Cullen says 2020 election effectively a referendum on tax

Written By: - Date published: 1:20 pm, March 7th, 2018 - 32 comments
Categories: business, capital gains, Economy, economy, election 2020, Environment, ETS, Financial markets, gst, Maori Issues, tax - Tags: , , ,

Chair of the Tax Working Group (TWG), former Labour Party finance minster, Sir Michael Cullen, today gave numerous hints that any proposed recommendations from the group are unlikely to be a radical shake-up of the tax system because of the need for political expediency.

In a revealing interview with Kathryn Ryan on RNZ, Cullen said that because Labour has said the group’s recommendations would not be enacted until after the 2020 election, the next election will effectively become a referendum on tax.

He described Labour’s commitment on this as brave (foolhardy?).

“It’s not exactly brilliant in terms of winning elections,” he said.

The TWG has already been largely neutered by the terms of reference which has proscribed any capital gains tax (CGT) on the family home, any hike in income taxes or GST, or reintroducing an inheritance tax.

The appointment of the clearly politically biased Cullen was rightly seen as controversial. During his nine-year tenure as finance minister Cullen had ample opportunity to introduce a CGT, but failed to address the glaring inequity in the tax system whereby income from labour is taxed and income from assets is largely tax-free.

Cullen made it clear he has not changed his view from when he was finance minister, that a CGT, particularly if applied to the family home, is political suicide, despite recent polls showing a significant shift towards a majority favouring a CGT.

“I don’t think there is the slightest prospect in the foreseeable future… of any New Zealand government going to vote to introduce a capital gains tax on a family home. It is a recipe to have a very short period of capital gains tax and very long period in opposition,” Cullen said.

In fact, Cullen gave an indication he quite likes the status quo and noted that radical tax reform is difficult to enact in MMP due to the difficulty of marshalling sufficient support from enough parties to pass legislation.

Cullen said the tax system had worked well for some time, although he was open to the idea of taxes to change behaviour in respect to the environment, as had already been tried with tobacco and alcohol.

He disputed claims that New Zealand had a broad-based tax system, noting that we don’t have hypothecated social security taxes, have no inheritance tax and very little tax on assets or wealth.

Environmental taxes, effectively another form of consumption tax designed to change behaviour, would clearly be an issue to be addressed for the TWG, he said. A problem with such a tax was that it tended to fall more heavily on people on lower incomes.

Taxpayers paid most of the costs of “externalities” caused by companies that pollute.

He noted the mining industry was taxed at a lower rate than other industries that cause less pollution.

“These are some of the issues that need to be addressed.”

He rubbished as nonsense the views of tax experts and economists who promote the efficient market hypothesis – the idea that taxes should not try to change behaviour because markets tell politicians what our best behaviour should be.

The main problem with introducing taxes to change behaviour, particularly to reduce pollution, is the transitional costs – particularly if whole industries and the people who work in them are disrupted.

Cullen said New Zealand had many environmental problems that had built over a long period, partly due to ignorance and partly due to past inaction.

Environmental taxes could impact relatively quickly, while CGT taxes took many years before revenue became significant. Cullen noted that a CGT on land values however, could have a rapid impact on farm values.

“It would have the potential risk of putting a number of farmers in a position where they had negative equity.”

In the long-term such a tax might be helpful in terms of curbing the excessive values put on farms, which is tending to exclude family concerns in favour of corporate entities.

A water tax would definitely be on the agenda. So long as it applied to all, it would not cut across trade agreements. Regional bodies mostly favoured the concept as it would help them deal with the rising cost of dealing with the politically sensitive issue of deteriorating water quality.

Maori also supported the idea, but Cullen said it was problematic there is no central Maori entity to discuss the issue that all Maori recognised. Cullen, who fell in a political hangi over the Foreshore and Seabed issue, said he had already talked to a range of Maori on the subject “and they all think there is a deal to be done”.

Such a tax would help Maori and NZ Inc, he added.

Cullen said that if the group decided on some form of extended CGT, then it was almost certain to be on realised gains rather than paying on the way through. By excluding the family home, it severely reduced the CGT base, but that did not mean it was not worth doing, Cullen said.
“There is still a large base on which a CGT could apply.”

The political problem for a CGT was that because it took a long time for revenues to come through, it was hard to set corresponding reductions in income tax or GST and given the short political cycle it was hard to sell politically and relatively easy to be reversed before its full effect was felt.

