CTU Alternative Economic Strategy

Written By: - Date published: 4:00 pm, October 30th, 2009 - 24 comments
Categories: economy, workers' rights - Tags:

If you watched the media coverage of last week’s Council of Trade Unions conference you’ll have walked away thinking it was about John Key telling teachers to take a pay cut and some woman threatening to throw a shoe at him.

Entirely missed was the launch of the CTU’s Alternative Economic Strategy. That’s a pity, because at a time when neoliberalism’s failures are more apparent than ever we deserve better than the National-ACT-Treasury echo chamber that currently dominates our economic debate.

Below is a piece from Bill Rosenberg in the latest CTU Economic Bulletin about why the strategy’s needed and how unions and progressive forces can start building a stronger, fairer and more sustainable economic system.

_____

Seeking Alternatives
Bill Rosenberg, CTU Economist

Discussion on an Alternative Economic Strategy was launched at the CTU Biennial Conference last week. It will be considered by affiliates over the next 6 months, with the intention to finalise it in June 2010. There were two papers provided to the Biennial Conference a short discussion paper and a longer background paper with much more detail. Both are available on the CTU website.

The strategy originally arose from requests from affiliates for proposals on an alternative political economy. But it is particularly timely. The global financial and economic crisis has illustrated the recklessness of deregulated capitalism and demands rethinking of economic assumptions, ideas and policies. And for many people in New Zealand and the world, the economy simply does not work for them, whether it is massive inequalities, unacceptable levels of poverty, in New Zealand and around the world, unfair wage systems, or unsustainable demands on our environment.

This is a major crisis in historical terms the worst financial crisis since the 1930s Depression. It grew out of international policies of domestic and international deregulation and particularly the excessive influence of deregulated finance capital in the economy.

The equivalent of almost two months output of the world economy has been lost US$8 trillion. To the extent it has not been as bad as feared, it is because of government stimulus programmes totalling US$5.5 trillion so far in the US, Europe and Asia, which will leave all the governments affected deeply in debt, and workers paying for it. Despite US$1.9 trillion spent internationally to bail out banks, many are back to their old ways and we are still not sure the financial system is stable.

The United Nations estimates that ‘between 73 and 103 million more people will remain poor or fall into poverty’ as a result of the crisis, mainly in East and South Asia. The economies of the richest countries, those in the OECD, are expected to contract by 4.1 percent in 2009 and unemployment is expected to be at 8.3 percent at the end of 2009 and reach 9.8 percent in 2010.

The economic theories which justify the approach to managing an economy which encourages these trends are commonly known as ‘neoliberalism’. They suited the interests of the large corporations which wanted to expand internationally and the finance sector which funded them. Neoliberalism has at its heart the belief that unregulated markets will produce optimal results for an economy, and that there is little role for government other than to set and enforce the rules that allow the market to function. But contrary to what we are told, there are always alternatives.

Looking at New Zealand it is almost exactly 25 years since the 1984 Labour government was elected and brought neoliberal policies to New Zealand. It was unsuccessful even in its own terms, but hugely destructive of society. Despite enormous pain during the late 1980s and 1990s, there have been weak gains.

ctugraph500

Growth in the economy has been weak compared to other OECD countries, such as Australia, as illustrated in the above graph. This is a symptom of weak productivity growth. Companies have relied on low wages rather than investing to increase productivity, which would in turn allow increases in wages. All this means that there are insufficient parts of the economy which can compete internationally. Exports are hindered by an exchange rate driven by international capital movements rather than the real economy. The economy has been very successful at attracting foreign investment, but it is often low quality. Our international liabilities are at unsustainable levels which drive a constantly high current account deficit creating yet more debt which there is insufficient saving in New Zealand to cover.

Worse, though, have been the effects on working people and beneficiaries. We looked at wages in the September Economic Bulletin. Wages have only just kept up with rising prices. They fell in real terms in the early 1980s and never really recovered. Working people’s incomes have missed out on the substantial productivity increases that have occurred since 1980.

This has helped drive the fastest rising inequality in the 1990s in the OECD, and unacceptable levels of poverty. Poverty peaked in 1994, when one measure showed 26 percent of the population in poverty and 36 percent of children. In 2008 up to 18 percent of the population could still be described as living in poverty and 22 percent of children. Income related rents and Working for Families made a difference for people with paid work but not for low income households whose main source of income is from an income-tested benefit or New Zealand Superannuation. These measures stopped inequality growing rather than reversing the trend.

