‘Crisis’ but tax cuts for the rich keep coming

Written By: - Date published: 11:00 am, March 23rd, 2011 - 43 comments
Categories: budget 2011, public services, tax - Tags: , , , ,

The Nats are telling us there is no other option than massive cuts to government spending. Roughly, a third of the cuts covers the earthquake rebuilding, another third covers the Nats’ tax cuts for the rich, and the last third covers the revenue loss from this neverending recession. So, how come the Nats can afford another round of tax cuts for the rich?

I/S at No Right Turn explains:

While National is planning the biggest assault on government services since the era of Ruth Richardson, it is also planning more tax cuts for the rich. The Finance and Expenditure Committee – on which the government has a majority – has reported back [PDF] on the Taxation (Income-sharing Tax Credit) Bill and recommended that it be passed. The bill allows couples with children to split their income for tax purposes – a feature found to be explictly discriminatory in violation of the Bill of Rights Act by the Attorney-General [PDF]. The total cost of the measure would be over $500 million a year – and 78% of it would flow to households earning over $70,000 a year (which is roughly the median for households consisting of a couple with children). While not mentioned in the report, that benefit will skew heavily towards the top end – in other words, the usual story of giving the most to those who need it least.

So, the poor get to pay for the earthquake. Meanwhile rich families with kids get a tax windfall. National is looking after its base again – and everyone else gets to pay for it.

And let’s not forget that there are $280 million a year worth of corporate tax cuts coming in on April 1. In the middle of their cries that public service cuts can’t be avoided, they’re cutting tax on foreign-owned corporates.

The fact that National is planning more rounds of tax cuts for the rich shows that their crisis rhetoric is just about excuses to do what they want: enrich the wealthy elite and rip off everyone else.

As I said yesterday, rather than cutting public services, the government could fill the hole in the accounts by restoring the top tax rate, stopping the corporate tax cut that comes in on April 1, eliminating the ETS subsidies to polluters, and not building the white elephant highways. Instead, they’re cutting yet more taxes for the rich and screwing the rest of us.

43 comments on “‘Crisis’ but tax cuts for the rich keep coming ”

  1. Lanthanide 1

    I really don’t think they’re going to go near income splitting for tax purposes. Poor bouffant is foiled again, this time by poor timing.

    Small dribs have come out about what is likely to be affected. I’m having a hard time reconciling the required cuts with what Marty outlined was required (up to 32%) and what so far they’ve been hinting at. If they’re refusing to alter tax, the numbers simply don’t add up – I wonder if they’re going to announce asset sales (TVNZ?) or some other radical policy no one saw coming.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/new-zealand/news/article.cfm?l_id=71&objectid=10714240

    ACT leader Rodney Hide seemed prepared to sacrifice the 2025 Taskforce, an agency set up at his initiative to find ways to catch up with Australia’s economic growth.

    “I’m happy to put that on the table for discussion,” he said.”

    “Finance Minister Bill English spoke today about scaling back government programmes, but ruled out dramatic cuts to schemes like KiwiSaver or Working for Families.

    “There won’t be any radical changes to either KiwiSaver, or Working for Families, or student loans,” he said.”

    • Bright Red 1.1

      remember, those ‘32%’ cuts were in real terms and assuming a lot of areas won’t get significant cuts. You can slice off 6% just by not adjusting for population/inflation.

      and they were based on no signficant cuts to social welfare spending, which WFF and student loans are under.

      but, the fact remains that National’s hints get us nowhere the $1.8 billion nominal cuts needed to fund $1 billion in rebuilding and $800 million out of a zero budget. One way might be to can a whole of spending on new programmes within departments that was bugdeted in 2010 due to start in the coming year. It looks like nothing is cut but actually those new programmes were replacing expiring ones.

    • Jim Nald 1.2

      Hide sacrificing 2025 Taskforce?

      Hmm ok.

      How much will Gaddafi pay for Hide to take his place for his exit plan?

      There won’t be much to discount for cosmetic surgery as Hide won’t be too challenging to be cosmetically maimed by Gaddafi’s surgeon.

    • Deadly_NZ 1.3

      “There won’t be any radical changes to either KiwiSaver, or Working for Families, or student loans,” he said.”

      Now you and I know what radical means, but the big question here is what does radical mean to the thieving criminals that are ruining the country.??

  2. Pete 2

    I posted Naomi Klein’s explanation of the shock doctrine (she was looking at Wisconsin, but the principle remains) late last night in yesterday’s thread – but I think it’s worth reposting, because that is exactly what this government is doing.

    If there is no crisis, manufacture one by creating a budget shortfall through tax cuts to create a sense of urgency to ram through an otherwise unpalatable agenda. If there is a real crisis, so much the better as people are even more ready to surrender their good sense.

  3. Bunji 3

    Great post Marty.

    The corporate tax cuts on April 1 are particularly notable, coming right bang in the middle of their pleas of ‘poverty’. Was the first thing Bill ruled out paying for the earthquake.

    And even by their own logic, it ruins their supposed aim of having the corporate tax rate and the top tax rate being the same to stop tax avoidance…

    Lanth: the rumour this morning seems to be that KiwiSaver is particularly in danger. By no “radical changes” they probably will still allow themselves to cancel the $1000 govt matching. I’m not sure what their student loans changes will be (but there will be some); WfF will no doubt tail off more steeply at the top end.

