW2 era when NZ last had a relatively tolerable income distribution, was also embedded in a society, both local and global, that looked very different to the one we have now.

      But still didn't really work which is how we got taken back to the 19th century by the 4th Labour government.

      If I'm reading the mood at the moment, I believe there is an opportunity for this govt to engage on this, there is widespread consensus that none of the political systems we have inherited from the 20th century and by themselves adequate for our new 21st purposes.

      I believe that you're reading that mood correctly but all indications are that the government aren't willing to listen as they want to keep the failed policies of last century in place.

  2. Incognito 2

    For the People, by Labour, about the People?

    That would have been the title of my post on this that I’ve been mulling since the day after Election Day.

    You expressed many of my sentiments in your post that is bold and brave and you nailed your colours to the mast. They are a much brighter hue than those of the incumbent Government, which looks like a timid team tippy-toeing around treacherous topics.

    Edit: I see that the authorship changed 😉

  3. Sabine 3

    that holding to account should have happened before the election.,

    They now get to run the show for the next three years and that is it.

    Besides, Labour ruled out benefit increases, did not mention in any words other then 'learn the value of work' the unemployed and other unfortunates (specifically the 90% of covid unemployed that are women – who often don't get a benefit cause their partner still holds a job, or the beneficiaries that live below the poverty line), but people were really really afraid that Judith Collins would win, even tho that women never stood a chance in hell.

    Btw, where is Bill, he was always quite good in talking about these things.

    But yeah, good luck holding Labour to account.

    • RedLogix 3.1

      who often don't get a benefit cause their partner still holds a job

      That's one very easy thing this govt could do, is to raise the partner qualifying income. It's absurdly low.

      • Chris 3.1.1

        Or be serious about individual entitlement. The insidious requirement to determine relationship status in terms of financial dependence on another person, and the indebtedness and criminalisation that comes with this needs to be removed.

  4. RedLogix 5

    and they act without apparent regard for how they damage the government (see Light Rail, KiwiBuild, and Transmission Gully).

    Last night I had a few drinkies with a person who was a construction consultant to the Transmission Gully project in the early days. In his view it was doomed from the start, incompetent people were making critical decisions from which the project will never really recover.

    • Ad 5.1

      The investigation should come out soon.

      There was some pretty bad geotech and BIM modelling to get the initial cut and cut-to-fill ratio so wrong.

      • Cricklewood 5.1.1

        I strongly suspect the initial numbers we see with these projects are essentially just a figure that is politically palatable enough to get the project approved and underway.

        Once committed you start to hear of 'exclusions and miscalculations' that give the appearance of incompetence when in actual fact it was deliberate.

        Watch the Crl continue to blow out of the next four years. From what I understand the bulkage rate used in early calculations was um 'incompetently' low.

    • Anne 5.2

      Redlogix @ 5.

      NZ has suffered incompetency in the upper levels of the Public Service for decades. Some of it grew out of WW2 and its reliance on authoritarian type rule over the masses during a time of crisis. Unfortunately it produced a bunch of little Hitlers who continued the authoritarian attitude within their respective fiefdoms for decades to come.

      Add to that the desire of many public servants to lick the boots of their masters in the interest of personal promotion, and the level of incompetency was sure to become widespread.

      NB. I was a public servant for 34 years in three different capacities, so had ample time to observe the nature of the beast.

  5. greywarshark 6

    I think that many of us think hard about politics and the way that we run ours, and how the country finds itself being run after politicians’ machinations. It seems obvious that our political setup has failed us, and that we have allowed ourselves to be lulled by complacency and been 'Sunday' citizens as so many are 'Sunday Christians' which will apply to any religious follower.

    It is time to set up participatory democracy in a formal way, with people who are informed and practical but with an ideal of a country that takes not only rights but responsibilities to each citizen and animal, as well as the environment as an automatic requirement. Everybody can't have what they want, but we should be ensuring that all have more than what they need, enough for everyday living at a reasonable level, and then opportunities for enjoyment, fostering relationships etc. (People who haven't been close to the pre-superannuation welfare methods would not know that management of individuals is often hostile to them having any enjoyment in life, very unpleasant, even hateful attitudes can prevail.)

    I would like to see in each major town a group set up to be Participatory Democracy Pledger Group with different lines of interest among its members who follow world developments, knowledge, practices in their interest and specialty and exchange information with other Pledgers throughout this country. And who would interact with politicians and with officials and heads of departments and agencies. And being informed they would interact with academics and researchers, and bring the perspective of citizens seeking good outcomes from action or inaction of government.

    It wouldn't be a set committee that would be voted in or out by random others, but an egregious member would be noted as being too far away from practical, or having an agenda which would lead to deterioration of good standards and balance.

    If there is such a thing already behind the scenes, it should be extended. It needs talking about and the way that The Standard has developed and is performing as a discussion centre, it could be similar to this. It would look at all aspects of any matter, with different perspectives from a range of thinkers with a range of experiences who would be able to foresee ways to deal with present and future problems that would ensure that finaglers didn't get hold of our lives and future.

    Of course they are well on their way to doing just that but those who question and want real answers, once melded into an effective phalanx might ameliorate the destruction that is bound to occur from the present barely restrained obsessive urges to tinker and take control of everything there is.

    I would like to know people's thoughts about this, which should include a 'why' within them.

  6. Draco T Bastard 7

    Every Labour Party in government has made strong moves to show that the whole country can change for good. Including the first, the second, the third, the fourth and the fifth.

    WTF?

    The fourth Labour government was the government that started the slide back into the dystopian past of unregulated capitalism. The fifth slowed the slide somewhat until the fifth National government stepped in.

    And now this government has, so far, slowed the slide again.

    This is the only time in our history that electing a Labour government has been met with applause by the capital markets.

    No, they were quite happy in 1984 as well. Its pretty much why Bob Jones stepped aside just before the election ensuring that Labour would win.

    and keeping interest rates at near-zero which makes it incredibly attractive for home buyers to get loans.

    If we have a look at history we can easily see that interest rates don't make any damned difference to the amount of money that the private banks get to create through housing loans.

    Unemployment is going up well above the RB band and interest is plummeting below the band:

    Pretty sure that neither of those are in the RBNZ's job description. Their job is to keep inflation between two and three percent. Its dropping below that and so they're using the major tool that they have to try and push inflation higher and that's low interest rates.

    And the young need economic wins that are so big they reverse inequality.

    They need more than that. They also need jobs that they want to do. I recall one time, years ago, I was on a bus and the two students in front of me were talking about which country they were moving to after graduation as there were no jobs here for them in the subjects that they had just studied.

    Of course, it might not be easy to prevail on Ardern and Robertson. They are defined by a simple philosophy: re-regulate nothing, low effort, lots of cash, form no new institutions, excite no one with any fresh initiative, spend no political capital, and just keep throwing public cash. And say ‘sorry it takes time’, a lot.

    It does take time and money but you're right in that they're not looking to take a hand in developing the economy and that they're just going to continue to let the capitalists bludge off of the rest of us.

    That's pretty much always going to happen with a government that's supportive of capitalism – which Labour has always been.

    It’s time to hold Prime Minister Ardern accountable from the left.

    Yes but there's actually no processes for us to do that and never has been. In fact, legislation specifically ensures that our politicians only have to do what they want to do and not what the people want.

    So, how do you suggest we do it?

    • Nic the NZer 7.1

      Your considering how the post is constructed wrong. First Ad writes the spine of the narrative and only then are the relevant facts selected and tailored to support the lesson to be presented. This makes it irrelevant that the first and fourth labour governments altered the country in ideologically opposite ways, both of which we are to assume were improvements.

      Other irrelevant facts include that the 4th Labour government didn't vet its reforms with the electorate during its campaign (meaning it didn't get elected having a mandate for them). Its also irrelevant that it used international institutions including the IMF to push through reforms without taking direct responsibility for implementing them. And its also irrelevant that the government knew in advance the reforms would be unpopular and as a result moved quickly before popular resistance could be mobilised.

  7. Byd0nz 8

    The election is barely over, votes still to be counted before the new Government can start implementing its course, yea sure it's an instant world, but draw breath, give them a chance to get started and if they dont live up to the expectations we have of a landslide Labour win, then they will be toast. I think they will deliver and despite Jacinda having worked for that fraud Blair, she may be more left than most realise.

    • greywarshark 8.1

      If they are toast, I don't want it dry – put butter and marmalade on please. I want good vittles from this gummint.

    • Corey Humm 8.2

      Blair deserves a lot of hate but his govt in many ways was far more progressive than any nz LP govt since 1972.

      For the first term benifits went up every single year and hardship allocations were massively increased. In NZ welfare rates haven't gone up in any meaningful way (apart from the covid response which was temporary) since Ruths days in the 90s other than inflation and when uk Labour, aussie Labour or the canadian liberals talk about poverty they talk about poverty in general they don't do NZLP and the us democrats trick of only talking about poverty if the word child is in front of the word poverty.

      NZs system is so broken that during the biggest economic and unemployment crisis not one journalist, not one, even asked the question of the major party leaders about adult poverty because apparently we live in a world where kids are poor but their parents at home are living it up. Labour couldn't even commit to raising benefits for the disabled or increasing hardship grants hell they couldn't even commit to losening restrictions on people who flat or are in relationships so they could get the full benefit and not one Journo bothered to ask… IN THE BIGGEST UNEMPLOYMENT AND ECONOMIC CRISIS IN GENERATIONS

      No no, labours big plan is allow you to earn more money part time in jobs that don't exist, bugger the disabled people who can't work or people who can't find jobs that aren't there.

      Id rather be unemployed under Blair in the UK or any Aussie Labour govt any day of the week.

      In a lot of ways NZLP is more like the Liberal democrats or the centerist alliance in aussie than it's sister parties

  8. Chris 9

    "Every Labour Party in government has made strong moves to show that the whole country can change for good. Including the first, the second, the third, the fourth and the fifth. Every Labour government except this one."

    This is the most preposterous statement I've heard this week, probably this month.

    The fourth set about destroying the caring society New Zealand had enjoyed since 1938, and then almost ceremoniously handed the baton to the next nat government to finish the job. The fifth pretended that it'd re-established traditional Labour values but did the opposite, often under the radar and proving themselves to be the filthy right-wing liars they were.

    I agree that the sixth isn't much better and its collusion with the status quo is treacherous. But at least it's not actively and forcefully pushing so hard to the right that it's indistinguishable from every government we've had since 1984. The last two Labour governments acted like filthy right-wing scum. I'm not saying that what Ardern's doing is great, but to say it's worse than what the last two Labour governments did is just wrong.

  9. greywarshark 10

    Pretty sure that neither of those are in the RBNZ's job description. Their job is to keep inflation between two and three percent. Its dropping below that and so they're using the major tool that they have to try and push inflation higher and that's low interest rates. – from DTB above.

    It would be safe to bring in a series of small wage rises, then tax and penalty shifts that enable the poorer to keep more of the money they earn. That would cause the economy to warm up. Raise the inflation band after a while then more small wage rises, same effect. Keep low interest but above 1.5 OCR and keep incrementally raising the interest rate. Try and keep it above inflation.

    • Pat 10.1

      Expect the RBNZ dosnt control wage levels (or very little else) AND they also are required to ensure the banking system remains sound…may be why theyve been calling for fiscal assistance, no?

  10. Stuart Munro 11

    Well someone had to say it, however uncomfortable it may have made some party insiders.

    It wouldn't hurt to get an explanation out of Faafoi either, in respect of his rubberstamping the latest fraudulent application for a tranche of slave fishermen.

    There is enormous scope in NZ for an active Labour party, with decades of poor economic decisions to correct, so that we move into a positive and more united phase as we confront the challenges of the 21st century.

    Or they could just hide under a rock and hope someone else addresses the issues.

  11. Infused 12

    Good luck with that.

    Next year is going to kick the economy in the ass. There will be no big changes

  12. SPC 13

    There is no hope.

    Little will not even decriminalise marijuana – even the Sallies who campaigned for a no vote want it decriminalised.

    If that is any indication, do not expect anything.

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    Sometimes you’ll just be so dog-tired, you can only keep yourself awake with a short stab of self-inflicted pain.A quick bite of the lip, for instance.Maybe a slight bite on the tongue or a dig of the nails.But what if you’re needing something a bit more painful?The solution is as ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    6 days ago
  • Some “scrutiny” II
    Last month I blogged about the Ministry of Justice's Open Government Partnership commitment to strengthen scrutiny of Official Information Act exemption clauses in legislation", and how their existing efforts did not give much reason for confidence. As part of that, I mentioned that I had asked the Ministry for its ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on why the Biden “peace plan” for Gaza is doomed
    After months and months of blocking every attempt by the UN and everyone else to achieve a Gaza ceasefire, US President Joe Biden is now marketing his own three-stage “peace plan” to end the conflict. Like every other contribution by the US since October 7, the Biden initiative is hobbled ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    6 days ago
  • Raised crossings: hearing the voice of vulnerable pedestrians
    This is a guest post by Vivian Naylor, who is the Barrier Free Advisor and Educator at CCS Disability Action, Northern Region, the largest disability support and advocacy organisation in Aotearoa New Zealand. She also advises on AT’s Public Transport and Capital Projects Accessibility Groups. Vivian has been advocating and ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    6 days ago
  • Leaving on a Jet Plane
    So kiss me and smile for meTell me that you'll wait for meHold me like you'll never let me go'Cause I'm leavin' on a jet planeDon't know when I'll be back againOh babe, I hate to go“The true measure of any society can be found in how it treats its ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • Bernard's mid-winter pick 'n' mix for Tuesday, June 18
    The election promises of ‘better economic management’ are now ringing hollow, as NZ appears to be falling into a deeper recession, while other economies are turning the corner. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The economy and the housing market are slumping back into a deep recession this winter, contrasting ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Scrutiny week off to rocky start
    Parliament’s new “Scrutiny” process, which is supposed to allow Select Committees to interrogate Ministers and officials in much more depth, has got off to a rocky start. Yesterday was the first day of “Scrutiny Week” which is supposed to see the Government grilled on how it spends taxpayers’ money and ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    6 days ago
  • The choice could not be more stark’: How Trump and Biden compare on climate change
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Barbara Grady Illustration by Samantha Harrington. Photo credits: Justin Lane-Pool/Getty Images, Win McNamee/Getty Images, European Space Agency. In an empty wind-swept field in Richmond, California, next to the county landfill, a company called RavenSr has plotted out land and won ...
    7 days ago
  • Differentiating between democracy and republic
    Although NZ readers may not be that interested in the subject and in lieu of US Fathers Day missives (not celebrated in NZ), I thought I would lay out some brief thoughts on a political subject being debated in the … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    7 days ago
  • Bernard's mid-winter pick 'n' mix for Monday, June 17
    TL;DR: Chris Bishop talks up the use of value capture, congestion charging, PPPs, water meters, tolling and rebating GST on building materials to councils to ramp up infrastructure investment in the absence of the Government simply borrowing more to provide the capital.Meanwhile, Christopher Luxon wants to double the number of ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    7 days ago
  • You do have the power to change things
    When I was invited to come aboard and help with Greater Auckland a few months ago (thanks to Patrick!), it was suggested it might be a good idea to write some sort of autobiographical post by way of an introduction. This post isn’t quite that – although I’m sure I’lll ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    1 week ago
  • Turning Away – Who Cares If We Don't?
    On the turning awayFrom the pale and downtroddenAnd the words they say which we won't understandDon't accept that, what's happeningIs just a case of other's sufferingOr you'll find that you're joining inThe turning awayToday’s guest kōrero is from Author Catherine Lea. So without further ado, over to Catherine…I’m so honoured ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Dissecting Tickled
    Hi,Tickled was one of the craziest things that ever happened to me (and I feel like a lot of crazy things have happened to me).So ahead of the Webworm popup and Tickled screening in New Zealand on July 13, I thought I’d write about how we made that film and ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand Webworm Popup + Tickled!
    Hi,I’m doing a Webworm merch popup followed by a Tickled screening in Auckland, New Zealand on July 13th — and I’d love you to come. I got the urge to do this while writing this Webworm piece breaking down how we made Tickled, and talking to all the people who ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • What China wants from NZ business
    One simple statistic said it all: China Premier Li Qiang asked Fonterra CEO Miles Hurrell what percentage of the company’s overall sales were made in China. “Thirty per cent,” said Hurrell. In other words, New Zealand’s largest company is more or less dependent on the Chinese market. But Hurrell is ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • Review: The Worm Ouroboros, by E.R. Eddison (1922)
    One occasionally runs into the question of what J.R.R. Tolkien would have thought of George R.R. Martin. For years, I had a go-to online answer: we could use a stand-in. Tolkien’s thoughts on E.R. Eddison – that he appreciated the invented world, but thought the invented names were silly, and ...
    1 week ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #24
    A listing of 35 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, June 9, 2024 thru Sat, June 15, 2024. Story of the week A glance at this week's inventory of what experts tell us is extreme weather mayhem juiced by ...
    1 week ago
  • Sunday Morning Chat
    After a busy week it’s a good day to relax. Clear blues skies here in Tamaki Makaurau, very peaceful but for my dogs sleeping heavily. In the absence of a full newsletter I thought I’d send out a brief update and share a couple of posts that popped up in ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • The Book of Henry
    Now in the land of Angus beef and the mighty ABsWhere the steaks were juicy and the rivers did run foulIt would often be said,This meal is terrible,andNo, for real this is legit the worst thing I've ever eatenBut this was an thing said only to others at the table,not ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Fact Brief – Is ocean acidification from human activities enough to impact marine ecosystems?
    Skeptical Science is partnering with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. This fact brief was written by Sue Bin Park in collaboration with members from the Skeptical Science team. You can submit claims you think need checking via the tipline. Is ocean acidification from human ...
    1 week ago
  • Happiness is a Warm Gun
    She's not a girl who misses muchDo do do do do do, oh yeahShe's well-acquainted with the touch of the velvet handLike a lizard on a window paneI wouldn’t associate ACT with warmth, other than a certain fabled, notoriously hot, destination where surely they’re heading and many would like them ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Still doing a good 20
    Hello! Here comes the Saturday edition of More Than A Feilding, catching you up on the past somewhat interrupted week. Still on the move!Share Read more ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Coalition of the Unwilling?
    What does Budget 2024 tell us about the current government? Muddle on?Coalition governments are not new. About 50 percent of the time since the first MMP election, there has been a minority government, usually with allied parties holding ministerial portfolios outside cabinets. For 10 percent of the time there was ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • Of red flags and warning signs in comments on social media
    Somewhat surprisingly for what is regarded as a network of professionals, climate science misinformation is getting shared on LinkedIn, joining other channels where this is happening. Several of our recent posts published on LinkedIn have attracted the ire of various commenters who apparently are in denial about human-caused climate change. Based ...
    1 week ago
  • All good, still
    1. On what subject is Paul Henry even remotely worth giving the time of day?a. The state of our nationb. The state of the ACT partyc. How to freak out potential buyers of your gin palace by baking the remains of your deceased parent into its fittings2. Now that New ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • The looting is the point
    Last time National was in power, they looted the state, privatising public assets and signing hugely wasteful public-private partnership (PPP) contracts which saw foreign consortiums provide substandard infrastructure while gouging us for profits. You only have to look at the ongoing fiasco of Transmission Gully to see how it was ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The Illusion of Power: How Local Government Bureaucrats Overawe Democratically-Elected Councillors..
    The Democratic Façade Of Local Government: Our district and city councillors are democratically elected to govern their communities on one very strict condition – that they never, ever, under any circumstances, attempt to do so.A DISINTEGRATION OF LOYALTIES on the Wellington City Council has left Mayor Tory Whanau without a ...
    1 week ago
  • Lowlights & Bright Spots
    I can feel the lowlights coming over meI can feel the lowlights, from the state I’m inI can see the light now even thought it’s dimA little glow on the horizonAnother week of lowlights from our government, with the odd bright spot and a glow on the horizon. The light ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Weekly Roundup 14-June-2024
    Another week, another roundup of things that caught our eye on our favourite topics of transport, housing and how to make cities a little bit greater. This Week in Greater Auckland On Monday, Connor wrote about Kāinga Ora’s role as an urban development agency Tuesday’s guest post by ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    1 week ago
  • The Hoon around the week to June 14
    Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The podcast above of the weekly ‘hoon’ webinar for paying subscribers features co-hosts and talking with:The Kākā’s climate correspondent about the National-ACT-NZ First Government’s moves this week to take farming out of the ETS and encourage more mining and oil and ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Climate policy axed in broad daylight, while taxpayer liabilities grow in the dark
    In 2019, Shane Jones addressed the “50 Shades of Green” protest at Parliament: Now he is part of a government giving those farmers a pass on becoming part of the ETS, as well as threatening to lock in offshore oil exploration and mining for decades. Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: Here’s the ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Rage Bait!
    Hi,Today’s newsletter is all about how easy it is to get sucked into “rage bait” online, and how easy it is to get played.But first I wanted to share something that elicited the exact opposite of rage in me — something that made me feel incredibly proud, whilst also making ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Friday, June 14
    Seymour said lower speed limits “drained the joy from life as people were forced to follow rules they knew made no sense.” File Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Friday, June 14 were:The National/ACT/NZ First ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Friendly but frank talks with China Premier
    It sounded like the best word to describe yesterday’s talks between Chinese Premier Li Qiang and his heavyweight delegation of Ministers and officials and Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and New Zealand Ministers and officials was “frank.” But it was the kind of frankness that friends can indulge in. It ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #24 2024
    Open access notables Wildfire smoke impacts lake ecosystems, Farruggia et al., Global Change Biology: We introduce the concept of the lake smoke-day, or the number of days any given lake is exposed to smoke in any given fire season, and quantify the total lake smoke-day exposure in North America from 2019 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Join us for the weekly Hoon on YouTube Live
    Photo by Mathias Elle on UnsplashIt’s that new day of the week (Thursday rather than Friday) when we have our ‘hoon’ webinar with paying subscribers to The Kākā for an hour at 5 pm.Jump on this link on YouTube Livestream for our chat about the week’s news with special guests:5.00 ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 weeks ago
  • Geoffrey Miller: China’s message to New Zealand – don’t put it all at risk
    Don’t put it all at risk. That’s likely to be the take-home message for New Zealand Prime Minister Christopher Luxon in his meetings with Li Qiang, the Chinese Premier. Li’s visit to Wellington this week is the highest-ranking visit by a Chinese official since 2017. The trip down under – ...
    Democracy ProjectBy Geoffrey Miller
    2 weeks ago
  • The Real Thing
    I know the feelingIt is the real thingThe essence of the soulThe perfect momentThat golden momentI know you feel it tooI know the feelingIt is the real thingYou can't refuse the embraceNo?Sometimes we face the things we most dislike. A phobia or fear that must be confronted so it doesn’t ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    2 weeks ago
  • Gordon Campbell on how moderates empower the political right
    Struth, what a week. Having made sure the rural sector won’t have to pay any time soon for its pollution, PM Christopher Luxon yesterday chose Fieldays 2024 to launch a parliamentary inquiry into rural banking services, to see how the banks have been treating farmers faced with high interest rates. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Thursday, June 13
    In April, 17,656 people left Aotearoa-NZ to live overseas, averaging 588 a day, with just over half of those likely to have gone to Australia. Photo: Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Thursday, June 13 ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 weeks ago
  • Our guide to having your say on the draft RLTP 2024
    Auckland’s draft Regional Land Transport Plan (RLTP) 2024 is open for feedback – and you only have until Monday 17 June to submit. Do it! Join the thousands of Aucklanders who are speaking up for wise strategic investment that will dig us out of traffic and give us easy and ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    2 weeks ago
  • The China puzzle
    Chinese Premier Li Qiang arrives in Wellington today for a three-day visit to the country. The visit will take place amid uncertainty about the future of the New Zealand-China relationship. Li hosted a formal welcome and then lunch for then-Prime Minister Chris Hipkins in Beijing a year ago. The pair ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    2 weeks ago
  • Fossil fuels are shredding our democracy
    This is a re-post of an article from the Climate Brink by Andrew Dessler published on June 3, 2024. I have an oped in the New York Times (gift link) about this. For a long time, a common refrain about the energy transition was that renewable energy needed to become ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Life at 20 kilometres an hour
    We are still in France, getting from A to B.Possibly for only another week, though; Switzerland and Germany are looming now. On we pedal, towards Budapest, at about 20 km per hour.What are are mostly doing is inhaling a country, loving its ways and its food. Rolling, talking, quietly thinking. ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    2 weeks ago
  • Hipkins is still useless
    The big problem with the last Labour government was that they were chickenshits who did nothing with the absolute majority we had given them. They governed as if they were scared of their own shadows, afraid of making decisions lest it upset someone - usually someone who would never have ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Exercising with the IDF.
    This morning I did something I seldom do, I looked at the Twitter newsfeed. Normally I take the approach of something that I’m not sure is an American urban legend, or genuinely something kids do over there. The infamous bag of dog poo on the front porch, set it on ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    2 weeks ago

  • Reserve Bank chair reappointed
    Professor Neil Quigley has been reappointed as Chair of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand Board for a further term of two years, until 30 June 2026.  “Professor Quigley has played a key role in establishing the new Board after the commencement of the new RBNZ Act on 1 July ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • School attendance increases
    School attendance data released today shows an increase in the number of students regularly attending school to 61.7 per cent in term one. This compares to 59.5 per cent in term one last year and 53.6 per cent in term four. “It is encouraging to see more children getting to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Record investment in public transport services
    The Government has announced a record 41 per cent increase in indicative funding for public transport services and operations, and confirmed the rollout of the National Ticketing Solution (NTS) that will enable contactless debit and credit card payments starting this year in Auckland, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.“This Government is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • GDP data shows need to strengthen and grow the economy
    GDP figures for the March quarter reinforce the importance of restoring fiscal discipline to public spending and driving more economic growth, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  Data released today by Stats NZ shows GDP has risen 0.2 per cent for the quarter to March.   “While today’s data is technically in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Women continue to make up over 50 per cent on public sector boards
    Women’s representation on public sector boards and committees has reached 50 per cent or above for the fourth consecutive year, with women holding 53.9 per cent of public sector board roles, Acting Minister for Women Louise Upston says. “This is a fantastic achievement, but the work is not done. To ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government supporting Māori business success
    The Coalition Government is supporting Māori to boost development and the Māori economy through investment in projects that benefit the regions, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones and Māori Development Minister Tama Potaka say. “As the Regional Development Minister, I am focused on supporting Māori to succeed. The Provincial Growth Fund ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Better solutions for earthquake-prone buildings
    Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk has announced that the review into better managing the risks of earthquake-prone buildings has commenced. “The terms of reference published today demonstrate the Government’s commitment to ensuring we get the balance right between public safety and costs to building owners,” Mr Penk says.  “The Government ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Prime Minister wraps up visit to Japan
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has just finished a successful three-day visit to Japan, where he strengthened political relationships and boosted business links. Mr Luxon’s visit culminated in a bilateral meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio followed by a state dinner. “It was important for me to meet Prime Minister Kishida in person ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Major business deals signed on PM’s Japan trip
    Significant business deals have been closed during the visit of Prime Minister Christopher Luxon to Japan this week, including in the areas of space, renewable energy and investment.  “Commercial deals like this demonstrate that we don’t just export high-quality agricultural products to Japan, but also our world-class technology, expertise, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Strategic Security speech, Tokyo
    Minasan, konnichiwa, kia ora and good afternoon everyone. Thank you for the invitation to speak to you today and thank you to our friends at the Institute for International Socio-Economic Studies and NEC for making this event possible today.  It gives me great pleasure to be here today, speaking with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • National Infrastructure Pipeline worth over $120 billion
    The National Infrastructure Pipeline, which provides a national view of current or planned infrastructure projects, from roads, to water infrastructure, to schools, and more, has climbed above $120 billion, Infrastructure Minister Chris Bishop says. “Our Government is investing a record amount in modern infrastructure that Kiwis can rely on as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Making it easier to build infrastructure
    The Government is modernising the Public Works Act to make it easier to build infrastructure, Minister for Land Information Chris Penk announced today. An independent panel will undertake an eight-week review of the Act and advise on common sense changes to enable large scale public works to be built faster and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • NZ enhances North Korea sanctions monitoring
    New Zealand will enhance its defence contributions to monitoring violations of sanctions against North Korea, Prime Minister Christopher Luxon announced today.  The enhancement will see the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) increase its contributions to North Korea sanctions monitoring, operating out of Japan. “This increase reflects the importance New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Speech to Safeguard National Health and Safety Conference
    Good afternoon everyone. It’s great to be with you all today before we wrap up Day One of the annual Safeguard National Health and Safety Conference. Thank you to the organisers and sponsors of this conference, for the chance to talk to you about the upcoming health and safety consultation. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Ōtaki to north of Levin alliance agreements signed
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has welcomed an important milestone for the Ōtaki to north of Levin Road of National Significance (RoNS), following the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) signing interim alliance agreements with two design and construction teams who will develop and ultimately build the new expressway.“The Government’s priority for transport ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Improvements to stopping Digital Child Exploitation
    The Department of Internal Affairs [Department] is making a significant upgrade to their Digital Child Exploitation Filtering System, which blocks access to websites known to host child sexual abuse material, says Minister of Internal Affairs Brooke van Velden.  “The Department will incorporate the up-to-date lists of websites hosting child sexual ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New vaccine research aims to combat prevalent bovine disease
    A vaccine to prevent an infectious disease that costs New Zealand cattle farmers more than $190 million each year could radically improve the health of our cows and boost on-farm productivity, Associate Agriculture Minister Andrew Hoggard says. The Ministry for Primary Industries is backing a project that aims to develop ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Making it easier to build granny flats
    The Government has today announced that it is making it easier for people to build granny flats, Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters and RMA Reform Minister Chris Bishop say. “Making it easier to build granny flats will make it more affordable for families to live the way that suits them ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • High Court Judge appointed
    Attorney-General Judith Collins today announced the appointment of Auckland King’s Counsel Gregory Peter Blanchard as a High Court Judge. Justice Blanchard attended the University of Auckland from 1991 to 1995, graduating with an LLB (Honours) and Bachelor of Arts (English). He was a solicitor with the firm that is now Dentons ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Health workforce numbers rise
    Health Minister Dr Shane Reti says new data released today shows encouraging growth in the health workforce, with a continued increase in the numbers of doctors, nurses and midwives joining Health New Zealand. “Frontline healthcare workers are the beating heart of the healthcare system. Increasing and retaining our health workforce ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government to overhaul firearms laws
    Associate Justice Minister Nicole McKee has today announced a comprehensive programme to reform New Zealand's outdated and complicated firearms laws. “The Arms Act has been in place for over 40 years. It has been amended several times – in a piecemeal, and sometimes rushed way. This has resulted in outdated ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government delivers landmark specialist schools investment
    The coalition Government is delivering record levels of targeted investment in specialist schools so children with additional needs can thrive. As part of Budget 24, $89 million has been ringfenced to redevelop specialist facilities and increase satellite classrooms for students with high needs. This includes: $63 million in depreciation funding ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Major health and safety consultation begins
    A substantial consultation on work health and safety will begin today with a roadshow across the regions over the coming months, says Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Brooke van Velden.  This the first step to deliver on the commitment to reforming health and safety law and regulations, set out in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Growing the potential of New Zealand’s forestry sector in partnership
    Forestry Minister Todd McClay, today announced the start of the Government’s plan to restore certainty and confidence in the forestry and wood processing sector. “This government will drive investment to unlock the industry’s economic potential for growth,” Mr McClay says. “Forestry’s success is critical to rebuilding New Zealand’s economy, boosting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government cancels forestry ETS annual service charges for 2023-24
    Annual service charges in the forestry Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) will be cancelled for 2023/24, Forestry Minister Todd McClay says. “The sector has told me the costs imposed on forestry owners by the previous government were excessive and unreasonable and I agree,” Mr McClay says. “They have said that there ...
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    1 week ago
  • Speech to the LGNZ Infrastructure Symposium
    Introduction Thank you for having me here today and welcome to Wellington, the home of the Hurricanes, the next Super Rugby champions. Infrastructure – the challenge This government has inherited a series of big challenges in infrastructure. I don’t need to tell an audience as smart as this one that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government boosts Agriculture and food trade with China
    Trade and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard welcomed outcomes to boost agricultural and food trade between New Zealand and China. A number of documents were signed today at Government House that will improve the business environment between New Zealand and China, and help reduce barriers, including on infant formula ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • NZ and China launch Services Trade Negotiations
    Trade Minister Todd McClay, and China’s Commerce Minister Wang Wentao, today announced the official launch of Negotiations on Services Trade between the two countries.  “The Government is focused on opening doors for services exporters to grow the New Zealand’s economy,” Mr McClay says.  As part of the 2022 New Zealand-China Free Trade Agreement Upgrade ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Prime Minister Luxon meets with Premier Li
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon met with Chinese Premier Li Qiang at Government House in Wellington today.  “I was pleased to welcome Premier Li to Wellington for his first official visit, which marks 10 years since New Zealand and China established a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership,” Mr Luxon says. “The Premier and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government and business tackling gender pay gap
    The coalition Government is taking action to reduce the gender pay gap in New Zealand through the development of a voluntary calculation tool. “Gender pay gaps have impacted women for decades, which is why we need to continue to drive change in New Zealand,” Acting Minister for Women Louise Upston ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Funding Boost for Rural Support Trusts
    The coalition Government is boosting funding for Rural Support Trusts to provide more help to farmers and growers under pressure, Rural Communities Minister Mark Patterson announced today. “A strong and thriving agricultural sector is crucial to the New Zealand economy and one of the ways to support it is to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Latest data shows size of public service decreasing
    Spending on contractors and consultants continues to fall and the size of the Public Service workforce has started to decrease after years of growth, according to the latest data released today by the Public Service Commission. Workforce data for the quarter from 31 December 23 to 31 March 24 shows ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Speech to the Law Association
    Thank you to the Law Association for inviting me to speak this morning. As a former president under its previous name — the Auckland District Law Society — I take particular satisfaction in seeing this organisation, and its members, in such good heart. As Attorney-General, I am grateful for these ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • 25 years on, NZ reaffirms enduring friendship with Timor Leste
    New Zealand is committed to working closely with Timor-Leste to support its prosperity and resilience, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “This year is the 25th anniversary of New Zealand sending peacekeepers to Timor-Leste, who contributed to the country’s stabilisation and ultimately its independence,” Mr Peters says.    “A quarter ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Inquiry requested into rural banking
    Promoting robust competition in the banking sector is vital to rebuilding the economy, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  “New Zealanders deserve a banking sector that is as competitive as possible. Banking services play an important role in our communities and in the economy. Kiwis rely on access to lending when ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Ministry for Regulation targets red tape to keep farmers and growers competitive
    Regulation Minister David Seymour, Environment Minister Penny Simmonds, and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard have today announced a regulatory sector review on the approval process for new agricultural and horticultural products.    “Red tape stops farmers and growers from getting access to products that have been approved by other OECD countries. ...
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