There are a large number of policy proposals in the Background paper. Many are still sketchy and all are up for debate. They are based on principles (detailed in the Background paper) of Fairness, Participation, Security, Improving living standards, and Sustainability; and a three-pillar framework of Sustainable economic development; Decent work and a good life; and Voice: real participation in workplace, economic and community decision-making. Some examples:

  • Government support of firms, with conditions such as employment creation; export or import substitution potential; and industry standard employment agreements
  • Buy back Telecom’s physical network and begin to buy back the electricity system
  • Stabilise the exchange rate through management of international capital flows and currency controls in cooperation with other nations
  • Finance for local investment through Kiwi bonds, and the NZ Super Fund.
  • A new internationalism: emphasising the need for cooperation rather than always a market approach (such as in trade agreements)
  • Introduce a 45% tax rate for incomes over $150,000
  • A capital gains tax exempting primary homes
  • A Green New Deal
  • Flexisecurity combining employment security with employer and worker flexibility and providing 90% income replacement on job loss for the first year and active labour market policies for those out of work
  • The right for workers to require a Pay and Employment Equity workplace assessment
  • Low interest funding for new housing through the Reserve Bank in the short term and in the longer run, creating a National Housing Strategy
  • 6% compulsory employer Kiwisaver contributions (phased in over 4 years)
  • Improved worker participation and depth and diversity of the news media

We hope that these papers provide a useful framework for a healthy and informed debate that will help take the union movement, and progressive forces within New Zealand, forward to a better society.

[The whole document is available here]

24 comments on “CTU Alternative Economic Strategy”

  1. Jcw 1

    Flexisecurity combining employment security with employer and worker flexibility and providing 90% income replacement on job loss for the first year and active labour market policies for those out of work.

    Perhaps the worst proposal there. Totally unfundable, not to mention it provides disincentive to seek work for an entire year.

  2. Herodotus 2

    As with JCW there are a few items onthis discussion document that worry me, that you are going to far. At least unlike the Labour party you are putting something tangable out there. Many items are very valid. I am affraid that such discussions will be marginalised by far more important issues being driven by personnalities. Some by poor decision making and others as a diversion. e.g trev and his bike, Bill and his house, Jk and his smile & Rodney and his love life.
    I look forward t hearing and hopfully having some input (evan as a blogger input). As I believe that until we have real debate on issues WE ALL LOSE, no matter who is in power.

  3. Bill 3

    They have the gall to header this tosh ‘Seeking Alternatives’?

    Hurry up and find those three pillars chaps! And don’t go running off down that third or fourth way. No, no. Quick! Propose the mysterious ‘no label’ way.

    Everyone else calls it the mixed Capitalist market economy way, but hey, you can’t sell the discredited same old same old if you call it by it’s real name.

    Scandinavian model is Capitalism. Green new deal is Capitalism. Your workers cooperatives are wholly dependent upon a Capitalist financial framework and therefore capitalist And the rest of what I’ve read so far is all regulation and nationalisation.

    And they call themselves unionists?

    What about ending the exploitation? The wage slavery? What about proposing something that is actually progressive rather than diminishing the term by tying it to a soft cock intellectual wank on.

    Pertinent comments on the ‘Treasury Provides cover for Nat’s right Wing Agenda’ thread, but I suspect that effective, straight forward simplicity is the last thing they want.

    • Quoth the Raven 3.1

      And they call themselves unionists?

      They have every right to call themselves unionists. I support unionism (though not the economic proposals above) and worker self-management. Do you think all unionists have to be anti-market like you? In fact I know of many who are pro-free market and members of the IWW.

      Scandinavian model is Capitalism. Green new deal is Capitalism. Your workers cooperatives are wholly dependent upon a Capitalist financial framework and therefore capitalist And the rest of what I’ve read so far is all regulation and nationalisation.

      Agreed witht he first two. But the third is no reason to oppose worker co-ops. Co-ops are great for workers. They still have to raise capital. You can support one and oppose the other. Also the cooperative movement has always had its involvement with mutual banking and credit. I think you may just oppose them becasue they are still market entities.

      • Bill 3.1.1

        Do you know any wobs who are pro capitalist Quoth? I’d sincerely hope not.

        My criticism of this bullshit document might be better put by proposing an alternative title ” How the CTU proposes to save Capitalism”

        On the co-op front, I think that the proposals in the document are fucking ludicrous and would result in co-operatives in name only insofar as they are wedded to profit motive and (it seems) to be utterly dependent on external financial structures for ever and the day. What are the internal structures? do they perpetuate exploitative divisions of labour? I doubt the CTU authors even bothered to ask such fundamental questions

        I’m a strong advocate of workers collectives. You know that, or should do from previous comments I’ve made here. In my experience, workers collectives stand in opposition to exploitative models of capitalist production rather than being ‘feel good’ mimics of those models.