    • Lanthanide 3.1

      Yeah, I expect the $1040/year in matching tax credits to go. The Kiwisaver tax-credit year starts on 1st July and payment isn’t made until after 30th of June the following year (so not until 30th June 2012 for us now), so there’s ample time to do it. If they do this however, they’re going to be widely criticised for removing incentives for saving. The tax cuts were supposedly all about encouraging savings by increasing the GST rate (and yet at the same time saying this would cause growth?), so to drop a rather large plank from kiwisaver seems risky.

      I wouldn’t be opposed to, at the very most, 1-2% interest on student loans, but that’s it. I’d also strongly be in favour of a time-limit for interest-free after you left university, say 5 years, but after that bring in a low rate like 1-2%, which I think is fair. Retain the 10% early repayment bonus also.

      Really any major move they make on any of those 3 policies is going to cost them come November. Probably the least damaging thing they could actually do would be to institute the earthquake levy – it’s ironic that when the public actually widely support a tax, National are too scared to actually implement it and so may end up losing support due to their alternatives.

      My boyfriend and I were talking about what to do with the student loan scheme in general. There are quite a few areas that could be tightened. The main problem is eligibility is simply too broad, and a lot of people go off to university because “it’s the thing to do”, only to drop out in their 2nd or 3rd year without a degree and being saddled with a debt for no benefit.

      Boyfriend pointed out that to receive student allowance in your 2nd year, you need to have at least 50% pass rate for your 1st year courses – why isn’t the same requirement applied to the living allowance? $160/week is peanuts if you live in the main centres anyway, but losing it might be enough soft-compulsion to make people seriously think about their studies during their first year, and cause people to drop out sooner rather than later (when they realise they slacked around too much in their first year and now they really can’t afford a 2nd).

      Right now it seems like, for many people, university is sort of a temporary staging ground while they work out what to do with their life – essentially getting ‘free’ money from the government without any strings attached only encourages this behaviour. An acquaintance once said he was “going to do ‘a course’ next year” so he could “get the government to give him a student loan”, because that seemed easier than working (in a minimum wage job), I have no idea if he ever ended up doing it, but I’m sure there are people out there who do.

      Another problem is all of these private tertiary training places set up that people can attend and get a loan for. I’ve briefly looked into the Network+ certificate that’s was being promoted on TV a lot during Jan and Feb by various ‘institutions’, and it effectively looks like 6th and 7th form level material. It would be useful as part of a longer course, or as an introduction, but in and of itself, it isn’t going to get you a job anywhere if the person hiring you knows anything about networking and what the Network+ course actually covers. I’m sure there are similar training courses in other industries that spit out wide-eyed credulous youth who think they’ve hit the big time and are going to get a job earning $45k with their 6 month certificate under their belt. I don’t see why so many of these private training places are accredited to essentially waste people’s time.

      Seems I’ve almost ended up with a comment long enough to be a post :/

      • Bright Red 3.1.1

        you’re going to save bugger all by not giving that start-off payment to new Kiwisavers. Nearly everyone is already signed up, so you’re only getting a few tens of millions by not paying for new accounts for people joining the workforce/being signed up by parents

        • Lanthanide 3.1.1.1

          I didn’t mention the $1000 ‘kickstart’ at all. I am talking about the $1040 matching tax credits that the government gives you if you contribute at least $20/week.

          Which is actually another angle on the matter – when National rolled out their 2009 budget, one of the possible changes with Kiwisaver is that they were going to cap the tax credit to 2% of your income and $20, whereas at the moment you simply have to contribute $20/week. This would mean that someone who was on $26,000/year would be eligible for a maximum tax credit of $520, even if they voluntarily contributed an extra $10/week, the most they could get from the government would be $520. National relented under criticism, but maybe they’ll bring this back. It hurts anyone earning less than $52,000, at which point 2% of your income is greater than $1040 so you’re eligible for the full amount.

          Yes, cutting the $1,000 kickstart would achieve very little in the short term. Gareth Morgan suggested they should instead dole it out over 5 years, at $200 year, and basically be a matching amount. So if you’d have to actually contribute $1000 over 5 years to get the full benefit. Specifically his reason for suggesting this is that at the moment the way it is set up, children who are enrolled get a $1,000 free, but there’s no requirement for any additional funds to be saved at all. He said that they have seen this behaviour to be quite wide spread.

          • Bright Red 3.1.1.1.1

            oh, sorry, yep. cancelling the matching contributions would save heaps, and piss off 1.5 million members.

      • B 3.1.2

        An educated population benefits us all Lanthanide, regardless of whether people drop out or study for years. Its well worth the monetary investment to ensure that critical thinking and intelligence remain in at least some sectors of society and are passed on to the next generation.

  4. JJ 4

    Can we define rich please?

    • Lanthanide 4.1

      I’ll take a stab at it.

      A family/individual, whom at the end of the year living an average (eg, not extravagent life) has more than $5,000 after-tax income left over for discretionary spending, which I would definitely include an overseas holiday or big-screen TV as being discretionary. Saving for retirement however is not discretionary. If you had to put stuff on your credit card, mortgage or personal loans to afford it, then it wasn’t discretionary.

      If you have less than $5,000 after-tax income left over for discretionary spending, you are either ‘average middle class’ or ‘poor’.

