Cuts for you, tax cuts for Brash

Written By: - Date published: 11:40 am, August 11th, 2011 - 56 comments
Categories: national/act government, public services - Tags:

ACT’s Spending Cap Bill is coming to Parliament. It would cap government spending and only let it grow each year by inflation and population growth. At first blush, and assuming that you don’t want the government to do anything it doesn’t do now, this might seem like a way to maintain current services without adding more – which means more tax cuts without losing anything! But reality ain’t that simple.

First of all, sometimes you’re going to want the government to spend money on things it doesn’t spend money on at the moment. Say the unthinkable should happen and there was a global financial crisis and to maintain the integrity of the system the government had to do what every other country had done and guarantee retail deposits to stop a run on the banks and finance companies. That would be illegal under this Act as would any form of stimulus spending. You couldn’t budget more for more mums going on the DPB during a recession unless you cut money from elsewhere either. (there are exceptions for ’emergencies’, which means natural disasters, and the unemployment benefit)

And even in normal times you’ve got trouble. See a lot of costs don’t go up at just the rate of inflation and population growth. Take superannuation, which is 13% of government spending. The cost goes up at the rate of the average after-tax wage and the number of superannuitants. You would hope the average after-tax wage is rising faster than inflation in the long-run, or everyone’s getting poorer. And it’s well known that our aging population means the number of pensioners is increasing at a faster rate than the general population. In fact, while the population will grow 3% in the next 4 years and inflation by 8%, the cost of super will rise 22% by 2015. What happens if there’s a spending cap in place? Super gets slashed or something else does.

Then there’s health, which is 20% of government spending. It’s costs are also growing faster than inflation because of demographic change and higher sector inflation. In fact, restricting the increase to ‘inflation’ in the form of the Consumers Price Index is stupid full stop. The CPI is made up of things like the cost of housing and milk. What’s that got to do with the cost pressures facing a hospital?

Next, consider what we are spending most of our money on when we purchase public services,after you take out super, benefits, and WFF? Wages. 300,000 government employees, most of them nurses, doctors, teachers. If there was a spending cap and the number of these workers increased in line with population growth, then their wages would essentially be restricted to the rate of inflation. Isn’t that a problem for goal of closing the wage gap with Australia – having 15% of our workforce never able to get a real payrise? Especially when these are highly skilled people who are already being attracted to higher wages abroad?

The truth of it is that ACT knows all this. They don’t want to cap government spending, they want to strangle the government and get the public services we all use slashed so that they can get more tax cuts. This is a 2% party trying to force its self-centred ideology on the rest of us.

So why is National letting this stupid law, that could never work without hurting millions of Kiwis, go up as a government bill? And why now? Well, they promised ACT that they would introduce the legislation as part of their coalition agreement. And why now: because it’s too late to pass the legislation before the election.

But make no mistake, if we re-elect a National/ACT government this dangerous, destructive bill will become law. Until it’s repealed by the first government that needs to break the cap, of course.

– Bright Red

56 comments on “Cuts for you, tax cuts for Brash ”

  1. Macro 1

    This proposed legislation and the inevitable consequences of reduced social spending is a receipe for the same sort of rioting as we are now seeing England. The gormless greedy fools who propose such stuff are so fixated on their bottom line that they cannot see the misery that they create. If you create a world through advertising and media, where your status and your position in life is determined by your financial success, your car, the clothes you wear, and the electronic toys you possess, and then deny almost 30% of the population* the access to those things, then is it surprising that that they will feel not only disenfranchised, but more than a little resentful as well?

    *to clarify that statement – an unemployment youth rate of 20% UK – 27%NZ essentially denies the emerging population of UK – NZ access to the things it is told it should most desire. So the rioters of England are described by some as the young people who “have nothing better to do”!

  2. queenstfarmer 2

    But spendiing could increase – the power to raise the spending cap would lie with the people. What’s wrong with that?

    • Blighty 2.1

      you can’t organise a budget process around the time it takes to have a referendum. As it is, the budget process takes about 8 months from first documents to the final thing, and you want to add a 8 month approval process on top of that every time the government has to meet cost pressures that are above inflation+population growth?

      ou would end up facing US-style budget crises.

      • queenstfarmer 2.1.1

        you want to add a 8 month approval process

        Absolutely. If a Govt can’t live within a budget even for 8 months, then they certainly need a cap to their incompetence. (note: the bill excludes emergencies)

        Having said that, 8 months is a ridiculous time hold a referendum, even allowing for normal beuracratic incomptence. The Bill allows postal referenda, which speeds things up. Also, remember an entire election can be organised in the space of a few months if need be, so there won’t be any problem fast-tracking things.

        • Macro 2.1.1.1

          Your talking nonsense man! It’s NOT the hold up by the adminstration that would delay! Referenda don’t just fall out of the sky! Anyway what a waste of time and effort for nothing! You and your ilk, can’t see that you are your own worst enemies. Your fixation on “costs” blinds you to the very real costs of the social injustices that result, and the inevitable effect these have on your own well being.

          • queenstfarmer 2.1.1.1.1

            Anyway what a waste of time and effort for nothing

            Giving power to the people is a waste of time and effort for nothing?