        • Quoth the Raven 3.1.1.1

          Do you know any wobs who are pro capitalist Quoth? I’d sincerely hope not.

          I suppose it depends on your definition of capitalism Bill, but not what most people think of.

          I see no merit in the CTUs plans either.

          The internal structure is important, but by definition it’s going to be at least somewhat better than the standard firm.

          I don’t see any reason to oppose it simply because they need to get external finance. They have to start somewhere.

          • Draco T Bastard 3.1.1.1.1

            When in doubt, use a dictionary – that way there won’t be any confusion…

            hahahahaha

            yeah, right – I was joking 😛

            The problem is that there are, essentially, two meanings for the word capitalism. The first is the one in the dictionary and the second could be defined as financial capitalism which is more concerned with the creation, accumulation and control of money (ie, banking). Bill seems to be more concerned with the latter in this instance than the former but I’m pretty sure he doesn’t like the former either.

            • Quoth the Raven 3.1.1.1.1.1

              To the second. The creation and control of money are operations of the state. Hence the free market argument against fiat money.

            • RedLogix 3.1.1.1.1.2

              The creation and control of money are operations of the state.

              So you’re a Chartalist then?

              You may be interested in Bill Mitchell’s work.

            • Quoth the Raven 3.1.1.1.1.3

              Hadn’t heard of them. I’m merely skeptical of fiat money.

            • RedLogix 3.1.1.1.1.4

              Neither had I until Steven Keen very generously referenced Bill Mitchell here.

              Turns out that the vast majority of money in existence is not govt printed fiat money, not even when leveraged by the famous ‘money multiplier’ effect… most of the money in circulation is pure credit, brought into existence solely through the operation of banks making mortgages, overdrafts and credit cards.

              The vital question I have never been able to satisfactorily answer is, why do privately owned banks have the privilege of creating credit and then charging interest? How did private entities gain this virtual monopoly over money supply?

              The Chartalist argument put simply, restores the right of money creation back to the State where it rightfully belongs.

            • Quoth the Raven 3.1.1.1.1.5

              Red – You can’t escape central banks. They print the money. They’re the banker’s bank. I simply cannot see how they could possibly have the privilege you speak of without central banking. Try reading the relevant chapters of Rothbard’s Mystery of Banking

            • RedLogix 3.1.1.1.1.6

              If Central Bank fiat money was the sole arbiter of money supply then following the classical ‘money multiplier’ effect, the total money supply would be M0 divided by the prevailing Reserve Ratios (typically about 10%). ie M3 = M0/0.1

              But in reality the M3 supply is many, many times this value. It got so out of control by 2005 that the US govt stopped publishing M3 numbers cos they were just plain embarrasing. The fact is that what we really have is a pure credit money supply system, with a small central bank fiat money system retained for cosmetic and ideological purposes.

              Yesterday I posed the question, why is it that everyone gets panicky and obsessive with unions driving wage inflation (when unions have been regulated to an inch of their lives and haven’t driven inflation in decades)… but we blithely accept asset price inflation driven by a lightly regulated banking industry printing uncontrolled amounts of credit?

            • Quoth the Raven 3.1.1.1.1.7

              Red – I’m not an expert on this but I believe the answer comes back to fractional reserve banking. You’ve got to ask yourself how fractional reserve banking could occur to the extent it does now on the free market. The answer as Rothbard notes in that piece is either you enforce a greater reserve or have free banking.

      • rave 3.1.2

        Ravin do you mean IWW as in international wankers of the world?
        Free market unions is an oxymoron. The free market advocates consider all individuals to be sovereign and as soon individuals ‘combine’ (read conspire) to form a ‘union’ they are taking advantage of individuals like Bill Gates and Warren Buffet who of course have a backroom combination going with the Federal Reserve, the military,the media, the church and anyone else who props up the capitalist system.
        The problem with the old recycled AES of the union tops is that it is dumb and doesnt see this reality and hopes that by getting down on its knees and sucking they will get more than a kick in the teeth.
        The crisis wasnt caused by deregulated finance capital, but by a surplus of profits that went into speculation instead of production. And there is nothing in the system to stop this happening again and again until it is thrown out. Regulation is no answer, revolution is.