      It’s impossible to set a simple $ figure on it, because a family living in Auckland will need much more money than one living in Invercargil, but at the same time should also be bringing in a higher income. Similarly, you need more money the more children you have, and less money the fewer.

  5. PeteG 5

    “stopping the corporate tax cut that comes in on April 1”

    Even if it was fair to ditch corporate tax cuts stopping them with virtually no notice would be manifestly unfair.

    I’m a grateful beneficiary of Kiwisaver, but I think it would be reasonable to cut the matching credit – in half would be a fair enough balance, there would still be a good enough incentive to keep contributing. As per Bright Red I think the start-off credit should stay.

    • Lanthanide 5.1

      “Even if it was fair to ditch corporate tax cuts stopping them with virtually no notice would be manifestly unfair.”

      Somewhat unfair, yes, but what is more fair – ditching WFF, kiwisaver or interest-free student loans? Why should it be somehow more unfair for corporate tax rate drop to be cancelled than it is to change any of the other flagship programmes?

      In fact, it’s more fair, because people are making long-term life decisions based on WFF, kiwisaver and interest-free student loans with their current policy settings. If company’s have been making long-term planning decisions based on a tax that hasn’t actually happened yet (and is also quite small) then really they’ve been counting their chickens before they hatched now haven’t they?

      Ditching kiwisaver contributions has a further inherent unfairness, in that you’re going to be heaping additional costs on future taxpayers, or lowering the standard of living for future retirees, because everyone currently saving for their retirement will have less to live on if the government cuts their contribution rate.

    • Colonial Viper 5.2

      Even if it was fair to ditch corporate tax cuts stopping them with virtually no notice would be manifestly unfair.

      Oh get off it, how can it be unfair when corporates don’t get cold and hungry, aren’t receiving threatening letters about getting utilities cut off or eviction notices, don’t have children to feed.

      That’s what we really need here, more champions on the behalf of corporates.

      • PeteG 5.2.1

        Company budgets for tax liability for the year. Then suddenly they’re told that tax is to go up – to balance the budget they have to reduce costs, which could include reducing staff – staff who may have children to feed.

        • Lanthanide 5.2.1.1

          On a profit of $1,000,000, 2% tax equates to $20,000.

          If a company making $1m in profit has to fire staff because they had to pay $20k extra tax than what they expected, then I don’t know how that company got so profitable.

  6. TightyRighty 6

    interesting that income splitting is discriminatory, despite leaving money in the earners pockets without having to go through government churn, and WFF isn’t? they are essentially the same thing. just that one relies on having kids and one doesn’t. I suppose you think it’s fair to keep people on government hand outs, but not their own money? labour, always trying to roger something.

    Edit: for the record, I am against income splitting the same way i am against WFF. the distortions are just to blatant and discriminatory any which way you look at it. only made the call to highlight the inconsistincies

    • Lanthanide 6.1

      How exactly does income splitting not go through government churn?

      Unless you’re advising your employer of a special tax rate, it seems that squaring up of your tax take is going to need to be handled at the end of the tax year.

      • TightyRighty 6.1.1

        Well then that makes it even stupider. how about just straight less tax for everyone? rich, poor, but not bennies, because contrary to stupid belief and process making it otherwise, if you suckle on the tit of the state, you are a net tax receiver, not giver. so no tax relief for you as you already get it. this applies to all bennies.

        • The Economic Illiteracy Support Group 6.1.1.1

          Because despite the rhetoric, simply lowering taxes doesn’t seem to have worked. Unemployment was unaffected by the changes in tax rates (still too high) and growth was anemic – surely if tax relief was a magic panacea, the indicators would have been on a distinct upward trend by the time of the first earthquake.

          In fact the only quantifiable change from the lower tax take was a lower tax take, and a deficit for the government.

          • Lanthanide 6.1.1.1.1

            “surely if tax relief was a magic panacea, the indicators would have been on a distinct upward trend by the time of the first earthquake.”

            Well we’d only had National’s first round of tax cuts by then (and Labour’s in Oct 2008), where they lowered the top rate from 39% to 38% and introduced the ME ME ME ME ME tax code for “independent earners who are jealous of working for families”.

            National’s “fiscally neutral tax bait-and-switch” where they dropped the top rate to 33%, raised GST to 15% and proclaimed it was the solution to all our problems by both encouraging saving and spending at the same time, didn’t actually kick in until 1st October 2010, after the Sept 4th quake.

            captcha: theorys

            • Deadly_NZ 6.1.1.1.1.1

              And dont you just love the Blinglish line, that because no one is spending then everyone is saving. Yeah right I don’t know about anyone else but I am not spending because I have just about enough money to pay all the bills. Discretionary spending??? me??? yeah right…

  7. randal 7

    the gnats firmly adhere to the credo of theire cant be winners unless there are losers so hey presto lets make some.
    crummy?
    indeed.

    • PeteG 7.1

      If you have the credo that everyone must be winners then it gets bloody expensive over the years – even if occasionally you lose a few rich pricks.

  8. Just Right 8

    Cutting the Company tax rate isn’t just about Overseas owned corporates. It is about leaving more money in the pockets of NZ owned & based exporters like my company as well.

    To be frank your rhetoric borders on hysterical and does your argument no favours.

    • KJT 8.1

      It may be better to help NZ companies in other ways. Tax cuts to business do put most of the benefit in the hands of overseas corporates which simply benefits their overseas bottom line. That is money leaving NZ and no longer available to buy the products of local businesses.