            • Macro 2.1.1.1.1.1

              For this sort of crap it is! People have the power to get rid of govenments every three years and to vote in the policies they want or don’t want. Endless referenda is not necessarily an improvement in the democratic process.

              • KJT

                Works well for the Swiss.

                Representation by a few, who constantly work against the best interests of those they, supposedly, represent is not democracy.

                • bbfloyd

                  kjt.. you mean that it works well in a mature, well informed society?

                • Macro

                  KJT – hopefully you will notice my logic – I said
                  “Endless referenda is not NECESSARILY an improvement in the democratic process.”
                  I would also go so far as to say it is neither necessary nor sufficient.
                  What would be a good practical step towards better democratic processes in this country would be for administrations to desist from the cynical use of “Urgency” to push legislation such as this through parliament in the dead of night. Mark my words – If NAct are returned to power after November this abhorrent Bill will not receive public scrutiny in Committee but be “fast-tracked” to avoid public approbation.

            • Lanthanide 2.1.1.1.1.2

              We already have the power to elect the government every 3 years. The government then acts in what it thinks is the best interest of the country.

              I find it a little ironic that you’re saying we should resort to referendums whenever the government needs to overstep the debt limit that’s be imposed, but we don’t need a referendum to put the debt limit into place initially…

              • queenstfarmer

                I’d be fine with having an initial referedum to put in a debt limit. But I wouldn’t be worried if there isn’t one, because the Govt would simply be empowering the people.

                • Macro

                  “I’d be fine with having an initial referedum to put in a debt limit. But I wouldn’t be worried if there isn’t one”
                  So what you are now saying is that this Bill is a waste of time?
                  But it is more than that. By it’s nature it strikes at the very heart of NZ society. Those who support such mean spirited legislation, are in essence striking at the ability of government’s to do their job.

                  • KJT

                    They do not want Governments to do their job. Interferes with stealing our wealth.

                  • queenstfarmer

                    I see, so you think empowering the people is “mean spirited”. Do you think the same about elections?

                    • Macro

                      The mean spirited-ness of this proposed legislation – is NOT in the offer of the possibility of an illusionary referendum – but in the disempowering of elected governments to care for the most vulnerable in society!

            • Puddleglum 2.1.1.1.1.3

              So you would favour holding referenda whenever a government decides to reduce its expenditure? (e.g., in relation to this bill?)

              • Macro

                Nah! they would have to have a referendum on whether or not to hold a referendum! It’s a ridiculous suggestion!

              • queenstfarmer

                No. It’s a spending cap, not a spending floor.

                • mik e

                  brash has 2%support but seems to be able to get plenty of media time but the more time he gets the less support he gets people in this country don’t want Chicago school economics It doesn’t work they know it end of story

              • Macro

                See! I told you Puddlegum! Would need a referendum on that!
                The target is zero spending by govt! Well maybe a few police and tanks outside my door – but you buggas can pay for that!

            • AAMC 2.1.1.1.1.4

              “Giving power to the people is a waste of time and effort for nothing?”

              At least you wear your Fascism on your sleeve.

    • mik e 2.2

      just like the US that why standard & poors downgraded

  3. Macro 3

    Yeah Right!
    The procedure to do that would require a referendum! The referendum must occur in the same year, would take 6 to 8 months to organise, and therefore in practice would never happen!
    Idiot!

  4. The Tea Party.  Sponsored by the richest most greedy corporations in the world and coming to a Country near you.

  5. tc 5

    Already here MS standing behind the hollowmen who in turn stand behind NACT.

  6. JonL 6

    “Giving power to the people is a waste of time and effort for nothing?”
    What power to the people! Another inane statement that, on the surface, looks good, but in reality is a crock of shit – a device to scare, obscure and obfuscate policy into the hands of a few and totally hamstring any effective government FOR the people!

  7. Adrian 7

    They have referenda in the States for local taxes and iniatives and of course, people vote them down. Why? Well first off, Yanks are stupid, and of course nobody wants to pay more. So what have you, California as broke as Greece and some counties in the Mid-West who are down to 2 cops when there used to be 25 or so. Hence all they do is sign off for the insurance claims because they are too busy to even go and look at the scene of the crime. The US is next for Brit type rioting.

    • Vicky32 7.1

      The US is next for Brit type rioting.

      IMO they should have been first for it, but to judge by ATS, they’re all too scared, and therefore too conformist – they drag each other down for fear of attracting notice… 
      Kind of like New Zealand come to think of it…

  8. Tom Gould 8

    It is an outrage that Brash wants to legislate through the back door to slash the pension. What a hypocrite. Come clean, Don. I guess he has enough money to get by without the pension, but untold thousands of Kiwis do not.

  9. Jenny Michie 9

    Adrian’s right. The most infamous example of this sort of legislation is in Colarado and TABOR – the Taxpayers Bill of Rights. Because no one ever votes to increase taxes the state has been starved. They sold off police helicopters on EBay. Neighbourhoods chip in to pay for street lighting and forget roads and higher education. This is what Rodney Hide was trying to achieve in the Local Government Amendment Bill, with his Fiscal Envelope.