        • Quoth the Raven 3.1.2.1

          Trust a marxist to call workers wankers.

          Regulation is no answer. I agree there.

          All individuals aren’t sovereign now, but they ought to be. I believe that.

          Free market unions are not an oxymoron. Unions are part of the market. They are private entities involved in bargaining on the market.

          The crisis wasnt caused by deregulated finance capital, but by a surplus of profits that went into speculation instead of production. And there is nothing in the system to stop this happening again and again until it is thrown out. Regulation is no answer, revolution is.

          The causes of the crisis were multiple. You mentioned the federal reserve. Why don’t you look at that and the rest of the state’s role in this crisis. As to the “surplus of profits” one would think considering Marx’s predicitions that in all the time past since his time it would be pretty bloody low by now, or not?

          Evolution not revolution is the answer.

    • roger nome 3.2

      heh – i don’t think the union movement is looking to revisit “Black Tuesday” Billy.

      http://www.nzhistory.net.nz/politics/black-tuesday/the-1912-waihi-strike

      What you’re proposing is NZ to be torn apart by ideological class war. But what you haven’t learned is that kiwis are more interested in rugby and beer than politics, and would rather spend an hour or so shouting drunkenly at their TV screen than tending to a barracade.

      Your approach is lacking in common sense.

  4. Daveo 4

    Bill, I imagine they’re looking to a set of policies that could actually be implemented without socialist revolution.That means working within capitalism for the time being.

    I mean, feel free to argue for socialist revolution if you like, but the CTU doesn’t have the mandate to call for that. Politics is the art of the possible. You want hardline socialism, you go convince enough workers and the CTU will be right behind you.

    • bill 4.1

      Jeez!

      The CTU release a discussion document. I’ll emphasise that….a discussion document on proposals for the future….or possible futures.

      And they have tied and limited the discussion to a perpetuation of Capitalism. That is where my criticism is…on the limitations that have been placed on the discussion.

      I never said they should call for a fucking revolution as some of the comments contend. That, in my opinion, would not be their call to make. Ever.

      But. It’s a discussion document. From a union body. And their horizons seem to be on a par with what I’d expect from a knitting circle or similar.

      It is obvious even from this middle of the roadish pro-social democracy blog that I am most assuredly not alone in being sick and tired of wage slavery; that I am not the only one who is over being forced to participate in the death of my planets living systems in order to avoid acute chronic poverty….killing my planet to live.

      And the institutions that should embody, at least to a degree, the more radical expressions of discontent and hope from the working classes has settled for being complacently and wholly capitalist.

  5. Edosan 5

    I support many of these propositions. A few have me a bit worried though.

    “Government support of firms (with) … import substitution potential”

    -Surely companies remaining competitive is still a good thing right?

    • Daveo 5.1

      Well, they’re a bunch of proposals for discussion at this stage, so I guess by nature they’re wide-ranging and up for debate. I’m not sold on all of them, but I think there are some good ideas in there that are worth wider discussion.

    • Quoth the Raven 5.2

      Sounds like corporate welfare to me.

  6. Edosan 6

    Definately, It’s good to see.

  7. roger nome 7

    I see that the CTU still isn’t advocating for a return to centralised collective bargaining/an Awards sytem. So all workers get in the impossible to unionise, and sizable, small business sector is the minimum wage for protection against exploitation?

    I just don’t see how you can increase worker participation in those work places without having government mandated participation requirements through an Awards system.

    The economics of organising work-places with below 20 workers just doesn’t stack up, and they make up about 30% of paid positions. It’s astounding that the CTU’s vision excludes the working lives of these people.