Because of the ageing population, it was however likely that more tax would have to come from capital taxes than labour.

Cullen downplayed the size of intergenerational issues on taxation saying that while the new generation was paying some fees for tertiary education, two thirds were still covered by the government, loan interest was zero if you stayed in the country, and now the first year of study was free.

New Zealand was much better placed than most nations in terms of its government debt “and there was no need to panic over the size of the problem.”

The TWG will next week publish a background paper outlining the current tax position and the options available to the group.

People can submit to the group on submissions@taxworkinggroup.govt.nz

(Simon Louisson is a retired journalist who reported for The Wall Street Journal, AP Dow Jones Newswires, New Zealand Press Association and Reuters and briefly was a political and media adviser to the Green Party.)

32 comments on “Cullen says 2020 election effectively a referendum on tax ”

  1. Sparky 1

    Of course its going to be all about tax. This is no surprise given the “social welfare” extended to MNO’s under the TPP11.

    All this “largess” needs to be paid for somehow. Interesting how tax on Joe public’s private assets is suddenly “essential” after years of it not being so. Yet big corporations continue to pay nominal tax and now to add insult to injury expect a hand out if they don’t get their way?

    How does that stack up? Of course it doesn’t but with enough manure from the MSM the seeds of ignorance will grow and what was unpalatable to the sheeples today will be a-ok by 2020? Well maybe. Fingers crossed.

  2. Kat 2

    The right leaning media hacks are starting to ramp up the discourse. Hoskings over at the Herald is busy selling the coalition as a “tax and spend” govt who will raid all our pockets with more taxes. Hoskings has the temerity to accuse the coalition of “fiscal ineptitude” with any future measure of borrowing. Compare this to the billions borrowed by the last National govt and one has to ask whose hand is up the back of Hoskings shirt. Its blatant spin designed to attract the votes from the vacuous swing voters that National desperately need to put up some show next election.

  3. greywarshark 3

    Thanks for putting this up Simon L. I couldn’t bear to listen, knowing that there is so much that could be done at the micro level where it would be hugely advantageous to the low incomes strugglers. But I felt it was likely to be about how to operate the
    large earth-moving tax machine with Cullen and his ilk sitting about 3m from the ground shifting levers. The earth doesns’t move for the poor, they just get run over.

    I will have to bring myself to study what they are doing handling the tax questions
    around the circle like a hot potato or ‘pass the parcel’. By the time we get to see what approaches have been packed, there is nothing but a few large golden rings at the end. Only for the ones that rule them all.

  4. patricia bremner 4

    I for one will be reading the tax report and making suggestions. Anyone who thinks Michael Cullen won’t have the ordinary guy’s interests at heart is being foolish.

    His Kiwi saver has meant many current retirees have something more than basic super.

    He personally owns one modest home. He has been an excellent servant for NZ.

    We need to put things in place that bring about changes in behavior towards the environment.

    Perhaps a surcharge on cows/cattle per acre over a certain stocking level.? Things of this nature.

    Whatever they decide, thought will have gone into fairness usefulness and simplicity.

    More grist to their elbow, and shut your cake hole Hoskings.

    • greywarshark 4.1

      Sorry Patricia but I think he is failing to help the individual struggler. Try working from the bottom up Michael, you’re all at sea I think. Row the boat ashore.

    • Siobhan 4.2

      Your average renter is going to need a whole lot more than Kiwisaver to cover their rent when they retire.

      Which is a further kick in the guts given that people relying on Kiwisaver are already at agross disadvantage compared to landlords.

      https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/money/92207613/kiwisavers-harshly-taxed-compared-to-property-investors-book-claims

      • patricia bremner 4.2.1

        That was changed by Key’s Government. The rental issue is under housing.

    • Ian 4.3

      How many houses does Helen Clark own? Taxinda has just bought a $2 million house.For a homeless person that must look simply unfair.
      Cullen is the wrong man for that job ,because he hates rich pricks and went to the wrong school.Hosking is bang on the money and acres went out in NZ 50 years ago.

      • Pat 4.3.1

        Hosking has never been bang on about anything

      • Delia 4.3.2

        He hates rich pricks? He is one. Maybe you need to get over your green eyed jealousy of everyone who has done better than you.

  5. Ad 5

    Sir Michael should STFU until there are findings.