    • Macro 9.1

      Exactly! But you try telling NAct and their followers that! As I said above – it’s nothing more than a mechanism to drive down spending to the point where administrations become powerless to do the job the citizens require of them. The people who support such legislation are their own worst enemies. They will be the first to bleat when the riots begin, the infrastructure falls apart, and their “wealth” disappears in ever-increasing personal costs, but the seeds of discontent are sown by them, with mean spirited policies such as this.

      • mik e 9.1.1

        Its the cheap nasty version of government the Lada version if they applied the same logic to their life style they would all be driving suzuki altos.We have had this version before from 1984 till 2000 take the armed forces for example .The right who are allegedly big on defense cut defense to the bone it wasn’t till Timor that the rationalists bought some new radios for the army was the only new piece of new equipment they bought . Goff had to replace virtually every major defense force equipment. the same applied across the board.This sort of thinking applied to a business would mean no businesses would grow

      • queenstfarmer 9.1.2

        it’s nothing more than a mechanism to drive down spending

        Wrong. The Bill automatically INCREASES the spending cap in line with inflation.

        If the Govt wants to increase it beyond that, the people have the say.

        • felix 9.1.2.1

          Increase?

          If you scroll up to the top of the page you’ll find a few paragraphs of text explaining why this is not actually the case.

          • queenstfarmer 9.1.2.1.1

            Yes – increase. That is a fact. The story at the top simply claims that won’t be enough.

            • RedLogix 9.1.2.1.1.1

              Oh dear…an increase in nominal terms the same as inflation is equal to zero change in real terms.

              And in fact because many critical govt areas of expenditure have costs increasing at a rate somewhat greater than the CPI…then it will actually mean reductions in real terms.

              I’m kind of embarrassed to have to explain this to you.

              • felix

                Awkward alright. Especially when it’s all explained so clearly in the post.

              • queenstfarmer

                Don’t be, you didn’t – I know what it says, see the very comment you replied to. The spending cap increases. And as I said, the story at the top simply claims that won’t be enough.

                I’m kind of embarrased to have to explain a one line post to you.

              • queenstfarmer

                I just realised I missed one thing that makes me even more right and your comment even more wrong: The Bill increases spending in line with inflation, and also in line with population growth.

                • Colonial Viper

                  The Bill is stupid. Pass the bill in early 2010, Sept 2010 and Feb 2011 Christchurch earthquakes hit, NZ govt goes, hey Christchurch the only we can help you is if we cut off NZ Super and fire all the defence forces. OK?

                  Actually, the Bill isn’t stupid, ACT is. And since you support their Bill, what does that make you again?

                  • queenstfarmer

                    The Bill excludes spending for emergencies. There is no limit on that.

                    So perhaps it’s not as stupid as one who doesn’t read it…

        • mik e 9.1.2.2

          The mechanism works really well in the US yeah right. It wouldn’t work here because it seems to me it would stop the National Party in its tracks. As there past record shows they have had higher debts by along way more than any previous Labour govt

        • mik e 9.1.2.3

          So if the economy grows faster than inflation and the population grows as well it means we won’t be able to invest in areas the private sector won’t, like education r&d we’ll have to make cuts .The economic rationalists no country thats followed this agenda has managed to sustain growth find one and i’ll be amazed.

        • mik e 9.1.2.4

          So if the economy grows faster than inflation and the population grows as well it means we won’t be able to invest in areas the private sector won’t, like education r&d we’ll have to make cuts .The economic rationalists no country thats followed this agenda has managed to sustain growth find one and i’ll be amazed.These rationalists claim they can do this keep spending down run the economy like a bushiness they have plenty of home spun truths propaganda! when push comes to shove they run their economies worse than any one else Roger Douglas inherited an economy with $16 billion worth of govt debt after 8 years in office he had amassed $100billion of govt debt, Berlusconi Bushes Reagan Thatcher there as bad as the communists say one thing do another.Wreck the country under the guise of a failed ideology

        • Macro 9.1.2.5

          Having worked in the Dept of Statistics on the CPI, I would like to know what relevance this measure has to the costs for the provision of Public Services. Having also represented Defence at Cabinet Economic Committee meetings for the aquisition of new equipment, I would like to know how these major purchases also fit into this ridiculous straight jacket. Those who promote this nonsense have no idea of what they are about.

          • Colonial Viper 9.1.2.5.1

            And as I pointed out, what happens when a Christchurch earthquake comes along? You just have CERA ignore the bill? What use is it then in “constraining spending”?

            • queenstfarmer 9.1.2.5.1.1

              The bill doesn’t apply to emergency spending. Perhaps try reading it?

    • Nick K 9.2

      Adrian’s right. The most infamous example of this sort of legislation is in Colarado and TABOR – the Taxpayers Bill of Rights. Because no one ever votes to increase taxes the state has been starved. They sold off police helicopters on EBay. Neighbourhoods chip in to pay for street lighting and forget roads and higher education. This is what Rodney Hide was trying to achieve in the Local Government Amendment Bill, with his Fiscal Envelope.

      Yes, next he’ll be introducing the “Eat babies at birth Bill”. If he hasn’t already drafted it.

