Credit where it’s due

Written By: - Date published: 12:04 pm, November 19th, 2008 - 30 comments
Categories: economy, Media, national/act government, wages - Tags:

It’s exam season for high school students. So, for 10 points explain how the following statement (in the ACT-National agreement and repeated uncritically by the media) can be true,

closing the income gap with Australia by 2025… will require a sustained lift in New Zealand’s productivity growth to 3 per cent a year.

given:
– productivity is just one factor in GDP (production = inputs x productivity, basically the amount produced depends on how much you put in times how much you get out per unit of what you put in)

-productivity growth tends to move in the opposite direction to the amount of labour and capital input growth – ie. productivity actually usually increases faster when GDP growth is slack or after a recession and productivity growth slows when GDP goes through a sustained period of rapid growth

– incomes (ie. wages and salaries, the price of labour) is a result of supply and demand for labour, not the productivity of labour. Indeed, wages usually increase fastest when there is a shortage of labour and rising demand while productivity increases fastest when there is an abundance of labour and falling demand (because only the ‘highest quality’ labour is used).

For extra credit: why is it that the supposedly economy-focused political parties and the business/political media seem to lack a fundamental understanding of economics?

[Update: I should add that I am not, of course, against productivity growth. I am just against people buying the idea it is some kind of panacea. There are very good reasons why the Right has chosen to focus on productivity: every other metric of economic performance has been too good. We have outgrown our trade partners, unemployment has ben at record lows, and wages risen have risen at record rates. Productivity growth is counter-cyclical, slow when the economy is at full tilt, so it has been a useful stick to hit a government in good times. It is also useful because it can be claimed, usually without evidence, that government regulation -ie work rights – is impeding productivity; if you wnat to remove work rights, first argue we need faster productivity growth]

30 comments on “Credit where it’s due ”

  1. Tane 1

    Because they can use productivity as an exuse to slash “rigid” and “inflexible” labour laws and “compliance costs” like health and safety laws, consumer protections and community democracy in the RMA?

  2. Lampie 2

    and help Telecom gain an competitive edge by increasing broadband speeds

  3. the sprout 3

    ooh ooh, i know the answer for the bonus question!

    because you don’t need to know anything about politics, business or economics to cut and paste from a press release. and if you were, like, a real journalist and did know about any of those things you might cost too much to hire, and the msm might not be able to keep making massive profits for its overseas owners.

  4. Tane 4

    sprout, top of the class.

    Seriously though, we should all welcome higher productivity. It’s just I don’t think National and ACT see productivity improvements coming in the same way as I do.

    Also, they seem to think productivity growth alone can lift wages when the reality is you actually need a mechanism to translate improvements into fatter pay packets – as we saw in the 1990s when productivity grew but wages fell, it doesn’t happen by itself.

    National and ACT want to undermine, and in many areas remove, those mechanisms so the benefits of productivity growth go exclusively to the owners of capital.

  5. Tane, as so often, hits the nail on the head. Productivity growth is great but if you want to lift incomes too you need mechanisms (ie work rights) to ensure that greater wealth flows through to workers.

  6. Ianmac 6

    I guess its OK to promise this sort of thing because the world will have changed by 2025. Maybe John Key will be retired by then 17 years hence. Isn’t there a promise about 2050 as well and that’s only 42 years hence.

  7. Steve The visible hand in economics went to some trouble to explain the basics of productivity here. Take a look. It will help.

  8. Daveo 8

    From what I saw they got a schooling from Robinsod.

  9. “From what I saw they got a schooling from Robinsod.”

    Really, then you must not of read my reply.

  10. Paul Walker. I’m sure you can explain very easily how increasing productivity alone can close an income gap.

  11. “I’m sure you can explain very easily how increasing productivity alone can close an income gap”

    I’m not Paul but I can say:

    Real income in the economy is the amount of goods and services that people can buy.

    Increased productivity implies that we can produce more goods and services with the given inputs.

    Therefore in the long-run (when inputs are appropriately utilised) higher productivity implies that higher income. It is a virtual truism.

    Don’t get me wrong – I think that the goal of “productivity growth” is vacuous. However, it does not make that statement that higher productivity growth equals higher incomes wrong.