    If this government is dumb enough to make radical changes to the tax system when they have every chance of addressing
    – climate change,
    – regional development,
    – transport,
    – health,
    – education,
    – social welfare, and
    – poverty
    in a sustained economic boom with really low inflation and headline unemployment, then they do not deserve to be in government. No matter how many time the Prime Minister gets pregnant.

    They are not that dumb, and Sir Michael should STFU on the politics of tax reform.

    • greywarshark 5.1

      I don’t know Ad about how dumb they are – how do you measure it yourself?
      But I am sure they are going to do great, and just by replacing National they have started a pollyslip equivalent to Kaikoura’s. But I want to see them do more for the ‘liddle people’, of whom there are so many, and they can start talking about low-hanging fruit even.

      I would also like to keep a running post, say once a week, where someone has written a sensible request for a listening ear and a change in simple policy, not too costly, and then we print the answer from the relevant Minister and Department and just see how things are going towards getting change on our pet subject that we know a fair bit about. And it would measure the interest that the Minister has in being involved with the thinking and concerned part of the polity so they don’t get locked into that ‘beltway’ Thorndon culture.

      Any interest to form a core group for input?

    • Antoine 5.2

      Cullen’s comments seem to have been intended in large part to calm the electorate by ruling out various unreasonable options. Seems like a useful thing to do at this point.

      A.

  6. Bill 6

    because Labour has said the group’s recommendations would not be enacted until after the 2020 election

    They have? I thought Ardern said something along the lines of reserving the right to bring in taxes or whatever off the back of this review during the election campaign.

    So am I remembering things wrong? Or did NZ Labour do a flip flop? Or is an unelected tosser presuming to call the shots?

    • patricia bremner 6.1

      No, Jacinda Ardern said nothing would be changed ’till 2021, after the election.
      Google Jacinda Ardern NZ taxation.

      • Bill 6.1.1

        22 Aug. Labour will wait to hear what a planned tax working group recommends on the matter, Ardern said – but waiting to act until after the 2020 election was too long. It would not apply to the family home, she said.

        But then.

        14 Sept. “We will undertake the work and we will take it through to legislation. But no outcomes from the tax working group will come into force until the 2021 tax year – ie 1 April 2021,” Finance spokesman Grant Robertson said.

        So I remembered right and wrong, and a flip flop in an election period may not be a flip flop…or something. 🙂

        Though (and this just crossed my mind), what about taxes that aren’t an outcome of the Tax Working Group? Perhaps there’s wriggle room.

        Which doesn’t shift my opinion that ‘Sir’ Michael should fuck off to “wherever High Priests of dead religions go.

        • alwyn 6.1.1.1

          ” ‘Sir’ Michael should fuck off to “wherever High Priests of dead religions go”
          .
          And give up his spot at the trough?
          You really must be joking if you think that is going to happen.
          How much of the $4,000,000 allocated to the group will end up in Michael’s capacious pockets do you think?

        • mikesh 6.1.1.2

          “Within the 2021 tax” year means that new measures could come into force prior to the election. He presumably means the 2022 tax year.

  7. One Two 7

    Money = Debt

    Who does the present and future taxpayer owe $100bn+ to and at what rate of interest…

    Talking about tax is perverse without explaining to the entire nation…

    Why the government ‘must’ tax more/borrow more from offshore…

    With the stroke of a pen any and all social and infrastructure requirements can be fully funded into the future and to completion…

    Not doing so is the proverbial finger to the entire country…

  8. cleangreen 8

    I like what he said here as we know that the anti environment lobbyists have been steering past Governments and we need to stop them doing this to the new Government now.

    “Cullen said New Zealand had many environmental problems that had built over a long period, partly due to ignorance and partly due to past inaction.
    Environmental taxes could impact relatively quickly,”

  9. CHCOff 9

    That would be good, more NZ1st is better for the New Zealand society, which is better for adding to sustainable and stable relations in the global context.

    The most immediate systemic tax break, for the general population (and in particular middle classes and lower), across the board, would be the reversal of immigration trends or negative rates.

    The record rates of National (cough cough) to this have been an dis-proportionate tax hike essentially, to the middle and lower classes of society, the vast majority of the population. In the instances of the plum job contractors and the like, who would whine about this, are actually whining about demand and supply market signals that are more anchored to real value creation in the wider economy being re-asserted, rather than that associated with rigged socialistic back room wheeling and dealing without regard to supply side realities that do not come from their own demands!

  10. Whispering Kate 10

    Like National Superannuation, any major changes in taxation would have to be decided across all the parties – that, obviously is never going to happen. As Sir Michael said anybody who makes radical changes in taxation is not going to remain in power. Its a stalemate which ever way you look at it – stymied and never going anywhere. The impoverished of this country will just have to suck it up and get used to it.

    I did like the thoughts he had on taxing polluters – that would be a positive thing to do. Anybody who thought there would be changes in the tax rates and taxing the higher paid more have their heads in the clouds. Never going to happen. Too many troughers and the lure of power is a heady thing.

    Wartime had grand coalitions whih worked together, maybe when the oceans are covering our coastal areas and we are in deep doggy do seriously with the climate, grand coalitions will be a possibility – but for taxing the wealthy, not in our wildest dreams.

    • Carolyn_Nth 10.1

      Well, that’s a depressing situation.

      I guess the only thing that will change this is if there’s massive pressure from the flax roots for change… but even then?

    • KJT 10.2

      Interesting that the majority polled in support of a CGT, but the “pundits” reckon it is an election loser.

      Not everyone has 6 houses.

      Wellington groupthink, perhaps?

      Same “pundits reckon socialism is an election loser. Until just before the election when both the big parties, suddenly discovered, child poverty and starvation wages?

      • Antoine 10.2.1

        Cullen was saying that CGT _on the family home_ is an election loser. Sounds right to me.

        A.

        • KJT 10.2.1.1

          Just needed to exclude family homes under the median price.
          Everyone, except the ACT party, understands why Key should have paid taxes on the ten million profit, on his “family home”.

      • Nic the NZer 10.2.2

        The introduction of a CGT will see significant long term impacts on many voters for which most people have zero experience of and poor ability to predict (and there will be lots of speculation about the consequences). That is then balanced against the upside would see the elected government (one with a long history of reneging on its election promises on both sides of the house) issuing a compensatory income tax cut or significant spending increases (which it fundamentally can do both of anyway without a CGT, e.g both sides of the house are typically trying to run a surplus in government and that is their voluntary political preference).

        I think the reasons its an election loser are pretty much baked in.

  11. UncookedSelachimorpha 11

    Sounds like Cullen understands some of what is wrong, but simply thinks nothing can be done due to political expediency.

    A failure of vision and leadership, unfortunately.

  12. Antoine 12

    You guys are annoyed with Cullen cos he’s not gonna tax enough, the right is annoyed with him cos he’s gonna tax too much, so he’s probably pretty much in the sweet spot!

    A.

    • KJT 12.1

      So long as we cannot afford health care, education, super, apprenticeships, infrastructure and removing poverty, while overseas companies, and the wealthy, dodge tax, taxes are too low!

  13. Tanz 13

    Cullen, unelected, is out there scaring the electorate with his rhetoric of lets tax everything. Not to worry, the CoL will be kicked to touch come 2020, and Winston won’t be able to save them twice. So can’t wait to see natural justice restored. Governments need to earn power, not get it by default. After all, it’s the voting taxpayer who gets drained. Over half the electorate voted against Labour, who only know how to tax and spend.