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    6 days ago
  • Losing Labour’s Mills-Tone.
    Nothing Left To Say: Labour's pollster, Stephen Mills, remains swaddled-up in the comforting myths of the 1980s. As if the experience of Roger Douglas’s genuinely radical post-Muldoon policy agenda was literally a once-in-a-lifetime thing – as much as the party could possibly absorb for at least the next 50 years.MEMO ...
    6 days ago
  • Speaker: Disability and the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse
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    6 days ago
  • Spain is not a democracy
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • UK Conservatives hate democracy
    With an unfair voting system, uneven electorates and an un-elected upper house, the UK's "democracy" is barely worthy of the name. But now the government wants to make it worse:The government has been accused of suppressing voters’ rights with the potential disenfranchisement of tens of thousands of people after plans ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • What is wrong with our building industry?
    Back in the 90's and early 2000's, the building industry was building leaky homes which should never have been granted consent. Now it turns out they've been building dodgy office blocks as well:New imaging technology has revealed hundreds of major buildings nationwide have defective or missing concrete or reinforcing steel. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Local bodies
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A future of government
      How could government evolve over the next decades? Reports of democracy’s imminent demise are greatly exaggerated.  However, satisfaction with political systems in many countries is low, so there is much to do for governments of all political stripes to improve relevance and trust. Digital technologies are seen as one ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Catalonia, interrupted
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    1 week ago
  • Sage Decisions Unwisely Over-Ruled.
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    1 week ago
  • Government may ban voting in effort to get more people to do it
    More than double the number of people who will vote in this year’s local body elections have tried marijuana or urinated somewhere they shouldn’t have. As local elections look set for the lowest turnout in decades, with many regions falling well short of 40%, the Government is exploring a number ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Woman: Deleted.
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    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • The Hollowest of Men Ride Again… SURPRISE!
    Musings continue apace about “the experienced businessman!” soon to be taking up a National Party MP position. Or to be more accurate, being parachuted into a seat to shut down their former MP Jamie-Lee Ross, who despite his own shortcomings shed at least some more light on the inner workings ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • Barbaric
    The Ugandan government wants to murder gay people:Uganda has announced plans to impose the death penalty on homosexuals. The bill, colloquially known as “Kill the Gays” in Uganda, was nullified five years ago on a technicality, but the government said on Thursday it plans to resurrect it within weeks. The ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Is this study legit? 5 questions to ask when reading news stories of medical research
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    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Fighting Monsters.
    Freedom Of Speech? The Säuberung (cleansing by fire) was the work of the German Student Union which, on 10 May 1933, under the watchful eye of the Nazi Reichminister for Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, consigned 25,000 books to the flames in a ritual exorcism of “un-German thought”. According to the logic of the ...
    1 week ago
  • The next wave of kaupapa Māori politics: its constitutional, it must be.
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    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    2 weeks ago
  • Night lights of NZ from orbit
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    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    2 weeks ago
  • Reporters deliver uplifting news to fleeing Japanese residents: they won’t miss any rugby
    New Zealand’s media is doing its part in Japan, reassuring those in the path of the storm that they won’t miss any rugby while away from their flooded homes. New Zealand sports reporters stationed in Japan for the Rugby World Cup have had the rare and heartwarming opportunity to inform ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Government in contentious discussions about whether to put surplus on red or black
    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones is the only Cabinet member in favour of putting it all on green. As Finance Minister Grant Robertson finds himself with an enormous $7.5 billion surplus, the Government has begun intense, at times contentious conversations about whether to put the money on red or black at ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Jordanian teachers’ successful strike has lessons for here
    by Susanne Kemp At the start of September close to 100,000 school teachers went on strike in Jordan.  They demanded a 50% pay rise.  A pay rise actually agreed to by the regime back in 2014. In early October, however, in the face of government repression and threats, the teachers’ ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Why some people still think climate change isn’t real
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz Why do people still think climate change isn’t real? David ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • The SIS unlawfully spied on Nicky Hager
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • October 2019 – Newsletter