    [“with the given inputs” is the problematic assumption. Any economic policy that focuses entirely on boosting productivity would actually want employment (ie inputs) to fall so only the higher quality inputs are being used. And we have the issue of which income gap we are talking about – if we’re talking about GDP per capita you’re right on the truism, if we’re talking the wage gap, and that’s surely what the ordinary person would understand by income gap, then we still have a problem SP]

  12. This is quite long, so I’ll start by saying I am not arguing against productivity growth, I am arguing it is not a silver bullet. Important distinction.

    I’ve just had a look at Matt’s piece in response to the first time I mentioned this issue. Hes talking about multi-factor productivity, not labour productivity as the National-ACT agreement seems to be. Also, you can’t get around the simple fact that productivity is a ratio – outputs:inputs and just because you improve that ratio does not mean you increase the amount of outputs.

    I would be very interested to see the data that Matt alludes to saying productivity directly leads to wage increases, especially as wages having been increasing at a record rate despite productivity increase being slack because the economy has been overstretched. – let’s take a simple thought experiment:

    We’ve got a cleaner, she can clean 5 fat cats’ offices an hour. Then her productivity increases, maybe she goes on a course or the give her e or the ‘wonder cleaner 5000’ or something. Now she can clean 10 offices an hour. Her productivity has doubled.

    Will she get paid more?

    Why would she? The cleaning company gets the money for the work she does, they get to decide how much of a slice she gets because the profits of her labour belong to her employer (its called capitalism). The cleaning company decides how much to pay based on what it thinks is the minimum it can pay to get enough, competent, happy-enough staff to do the job (it pays the minimum, because every dollar on wages is a dollar off dividends). Don’t matter that she’s got more productive, unless the market for her labour changes.

    Now, productivity can change the market for labour overall. If all companies are getting more productivity from their workers, they’re more profitable and as they compete with each other for labour the amount they can pay will increase but it will depend very much on how many unemployed people are out there – if there are heaps, the cleaning companies won’t be competing with each other so they won’t need to offer higher wages.

    So, and this is the experience of the 1990s, a worker’s productivity can increase dramatically but there is no reason, unless unemployment is low, that the increased wealth produced will flow through to that worker’s pay packet, and even low unemployment will only see some of the additional wealth flow to the one generating it. What does make wages go up is having workers able to group together and collectively deny their labour below a certain price and a minimum wage that means no labour can be suppled below a set price.

  13. Tigger 13

    Ugh – further to this topic I see Fran O’Sullivan frothing at the mouth over a Productivity Commission (would you like some bureaucracy with that?) and NACT adopting Douglasian principles.
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz-election-2008/news/article.cfm?c_id=1501799&objectid=10543789

    Is the answer to the bonus credit question x = 5.37?

  14. Hi Steve,

    I had a look through the document before I posted and I didn’t see the National-Act agreement discussing labour productivity – infact it appeared more like a vacuous discussion of multi-factor productivity to me. Would you be able to point me to the specific page where they say labour productivity – if so I will update my post to say so.

    “I would be very interested to see the data that Matt alludes to saying productivity directly leads to wage increases, especially as wages having been increasing at a record rate despite productivity increase being slack because the economy has been overstretched”

    It is a fair question. The data I have worked with has been at my work, so I can’t really just pull that out and start throwing out my works intellectual capital. However, when I get a chance I’ll have a look around the free stuff at Stats and see if I can pull something together.

    I agree that other factors influence real wage growth, but historically productivity has been a MAJOR driver – although I do not expect you to believe it till I come up with a graph 😛

  15. “Any economic policy that focuses entirely on boosting productivity would actually want employment (ie inputs) to fall so only the higher quality inputs are being used”

    No, no, and no.

    We can boost productivity in a number of ways depending on the target. Say the focus is multifactor productivity, if we have increasing returns to scale then any policy to increase the size of the labour market, increase immigration, and eventually output will increase at a rate greater than the set of inputs being used.

    The fact is that higher “productivity” in the general (total factor productivity) sense is invariably good – but is also not likely to something that can be magically provided by policy. Increases in TFP are the reason that economists assume that the economy can grow perpetually in per capita terms, however economists also do not believe that policy can really change the path of TFP – hence why such a goal is vacuous.