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    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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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 ...
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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 ...
    4 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 ...
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    5 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
    5 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 ...
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the privatising of state housing provision, by stealth
    Kāinga Ora’s “independent review” was carried out by the same National Party leader whose own administration’s inadequate housing build – and selling of state houses- had caused Kāinga Ora to embark on its crash building programme in the first place. To use a rugby analogy, this situation is exactly like ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    5 days ago
  • “Laser focused on the cost of living crisis”
    Cartoonist credit: Christopher Slane ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    5 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the elections in France, Iran and Britain
    As Werewolf predicted a week ago, it was premature to call Emmanuel Macron’s snap election call “a bitter failure” and “a humiliating defeat” purely on the basis of the first round results. In fact, it is the far-right that has suffered a crushing defeat. It has come in third in ...
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    5 days ago
  • The UK needs proportional representation
    Like a lot of people, I spent Friday watching the UK election. There's the obvious joy at seeing the end of 14 years of Tory chaos, but at the same time the new government does not greatly enthuse me. In order to win over the establishment, Starmer has moved UK ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Bernard's Chorus for Monday, July 8
    TL;DR: Thanks for the break, and now I’m back. These are the top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so:Chris Bishop’s pledge to ‘flood the market’ with land to build new houses both out and up remains dependent ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • French Left Wins Big
    Usually I start with some lyrics from the song at the end of the newsletter, to set the mood. But today I’m going to begin with a bit of a plea. About six weeks ago I decided to make more of my writing public with the hope that people would ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • Satire: It's great our Prime Minister is so on the ball
    ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    6 days ago
  • This is the real reason David Seymour needs to reinterpret the Treaty of Waitangi
    This is republished from an earlier write upDavid Seymour is part of the ACT Party. He's backed by people like Alan Gibbs, and Koch money. He grew up as a right wing lobbyist - tick tick tick. All cool and fine - we know.What's also been clear is a fervent ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    6 days ago
  • Going for Housing Growth: Filling the housing donut?
    Hot take: it should be affordable to live in Auckland. You may not be surprised to learn I’m not the only one with this hot take. Indeed, the Minister of Housing recently took the notable step of saying house prices should come down, something common wisdom says should be a politically ...
    Greater AucklandBy Scott Caldwell
    6 days ago
  • Bernard's Pick 'n' Mix for Monday July 9
    TL;DR: As of 6:00 am on Monday, July 9, the top six links elsewhere I’ve spotted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so are:Scoop: Probation officer sacked for snooping is linked to alleged spy Jian Yang. Corrections dismissed Xu Shan over his ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • What has the Government done for you so far?
    List effective 1 July 2024Consumer and household (note: road and car costs are under infrastructure)Cancelled half-price public transport fares for under-25s and free fares for under-13s funding, scrapping the Labour government-era subsidies. The change will not affect pre-existing discounts funded directly by councils.Cut funding for free budgeting services. One third of the ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Monday, July 8
    Photo by Amador Loureiro on UnsplashTL;DR: As of 6:00 am on Monday, July 8, the top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last three days were:Local Government Minister Simeon Brown announced the Coalition Government would not be responding to ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā’s diary for the week to July 15 and beyond
    TL;DR: The six key events to watch in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy in the week to July 15 include:PM Christopher Luxon is travelling to Washington this week to attend a NATO meeting running from Tuesday to Thursday. Parliament is not sitting this week.The RBNZ is expected to hold the OCR on ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #27
    A listing of 31 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, June 30, 2024 thru Sat, July 6, 2024. Story of the week Our Story of the Week is brought to us by Dr. Ella Gilbert, a researcher with the British ...
    6 days ago
  • The Great Splintering: Thoughts on the British Election
    I can remember 1997. Even living on the other side of the world, having a Scottish father and Welsh grandfather meant I acquired a childhood knowledge of British politics via family connections (and general geekery). And yes, I inherited the dark legends of that evil folk-devil, Margaret Thatcher. So when ...
    6 days ago
  • 2% royalties for mining? Deal!
    Snapshot postToday, Shane Jones was courageous enough to front Q&A with Jack Tame. Thanks for reading Mountain Tui ! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.Jack Tame is a bit of a legend. And that’s only because he strikes me as a good journalist i.e. well ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    6 days ago
  • Aotearoa Says – No Diggity.
    Strictly biz, don't play aroundCover much ground, got game by the poundGetting paid is a forteEach and every day, true player wayOne month ago tens of thousands of Kiwis took to the streets to protest against the coalition’s Fast Track legislation. Concerned that it would prioritise some people making a ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • Strangers and others
    For a moment yesterday I thought I might have been trailing my old friend Simon Wilson across the Danube, over cobbled stones, and into the old town square of Linz. Same comfortable riding style, same jacket, same full head of hair, but no, different friend of cycling.There is a kindred ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    7 days ago
  • Killing the Golden Goose of New Zealand's economy
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    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    1 week ago
  • Newshub Signs Off
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    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • The Pharmac Fiasco
    If you don’t understand how things work you make foolish mistakes. To explain how the government got into its cancer drugs muddle, we need to explain first how New Zealand’s pharmaceutical purchasing system works. There is a parallel between Pharmac and the Reserve Bank of New Zealand. The Government sets ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week 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