  10. randal 10

    so who bought the helicopters?

  11. randal 11

    so who got the choppers then?

  12. Vicky32 12

    The truth of it is that ACT knows all this. They don’t want to cap government spending, they want to strangle the government and get the public services we all use slashed so that they can get more tax cuts.

    And also, I believe, so as to get the chance to set up private businesses to do what Government used to do.
    I well remember my discovery that Douglas Rogered the health system because he wanted New Zealanders to have a reason to need health insurance.. The private rehab clinic (set up, AFAIK in the very premises where a Goverment one used to be) Capri, has been advertising hard out on t’Telly  since Amy Winehouse dropped off the twig..

  13. randal 13

    presumably don brash has enough dough already so why does he want more?

  14. mik e 14

    Randal these type of people would be classified as having OCD IF it wasn’t money we were talking about.Hoarding they can’t help themselves

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    This will be s short post. It stems from observations I made elsewhere about what might be characterised as some macro and micro aspects of contemporary collective violence events. Here goes. The conflicts between Israel and Palestine and France and … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    4 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell On Blurring The Lines Around Political Corruption
    It may be a relic of a previous era of egalitarianism, but many of us like to think that, in general, most New Zealanders are as honest as the day is long. We’re good like that, and smart as. If we’re not punching above our weight on the world stage, ...
    4 days ago
  • MPs own 2.2 houses on average
    Bryce Edwards writes – Why aren’t politicians taking more action on the housing affordability crisis? The answer might lie in the latest “Register of Pecuniary Interests.” This register contains details of the various financial interests of parliamentarians. It shows that politicians own real estate in significant numbers. The ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    4 days ago
  • King Mike & Mike King.
    I built a time machine to see you againTo hear your phone callYour voice down the hallThe way we were back thenWe were dancing in the rainOur feet on the pavementYou said I was your second headI knew exactly what you meantIn the country of the blind, or so they ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    4 days ago
  • Bryce Edwards: MPs own 2.2 houses on average
    Why aren’t politicians taking more action on the housing affordability crisis? The answer might lie in the latest “Register of Pecuniary Interests.” This register contains details of the various financial interests of parliamentarians. It shows that politicians own real estate in significant numbers. The register published on Tuesday contains a ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    4 days ago
  • How much climate reality can the global financial system take without collapsing?
    Microsoft’s transparency about its failure to meet its own net-zero goals is creditable, but the response to that failure is worrying. It is offering up a set of false solutions, heavily buttressed by baseless optimism. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: Here’s the top six news items of note in ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Weekly Roundup 24-May-2024
    Another Friday, another Rāmere Roundup! Here are a few things that caught our eye this week. This Week in Greater Auckland On Monday, our new writer Connor Sharp roared into print with a future-focused take on the proposed Auckland Future Fund, and what it could invest in. On ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    4 days ago
  • Earning The Huia Feather.
    Still Waiting: Māori land remains in the hands of Non-Māori. The broken promises of the Treaty remain broken. The mana of the tangata whenua languishes under racist neglect. The right to wear the huia feather remains as elusive as ever. Perhaps these three transformations are beyond the power of a ...
    4 days ago
  • Bernard’s Dawn Chorus and pick ‘n’ mix for Friday, May 24
    Posters opposing the proposed Fast-Track Approvals legislation were pasted around Wellington last week. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: One of the architects of the RMA and a former National Cabinet Minister, Simon Upton, has criticised the Government’s Fast-Track Approvals bill as potentially disastrous for the environment, arguing just 1% ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • The Hoon around the week to May 24
    There was less sharing of the joy this week than at the Chinese New Year celebrations in February. China’s ambassador to NZ (2nd from right above) has told Luxon that relations between China and New Zealand are now at a ‘critical juncture’ Photo: Getty / Xinhua News AgencyTL;DR: The podcast ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Beijing troubleshooter’s surprise visit
    The importance of New Zealand’s relationship with China was surely demonstrated yesterday with the surprise arrival in the capital of top Chinese foreign policy official Liu Jianchao. The trip was apparently organized a week ago but kept secret. Liu is the Minister of the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) International Liaison ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    4 days ago
  • UK election a foregone conclusion?  That’s why it’s interesting
    With a crushing 20-plus point lead in the opinion polls, all the signs are that Labour leader Keir Starmer will be the PM after the general election on 4 July, called by Conservative incumbent Rishi Sunak yesterday. The stars are aligned for Starmer.  Rival progressives are in abeyance: the Liberal-Democrat ...
    Point of OrderBy xtrdnry
    4 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #21 2021