    https://mailchi.mp/7d9133add053/closing-the-gap-october-2019-newsletter ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    2 weeks ago
  • And they wonder why we think they’re environmental vandals…
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Paying the price in California
    Last year, California burned. This year, to stop it happening again (or rather, to stop themselves from being found liable if it happens again), Pacific Gas and Electric is cutting power to half the state for a week:Schools are closed. Traffic lights down. Tunnels dark. Businesses unopened. Hospitals running on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Let’s Hear It For Up-Close-And-Personal, Hard-Copy Democracy!
    The Best Way: Missing from the on-line voting debate is any reference to the voting system that produces turn-out figures ranging from 77 to 93 percent of registered voters. The voting system used to collect and count the votes cast in our parliamentary elections. The system that involves citizens making ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 10/10: World Day Against the Death Penalty
    Today, October 10, is the world day against the death penalty. Out of 195 UN member states, 84 still permit capital punishment. Today is the day we work to change that. This year's theme is children. Having a parent sentenced to death or executed causes long-term trauma and stigmatization which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Talking Freer Lives: a Marxist gender-critical perspective from Australia
    Among the great new bunch of political friends we have been making recently is the excellent Australian-based Marxist gender-critical site, Freer Lives.  So we asked the comrade who set up that blog to write something for Redline on the blog, himself, his analysis of the rise of gender politics and ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Government spin accepted by union leadership
    by Don Franks  The Auckland City Mission is struggling with a 40 percent increase in demand for food parcels this year. A total of 23,020 were needed by June. Last month Missioner Chris Farrelly told the Herald the “cupboards are bare” and without an emergency food drive, he can’t see ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Forbidden Thoughts
    by The Council of Disobedient Women   Massey Wellington Student Association had a sit-in today. Imagine a sit-in. On a campus. Against a women’s rights meeting. Did the ’60s really happen or did we fucking dream it? They gathered in the student square, an echo chamber. Sitting on soft pillows ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Much love to my loyal Ukrainian readership
    For some reasons, my post about the mystery message from inside the Downing Street bunker seemed to catch people's attention.  Quite a lot of hits from NZ (unsurprisingly) and the USA (a bit more puzzlingly, but hi there, USAians!!) and 76 views from the Ukraine.I've celebrated my Ukrainian readers in ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Another day of bonkers GNUmours (again, sorry)
    First, almost a score of Labour MPs seem to have sent a letter to the EU basically begging them to accept a deal - any deal - just so Britain can get the Heck on with Brexiting instead of being trapped in limbo:
    To avoid no deal, deliver on the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour vs working class immigrants – again!
    by Phil Duncan In 2016 the National-led government suspended the Parent Visa Category, through which migrants were able to bring their parents into New Zealand.  Since then over 5,700 people have been in immigration limbo, stuck on the visa wait list. Labour is now bringing back the scheme.  Well, sort ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Speak Up for Women press statement: on Massey University and Feminism 2020
    The following was released yesterday (Tues, October 8) by the women’s liberation organisation Speak Up for Women. On 23 September Speak Up For Women announced that we would be holding an event at the Massey University Theaterette in Wellington. The event is called Feminism 2020. The intention of the event ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Farmers support dirty rivers
    The government is currently consulting on plans to improve freshwater quality. So naturally, farmers oppose it:South Taranaki farmers are preparing to fight proposed national freshwater changes that some fear will bankrupt them. The Government's proposed National Environment Standard on Freshwater Management, released in September, rated the Waingongoro River as one ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • No-one cares about local government
    Yesterday was the last day for (reliably) posting your vote away in local body elections. Turnouts are mostly much lower than the equivalent time last year (Palmerston North is down 2.3%), and so naturally people are pushing their online-voting snake oil again. Because the online census worked so well, lets ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The political ghosts of eugenics may matter more than the genetic
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    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • “Surplus” again
    Another year, and the government has announced another enormous government "surplus". And just like last year, its nothing of the sort. When we have people homeless and sick and hungry, when we have schools and hospitals still falling down, when we have underpaid public servants and infrastucture unmaintained or unbuilt, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Inside the Downing Street bunker
    James Forsyth at The Spectator (I know, I know) has tapped one of his contacts inside Number Ten for an insight into the Johnson administration's thinking and strategy.It is fascinating, unsettling and quite, quite mad.  Some key points:Negotiations have stalled and the Johnson administration are keen to blame the EU: ...
    2 weeks ago