    8 hours 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
    1 day 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
    1 day 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
    1 day 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
    1 day 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
    1 day 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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 ...
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    2 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
    3 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 ...
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    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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 ...
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    4 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
    4 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. ...
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    4 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 ...
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    4 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 ...
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    5 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 ...
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    1 week ago
  • Minister thanks outgoing Secretary for Education
    Education Minister Erica Stanford has today thanked the outgoing Secretary for Education. Iona Holsted was appointed in 2016 and has spent eight years in the role after being reappointed in May 2021. Her term comes to an end later this year.  “I acknowledge Iona’s distinguished public service to New Zealand ...
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    1 week ago
  • Minister concludes local government review
    Local Government Minister Simeon Brown has concluded the Future for Local Government Review and confirmed that the Coalition Government will not be responding to the review’s recommendations.“The previous government initiated the review because its Three Waters and resource management reforms would have stripped local government of responsibility for water assets ...
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    1 week ago
  • Consultation begins on new cancer medicines
    Associate Health Minister for Pharmac David Seymour says today’s announcement that Pharmac is opening consultation on new cancer medicines is great news for Kiwi cancer patients and their families. “As a result of the coalition Government’s $604 million funding boost, consultation is able to start today for the first two ...
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    1 week ago
  • 50 years on, Niue and NZ look to the future
    A half-century after pursuing self-government, Niue can count on New Zealand’s steadfast partnership and support, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters says. “New Zealand and Niue share a unique bond, forged over 50 years of free association,” Mr Peters says. “We are looking forward to working together to continue advancing Niue’s ...
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    1 week ago
  • Upgrading system resulting in faster passport processing
    Acting Internal Affairs Minister David Seymour says wait times for passports are reducing, as the Department of Internal Affairs (the Department) reports the highest ever monthly figure for digital uptake in passport applications.  “As of Friday 5 July, the passport application queue has reduced by 34.4 per cent - a ...
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    1 week ago
  • Roads of National Significance moving at pace
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has welcomed news that the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) is getting on with the Government’s first seven Roads of National Significance (RoNS) projects expected to begin procurement, enabling works and construction in the next three years.   “Delivering on commitments in our coalition agreements, we are moving ...
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    1 week ago
  • New school for Flat Bush
    The Coalition Government is building for roll growth and easing pressure in Auckland’s school system, by committing to the construction of a new primary school, Education Minister Erica Stanford says. As part of Budget 24’s $456 million injection into school property growth, a new primary school (years 1-6) will be ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Dr Shane Reti's speech to Iwi-Maori Partnership Boards, Rotorua
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    1 week ago
  • Announcement of Mental Health Targets and Mental Health and Addiction Community Sector Innovation Fu...
    Kia Ora Koutou, Tena Koutou, Good Morning. Thank you Mahaki Albert for the warm welcome. Thank you, Prime Minister, and thank you everyone for coming today. When I look around the room this morning, I see many of our hard-working mental health and addictions workforce from NGO and Community groups, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Expert panel appointed to review Public Works Act
    An independent expert advisory panel has been appointed to review the Public Works Act to make it easier to build infrastructure, Minister for Land Information Chris Penk has announced.  “The short, sharp review demonstrates the Government’s commitment to progressing critical infrastructure projects and reducing excessive regulatory and legislative barriers, so ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Resources Minister heads to Australia with message – ‘NZ is open for business’
    A trip to Australia next week to meet mining sector operators and investors will signal New Zealand is once again open for business, Resources Minister Shane Jones says. The visit is also an opportunity to build relationships with Australian state and federal counterparts and learn from their experiences as New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister’s scholarships awarded
    New Zealand’s ability to engage with key trading partners is set to grow further with 20 scholarships awarded for groups to gain education experiences across Asia and Latin America, Tertiary Education and Skills Minister, Penny Simmonds says. Of the 20 scholarships, 12 have been awarded to groups travelling for study ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Next steps for Northwest Rapid Transit underway
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has welcomed progress on Northwest Rapid Transit, as the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) confirms next steps on the preferred option, a busway alongside State Highway 16 from Brigham Creek to Auckland City Centre. “The Government is committed to a rapid transit system that will support urban development, ...
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    1 week ago
  • Targets will drive improvement in mental health
    Reflecting the Government’s priority to improve the public services Kiwis rely on, including mental health care, Minister for Mental Health, Matt Doocey has today announced five mental health and addiction targets.  “The targets reflect my priorities to increase access to mental health and addiction support, grow the mental health and addiction ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago

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