      • The Economic Illiteracy Support Group 8.1.1

        Just to underline this point, the Australian-owned banks exported $2.5 billion in dividends last year, which I presume were tax-paid. Assuming a 2% lowering of the tax rate, that means they will be sending an additional $50 million offshore in the coming year if they pay out the same dividends.

        And this benefits New Zealand how?

    • Bright Red 8.2

      you understand that, domestically, the corporate rate is basically just a timing issue, eh?

      You see, if profits aren’t taxed from the corporation, they’re taxed when paid out to the owners.

      Therefore, the government makes up a lot of the corporate rate cuts with higher incomes tax revenue. It only really losses revenue when lower taxed profits flow to foreign owners.

      • Lanthanide 8.2.1

        “It only really losses revenue when lower taxed profits flow to foreign owners.”
        Or when they set up companies/trusts to shelter money and pay themselves a below-market rate salary to evade higher personal income tax rates. Which is another justification for why this rate should not be lowered.

    • Colonial Viper 8.3

      It is about leaving more money in the pockets of NZ owned & based exporters like my company as well.

      We don’t want NZ based companies to have more money concentrated in shareholder hands (and subsequently less in Govt coffers) we want them to use that money to start employing people.

      • TightyRighty 8.3.1

        you don’t want anyone having more than you, but no one cares what you want. if you think enough people care, start a political party and run for office. see how many people actually share your retarded view of the world. my guess is that there would be one to fuck all

        • Drakula 8.3.1.1

          ‘But no one cares what you want” What Viper would want would be what the entire movement of employers want!It would be what the Labour Party, Greens, and the unions (especially Unite) want!!!!!!!

          A fair cut of the pie!!!!!! Minimum wage $15.00 not very much to ask is it?

          In the last 20 or so years our council rates have gone up 1000%!!!! How much has dentists fees gone up in the last 20 years? Or lawers fees?
          And how much has the rate of basic labour gone up?

          • Pete 8.3.1.1.1

            If you want to ask for $15 per hour what you need to do is make sure you have sufficient qualifications and/or experience and target the right sort of jobs.

            • felix 8.3.1.1.1.1

              No job is worth less than that to society as a whole.

              Trouble is a greedy minority are taking to much from society as a whole for their individual use.

              • Bored

                Wrong Felix, some jobs are worth less to society….no way would I pay Key $15 an hour. Not even 15 cents.

  9. tc 9

    I bailed from KS once sideshow john and his dealing room were elected as govt assisted anything is against NAT core values.

    • Draco T Bastard 9.1

      Government assistance to the rich has always been a core value of National. Essentially, redistribution of the countries wealth from the poor to the rich.

  10. Sylvia 10

    This would be a good time to bring in financial transaction tax.

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  • Dems need to ask the right question about Biden as his age now defines the campaign
    Midway through the news conference that many American political commentators had built up as critical to Joe Biden’s re-election chances, the US president said European leaders are not asking him not to run for a second term, “they’re saying you gotta win”.The problem for Biden and his advisors is that ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    3 days ago
  • Govt flounders while ocean temps soar
    TL;DR : Here’s the top six items of climate news for Aotearoa-NZ this week, as selected by Bernard Hickey and The Kākā’s climate correspondent Cathrine Dyer, most of which they discussin the video above. According to experts, the rate of ocean surface warming around New Zealand is “outstripping the global ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • Learning From Brexit
    Whether Britain leaving the European Union was right or wrong, good or bad is for the Brits to decide. But there are lessons about international trade to be learned from Brexit, especially as it is very unusual for an economy to break so completely from its major training partner.In Econ101 ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    3 days ago
  • Bernard’s Chorus for Friday, July 12
    TL;DR: My top six things to note around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so on the morning of Friday, July 12 are: Read more ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Hot Damn! It's The Soggy Bottom Boys!
    Good morning lovely people, and welcome to another weekly review. One which saw the our Prime Minister in Washington, running around with all the decorum of Augustus Gloop with a golden ticket, seeking photo opportunities with anyone willing to shake his hand.Image: G News.He had his technique down to overcome ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    4 days ago
  • When an independent expert / advisory group is anything but ..
    OPINION: Yesterday, 1News reported that the Government's "independent" advisory group had recommended Kiwirail offload its ferries to another entity.Except this wasn't entirely new news at all, besides that it came formally from Nicola Willis’s advisory team.TVNZ is under significant cost pressure, and earlier this year, after expressing strong discontent with ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    4 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Friday, July 12
    Photo by Alexander Schimmeck on UnsplashTL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 9:00 am on Friday, July 12 are:Scoop: Ministerial group advises KiwiRail no longer run Cook Strait ferries 1News’ Julia RodenNews: ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Weekly Roundup 12-July-2024
    Kia ora and welcome to another Friday roundup, in which we pull together some of the links and stories that caught our eye this week. Feel free to add more in the comments! The week in Greater Auckland On Monday, Scott delivered a delicious disquisition on donut cities, ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    4 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Friday, July 12
    Photo by Dominik Scythe on UnsplashTL;DR: The top six announcements, rulings, reports, surveys, statistics and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the day to 6:00 am on Friday, July 11 are:Climate: Transport Minister Simeon Brown said in a release the Government's plan to reverse New ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • The Hoon around the week to July 12
    TL;DR: The podcast above of the weekly ‘hoon’ webinar for paying subscribers features co-hosts and talking with:The Kākā’s climate correspondent talking about the National-ACT-NZ First Government’s climate strategy ‘pamphlet’, its watering down of Clean Car Standards and its general lack of coherence;University of Otago Foreign Relations Professor ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Casey Costello strikes again
    Summary: A track record of deception is becoming evident in the Government’s Coalition alliance. Ministers across all parties have been found to either lie without contrite, and/or act unlawfully and unreasonably. The rails are coming off quicker than a marshmallow induced fantasy train ride as the conductors throw caution to ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    4 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #28 2024
    Open access notables Antarctic Bottom Water Warming, Freshening, and Contraction in the Eastern Bellingshausen Basin, Johnson et al., Geophysical Research Letters Cold winds blowing over polynyas (areas of ice-free water) on the Antarctic continental shelf create sea ice, forming very cold and somewhat salty, hence very dense, waters. These dense ...
    4 days ago
  • We're back! Join us for the weekly Hoon on YouTube Live
    Photo by Mathias Elle on UnsplashWe’re back after a three-week mid-winter break. I needed a rest, but back into it. We’re still with the ‘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 ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Climate Change: National’s gas fantasy
    Yesterday the government released the advice on its proposal to repeal the offshore fossil gas exploration ban, including a Climate Implications of Policy Assessment statement, Cabinet paper, and Regulatory Impact Statement. I spent some time looking at these last night, and the short version is that the government's plan is ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • A criminal minister
    RNZ reports that cancer minister Casey Costello has been reprimanded and forced to apologise by the Ombudsman for acting "contrary to law" in her handling of an OIA request: Associate Health Minister Casey Costello has been severely reprimanded by the Chief Ombudsman and forced to apologise for trying to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on Luxon in the NATO pressure cooker
    New Zealand is one of six countries invited as onlookers to this week’s NATO summit in Washington. As such, PM Christopher Luxon will be made aware of the pressure on the 32 NATO member states (a) to increase their Defence spending (b) to become less militarily dependent on the US ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    5 days ago
  • Bernard’s Dawn Chorus for Thursday July 11
    TL;DR: My top six things to note around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so on the morning of July 11 are:Climate: Climate Change Minister Simon Watts issued the National-ACT-NZ First Coalition Government’s climate strategy yesterday, including a three-page document with five bullet ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • By George! Splendid streets take shape down south
    The revitalisation of Auckland city centre, especially around Wynyard Quarter, Te Komititanga, and Queen Street, is top of mind for Greater Auckland readers – but other cities around Aotearoa New Zealandare installing people-friendly streets. This guest post by Jessica de Heij, who grew up in the Netherlands and is an ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    5 days ago
  • Bernard's Pick 'n' Mix for Thursday, July 11
    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 7:30 am on July 11 are:Scoop: NZ First Minister acted 'contrary to law’. Casey Costello has been severely reprimanded by the Chief Ombudsman and forced ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Thursday, July 11
    TL;DR: The top six announcements, rulings, reports, surveys, statistics and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the day to 6:00 am on Thursday, July 11 are:Economy: Te Pūtea Matua The Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) announced its Monetary Policy Committee decided to hold the ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Farmers’ revenge meets Green resistance
    If there was one issue that united farmers in opposition to the Labour Government, it was the battle of the waterways between farmers and Environment Minister David Parker. Parker won the first round with his 2020 National Policy Standard on Freshwater Management (NPSFM) which imposed tough new standards on waterways ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    5 days ago
  • Personal Reflections: 10th July
    Please note: This is a personal reflection and does not refer to politics. These entries are not sent to subscribers.Text within this block will maintain its original spacing when publishedHubris and Pride Out of the fire and into the frying pan? Swimming with the big sharks Tonight, I am excited. ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    5 days ago
  • Oh Vienna
    Nothing can warm your heart like the sight of your daughter stepping off a train. Mary-Margaret arrived on Saturday to ride with us to Vienna.You know your way around a bike? the guy at the hire shop asks her. Yep. She’s ridden them on rail trails, Auckland’s mean streets, commutes ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    5 days ago
  • Geoffrey Miller: New Zealand forges deeper ties with NATO
    Christopher Luxon is finding his foreign policy feet. Now eight months into the job, New Zealand’s Prime Minister is in Washington DC this week to attend the NATO summit. It is the third year in a row that Wellington has been invited to the annual gathering of the North Atlantic ...
    Democracy ProjectBy Geoffrey Miller
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: National’s carbon capture fantasy
    As the climate crisis has grown worse, the tactics of the polluting industries have shifted. From denying climate change, they then moved on to pushing "carbon capture" - dumping their emissions underground rather than in the atmosphere. It's a PR scam, intended to prolong the life of the industry we ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Harsh Truths.
    The Way We Were: An indelible mark was left upon a whole generation of New Zealanders by the Great Depression and World War II; an impression that not only permitted men and women of all classes and races to perceive the need to work together for the common good, but also ...
    5 days ago
  • Explainer: Simeon Brown's CCUS Announcement
    Sources for the data and research:Peter Milne: Time’s up on Gorgon’s five years of carbon storage failureSimon Holmes a Court: "Does best CCS power station in world provide model for Australia?" Chris Vanderstock: "The truth about Carbon Capture and Storage"   "Sunk Costs": documenting CCS's failure to meet every, single, target, ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    6 days ago
  • The Kiwirail Interislander saga continues
    This morning, 1 News is reporting that the cancellation of the i-Rex ferries has so far cost taxpayers $484 million.That's almost half a billion dollars. That could probably fund thousands of new doctors, maybe complete a few hospital rebuilds, or how about money for our experienced police so they don’t ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    6 days ago
  • Bernard’s Chorus for Wednesday, July 10
    As foreshadowed in legislation passed quietly under urgency just before Christmas, the Transport Minister has personally watered down standards for car imports in a way expected to add millions of tonnes to our climate emissions Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My top six things to note around housing, climate ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Christopher Luxon's business acumen
    It’s April, and the relatively new Prime Minister of New Zealand is on his first overseas mission to South East Asia.Christopher Luxon walks into the room. A warm smile on his face. A hand extended to his counterpart.“We are open for business,” he says confidently. “New Zealand is under new ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    6 days ago
  • Meet New Zealand's Russell Brand?
    Hi,There is an all too common story within the guru community, and we see it play out again and again. The end is nearly always the same — a trail of victims and confusion left in the guru’s wake.As seen in the recent case of Russell Brand, the guru simply ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    6 days ago
  • Why is the Government flooring it on unsafe speeds?
    Feedback closes midnight Thursday 11 July, on the draft speed-setting rule. See our previous post on the subject for details, and guidance on having your say. Among other things, it proposes to raise speeds in cities back up to a universal 50km/h (with no option of 30km/h), and will restrict safe ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    6 days ago
  • American Boy
    Take me on a trip, I'd like to go some dayTake me to New York, I'd love to see LAI really want to come kick it with youYou'll be my American boy…Love letters straight from the heart. Hmm, I think that’s a different tune, but that’s where we’ll begin. With ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • Bernard's Pick 'n' Mix for Wednesday, July 10
    Photo by Jannis Brandt on UnsplashTL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 7:00 am are:Investigation: Benefitting from the misery of others. Over 40% of emergency housing funding went to a concentrated group ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Wednesday, July 10
    Photo by Mr Cup / Fabien Barral on UnsplashTL;DR: The top six announcements, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the day to 6:30 am on Wednesday, July 10 are:Climate: Minister for Transport Simeon Brown announced changes to the Clean Car Importer Standard that ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • How rural families are saving thousands with electric vehicles
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Daisy Simmons (Photo credit: Automotive Rhythms / CC BY-NC 2.0) Some people thought Juliana Dockery and her husband Sean were being impractical when they bought an electric vehicle in 2022. Why? Like one in five Americans, they live in a rural area ...
    6 days ago
  • Love to complete it all
    Photo credit: Rob DickinsonThis is my wish for you: Comfort on difficult days, smiles when sadness intrudes, rainbows to follow the clouds, laughter to kiss your lips, sunsets to warm your heart, hugs when spirits sag, beauty for your eyes to see, friendships to brighten your being, faith so that ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: What’s left of the Emissions Reduction Plan?
    In 2019, Parliament, in a supposed bipartisan consensus, passed the Zero Carbon Act. The Act established long-term emissions reduction targets, and a cycle of five-yearly budgets and emissions reduction plans to meet them, with monitoring by the independent Climate Change Commission. In theory this was meant to ensure that the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • The President They Have Got.
    “This cannot be real life!” Confronted with the choice of recommitting themselves to the myth of Joe Biden, or believing the evidence of their own eyes, those Americans not already committed to Donald Trump will reach out instinctively for the President they wish they had – blind to the President they ...
    6 days ago
  • Has Progressivism Peaked?
    Let’s Go Crazy! AOC (Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez) rarks-up the voters of New York’s 16th Congressional District.HAVE WE MOVED past peak progressivism? Across the planet, there are signs that the surge of support for left-wing causes and personalities, exemplified by the election of the democratic socialist Alexandria Ocasio Cortez (AOC) to the US House ...
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Dawn Chorus for July 9
    TL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day are:Labour may be looking at signing up for an Irish style 33% inheritance tax instead of or as well as a capital gains tax;Sam Stubbs has proposed the Government sell ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    7 days ago
  • Mr Luxon goes to Washington.
    Once fastened servile now your getting sharpMoving oh so swiftly with such disarmI pulled the covers over him shoulda' pulled the alarmTurned to my nemesis a fool no fucking godTuesday morning usually provides something to write about with a regular round of interviews for the Prime Minister across Newshub, TVNZ, ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    7 days ago
  • Kiwirail at Councils Transport & Infrastructure Committee
    Last week at the Council’s Transport and Infrastructure Committee, Kiwirail gave an update about the state of the network and the work they’re doing to get it ready for the opening of the City Rail Link. There were a few aspects that stood out to me so I’ve pulled them ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    7 days ago
  • Bernard's Pick 'n' Mix for Tuesday, July 9
    Photo by City Church Christchurch on UnsplashTL;DR: The top six links elsewhere I’ve spotted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day to 8:00 am are:Scoop: Waipareira Trust political donations probe referred to Charities Registration Board NZ Herald-$$$’s Matt NippertScoop: Migrant whistleblowers speak out after ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    7 days ago
  • What’s next after Supreme Court curbs regulatory power: More focus on laws’ wording, less on the...
    This article by Robin Kundis Craig, Professor of Law, University of Kansas is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article. Federal Chevron deference is dead. On June 28, 2024, in a 6-3 vote, the Supreme Court overturned the 40-year-old legal tenet that when a federal ...
    7 days ago
  • The folly of retreat in the face of defeat
    Note: This is a long readPolitical discourse on social media taught me that bad faith operators and tactics are not only prevalent, they are widespread and effective.Thanks for reading Mountain Tui! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.Their objectives are much narrower than one might imagine.The ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    7 days ago
  • The Parent Zone
    Hi,I am about to wing my way back to New Zealand for the Webworm popup this Saturday in Auckland — can’t wait to see some of you there! In the meantime, I highly recommend the latest pet thread over on the Webworm app. All I’ll say is that readers here ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    7 days ago
  • Tuesday: The Kākā’s Journal of Record for July 9
    Photo by Alex Zaj on UnsplashTL;DR: The top six announcements, speeches, news conferences reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the day to 6:00 am on Tuesday, July 9 are:Politics: Full news conference: 'Please resign', Chloe Swarbrick tells Darleen Tana RNZ VideoPaper: Increasing speed ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    7 days ago
  • Breaking up is so hard to do
    The fundamental weakness of the waka jumping legislation is once again on display, as the Greens seem reluctant to trigger it to remove Darleen Tana from Parliament altogether. Tana has been suspended from the Greens Caucus while it had barrister Rachel Burt investigate allegations that she had been involved in ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago

  • NZ, Korea strengthen relationship
    New Zealand and the Republic of Korea continue to strengthen their relationship, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “New Zealand and Korea have a long history – from New Zealand soldiers fighting in the Korean War, through to our strong cooperation today as partners supporting the international rules-based order.    ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • Investing for future growth in tourism and hospitality
    The Government is moving forward with recommendations from the Tourism Data Leadership Group, beginning with establishing a Tourism Data Partnership Fund says Tourism and Hospitality Minister Matt Doocey. “The Tourism Data Partnership Fund is funded through the International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy (IVL) and will provide up to $400,000 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • Trade Minister to attend G7 meeting in Italy
    Trade Minister Todd McClay will attend the Group of Seven (G7) Trade Ministers meeting in Reggio Calabria, Italy next week. This is the first time New Zealand has been invited to join the event, which will be attended by some of the world’s largest economies and many of New Zealand’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Ministers reveal consequences for unruly Kāinga Ora tenants
    Ministers are pleased to see Kāinga Ora taking a stronger approach to managing unruly, threatening or abusive tenants, Housing Minister Chris Bishop and Associate Housing Minister Tama Potaka say.    “For far too long, a small number of Kāinga Ora tenants have ridden roughshod over their neighbours because, under Kāinga ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Prime Minister wraps up US visit in California
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has finished a successful four-day visit to the United States with meetings in California on his final day focusing on innovation and investment.  “It has been fantastic to be in San Francisco today seeing first-hand the deepening links between New Zealand and California. “New Zealand company, EV Maritime, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Prime Minister leads Indo-Pacific Four at NATO
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon today chaired a meeting of the Indo-Pacific Four (IP4) countries – Australia, Japan, the Republic of Korea and New Zealand. The IP4 met in the context of NATO’s Summit in Washington DC hosted by President Biden. “Prosperity is only possible with security,” Mr Luxon says. “We need ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • District Court judges appointed
    Attorney-General Hon Judith Collins today announced the appointment of three new District Court Judges.   The appointees, who will take up their roles in July and August at the Manukau, Rotorua and Invercargill courts, are:   Matthew Nathan Judge Nathan was admitted to bar in New Zealand in 2021, having previously been ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Urgent review into Wairoa flood response begins
    Environment Minister, Penny Simmonds today announced the terms of reference for a rapid review into the Wairoa flood response. “The Wairoa community has raised significant concerns about the management of the Wairoa River bar and the impact this had on flooding of properties in the district,” says Ms Simmonds. “The Government ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • NZDF’s Red Sea deployment extended
    New Zealand has extended its contribution to the US-led coalition working to uphold maritime security in the Red Sea, Defence Minister Judith Collins and Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today. “The decision to extend this deployment is reflective of the continued need to partner and act in line with New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government provides support to tackle tax debt and compliance
    New compliance funding in Budget 2024 will ensure Inland Revenue is better equipped to catch individuals who are evading their tax obligations, Revenue Minister Simon Watts says. “New Zealand’s tax debt had risen to almost $7.4 billion by the end of May, an increase of more than 50 per cent since 2022. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Taking action to reduce road cones
    The Coalition Government is taking action to reduce expenditure on road cones and temporary traffic management (TTM) while maintaining the safety of workers and road users, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  Rolling out a new risk-based approach to TTM that will reduce the number of road cones on our roads.  ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Celebrating 100 years of progress
    Te Arawa Lakes Trust centenary celebrations mark a significant milestone for all the important work done for the lakes, the iwi and for the Bay of Plenty region, says Māori Crown Relations: Te Arawhiti and Māori Development Minister Tama Potaka. The minister spoke at a commemorative event acknowledging 100 years ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Foreign Minister to travel to Korea and Japan
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters will travel to the Republic of Korea and Japan next week.    “New Zealand enjoys warm and enduring relationships with both Korea and Japan. Our relationships with these crucial partners is important for New Zealand’s ongoing prosperity and security,” says Mr Peters.    While in the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Huge opportunity for educators and students as charter school applications open
    Associate Education Minister David Seymour says today is another important step towards establishing charter schools, with the application process officially opening.  “There has already been significant interest from groups and individuals interested in opening new charter schools or converting existing state schools to charter schools,” says Mr Seymour. “There is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Decreasing gas reserves data highlights need to reverse oil and gas exploration ban
    MBIE’s annual Petroleum Reserves report detailing a 20 per cent reduction in New Zealand’s natural gas reserves shows the need to reverse the oil and gas exploration ban, Energy Minister Simeon Brown says.“Figures released by MBIE show that there has been a 20 per cent reduction in New Zealand’s natural ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Providers of military assistance to Russia targeted in new sanctions
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced further sanctions as part of the Government’s ongoing response to Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine.    “Russia’s continued illegal war of aggression against Ukraine is a direct and shocking assault on the rules-based order. Our latest round of sanctions targets Russians involved in that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • OECD report shows New Zealand is a red tape state
    Minister for Regulation David Seymour says that the OECD Product Market Regulation Indicators (PMRI) released this morning shows why New Zealanders sorely need regulatory reform. “This shocker result should end any and all doubt that the Government must go to war on red tape and regulation,” says Mr Seymour.  “The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government unveils five-point climate strategy
    The coalition Government is proud to announce the launch of its Climate Strategy, a comprehensive and ambitious plan aimed at reducing the impacts of climate change and preparing for its future effects, Climate Change Minister Simon Watts says. “The Strategy is built on five core pillars and underscores the Government’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • National Bowel Screening Programme reaches 2 million life-saving screening kits
    The National Bowel Screening Programme has reached a significant milestone, with two million home bowel screening kits distributed across the country, Health Minister Dr Shane Reti announced today.   “This programme, which began in 2017, has detected 2,495 cancers as of June 2024. A third of these were at an early ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Granny flats popular with all ages
    More than 1,300 people have submitted on the recent proposal to make it easier to build granny flats, RMA Reform Minister Chris Bishop and Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk say. “The strong response shows how popular the proposal is and how hungry the public is for common sense changes to make ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • $25 million boost for conservation
    Toitū te taiao – our environment endures!  New Zealanders will get to enjoy more of our country’s natural beauty including at Cathedral Cove – Mautohe thanks to a $25 million boost for conservation, Conservation Minister Tama Potaka announced today.  “Te taiao (our environment) is critical for the country’s present and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand increases support for Ukraine
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and Foreign Minister Winston Peters have announced a further $16 million of support for Ukraine, as it defends itself against Russia’s illegal invasion. The announcement of further support for Ukraine comes as Prime Minister Luxon attends the NATO Leaders’ Summit in Washington DC. “New Zealand will provide an additional ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Country Kindy to remain open
    Associate Education Minister David Seymour says that Country Kindy in Manawatu will be able to remain open, after being granted a stay from the Ministry of Education for 12 weeks. “When I heard of the decision made last week to shut down Country Kindy I was immediately concerned and asked ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government lifts Indonesian trade cooperation
    New export arrangements signed today by New Zealand and Indonesia will boost two-way trade, Trade and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay says. Mr McClay and Dr Sahat Manaor Panggabean, Chairman of the Indonesia Quarantine Authority (IQA), signed an updated cooperation arrangement between New Zealand and Indonesia in Auckland today. “The cooperation arrangement paves the way for New Zealand and Indonesia to boost our $3 billion two-way trade and further ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Carbon capture framework to reduce emissions
    A Carbon Capture, Utilisation and Storage (CCUS) framework has been released by the Coalition Government for consultation, providing an opportunity for industry to reduce net CO2 emissions from gas use and production, Energy Minister Simeon Brown says. “Our Government is committed to reducing red tape and removing barriers to drive investment ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Faster consenting with remote inspections
    The Government is progressing a requirement for building consent authorities to use remote inspections as the default approach so building a home is easier and cheaper, Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk says. “Building anything in New Zealand is too expensive and takes too long. Building costs have increased by ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Revision programme presented to Parliament
    A new revision programme enabling the Government to continue the progressive revision of Acts in New Zealand has been presented to Parliament, Attorney-General Judith Collins announced today. “Revision targets our older and outdated or much-amended Acts to make them more accessible and readable without changing their substance,” Ms Collins says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Government aligns Clean Car Importer Standard with Australia to reduce vehicle prices for Kiwis
    The Government will be aligning the Clean Car Importer Standard with Australia in order to provide the vehicle import market with certainty and ease cost of living pressures on Kiwis the next time they need to purchase a vehicle, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.“The Government supports the Clean Car Importer ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • NZQA Board appointments
    Education Minister Erica Stanford has today announced three appointments to the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA). Kevin Jenkins has been appointed as the new Chair of the NZQA Board while Bill Moran MNZM has been appointed as the Deputy Chair, replacing Pania Gray who remains on the Board as a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • More support for Wairoa clean-up
    A further $3 million of funding to Wairoa will allow Wairoa District Council to get on with cleaning up household waste and sediment left by last week’s flooding, Emergency Management and Recovery Minister Mark Mitchell says.  In Budget 24 the Government provided $10 million to the Hawke’s Bay Region to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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