  • Pacific Peoples Minister to attend Our Ocean Conference in Norway
    Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio, heads to Oslo today to represent New Zealand at the sixth Our Ocean Conference, which is being hosted by the Norwegian Government from the 23-24 October. “The Our Ocean Conference mobilises real action on issues like marine plastic pollution and the impacts of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • Government announces 27 percent increase in Trades Academy places
    Two secondary-school initiatives are being expanded as part of the Government’s plan to see more young New Zealanders take up a trade to help close the skills gap.   This includes the largest single increase in Trades Academy places in recent years. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Education Minister Chris ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • Methane reducing cattle feed one step closer
    The Government today announced its support for a project that could substantially reduce agricultural greenhouse gas emissions from cattle. The announcement was made as part of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor’s visit to Nelson’s Cawthron Aquaculture Park. The Cawthron Institute will receive $100,000 from the Government’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Bill to refresh superannuation system passes first reading
    Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni has welcomed the first reading of the New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension Legislation Amendment Bill. “Every New Zealander has a stake in New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension,” says Carmel Sepuloni. “They are our most common form of social assistance – nearly 800,000 New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government announces next steps in fight against measles
    Babies in Auckland aged six months and over can receive a free vaccination and children will all have access to vaccines, Associate Minister of Health Julie Anne Genter announced today at Papatoetoe High School.   The move comes as part of Government efforts to step up the fight against measles. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs, Pacific Futures: Connections, Identity...
    ***Check against delivery*** Good morning. It is a pleasure to be here, and to have the honour of opening this important conference on behalf of the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs. Let us take the opportunity to acknowledge all the people who have helped make today possible, including our special ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Police trial new response to high risk events
    Police Minister Stuart Nash says the safety of frontline officers and members of the public will be the focus of a new trial of specialist Police response teams in three of our largest urban centres. Police have this morning released details of an initiative to be trialled in Counties Manukau, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New awards celebrate fisheries sustainability
    The Minister of Fisheries is calling for entries for a new public award to celebrate innovation in our seafood sector. “I have established the Seafood Sustainability Awards to recognise and celebrate those throughout industry, tangata whenua and communities who demonstrate outstanding dedication and innovation towards the sustainability of New Zealand’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • More progress for women and we can do more
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter welcomes leaders in the private sector taking action on closing their gender pay gaps to ensure a fairer workplace for all New Zealanders. Ms Genter today launched a new report, Addressing the gender pay gap and driving women’s representation in senior leadership, from the Champions for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Proposals to curb environmental damage help our coasts and the oceans
    Government Ministers today welcomed the release of a marine environment report highlighting the four key issues affecting our oceans, estuaries and coastlines.  The release underlines the importance of government proposals to combat climate pollution, ensure clean freshwater, protect biodiversity, make land use more sustainable, and reduce waste and plastic.    Environment ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New mental health facility for Waikato
    The Government has approved funding for a new acute mental health facility for Waikato which will provide better care and support to people with mental health and addiction issues. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Health Minister Dr David Clark announced the $100 million project to replace the aging Henry Rongomau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • 500 new te reo Māori champions in our classrooms
    The Government is making progress on its goal to integrate te reo Māori into education by 2025, with over 500 teachers and support staff already graduating from Te Ahu o te Reo Māori,  Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis announced today. Kelvin Davis made the announcement at an awards ceremony in Waikanae today, for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Minister James Shaw welcomes 2018 Census first release
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Driving transparency, ethics and accountability in government use of algorithms
    Minister for Statistics James Shaw today announced a public consultation on a proposed algorithm charter for government agencies. The charter has been developed by the Government Chief Data Steward in response to growing calls for more transparency in government use of data. Computer algorithms – procedures or formulas for solving ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand and the Netherlands working together on climate change
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor, Climate Change Minister James Shaw and visiting Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte co-hosted a business roundtable in Auckland this morning focused on working together to address climate change.  “The Netherlands is an important partner for New Zealand. We share a strong agricultural history. Sustainable agribusiness and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Protecting fairness for workers and businesses
    The Government is taking action to build an inclusive economy where more of us receive our fair share at work and businesses can compete on great products and services, not undercutting wages and conditions, Immigration and Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. Two consultations launched today seek feedback ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Indigenous Freshwater Fish Bill Passes
    The future for New Zealand’s threatened indigenous freshwater fish looks brighter with the passing of the Conservation (Indigenous Freshwater Fish) Amendment Bill in Parliament today said Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “Until now, our freshwater fish legislation has been 20 years out of date. We have lacked effective tools to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Kiwis to take part in world’s biggest earthquake drill
    At 1.30pm tomorrow, hundreds of thousands of Kiwis will join about 65 million people around the globe in ShakeOut, the world’s biggest earthquake drill. The annual drill is to remind people of the right action to take during an earthquake which is to Drop, Cover, Hold, and to practise their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Rising wages and low inflation supporting Kiwis
    Kiwis are benefiting from higher wage growth and low inflation under the Coalition Government. Stats NZ data out today shows the rise in the cost of living remains low, as annual Consumers Price Index (CPI) inflation fell to 1.5% in September from 1.7% in June. “The low inflation comes as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • NZ economy strong amid global headwinds