    Open access notables How much storage do we need in a fully electrified future? A critical review of the assumptions on which this question depends, Marsden et al., Energy Research & Social Science: Our analysis advances the argument that current approaches reproduce interpretations of normality that are, ironically, rooted in ...
    4 days ago
  • Days in the life
    We returned last week from England to London. Two different worlds. A quarter of an hour before dropping off our car, we came to a complete stop on the M25. Just moments before, there had been six lanes of hurtling cars and lorries. Now, everything was at a standstill as ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    4 days ago
  • Forget about its name and focus on its objective – this RMA reform bill aims to cut red tape (and ...
    Buzz from the Beehive A triumvirate of ministers – holding the Agriculture, Environment and RMA Reform portfolios – has announced the introduction of legislation “to slash the tangle of red and green tape throttling development in key sectors”, such as farming, mining and other primary industries. The exact name of ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    4 days ago
  • More National corruption
    In their coalition agreement with NZ First, the National Party agreed to provide $24 million in funding to the charity "I Am Hope / Gumboot Friday". Why were they so eager to do so? Because their chair was a National donor, their CEO was the son of a National MP ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Submit!
    The Social Services and Community Committee has called for submissions on the Oranga Tamariki (Repeal of Section 7AA) Amendment Bill. Submissions are due by Wednesday, 3 July 2024, and can be made at the link above. And if you're wondering what to say: section 7AA was enacted because Oranga Tamariki ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Reading the MPS numbers thinking about the fiscal situation
    Michael Reddell writes –  The Reserve Bank doesn’t do independent fiscal forecasts so there is no news in the fiscal numbers in today’s Monetary Policy Statement themselves. The last official Treasury forecasts don’t take account of whatever the government is planning in next week’s Budget, and as the Bank notes ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    5 days ago
  • Charter Schools are a worthwhile addition to our school system – but ACT is mis-selling why they a...
    Rob MacCulloch writes – We know the old saying, “Never trust a politician”, and the Charter School debate is a good example of it. Charter Schools receive public funding, yet “are exempt from most statutory requirements of traditional public schools, including mandates around .. human capital management .. curriculum ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    5 days ago
  • Paranoia On The Left.
    How Do We Silence Them? The ruling obsession of the contemporary Left is that political action undertaken by individuals or groups further to the right than the liberal wings of mainstream conservative parties should not only be condemned, but suppressed.WEB OF CHAOS, a “deep dive into the world of disinformation”, ...
    5 days ago
  • Budget challenges
    Muriel Newman writes –  As the new Government puts the finishing touches to this month’s Budget, they will undoubtedly have had their hands full dealing with the economic mess that Labour created. Not only was Labour a grossly incompetent manager of the economy, but they also set out ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    5 days ago
  • Rishi calls an Election.
    Today the British PM, Rishi Sunak, called a general election for the 4th of July. He spoke of the challenging times and of strong leadership and achievements. It was as if he was talking about someone else, a real leader, rather than he himself or the woeful list of Tory ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • Photo of the Day: GNR
    This post marks the return of an old format: Photo of the Day. Recently I was in an apartment in one of those new buildings on Great North Road Grey Lynn at rush hour, perfect day, the view was stunning, so naturally I whipped out my phone: GNR 5pm Turns ...
    Greater AucklandBy Patrick Reynolds
    5 days ago
  • Choosing landlords and the homeless over first home buyers
    The Government may struggle with the political optics of scrapping assistance for first home buyers while also cutting the tax burden on landlords, increasing concerns over the growing generational divide. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The Government confirmed it will dump first home buyer grants in the Budget next ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Orr’s warning; three years of austerity
    Yesterday, the Reserve Bank confirmed there will be no free card for the economy to get out of jail during the current term of the Government. Regardless of what the Budget next week says, we are in for three years of austerity. Over those three years, we will have to ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    5 days ago
  • An admirable U-turn
    It doesn’t inspire confidence when politicians change their minds.  But you must give credit when a bad idea is dropped. Last year, we reported on the determination of British PM Rishi Sunak to lead the world in regulating the dangers of Artificial Intelligence. Perhaps he changed his mind after meeting ...
    Point of OrderBy xtrdnry
    5 days ago
  • Climate Adam: Can we really suck up Carbon Dioxide?
    This video includes conclusions of the creator climate scientist Dr. Adam Levy. It is presented to our readers as an informed perspective. Please see video description for references (if any). Is carbon dioxide removal - aka "negative emissions" - going to save us from climate change? Or is it just a ...
    5 days ago
  • Public funding for private operators in mental health and housing – and a Bill to erase a bit of t...
    Headed for the legislative wastepaper basket…    Buzz from the Beehive It looks like this government is just as ready as its predecessor to dip into the public funds it is managing to dispense millions of dollars to finance – and favour – the parties it fancies. Or ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    5 days ago
  • Why has Einstein Medalist Roy Kerr never been Knighted?
    Rob MacCulloch writes – National and Labour and ACT have at various times waxed on about their “vision” of NZ as a high value-added world tech center What subject is tech based upon? Mathematics. A Chicago mathematician just told me that whereas last decade ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    6 days ago
  • Contestable advice
    Eric Crampton writes –  Danyl McLauchlan over at The Listener on the recent shift toward more contestability in public policy advice in education: Education Minister Erica Stanford, one of National’s highest-ranked MPs, is trying to circumvent the establishment, taking advice from a smaller pool of experts – ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    6 days ago
  • How did it get so bad?
    Ele Ludemann writes – That Kāinga Ora is a mess is no surprise, but the size of the mess is. There have been many reports of unruly tenants given licence to terrorise neighbours, properties bought and left vacant, and the state agency paying above market rates in competition ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    6 days ago
  • How serious is an MP’s failure to declare $178k in donations?
    Bryce Edwards writes –  It’s being explained as an “inadvertent error”. However, National MP David MacLeod’s excuse for failing to disclose $178,000 in donations for his election campaign last year is not necessarily enough to prevent some serious consequences. A Police investigation is now likely, and the result ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    6 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the privatising of state housing provision, by stealth
    The scathing “independent” review of Kāinga Ora barely hit the table before the coalition government had acted on it. The entire Kāinga Ora board will be replaced, and a new chair (Simon Moutter) has been announced. Hmm. No aspersions on Bill English, but the public would have had more confidence ...
    6 days ago
  • Our House.
    I'll light the fireYou place the flowers in the vaseThat you bought todayA warm dry home, you’d think that would be bread and butter to politicians. Home ownership and making sure people aren’t left living on the street, that’s as Kiwi as Feijoa and Apple Crumble. Isn’t it?The coalition are ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • Getting to No
    Politics is about compromise, right?  And framing it so the voters see your compromise as the better one.  John Key was a skilful exponent of this approach (as was Keith Holyoake in an earlier age), and Chris Luxon isn’t too bad either. But in politics, the process whereby an old ...
    Point of OrderBy xtrdnry
    6 days ago
  • At a glance – How does the Medieval Warm Period compare to current global temperatures?
    On February 14, 2023 we announced our Rebuttal Update Project. This included an ask for feedback about the added "At a glance" section in the updated basic rebuttal versions. This weekly blog post series highlights this new section of one of the updated basic rebuttal versions and serves as a ...
    6 days ago
  • Bryce Edwards: How serious is an MP’s failure to declare $178k in donations?
    It’s being explained as an “inadvertent error”. However, National MP David MacLeod’s excuse for failing to disclose $178,000 in donations for his election campaign last year is not necessarily enough to prevent some serious consequences. A Police investigation is now likely, and the result of his non-disclosure could even see ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    6 days ago
  • Get your story straight, buddy
    The relentless drone coming out of the Prime Minister and his deputy for a million days now has been that the last government was just hosing  money all over the show and now at last the grownups are in charge and shutting that drunken sailor stuff down. There is a word ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    6 days ago
  • A govt plane is headed for New Caledonia – here’s hoping the Kiwis stranded there get better ser...
    Buzz from the Beehive Foreign Minister Winston Peters has confirmed a New Zealand Government plane will head to riot-torn New Caledonia in the next hour in the first in a series of proposed flights to begin bringing New Zealanders home. Today’s flight will carry around 50 passengers with the most ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    7 days ago
  • Who is David MacLeod?
    Precious declaration saysYours is yours and mine you leave alone nowPrecious declaration saysI believe all hope is dead no longerTick tick tick Boom!Unexploded ordnance. A veritable minefield. A National caucus with a large number of unknowns, candidates who perhaps received little in the way of vetting as the party jumped ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    7 days ago
  • The Four Knights
    Rex Ahdar writes –  The Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, likes to trace his political lineage back to the pioneers of parliamentary Maoridom.   I will refer to these as the ‘big four’ or better still, the Four Knights. Just as ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    7 days ago
  • Could Willie Jackson be the populist leader that Labour need?
    Bryce Edwards writes –  Willie Jackson will participate in the prestigious Oxford Union debate on Thursday, following in David Lange’s footsteps. Coincidentally, Jackson has also followed Lange’s footsteps by living in his old home in South Auckland. And like Lange, Jackson might be the sort of loud-mouth scrapper ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    7 days ago

  • Minister to Singapore for defence, technology talks
    Defence and Science, Innovation and Technology Minister Judith Collins departs for Singapore tomorrow for defence and technology summits and meetings. First up is the Asia Tech X Singapore Summit, followed by the Five Power Defence Arrangements Defence Ministers Meeting and wrapping up with the Shangri-La Dialogue for Defence Ministers from ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • Major investment in teacher supply through Budget 24
    Over the next four years, Budget 24 will support the training and recruitment of 1,500 teachers into the workforce, Education Minister Erica Stanford announced today. “To raise achievement and develop a world leading education system we’re investing nearly $53 million over four years to attract, train and retain our valued ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Joint statement on the New Zealand – Cook Islands Joint Ministerial Forum – 2024
    1.  New Zealand Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Rt Hon Winston Peters; Minister of Health and Minister for Pacific Peoples Hon Dr Shane Reti; and Minister for Climate Change Hon Simon Watts hosted Cook Islands Minister of Foreign Affairs and Immigration Hon Tingika Elikana and Minister of Health Hon Vainetutai Rose Toki-Brown on 24 May ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Middle East, Africa deployments extended
    The Government has approved two-year extensions for four New Zealand Defence Force deployments to the Middle East and Africa, Defence Minister Judith Collins and Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today. “These deployments are long-standing New Zealand commitments, which reflect our ongoing interest in promoting peace and stability, and making active ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Climate Change Commission Chair to retire
    The Climate Change Commission Chair, Dr Rod Carr, has confirmed his plans to retire at the end of his term later this year, Climate Change Minister Simon Watts says. “Prior to the election, Dr Carr advised me he would be retiring when his term concluded. Dr Rod Carr has led ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Inaugural Board of Integrity Sport & Recreation Commission announced
    Nine highly respected experts have been appointed to the inaugural board of the new Integrity Sport and Recreation Commission, Sport & Recreation Minister Chris Bishop says. “The Integrity Sport and Recreation Commission is a new independent Crown entity which was established under the Integrity Sport and Recreation Act last year, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • A balanced Foreign Affairs budget
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters confirmed today that Vote Foreign Affairs in Budget 2024 will balance two crucial priorities of the Coalition Government.    While Budget 2024 reflects the constrained fiscal environment, the Government also recognises the critical role MFAT plays in keeping New Zealanders safe and prosperous.    “Consistent with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New social housing places to support families into homes
    New social housing funding in Budget 2024 will ensure the Government can continue supporting more families into warm, dry homes from July 2025, Housing Ministers Chris Bishop and Tama Potaka say. “Earlier this week I was proud to announce that Budget 2024 allocates $140 million to fund 1,500 new social ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand’s minerals future
    Introduction Today, we are sharing a red-letter occasion. A Blackball event on hallowed ground. Today  we underscore the importance of our mineral estate. A reminder that our natural resource sector has much to offer.  Such a contribution will not come to pass without investment.  However, more than money is needed. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government sets out vision for minerals future
    Increasing national and regional prosperity, providing the minerals needed for new technology and the clean energy transition, and doubling the value of minerals exports are the bold aims of the Government’s vision for the minerals sector. Resources Minister Shane Jones today launched a draft strategy for the minerals sector in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government progresses Māori wards legislation
    The coalition Government’s legislation to restore the rights of communities to determine whether to introduce Māori wards has passed its first reading in Parliament, Local Government Minister Simeon Brown says. “Divisive changes introduced by the previous government denied local communities the ability to determine whether to establish Māori wards.” The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • First RMA amendment Bill introduced to Parliament
    The coalition Government has today introduced legislation to slash the tangle of red and green tape throttling some of New Zealand’s key sectors, including farming, mining and other primary industries. RMA Reform Minister Chris Bishop says the Government is committed to  unlocking development and investment while ensuring the environment is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government welcomes EPA decision
    The decision by Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) to approve the continued use of hydrogen cyanamide, known as Hi-Cane, has been welcomed by Environment Minister Penny Simmonds and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay.  “The EPA decision introduces appropriate environmental safeguards which will allow kiwifruit and other growers to use Hi-Cane responsibly,” Ms ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Speech to Employers and Manufacturers Association: Relief for today, hope for tomorrow
    Kia ora, Ngā mihi nui ki a koutou kātoa Tāmaki Herenga Waka, Tāmaki Herenga tangata Ngā mihi ki ngā mana whenua o tēnei rohe Ngāti Whātua ō Ōrākei me nga iwi kātoa kua tae mai. Mauriora. Greetings everyone. Thank you to the EMA for hosting this event. Let me acknowledge ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government invests in 1,500 more social homes
    The coalition Government is investing in social housing for New Zealanders who are most in need of a warm dry home, Housing Minister Chris Bishop says. Budget 2024 will allocate $140 million in new funding for 1,500 new social housing places to be provided by Community Housing Providers (CHPs), not ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • $24 million boost for Gumboot Friday
    Thousands more young New Zealanders will have better access to mental health services as the Government delivers on its commitment to fund the Gumboot Friday initiative, says Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Mental Health Minister Matt Doocey.  “Budget 2024 will provide $24 million over four years to contract the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill passes first reading
    The Coalition Government’s Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill, which will improve tenancy laws and help increase the supply of rental properties, has passed its first reading in Parliament says Housing Minister Chris Bishop. “The Bill proposes much-needed changes to the Residential Tenancies Act 1986 that will remove barriers to increasing private ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Montecassino Commemorative Address, Cassino War Cemetery
    Standing here in Cassino War Cemetery, among the graves looking up at the beautiful Abbey of Montecassino, it is hard to imagine the utter devastation left behind by the battles which ended here in May 1944. Hundreds of thousands of shells and bombs of every description left nothing but piled ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • First Reading – Repeal of Section 7AA of the Oranga Tamariki Act 1989
    I present a legislative statement on the Oranga Tamariki (Repeal of Section 7AA) Amendment Bill Mr. Speaker, I move that the Oranga Tamariki (Repeal of Section 7AA) Amendment Bill be now read a first time. I nominate the Social Services and Community Committee to consider the Bill. Thank you, Mr. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • First reading of 7AA’s repeal: progress for children
    The Bill to repeal Section 7AA of the Oranga Tamariki Act has had its first reading in Parliament today. The Bill reaffirms the Coalition Government’s commitment to the care and safety of children in care, says Minister for Children Karen Chhour.  “When I became the Minister for Children, I made ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • China Business Summit 2024
    Kia ora koutou, good morning, and zao shang hao. Thank you Fran for the opportunity to speak at the 2024 China Business Summit – it’s great to be here today. I’d also like to acknowledge: Simon Bridges - CEO of the Auckland Chamber of Commerce. His Excellency Ambassador - Wang ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Assisted depatures from New Caledonia
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has confirmed a New Zealand Government plane will head to New Caledonia in the next hour in the first in a series of proposed flights to begin bringing New Zealanders home.    “New Zealanders in New Caledonia have faced a challenging few days - and bringing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Assisted departures from New Caledonia
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has confirmed a New Zealand Government plane will head to New Caledonia in the next hour in the first in a series of proposed flights to begin bringing New Zealanders home.  “New Zealanders in New Caledonia have faced a challenging few days - and bringing them ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Government to rollout roadside drug testing
    The Coalition Government will introduce legislation this year that will enable roadside drug testing as part of our commitment to improve road safety and restore law and order, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  “Alcohol and drugs are the number one contributing factor in fatal road crashes in New Zealand. In ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Minister responds to review of Kāinga Ora
    The Government has announced a series of immediate actions in response to the independent review of Kāinga Ora – Homes and Communities, Housing Minister Chris Bishop says. “Kāinga Ora is a large and important Crown entity, with assets of $45 billion and over $2.5 billion of expenditure each year. It ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Pseudoephedrine back on shelves
    Associate Health Minister David Seymour is pleased that Pseudoephedrine can now be purchased by the general public to protect them from winter illness, after the coalition government worked swiftly to change the law and oversaw a fast approval process by Medsafe. “Pharmacies are now putting the medicines back on their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand-China Business Summit
    Tēnā koutou katoa. Da jia hao.  Good morning everyone.   Prime Minister Luxon, your excellency, a great friend of New Zealand and my friend Ambassador Wang, Mayor of what he tells me is the best city in New Zealand, Wayne Brown, the highly respected Fran O’Sullivan, Champion of the Auckland business ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New measures to protect powerlines from trees
    Energy Minister Simeon Brown has announced that the Government will make it easier for lines firms to take action to remove vegetation from obstructing local powerlines. The change will ensure greater security of electricity supply in local communities, particularly during severe weather events.  “Trees or parts of trees falling on ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Wairarapa Moana ki Pouakani win top Māori dairy farming award
    Wairarapa Moana ki Pouakani were the top winners at this year’s Ahuwhenua Trophy awards recognising the best in Māori dairy farming. Māori Development Minister Tama Potaka announced the winners and congratulated runners-up, Whakatōhea Māori Trust Board, at an awards celebration also attended by Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and Finance Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • DJ Fred Again – Assurance report received
    "On the 27th of March, I sought assurances from the Chief Executive, Department of Internal Affairs, that the Department’s correct processes and policies had been followed in regards to a passport application which received media attention,” says Minister of Internal Affairs Brooke van Velden.  “I raised my concerns after being ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • District Court Judges appointed
    Attorney-General Judith Collins has announced the appointment of three new District Court Judges, to replace Judges who have recently retired. Peter James Davey of Auckland has been appointed a District Court Judge with a jury jurisdiction to be based at Whangarei. Mr Davey initially started work as a law clerk/solicitor with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Unions should put learning ahead of ideology
    Associate Education Minister David Seymour is calling on the Post Primary Teachers’ Association (PPTA) to put ideology to the side and focus on students’ learning, in reaction to the union holding paid teacher meetings across New Zealand about charter schools.     “The PPTA is disrupting schools up and down the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Craig Stobo appointed as chair of FMA
    Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Andrew Bayly today announced the appointment of Craig Stobo as the new chair of the Financial Markets Authority (FMA). Mr Stobo takes over from Mark Todd, whose term expired at the end of April. Mr Stobo’s appointment is for a five-year term. “The FMA plays ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Budget 2024 invests in lifeguards and coastguard
    Surf Life Saving New Zealand and Coastguard New Zealand will continue to be able to keep people safe in, on, and around the water following a funding boost of $63.644 million over four years, Transport Minister Simeon Brown and Associate Transport Minister Matt Doocey say. “Heading to the beach for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand and Tuvalu reaffirm close relationship
    New Zealand and Tuvalu have reaffirmed their close relationship, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says.  “New Zealand is committed to working with Tuvalu on a shared vision of resilience, prosperity and security, in close concert with Australia,” says Mr Peters, who last visited Tuvalu in 2019.  “It is my pleasure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand calls for calm, constructive dialogue in New Caledonia
    New Zealand is gravely concerned about the situation in New Caledonia, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.  “The escalating situation and violent protests in Nouméa are of serious concern across the Pacific Islands region,” Mr Peters says.  “The immediate priority must be for all sides to take steps to de-escalate the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand welcomes Samoa Head of State
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon met today with Samoa’s O le Ao o le Malo, Afioga Tuimalealiifano Vaaletoa Sualauvi II, who is making a State Visit to New Zealand. “His Highness and I reflected on our two countries’ extensive community links, with Samoan–New Zealanders contributing to all areas of our national ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Island Direct eligible for SuperGold Card funding
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has announced that he has approved Waiheke Island ferry operator Island Direct to be eligible for SuperGold Card funding, paving the way for a commercial agreement to bring the operator into the scheme. “Island Direct started operating in November 2023, offering an additional option for people ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • Further sanctions against Russia
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