    “And we have the issue of which income gap we are talking about – if we’re talking about GDP per capita you’re right on the truism, if we’re talking the wage gap, and that’s surely what the ordinary person would understand by income gap, then we still have a problem”

    I agree there is a difference in so far as wage distribution is an issue (and terms of trade shocks). However, any criticism based on this only exists if the policy will increase wage inequality – at the moment we don’t have a policy to criticise so we can’t assume that 😛

    “further to this topic I see Fran O’Sullivan frothing at the mouth over a Productivity Commission”

    What the hell is the point of a “productivity commission” – sounds like pork to me.

  16. Steve. I have tried to make sense of what you have written here. If I am wrong what have I missed?

  17. Draco T Bastard 17

    An increase in productivity will result in a wage decrease unless there is a corresponding increase in demand at the same price. Assuming that the price is the market-price then there can be no increase in demand at that price so either of two things are going to have to happen.

    1.) The price drops increasing demand for the extra production. This will only happen if the decrease in price results in greater profit. This may lead to an increase in wages if, and only if, the employer is feeling generous as he has no incentive to increase wages.
    2.) The price remains the same, demand remains the same so the only thing that can happen is that the wage bill goes down

    An increase in productivity should result in deflation. If wages stayed the same then there would be an effective wage increase similar to inflation being an effective wage decrease. Of course – the government and businesses will try to prevent deflation as it will result in a deflationary spiral. A major problem with our accounting/economic system is that $100 != $100.

    What the hell is the point of a “productivity commission’ – sounds like pork to me.

    It is but I don’t know why anyone would be surprised at that – it’s what right-wing governments specialise in.

  18. “An increase in productivity will result in a wage decrease unless there is a corresponding increase in demand at the same price”

    No. An increase in productivity shifts the supply curve right in the goods market – implying an increase in activity and a reduction in prices.

    Wages won’t fall (as the marginal product of a worker is higher) – but unit labour costs will, as you need less labour to make a “unit”

    “An increase in productivity should result in deflation”

    Yes – if the quantity of money is unchanged.

    Note that no-one ever said that an increase in productivity increase employment – we said that it increase the wage earned by a worker. The change in employment depends intrinsically on how the shape of the production function moves as the economy expands (for the mathematically inclined, I vaguely recall that we are looking for a homothetic production function if we want the composition of labour and capital to remain the same).

    In the market overall, an increase in productivity increases the SUPPLY of goods – we can now make things with LESS inputs, that is what is so awesome about productivity growth. Now the distribution of these gains depends on the policy framework we have in place and, if you believe policy can influence productivity, the policies you implement to undertake this.

    However, I cannot imagine an exogenous increase in productivity that reduces real wages – it makes no sense to me.

  19. Lampie 19

    just throwing this out there Matt, economies of scale, fits in here somewhere?

  20. Mr Shankly 20

    Why would a group that is so heavilly weighted down by the unions ever actually want to increase productivity. Unions are against performance pay or bonuses are against promotion based on an individuals performance or value to the organisation. Unions believe in evryone getting paid the same, unions believe in everyone being promoted at the same rate.

    Steve P – A cleaner should be paid more for being more productive and cleaning more offices – but this is against everything labour and the unions stand for. I can guarantee if national suggests that a group of people get paid based on their performance in the public sector ie teachers getting more fo improving their classes average or lab staff having fewer errors and higher throughput – the unions would cry about how it is unfair, how it is discriminating etc etc.

  21. Bill 21

    Mr Shankly.

    I worked a factory floor. And I’m a wee bit smart. So I figured out how my department could up output by 50%: cut material waste by between 80-90% in a way that us workers worked less. This amounted to many thousands of dollars.

    It was demonstrated to management. It was a working proposition. What happened? Management jumped all over it, me and my workmate….refused to adopt the proposed production techniques and wound up making abut 20 workers redundant.

    Then another 20 the following year.

    Then shut down production and shipped it Australia….higher wages impacting on productivity because? Well my conclusion is obvious. Management in NZ is full of drop kicks who protect their own incompetence by promoting underlings who are even more stupid and unimaginative than themselves and stomping on anything and everything that might unmask them.

    BTW. Not the only example I could outline, just the most obvious.

  22. Mr Shankly 22

    Bill – seriously if this actually happened get another job or better start your own business – rather than just blaming management.

  23. Bill 23

    It happened. That I don’t work there any more is incidental. It is a pattern and a mentality I have seen time and again in NZ. Incompetent management is the problem.

  24. Mr Shankly 24

    The argument could bemade that some unions behaviour encourages lazy management :). Again if people have a problem with their manager – leave – then the manager will very quickly get the message that he has issues and needs to change or leave him/her self.

  25. Ah yes Shankly – the market will sort it out… Hasn’t sorted out that nasty rash of yours though, has it…

    Oh and you write such godawful poetry too.

  26. Bill 26

    Mr Shankley.

    Sure. Leave the job. Get another the same afternoon? Transfer accrued benefits (sick leave , redundancy)? Management what? Oh, that’s right….carry on the same old, same old.

    G’night.

  27. Mr Shankly 27

    Robinsod – i know you do not mean to be so rude but you must speak frankly.

    People do need to be more proactive with their employment and if they don’t like what they are experiencing they should look at their options – this is something that generation Y understands quite well.

    Bill one point I would make regarding management is often they are in a situation where they have limited ability to implement effective change this is in particularly true of government run organisations.

  28. Carol 28

    Mr Shanky, it’s easier to measure productivity on a factory floor where you’re dealing with inanimate matter, and a lot harder to do that in teaching.

    Relative success in education can be due to a load of variables that are not as easily managed, or even identified, as on the factory floor. In schools one class may have a lot of students, who have parents who didn’t succeed very well at school, and who can’t support them well at school. It may have many students with anti-school behaviours, who are disruptive in the classroom, or some with learning disabilities. And this all before a specific teacher takes iover the class. How do you compare that teacher’s results with that of a teacher of a class of students who are largely well-behaved/school conformist, and have aready achieved quite a lot academically?

    Teachers also have to conform to a school ethos and procedures. If the school systems are at fault, this could distort results of “good” compared with “bad” teachers.

    But even on the factory floor, I would have thought team work was as important as individual performance. Performance pay assumes that an individual’s work performance is totally down to them, and can’t easily take into account how a team operates together within agiven system. In fact, by giving incentives to individuals, it could work against achieving good team-work and/or improving the system.

  29. Phil 29

    We’ve got a cleaner, she can clean 5 fat cats’ offices an hour. Then her productivity increases, maybe she goes on a course or the give her e or the ‘wonder cleaner 5000′ or something. Now she can clean 10 offices an hour. Her productivity has doubled.

    Will she get paid more?

    No-one’s bitten yet, Steve, so i’ll give it a crack.

    The answer (which is the same to almost all economics-related questions) is “It depends…”

    If the cleaner is now performing their job using a ‘wonder clean 5000’ (I’m assuing it’s some kind of machine or capital investment) then it’s unlikely she’ll get a payrise. If she does, it’s probably not going to be much.
    Why? Because the improvement to productivity has come from a capital investment, requiring expenditure on the part of the company, and foregone opportunity cost of what that cash (or new debt) might otherwise have gone into. So, the benefits will go to the capital(ist).

    On the other hand, the cleaner gets some kind of training, or goes on a course, or just through experience on the job picks up productivity ‘via osmosis’. Where does the new profit go?
    Again, it depends. If the company sponsored/payed the employee to go on a course, it’s the one taking the financial risk (if the course isn’t any good, and the cleaner doesn’t learn anything new, does she care? did she pay for it? No skin of her nose) so should again, logically, get the primary benefit of the reward.

    On the other hand, lets say the productivity increase comes from the cleaners own skills and experience. What then?
    In this case, the cleaner has a strong case for recieving the bulk of the financial reward. In effect, she is now offering a differentiated product to labour market ‘buyers’.

    You also mention Labour productivity growth in the 1990’s. Remember than post-84, the financial markets opened up, and it became easier for companies to borrow. This made it an awful lot easier to fund capital investment – an important input into productivity gains. At the same time advancements in IT became marketable to SME’s for the first time. These things are going to push up labour productivity, and the risk/expenditure is all on the capital side.

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    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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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 ...
    5 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days ago
  • Helm Hammerhand Anime: First Pictures and an Old English ‘Hera’
    We have some news on the upcoming War of the Rohirrim anime. It will apparently be two and a half hours in length, with Peter Jackson as Executive Producer, and Helm’s daughter Hera will be the main character. Also, pictures: The bloke in the middle picture is Freca’s ...
    6 days ago
  • Farmers get free pass on climate AND get subsidies
    The cows will keep burping and farting and climate change will keep accelerating - but farmers can stop worrying about being included in the ETS. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Wednesday, June 12 were:The ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Six ideas to secure Te Huia’s Future
    This is a guest post by our friend Darren Davis. It originally appeared on his excellent blog, Adventures in Transitland, which features “musings about public transport and other cool stuff in Aotearoa/ New Zealand and around the globe.” With Te Huia now having funding secure through to 2026, now is ...
    Greater AucklandBy Darren Davis
    6 days ago
  • The methane waka sinks
    In some ways, there may be less than meets the eye to the Government announcement yesterday that the He Waka Eke Noa proposal for farmers to pay for greenhouse gas emissions has been scrapped. The spectre of farmers still having to pay at some point in the future remains. That, ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    6 days ago
  • At a glance – Does positive feedback necessarily mean runaway warming?
    On February 14, 2023 we announced our Rebuttal Update Project. This included an ask for feedback about the added "At a glance" section in the updated basic rebuttal versions. This weekly blog post series highlights this new section of one of the updated basic rebuttal versions and serves as a ...
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: Farmers get what they wanted – for now
    Since entering office, National has unravelled practically every climate policy, leaving us with no effective way of reducing emissions or meeting our emissions budgets beyond magical thinking around the ETS. And today they've announced another step: removing agriculture entirely. At present, following the complete failure of he waka eka noa, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Presumed Innocent?
    The blue billionaireDistraction no interactionOr movement outside these glazed over eyesThe new great divideFew fight the tide to be glorifiedBut will he be satisfied?Can we accept this without zoom?The elephant in the roomNot much happens in politics on a Monday. Bugger all in fact. Although yesterday Christopher Luxon found he ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    7 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on our doomed love affair with oil and gas
    What if New Zealand threw a fossil fuel party, and nobody came? On the weekend, Resources Minister Shane Jones sent out the invitations and strung up the balloons, but will anyone really want to invest big time in resuming oil and gas exploration in our corner of the planet? Yes, ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    7 days ago
  • Building better housing insights
    This is a guest post by Meredith Dale, senior urban designer and strategist at The Urban Advisory. There’s a saying that goes something like: ‘what you measure is what you value’. An RNZ article last week claimed that Auckland was ‘hurting’ because of a more affordable supply of homes, particularly townhouses ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    1 week ago
  • Putin would be proud of them
    A Prime Minister directs his public service to inquire into the actions of the opposition political party which is his harshest critic. Something from Orban's Hungary, or Putin's Russia? No, its happening right here in Aotearoa: Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has announced the Public Service Commission will launch an ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Resources for debunking common solar and wind myths
    This is a repost from a Yale Climate Connections article by SueEllen Campbell published on June 3, 2024. The articles listed can help you tell fact from fiction when it comes to solar and wind energy. Some statements you hear about solar and wind energy are just plain false. ...
    1 week ago
  • Juggernaut
    Politics were going on all around us yesterday, and we barely noticed, rolling along canal paths, eating baguettes. It wasn’t until my mate got to the headlines last night that we learned there had been a dismayingly strong far right result in the EU elections and Macron had called a ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Numbers Game.
    Respect Existence, Or Expect Resistance? There may well have been 50,000 pairs of feet “Marching For Nature” down Auckland’s Queen Street on Saturday afternoon, but the figure that impresses the Coalition Government is the 1,450,000 pairs of Auckland feet that were somewhere else.IN THE ERA OF DRONES and Artificial Intelligence, ...
    1 week ago
  • Media Link: AVFA on post-colonial blowback.
    Selwyn Manning and I discuss varieties of post colonial blowback and the implications its has for the rise of the Global South. Counties discussed include Palestine/Israel, France/New Caledonia, England/India, apartheid/post-apartheid South Africa and post-colonial New Zealand. It is a bit … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Policy by panic
    Back in March, Ombudsman Peter Boshier resigned when he hit the statutory retirement age of 72, leaving the country in the awkward (and legally questionable) position of having him continue as a temporay appointee. It apparently took the entire political system by surprise - as evinced by Labour's dick move ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • PSA: NZ's Richest Company, Zuru, Sucks
    Hi,Today the New Zealand press is breathlessly reporting that the owners of toy company Zuru are officially New Zealand’s wealthiest people: Mat and Nick Mowbray worth an estimated $20 billion between them.While the New Zealand press loses its shit celebrating this Kiwi success story, this is a Webworm reminder that ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Monday, June 10
    TL;DR: The six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty in the past day to 8:36 pm on Monday, June 10 were:20,000 protested against the Fast-track approval bill on Saturday in Auckland, but PM Christopher Luxon says ‘sorry, but not sorry’ about the need for ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • In Defence of Kāinga Ora
    Given the headlines around the recent findings of the ‘independent’ review of Kāinga Ora by Bill English, you might assume this post will be about social housing, Kāinga Ora’s most prominent role. While that is indeed something that requires defending, I want to talk about the other core purpose of ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    1 week ago
  • Baby You're A Rich Man
    “How does it feel to beOne of the beautiful peopleNow that you know who you areWhat do you want to beAnd have you traveled very far?Far as the eye can see”Yesterday the ACT party faithful were regaled with craven boasts, sneers, and demands for even more at their annual rally.That ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Stopping a future Labour government from shutting down gas exploration
    A defiant Resources Minister Shane Jones has responded to Saturday’s environmental protests by ending Labour’s offshore oil exploration ban and calling for long-term contracts with any successful explorers. The purpose would be to prevent a future Labour Government from reversing any licence the explorers might hold. Jones sees a precedent ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #23
    A listing of 32 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, June 2, 2024 thru Sat, June 8, 2024. Story of the week Our Story of the Week is Yale Climate Connection's Resources for debunking common solar and wind myths, by ...
    1 week ago
  • Fission by the river
    This is where we ate our lunch last Wednesday. Never mind your châteaux and castles and whatnot, we like to enjoy a baguette in the shadow of a nuclear power plant; a station that puts out more than twice as much as Manapouri using nothing more than tiny atoms to bring ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Fact Brief – Is the ocean acidifying?
    Skeptical Science is partnering with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. This fact brief was written by John Mason in collaboration with members from the Gigafact team. You can submit claims you think need checking via the tipline. Is the ocean acidifying? Acidification of oceans ...
    1 week ago
  • 20,000+ on Queen St.
    The largest protest I ever went on was in the mid 90s. There were 10,000 people there that day, and I’ve never forgotten it. An enormous mass of people, chanting together. Stretching block after block, bringing traffic to a halt.But I can’t say that’s the biggest protest I’ve ever been ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Josh Drummond's Columns
    Hi there,I wanted to put all of Josh Drummond’s Webworm pieces all in one place. I love that he writes for Webworm — and all of these are a good read!David.Why Are So Many “Christians” Hellbent on Being Horrible?Why do so many objectively hideous people declare themselves “Christian”?Meeting the Master ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • Bernard’s Saturday soliloquy and weekend Pick ‘n’ Mix for June 8/9
    Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: On reflection, the six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty this week were:The Government-driven freeze in building new classrooms, local roads and water networks in order to save cash for tax cuts is frustrating communities facing massive population ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • The no-vision thing
    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
  • When Journalists are Disingenuous
    Hi,One of the things I like the most about Webworm is to be able to break down the media and journalism a little, and go behind the scenes.This is one of those times.Yesterday an email arrived in my inbox from journalist Jonathan Milne, who is managing editor at Newsroom.I don’t ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • Me, elsewhere: Just say you’ll do the thing
    Wrote something over at 1/200 on a familiar theme of mine: The way we frame the economy as a separate, sacred force which must be sacrificed to, the way we talk about criminals as invaders who must be repelled, the constant othering of people on the benefit, people not in ...
    Boots TheoryBy Stephanie Rodgers
    1 week ago
  • A Voyage Among the Vandals: Accepted
    A nice bit of news today: my 4600-word historical fantasy-horror piece, A Voyage Among the Vandals, has been accepted by Phobica Books (https://www.phobicabooks.co.uk/books) for their upcoming Pirate Horror anthology, Shivering Timbers. This one is set in the Mediterranean, during the mid-fifth century AD. Notable for having one of history’s designated ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Ministerial conflicts of interest
    Since the National government came to power, it has been surrounded by allegations of conflicts of interest. Firstly, there's the fast-track law, which concentrates power in the hands of three Ministers, some of whom have received donations from companies whose projects they will be deciding on. Secondly, there's the close ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The 2024 Budget Forecasts Are Gloomy Prognosis About The Next Three Years.
    There was no less razzamatazz about the 2024 Budget than about earlier ones. Once again the underlying economic analysis got lost. It deserves more attention.Just to remind you, the Budget Economic and Fiscal Update (BEFU), is the Treasury’s independent assessment and so can be analysed by other competent economists (although ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    2 weeks ago
  • A government that can't see twenty feet ahead
    There are two failings that consistently characterise a National government. One is a lack of imagination, the other is their willingness to look after their mates, no matter what harm it might do to everyone else.This is how we come to have thousands of enormous trucks carving up our roads. ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    2 weeks ago
  • A post I hope is incorrect
    In May, we learned that National MP David MacLeod had "forgotten" to declare $178,000 in electoral donations. Filing a donation return which is false in any material particular is a crime, and the Electoral Commission has now referred MacLeod to police, since they're the only people who are allowed to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Māori Cannot Re-Write New Zealand’s Constitution By Stealth.
    The Kotahitanga Parliament 1897: A Māori Parliament – at least in the guise of a large and representative body dedicated to describing the shape of New Zealand’s future from a Māori perspective – would be a very good idea.THE DEMAND for a “Māori Parliament” needs to be carefully unpicked. Some Pakeha, ...
    2 weeks 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
    16 hours 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
    4 days 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
    4 days 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
    4 days 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
    4 days 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
    4 days 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
    4 days 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days 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
    4 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 days ago
  • Ministry for Regulation targets red tape to keep farmers and growers competitive
    Regulation Minister David Seymour, Environment Minister Penny Simmonds, and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard have today announced a regulatory sector review on the approval process for new agricultural and horticultural products.    “Red tape stops farmers and growers from getting access to products that have been approved by other OECD countries. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government to reverse blanket speed limit reductions
    The Coalition Government will reverse Labour’s blanket speed limit reductions by 1 July 2025 through a new Land Transport Rule released for public consultation today, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  The draft speed limit rule will deliver on the National-ACT coalition commitment to reverse the previous government’s blanket speed limit ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Chair appointments for NZSO, CNZ and NZ On Air
    Minister Paul Goldsmith is making major leadership changes within both his Arts and Media portfolios. “I am delighted to announce Carmel Walsh will be officially stepping into the role of Chair of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, having been acting Chair since April,” Arts Minister Paul Goldsmith says.  “Carmel is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government focus on long-term food, fibre growth
    Food and fibre export revenue is tipped to reach $54.6 billion this year and hit a record $66.6b in 2028 as the Government focuses on getting better access to markets and cutting red tape, Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones say. “This achievement is testament ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Govt consulting on cutting red tape for exporters
    A new export exemption proposal for food businesses demonstrates the coalition Government’s commitment to reducing regulatory barriers for industry and increasing the value of New Zealand exports, which gets safe New Zealand food to more markets, says Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard.  “The coalition Government has listened to the concerns ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand and Philippines elevating relationship
    New Zealand and Philippines are continuing to elevate our relationship, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “The leaders of New Zealand and Philippines agreed in April 2024 to lift our relationship to a Comprehensive Partnership by 2026,” Mr Peters says. “Our visit to Manila this week has been an excellent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Paid Parental Leave increase to help families
    Workplace Relations and Safety Minister, Brooke van Velden says paid parental leave increase from 1 July will put more money in the pockets of Kiwi parents and give them extra support as they take precious time off to bond with their newborns. The increase takes effect from 1 July 2024 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Defence increases UN Command commitment
    The number of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel deployed to the Republic of Korea is increasing, Defence Minister Judith Collins and Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today.  NZDF will deploy up to 41 additional personnel to the Republic of Korea, increasing the size of its contribution to the United ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • New Zealand to attend 'Summit on Peace in Ukraine' in Switzerland
    New Zealand will be represented at the Summit on Peace in Ukraine by Minister Mark Mitchell in Switzerland later this week.    “New Zealand strongly supports Ukraine’s efforts to build a comprehensive, just, and lasting peace,” Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “Minister Mitchell is a senior Cabinet Minister and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Big step forward for M.bovis programme
    Farmers’ hard work is paying off in the fight against Mycoplasma bovis (M. bovis) with the move to a national pest management plan marking strong progress in the eradication effort, says Biosecurity Minister Andrew Hoggard.  “The plan, approved by the Coalition Government, was proposed by the programme partners DairyNZ, Beef ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Build To Rent opening welcomed by Housing Minister
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and Housing Minister Chris Bishop formally opened a new Build to Rent development in Mt Wellington this morning. “The Prime Minister and I were honoured to cut the ribbon of Resido, New Zealand’s largest Build to Rent development to date.  “Build to Rent housing, like the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Agriculture to come out of the ETS
    The Government will deliver on its election commitment to take agriculture out of the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme (NZ ETS) and will establish a new Pastoral Sector Group to constructively tackle biogenic methane, Coalition Government Agriculture and Climate Change Ministers say. Agriculture Minister Todd McClay says New Zealand farmers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Luxon Tokyo-bound for political and business visit
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon will travel to Japan from 16-20 June, his first visit as Prime Minister.   “Japan is incredibly important to New Zealand's prosperity. It is the world’s fourth largest economy, and our fourth largest export destination.  “As you know, growing the economy is my number one priority. A strong economy means ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Bayly travels to Singapore for scam prevention meetings
    Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Andrew Bayly, travels to Singapore today to attend scam and fraud prevention meetings. “Scams are a growing international problem, and we are not immune in New Zealand. Organised criminal networks operate across borders, and we need to work with our Asia-Pacific partners to tackle ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • More help for homeowners impacted by severe weather
    People who were displaced by severe weather events in 2022 and 2023 will be supported by the extension of Temporary Accommodation Assistance through to 30 June 2025. Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says the coalition Government is continuing to help to those who were forced out of their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government to reverse oil and gas exploration ban
    Removing the ban on petroleum exploration beyond onshore Taranaki is part of a suite of proposed amendments to the Crown Minerals Act to deal with the energy security challenges posed by rapidly declining natural gas reserves, Resources Minister Shane Jones says. “Natural gas is critical to keeping our lights on ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand and Malaysia to intensify connections
    New Zealand and Malaysia intend to intensify their long-standing, deep connections, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.    “Malaysia is one of New Zealand’s oldest friends in South-East Asia – and both countries intend to get more out of the relationship," Mr Peters says.   "Our connections already run deep and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Ending contracted emergency housing motels in Rotorua
    The end of Contracted Emergency Housing (CEH) motels in Rotorua is nearing another milestone as the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announces it will not renew consents for six of the original 13 motels, Associate Housing Minister Tama Potaka says. The government is committed to stop using CEH ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • First Home Grant closure exemptions
    The Government is providing a narrow exemption from the discontinuation of the First Home Grant for first home buyers who may face unfair situations as a result, Housing Minister Chris Bishop says. “The First Home Grant scheme was closed with immediate effect on 22 May 2024, with savings being reprioritised ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Faster consenting for flood protection projects in Hawke's Bay
    Work to increase flood resilience in Hawke’s Bay can start sooner, thanks to a new fast consenting process, Minister for Emergency Management and Recovery Mark Mitchell and Environment Minister Penny Simmonds say.  “Faster consenting means work to build stop banks, spillways and other infrastructure can get underway sooner, increasing flood ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Judge Craig Coxhead and Nathan Milner newest Māori Land Court appointments
    Tangata tū tangata ora, tangata noho tangata mate. Minister for Māori Development Tama Potaka today announced acting Deputy Chief Judge Craig Coxhead as the new Deputy Chief Judge, and Nathan Milner as Judge of the Māori Land Court. "I want to congratulate Judge Coxhead and Mr Milner on their appointments ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government signs Indo-Pacific Economic agreements to boost trade
    Trade Minister Todd McClay and Climate Change Minister Simon Watts, today signed three Indo Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) agreements that will boost investment, grow New Zealand’s digital and green economies and increase trade between New Zealand and the 14 IPEF partners. IPEF’s partners represent 40 per cent of global GDP ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago

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