    New Zealand’s economic strength and resilience has been recognised in a major update on the state of the global economy. The IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook released overnight shows a reduced global growth forecast over the next two years as issues like the US-China trade war and Brexit take hold. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Keeping New Zealanders safer with better counter-terrorism laws
    Justice Minister Andrew Little has today introduced a new Bill to prevent terrorism and support the de-radicalisation of New Zealanders returning from overseas. The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill gives the New Zealand Police the ability to apply to the High Court to impose control orders on New Zealanders who ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Improved succession and dispute resolution core of Ture Whenua changes
    A Bill that proposes targeted changes to simplify the processes for Māori land owners when engaging with the Māori Land Court has had its First Reading today. “The approach taken by the Government is to ensure that the protection of Māori land remains a priority as we seek to improve ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Speech to CTU Biennial Conference
    Let me first thank all the new unionists and members in the room. There is nothing more important to improving people’s working lives than people making the decision to care, to get on board and help, to take up the reins and get involved. Congratulations to you. You bring the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Minister ensures continued Whenuapai flight operations
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark has signed a certificate exempting the activity of engine testing at Whenuapai Airbase from the Resource Management Act 1991. The Act gives the Minister of Defence the power to exempt activities for the purposes of national security.  The certificate will mean the recent Environment Court ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • NZ joins Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced New Zealand will join the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action while attending APEC meetings in Chile. The objective of the 39 member Coalition is to share information and promote action to tackle climate change. It was formed in April this year, in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Lyttelton Parking
    Feedback sought– Lyttelton commercial zone parking  The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Poto Williams, is seeking feedback on a proposal to remove on-site car parking requirements for new developments in the Lyttelton commercial zone.  The proposal, by Christchurch City Council, asks that powers under section 71 of the Greater ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Hagley Oval
    Hon Minister Poto Williams Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration   MEDIA STATEMENT       Tuesday 15 October 2019 Feedback sought – Hagley Oval The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Poto Williams, is seeking feedback on a proposal about Hagley Oval. The proposal was developed by Regenerate Christchurch ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • CTU speech – DPM
    Ladies and gentlemen, NZCTU President Richard Wagstaff, members of respective unions – thank you for the invitation to speak to you today. This might be preaching to the choir, but the importance of trade unions in New Zealand’s historical arch is difficult to understate. And it is my belief that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Police Association Annual Conference
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand announces a further P-3 deployment in support of UN sanctions
    Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters and Minister of Defence Ron Mark have announced the New Zealand Government’s decision to again deploy a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 (P-3) maritime patrol aircraft to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions imposing sanctions against North Korea. New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand deeply concerned at developments in north-east Syria
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says New Zealand continues to have serious concerns for peace and stability in north-east Syria. “Recent reports that hundreds of ISIS-affiliated families have fled from a camp are deeply concerning from a humanitarian and security perspective”, Mr Peters says. “While we acknowledge Turkey’s domestic security ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government on high alert for stink bugs
    Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor is warning travelling Kiwis to be vigilant as the high-season for the crop-eating brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) is under way. “We’re on high alert to stop BMSB arriving in NZ. The high season runs until April 30 and we’ve strengthened our measures to stop stink ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Better protections for students in halls of residence
    The Government is moving swiftly to change the law to improve the welfare and pastoral care of students living in university halls of residence and other tertiary hostels. Cabinet has agreed to several changes, including creating a new mandatory Code of Practice that sets out the duty of pastoral care ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • New trapping guide for community and expert trappers alike
    The Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage has launched a new comprehensive trapping guide for community trappers to help them protect our native birds, plants and other wildlife, at Zealandia in Wellington today. ‘A practical guide to trapping’, has been developed by the Department of Conservation (DOC), and was launched during ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Widening Access to Contraceptives Welcomed
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter welcomes PHARMAC’s move to improve access to long-acting reversible contraception (LARCs). PHARMAC has today announced it will fund the full cost of Mirena and Jaydess for anyone seeking long term contraception, lifting previous restrictions on access to Mirena. “I welcome women having greater choices ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Major upgrade for Taranaki Base Hospital
    The Government has approved the next stage of a major redevelopment of Taranaki Base Hospital, which will deliver new and improved facilities for patients. Health Minister Dr David Clark has announced details of a $300 million dollar project to build a new East Wing at the New Plymouth hospital. It ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Extra support for rural families
    Extra funding will allow Rural Support Trusts to help farming families, says Minister for Rural Communities and Agriculture Damien O’Connor. “I know that rural families are worried about some of the challenges facing them, including the ongoing uncertainty created by the Mycoplasma bovis outbreak. “Those concerns sit alongside ongoing worries ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Howard Leaque Beekeeper programme graduation
    Thank you for the opportunity to be here to present certificates to the 16 graduates who have completed a beekeeping course delivered by the Howard League.  Let us start by acknowledging Auckland Prison’s Deputy Prison Director Tom Sherlock, and Acting Assistant Regional Commissioner of Corrections Northern Region Scott Walker - ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Finance Minister to attend APEC meetings
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Pacific languages are a source of strength, they ground us and build confidence
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio says for Pacific people, language can be a source of strength. It can help ground us and give us confidence. When we speak them, our languages provide us with an immediate and intimate access to our identity and our story - and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago