Delegates: vote down the NZ Super age increase

Written By: - Date published: 8:28 am, October 30th, 2013 - 160 comments
Categories: labour, superannuation - Tags:

Delegates at the Labour Party Conference in Christchurch will be asked to vote on cutting back NZ Superannuation entitlements as part of Labour’s 2014 policy platform. In my opinion, the response from the floor must be an unequivocal “NO WAY: find real alternatives.

Delegates will need to stand firm against orthodox opinion, however, such as from:

  • Retirement Commissioner Diane Maxwell who calls for the retirement age to increase to 68 for the sake of financial sustainability.
  • David Parker, who repeats Labour’s current policy of raising the retirement age from 2020, saying that super will “cost” $30B p.a. by 2030. With due respect to both Maxwell and Parker, this “cost” to the Government is actually “income” for ordinary communities i.e. income which both Labour and the Retirement Commissioner are proposing to cut.
  • Becky Prebble, Senior Treasury Analyst, who suggests that cuts should be considered, as super costs may increase to 8% of GDP by 2060. Prebble’s other statement that “taxes tend to damage economic growth” also needs pushback, but that can wait.
  • An anonymous scribe at the NZ Herald replaying their broken record position that the age of entitlement must increase.

So while National is busy applying cuts today, Labour’s approach is to implement cuts tomorrow. Gen X and Gen Y will once again be asked to pay more than today’s 50-something and 60-something year old decision makers – who established themselves at a time of low cost housing, minimal youth unemployment and no student loans, and will now get their super on time in full with no policy offsets touching them. The phenomenon of intergenerational inequity can be emotive, but it is undeniable. Its further entrenchment by Labour is unwelcome. And we haven’t even considered the unequal impact that raising the super eligibility age has on Māori and Pasifika. For instance, under Labour’s plans, Māori men as a population can be expected to receive just 6 years of super before dying.

The current debate on super “sustainability” is also very narrow, being couched almost entirely in financial terms. Consider some alternative viewpoints:

  • New Zealand is a currency sovereign. The Government cannot run out of the widely accepted IOUs (a.k.a. NZ dollars) used to pay NZ super. It can spend the dollars into existence when required, allow the IOUs to circulate in the economy and tax them back as needed.
  • The Reserve Bank and Treasury has the ability to increase the Cullen Fund’s investment capital by an extra 0.2% per month through a combination of new dollars generated by key strokes and by taxation. This alone would take the age of entitlement issue off the table for decades.
  • We already have too many people unable to find full time work in an economy geared to create too few jobs. Increasing an already excess pool of idle labour by asking people to retire later is a nonsense.

The Government has to develop a productive economy able to deliver on the complex expectations of a distinctly older population.  That is the real challenge, not balancing digital book keeping entries.  Will there be enough orthopaedic surgeons available to perform the needed hip replacements? How about sufficient low cost state rentals suitable for older people? Will public transport cater to the many elderly who can no longer drive (or afford to drive)? How exactly will relatively few younger people find the time and income to care for relatively many older people? An increasing percentage of New Zealand’s young are Māori and Pasifika: how do we justify asking more of them while allowing the social costs of rampant youth unemployment to continue year after year?

Labour’s 2011 election policy to raise the retirement age to 67 was highly unpopular amongst Labour supporters. Far from appealing to the illusory ‘fiscally responsible swing voter’ it turned off Labour voters in droves. It also delivered the unwelcome spectacle of John Key personally backing NZ Super, while Labour made excuses for why cuts should be made in the name of ‘fiscal responsibility.’  It was a sickening sight.

In 2011, this one policy probably cost Labour the 20,000 extra votes it needed to gain an additional MP. Today, having that single additional Labour MP in the House would be golden.

Conference delegates: force Labour to think outside the orthodox economic box. Vote down the proposed cuts to NZ Super. Tell Conference; “NO WAY: find real alternatives.”

by Tat Loo (CV)

Disclaimer: As usual, I speak for and represent only myself on The Standard.

160 comments on “Delegates: vote down the NZ Super age increase”

  1. karol 1

    Well argued, Tat. It makes sense not to raise the age.

    Given aging workers looking for new jobs are often over-looked for younger people, it doesn’t make any sense to pressure them to (try to) stay in paid work for longer.

    • weka 1.1

      Agreed, great post. Labour’s current policy beggars belief.

      There is a tie in here too with Work and Income policy and practice with older beneficiaries. How is that going to be managed?

      • David H 1.1.1

        They treat us ‘older’ beneficiaries with the same disdain, that they show to all who come to them for help.

    • Tat Loo (CV) 1.2

      Thanks, karol. To my mind, raising the retirement age only makes sense if there are partnering policies along side, like full employment for 25s and under.

      And even then, the pressure to raise the retirement age would not be financial “sustainability” (since we can never run out of dollars, if we think that something is societally important enough to fund).

      weka: I can’t really see that anyone has thought about those issues yet. We’ve created an economic system where everyone is so concerned about balancing spreadsheet entries that we are taking the eye off real physical and people issues.

      • One Anonymous Knucklehead 1.2.1

        If we had a UBI, this problem would not exist.

        But of course the issue is financial: how will it be paid for? Especially in the context of the history of NZ Super, with schemes started by the Left and cancelled (or looted) by the Right.

        Can the Left provide the economic circumstances and tax regime to make this affordable, when the Right is determined to smash everything to sell the parts?

        • Tat Loo (CV)

          Yes on the UBI.

          The question of “how will it be paid for” is an important one – but not in terms of NZ dollars. The government need never run out of dollars – they are merely spreadsheet entries after all.

          The real framing of that question is, will we have a real economy with access to the real skills and real resources that those dollars will want to buy.

          At the moment we have a whole economic system worried about ‘dollar availability’ instead of what it should be worried about: capability, goods and real resource availability.

          • One Anonymous Knucklehead

            That’s why I chose the words “economic circumstances and tax regime” rather than “dollars”.

            However, the point I’m making is that the Left can come up with the best system ever and the wingnuts will still do their best to smash it. Policy to address the issue isn’t enough: it has to be politically robust too.

            • Tat Loo (CV)

              Agreed on all counts. The programme has to be “Tory Proof.”

              • Draco T Bastard

                And the only real way to do that is through binding referenda. A small minority won’t to get to destroy society for their own enrichment.

                • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                  If referenda are the solution I prefer the problem, thanks.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    You’re quite welcome to prefer dictatorship if that is what you want. I prefer democracy and actually having a say in my governance.

                    • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                      And your belief that referenda would provide that is mistaken.

                    • Naturesong

                      Binding veto via referenda solves that problem.

                      The issue of the question sometimes bearing almost no relationship to the actual legislation would also need to be addressed

          • Olwyn

            I agree wholeheartedly Tat. And on a subject in which a similar logic is followed, I want to see labour stop charging compound interest on student loans for those overseas. I know someone who was tripped up by a forgotten loan from one of those nineties fake courses, whose debt had swelled from an initial $1,600 dollars to $28,000 dollars. We force young people out of the workforce by forcing the old into it. Those shut out we force overseas, and then send private detectives to seize their real assets in exchange for dollar debt. I’m afraid I will only believe that Labour is serious about change when it grasps this nettle. I wrote to Grant Robertson asking about Labour’s policy on student debt but have yet to get a reply. I added it to this thread because to me it is part of the same game. We need a real economy that supports citizens, not a fake one that persistently generates excuses for clobbering them.

            • Tat Loo (CV)

              Not only have older decision makers put the increasing costs of society on to younger people, it appears to me that they’ve also decided that children and younger people are a cost on society. Competing for the same resources, housing etc. that they want for themselves.

              The Reserve Bank decision to slam first home buyers with the new mortgage deposit requirements is a perfect example of this.

              • Olwyn

                As you yourself said, on the Black Rod thread, “In this environment of real economy contraction, the middle classes have been staying afloat by pushing down opportunities available to the working classes and the under classes. Just as the 1% is determined to stay afloat by pushing down the middle classes.” You could add the young in with the working classes and under classes, MBA’s and all.

                Under these conditions practically everyone registers as a cost to everyone else. But we should be looking at what we can do to alter these conditions, or at the very least to reduce their damaging effect on the population. We should not be pandering to them.

            • Draco T Bastard


              As for the student debt? It needs to be written off and school fees need to be dropped. We need to support people into doing what they want to do – not prevent them.

            • Murray Olsen

              Our student loan scheme charges a high interest rate, charges compound interest, and demands repayment at a very low income level. It should be scrapped and tertiary education should have no upfront costs. Entry should be available for anyone who can satisfy the academic requirements in the first year. This would have the added advantage of seeing ACT on Campus and Young NAct campus branches disband for lack of members. Graduating students could be bonded by some sort of paid community work for a few years after graduation. We need an educated population, but we do not need universities cluttered up with stupid Tory kids taking a break before they get some cushy job outsourced from Uncle Gerry’s department or whatever.

          • Draco T Bastard

            At the moment we have a whole economic system worried about ‘dollar availability’ instead of what it should be worried about: capability, goods and real resource availability.


            We need to ensure that our society can provide, from it’s own limited resources, what the people need to live life at a reasonable standard of living.

        • miravox

          “If we had a UBI, this problem would not exist.”

          Yep, absolutely.

    • greywarbler 1.3

      If we adopted a whole new approach to old age and working it would result in very different ways of thinking than those listed in the post. this would mean we would not even consider dropping such heavy and crushing policy from a great height on the older group.

      The first step is being willing to accept ideas from the community in general which offer a way forward, and from the retired and elderly themselves as to their suggestions.

      One of my beliefs is that those receiving benefits whether as young people or old people should be putting something back into the community, to whatever level they can manage. And that contribution to the economy and society to be counted as work. I am sure that Labour did introduce this approach. I suppose National abolished it, on the basis that no useful social innovation from Labour can be allowed to continue.

      There need to be numbers of options for older people to choose, with the constant that they should be doing something in the community if they receive benefits ie super etc., as long as they can manage to. There should be no one-size-fits-all; there should be no economics-run call for simplicity; there should be options and opportunities; there should be an ability to earn extra without every $ being scrutinised; there should be no increased age limit, and older people on invalids or sickness benefits (which should be restored to prior-Poorer Benefit levels) could be brought into the Retirement super system earlier than 65.

      Possibilities for work for olders –

      1 That older people can sign up for various projects that government, central or local, needs help with that the older person has the capability to do.
      2 Then volunteer work for the community benefit of a type that is regarded as being helpful, useful, positive etc. should count.
      3 In general just doing things for family would not count. But when it came to supporting
      grandchildren, vulnerable children, vulnerable or sick adults or other olders in the family, that would count.
      4 If staying in a job after 65, then only medical care would receive old age rates, unless they took on the job of training an unemployed young person in some aspects of their job, and that person was able to gain employment as a result. In that case, they could receive super as well as their salary. This would be looking after youth needs for training and work experience and mentoring.
      5 A variable rate option could be chosen by those on contracts, so there would be a basic rate and medical help available payable all the time to those on good paying contracts, who then had periods of no extra income.
      6 Cut out stand down periods.

      • karol 1.3.1

        That sounds too much like Bennett’s social obligations.

        I don’t want the government of the day deciding how I spend my time. Would the NAct government decide my doing posts for TS qualified as useful?

        • greywarbler

          I am attempting to think around the result of having large numbers of people living to a much older age. Finding some formula of payment whether UBI or not can be afforded, isn’t the answer.

          The workers and super funds can not support a whole lot of adults as if they were children receiving the care needed to start in life. There has to be a reciprocal system otherwise there will be no respect for elders, and by elders, who will expect royal treatment from the young, their serfs. People should be asked to do something – for those well enough in a rural setting it may be a type of village approach of helping during the apple season in some way.

          Every time I bring this up people get hoity-toity about it. Yet the wealthy retired are happy to receive their universal super and update their cars regularly etc. and some ones I know feel free to be very hoity-toity about the unemployed and DPBs, under the old system. There is no end to their self-satisfaction and they are happy to be drawing from the country’s resources considering their days of leisure being well deserved for such superior people.

          All of us should be doing something that will help others in the community if we are receiving from the community. And it won’t be decided by Poorer Benefit or her cohorts but chosen by the individual, probably there would be some guidelines and be not onerous, just a few hours part-time.

      • Draco T Bastard 1.3.2

        A Universal Income does all that and doesn’t require the government poking in to what you’re doing.

  2. phil 2

    I hold to account National and Labour. Until Labour changes fundamentally, it will be just more of the same, with different arrangements of the chairs on the Titanic. I remember the dashed hopes of the Lange/Douglas era. Labour was betrayed by itself to corporate ideology. I reckon Labour (Lange/Douglas, Prebble, et al) at this time, was the start of the Money taking over the ‘government’ of New Zealand. I fear Cunliffe may be the face of real change, but really no change at all. e. g Obama, Blair. Tinkering is not enough, and big business will oppose and undermine at every turn. I hope I’m wrong, but history is on my side.

  3. vto 3

    I don’t believe there is an issue of affordability. Look at it this way…

    New Zealand is 4 million people able to feed 40 million people and do a whole bunch of other useful stuff. It generates something like $US29,500 per person per year in GDP. New Zealand is more than wealthy enough to provide above average (in world terms) living standards to every person in the country.

    The problem is not affordability, the problem is distribution. The current distribution system is all out of whack as it fails to provide adequately for each person in the country. The current distribution system needs changing to a different distribution system.

    This is the problem, not affordability.

    • Tat Loo (CV) 3.1

      Exactly. The question is not financial affordability, but ‘real resources affordability’. For instance – can our environment sustain how we are running our economy today? Can our people and our families?

      • Draco T Bastard 3.1.1

        For instance – can our environment sustain how we are running our economy today?

        No it can’t as our ever more polluted waterways prove.

    • shorts 3.2

      exactly and what one would like to see from Labour is ways to address this without the cop out excuse and policy of increasing the super age – which is very much rearranging chairs

    • Rogue Trooper 3.3

      yes vto

  4. fambo 4

    Labour would be nuts to campaign on raising the retirement age, especially as it is mostly older people who vote these days. Anyone around the age of 55, for example, is definitely not going to vote for a party that makes them the first New Zealanders to have to work till almost 70 years old!

    • Lanthanide 4.1

      67 isn’t really “almost 70”.

      • greywarbler 4.1.1

        You are great at splitting hairs. I’ve noticed this before.

        Arguing that 67 isn’t 70 when we are talking about people who are getting older and perhaps having to endure another three years of harrassment from government MSDeviation which if it came in the private sphere could possibly result in a Court case against the perpetrator!

        Three years is 3×365 days – not a miniscule amount of time. Why did you bother to make such a nit-picking useless comment?

        • Lanthanide

          Not sure why you’re talking about 3 years when the proposal is to raise the retirement age from 65 to 67, which is a difference of 2 years.

          • Tat Loo (CV)

            The retirement commissioner says 68, and Labour’s conference remit isn’t exactly clear that a rise to 67 is all that it will be necessarily limited to.

            Its a bit of a worry actually.

            • Lanthanide

              Ok, I presumed we were just talking about Labour’s 2011 election campaign.

              In which case, 68 definitely is “almost 70” in a way that 67 isn’t.

          • greywarbler

            Thanks Lanthanide
            A perfect example of ignoring the main point, and concentrating on the nit picking details.

      • oftenpuzzled 4.1.2

        Anyone know how many people are working now who are over 65? Is there a breakdown anywhere? It would be interesting to know what the attitude is among those who are 65 and over towards continuing to be employed. The wide circle I mix least 50% that are over 65 are still working. They are builders, bus drivers, academics, shop assistants, care-givers. Our conversations suggests they are happy to continue on for a few more years as long as their health remains OK. An interesting and complex issue this retirement question

    • Tat Loo (CV) 4.2

      In 2011 I found a lot of older, already retired people also hated the policy. Even though the change did not affect them, they saw it as grossly unfair on younger people, and against the Labour spirit.

      Labour’s assumption that 50+ voters are just self interested “homo economicus” units and who will have no problem with this policy if it is cleverly structured to not affect them, is wrong.

      • karol 4.2.1

        Agreed, those of us in the 60+ age group know what the realities are for many older people. And many of us just don’t want to see things made more difficult than they already are (and generally getting worse) for younger people.

      • Lanthanide 4.2.2

        “they saw it as grossly unfair on younger people, and against the Labour spirit.”

        I find it grossly unfair to be paying people who are aged 65 and are in perfectly good health and able to work, to retire.

        • Tat Loo (CV)

          Save your comfortable faux indignation, Lanth.

          You propose a way that we can generate 200,000 additional full time jobs for our highly underutilised unemployed/underemployed labour force to engage in, and maybe you might have a point.

          And are you planning to be fit and healthy yourself at 65? You want to waive your rights to NZ Super then, if you are? Is this your vision of a modern society? Keep working for the man until you can’t any more?

          • Lanthanide

            We’re going to have to generate (at least) 200,000 jobs over the next decades anyway.

            You’re buying into the lump of labour fallacy.

            • Tat Loo (CV)

              Bullshit. The lump of labour fallacy is fallacious in itself.

              I’m talking about an additional 200,000 jobs right now just to take care of today’s excess labour pool, let alone future increases needed to cover population growth.

              • Lanthanide

                “Bullshit. The lump of labour fallacy is fallacious in itself.”

                So you think there is a fixed number of jobs in the economy and that whenever person X takes job Y, no new job can or will be created for person Z?

                • Tat Loo (CV)

                  We are in an economy currently incapable of creating net jobs and which has a large over supply of labour keeping wages down. Not because I or the textbooks say so, but because that is what has been happening for several years now.

                  And although you seem so keen to keep older people working as long as they can, it seems you have no proposals to create net jobs either.

                  • Lanthanide

                    So you think someone who is working in a highly technical and skilled job at age 65 and retires, can be replaced by an 18 year old fresh out of school?

                    • Tat Loo (CV)

                      Wow, that’s just not something that I’ve ever thought about in quite that way.

                    • Lanthanide

                      See, ’cause the people who say lump of labour is a fallacy, would say there’s nothing stopping that company hiring both the 65 year old and the 18 year old.

                      If the 65 year old has to retire before the 18 year old can be hired, then there is a fixed number of jobs available at that company.

                      Even if you want to say “well then the 60 year old starts doing the 65 year old’s job, and the 50 year old start’s doing the 60 year old’s job, and the 40 year old start’s doing the 50 year old’s job, and the 30 year old starts going the 40 year old’s job, and the 20 year old starts doing the 30 year old’s job and the 18 year old is hired to do the 20 year old’s job”, you’re still positing a lump of labour.

                    • Tat Loo (CV)

                      “See, ’cause the people who say lump of labour is a fallacy, would say there’s nothing stopping that company hiring both the 65 year old and the 18 year old.”

                      You’re completely and utterly ignoring how firms actually make hiring decisions, and ignoring the fact that firms see jobs as a cost to be avoided if at all possible.

                      But I already said this when I told you the lump of labour fallacy is in itself a fallacy.

                    • Lanthanide

                      “You’re completely and utterly ignoring how firms actually make hiring decisions, and ignoring the fact that firms see jobs as a cost to be avoided if at all possible.”

                      Companies make hiring decisions when there is work that is required to be done and not enough people currently employed to do it.

                      But it’s simply not true that a 65-year-old that retires will have their job replaced by someone else. The job could simply disappear altogether if there is no one sufficiently skilled or worth the companies time to train up a replacement. We’ve got quite a few people at my company who if they left would be unlikely to be replaced.

                    • Tat Loo (CV)

                      You just directly frakking contradicted yourself in just one comment on what makes firms hire people. ffs, Lanth.

                    • Lanthanide

                      I don’t see how I contradicted myself at all.

                      “work that is required to be done” isn’t contradicted by me saying my company has several people working whom I think probably wouldn’t be replaced if they left. Because simply the work isn’t “required to be done” once they leave…

                      I see you haven’t argued against my point, though, that just because a 65-year-old retires, it doesn’t automatically mean that the job they were doing would be given to someone else.

                    • Tat Loo (CV)

                      Hey Lanth. You’re welcome to hold your own views on this.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  So you think there is a fixed number of jobs in the economy and that whenever person X takes job Y, no new job can or will be created for person Z?

                  Nope. I figure that there’s only so much work needing to be done to keep each person in a reasonable living standard and that, as productivity increases, the amount of labour required to achieve that work decreases. Sometimes there may be other work that could be done but most of the time there isn’t.

                  • Lanthanide

                    So when horse and carts were replaced by automobiles, the number of jobs in the economy didn’t increase?

                    • Tat Loo (CV)

                      Those jobs had nothing to do with horse or carts or automobiles.

                      It was to do with 100:1 energy returned on energy invested (EROEI) through crude oil use, enabling massive leveraging of human labour via capital equipment for productivity and profit.

                      That energy return is ebbing away, therefore our modern economy is ebbing away.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Just because something happened 50 years ago in a once off technological revolution doesn’t mean that it’s going to happen again.

                    • Lanthanide

                      Tat – er, my point is that the new technology may have destroyed some old jobs, but it created new ones that weren’t previously possible, such as “truck driver”, or to be more specific “refrigerated truck driver”.

                      Draco – so how about something that happened merely 10-20 years ago, vis-a-vis computers, which destroyed a lot of jobs but also in the process created many new ones as well – hard to tell whether the net number of jobs has increased in this case, though.

                    • Tat Loo (CV)

                      FFS Lanth, why are you still repeating the neolib promises of 30 years ago that free markets would provide people with more better paid, high skilled jobs?

                      No western economy has proven capable of generating net full time jobs; good permanent jobs are in fact being replaced by crappy insecure ones or none at all.

                      Get used to it: you were lied to, we all were, it was simply a mechanism to transfer income share to corporations and owners.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Draco – so how about something that happened merely 10-20 years ago, vis-a-vis computers, which destroyed a lot of jobs but also in the process created many new ones as well – hard to tell whether the net number of jobs has increased in this case, though.

                      Well, as I understand it, they created a few new jobs at the time and now those jobs are decreasing because the technology has advanced so much it doesn’t need as many. This is seen across the board. There was that article a few weeks back about AirNZ decreasing maintenance engineers because aircraft today are so reliable that they no longer need as many.

                      Thing is, nothing else is stepping up to replace those jobs except crappy low paid, insecure service jobs like walking the dog and McDs (I’m actually amazed that McDs still hires people – everything done in their stores could easily be done by machine).

  5. Jim Nald 5

    Thanks for this, Mr Tat Loo.

    It is disheartening and gets more tiring by the minute putting up with TINA and it is great to hear others like you generating more discussion about the alternatives. TINA seems quite wrongly focused too narrowly and restrictively on playing with, as you put it, digital book keeping, and not building the real productive economy.

    In addition to your arguments, it has just occurred to me to ask what arguments can be made by business that not cutting the NZ Superannuation entitlements is actually better business and makes more business sense.

    • Jenny Kirk 5.1

      To Jim Nald (@ 5) asking what arguments business makes re NZ Super entitlements. There’s something called the Financial Services Council – chaired by Jenny Shipley, former Nat PM – which is heavily promoting an increase in the age of superannuation. This organisation is made up of financiers, bankers, insurance brokers, and the like and they manage nearly $80 Billion in savings, financial services, insurances, etc.

      The arguments they use are the ones quoted by other proponents for raising the super age (including, I regret, to say Labour Party spokespeople). In fact, last year David Shearer quoted directly from their paper – “Pensions for the 21st Century”. It seems to me that there would be a vested interest by such members in having people taking out private retirement savings, annuities, or insurances.

      If financiers and insurance people are promoting an age increase, then there has to be something in it for them …… It certainly wouldn’t be for the good of those people who are unable to save for their retirement because they’re in low income jobs all the time.

  6. Matthew 6

    With respect to Māori dying earlier, it seems that what we ought to do is have two retirement ages. One for Pakeha as they will live longer, and one for Māori set at a lower age so that they can actually enjoy their retirement.

    Does anyone know if that is Maori or Mana Party policy?

    • vto 6.1

      same for men and women

      • Jim Nald 6.1.1

        The UK super has been one where age entitlement differed for men (i.e. from 65) and women (from 60), although a 2010 change has forced women’s entitlement age to increase from 60 to 65 over a 10-year period? I think the Australian system had 64.5 for women and 65 for men but that changed from about three months ago?

        • weka

          What was the rationale for the pre-2010 difference Jim?

          I think vto’s point was that men die earlier than women, therefore should retire earlier (I mention this because vto doesn’t like to be explicit when it comes to issues like gender).

          • vto

            weka, there seem to be certain issues where you see things that don’t exist and/or you complicate them needlessly ….. I think that reflects your approach to those issues rather than mine.

            I mean, how much more simple or clear could the point have been made above? Should the post have been written “same for men and women because men die earlier”… ? Are the additional four words necessary?

            • weka

              I thought they were necessary, obviously, otherwise I wouldn’t have posted them.

              You have claimed that your posts are clear, but I often find them not so. What can I say apart from what my experience is?

    • Jim Nald 6.2

      A more accurate view would be that it is a class issue, driven by socio-economic factors, which comes up as a race/ethnic matter of concern?

      • weka 6.2.1

        Do we know how much is class and how much is ethnicity (genetics and environment)? How does colonisation factor in?

    • weka 6.3

      “Does anyone know if that is Maori or Mana Party policy?”

      I’ve heard Tariana Turia speak on this some time ago, but don’t know if it’s actual MP policy.

    • greywarbler 6.4

      I think that two ages, lower for Maori than for pakeha would arouse a lot of resentment. No arguments as to fairness and rightness would stand against the cries of racism. What could be recognised is that those who have been engaged in physical activity ‘wear out’.

      This was noted in the early colonial days, and could be quoted as justification for having an earlier retirement for such people. The older men in colonial days found that their legs gave out, probably it would have been arthritis and hip joint trouble, and been quite painful. I believe that the earliest old age pensions were tailored just for males because of this.

      Then those who are on invalids benefits (which should be reinstated if changed by Poorer Benefit which I think is the case), could also go onto super at 60 or earlier if appropriate. Then security and a livable income would allow a better old age period with happiness.

      • vto 6.4.1

        You are right greywarbler – the cries of racism, sexism, etc would burst the eardrums no matter the arguments on the issue.

        I think it would just about be excessively difficult to differentiate in this area and the idea impossible. Unfortunately.

        • Matthew

          I agree that there would be a lot of resentment. That’s why I think the Mana Party should raise it. It would only appeal to the demographic they/the Maori Party are targeting, so I think they could raise it, make it a part of the national dialogue, all without losing any votes. I also think it is a policy that should be implemented, or at least discussed (though I also think a retirement scheme that acknowledged class differences would be good as well).

          • Rogue Trooper

            Yes Matthew.

          • weka

            Woud it cause resentment if it were presented alongside another class of people who die younger? eg lower socioeconomic people, or people who’ve done manual labour for x decades? I bet insurance companies have already done the work on this.

        • greywarbler

          I think that the intent that you have, of ensuring that people, often Maori, with short life spans get a fair deal in their short old age, would be met by intelligent policy. This would feature having early retirement age for chronic illness and disability, and better medical aid at end of life.

          Was it in Britain, that the back-to-work-n..s stopped a dying man’s pension? This sort of thing is close to happening here. The partner of someone dying may be hounded to go to work or something with the benefit withheld etc.

          Things can be made better in a way that will seem fair to all if we get some people in gummint who haven’t had their heart removed with Keyhole surgery.

  7. Tangled_up 7

    I agree with Parker, Maxwell, Treasury etc

    With average life expectancies growing an increase to 67 would be like adjusting for inflation.

    • Tat Loo (CV) 7.1

      Why are you punishing people with entitlement cuts because they are living longer? What is your economic justification for handing out this punishment eg. to Maori who die younger?

      • Tangled_up 7.1.1

        How are they being punished? Are people being punished because we’re not lowering the retirement age?

        If people are living longer than they’re not receiving superannuation for any less than when the age went from 60 to 65.

        65-75 vs 67 – 77 as a rough example

        • Tat Loo (CV)

          So what’s your economic justification for cutting that extra income away from older people, and making them work 2-3 years longer than today’s retirees?

          Where are you going to create the extra jobs from?

          • Tangled_up

            The economic justification is that to continually pay each generation more superannuation (ie for longer) has massively increasing costs and is not sustainable.

            • Tat Loo (CV)

              Of course its financially sustainable. I included in my post examples of how to sustain it. And those suggestions are just the tip of the iceberg. The NZ Govt need never run out of NZ dollars, because it is the sole issuer in the world, of NZ dollars.

              • Tangled_up

                Ok, for arguments sake let us say your examples do make it sustainable.

                Unless the Govt. is willing to apply your “alternative view points” then it remains unsustainable and will need to change.

                • Tat Loo (CV)

                  Yes, that is correct. All I am saying is that there are real alternatives, if we want to use them.

        • weka

          “Are people being punished because we’re not lowering the retirement age?”

          Yes, they are.

          • Tangled_up

            Ok. So where do we draw the line? 50? 25? 16?

            Or are you actually saying what was mention earlier “If we had a UBI, this problem would not exist”.?

            • Tat Loo (CV)

              We draw the line at 65, where it is now. Did someone put in a Conference remit to drop the age to 50 or 25, silly billy? No? Then your diversion is not really on the table, is it.

              Having said that, I think that anyone who is receiving the sickness benefit or otherwise declared medically compromised, should be able to access super at 64 years old.

              • Tangled_up

                Not a diversion. Weka says that we’re punishing people by not lowering the age from 65. You’re saying that we’re punishing people if it’s 67.

                My point is that wherever the line is drawn, it can always be claimed that we’re punishing people.

                • Tat Loo (CV)

                  This post is about remits under vote this weekend. Specifically, the one legitimising raising the super entitlement age, penalising younger New Zealanders and entrenching intergenerational inequity.

                  I really appreciate wekas comments but I don’t think she’s a voting delegate this weekend.

                  • weka

                    Indeed I am not, and I was just responding to Tangled’s side thread.

                    “My point is that wherever the line is drawn, it can always be claimed that we’re punishing people.”

                    Not sure how old you are, but I remember when the age was 60. Putting the age up to 65 was unfair on groups of people that die earlier than other groups of people. But even when it was 60, some people were disadvantaged by their ethnicity (and class and gender depending on how you want to look at it). You appear to think it’s reasonable for everyone to be treated the same. I think that in cases where a class of people are already facing bad odds, then we should be looking at what is more fair (can’t be completely fair for obvious reasons).

                    As for the line being arbitrary, it’s not. Humans only live for a specific time span. If you think there is not much difference between 60 and 65 and 70 I suggest you spend more time with older people, including those from families where people often die before 70, or people who are used to hard working lives and dying relatively young. See what they think.

                    • mikesh

                      Perhaps where people die young, the superannuation that they missed out on could be paid into their estate.

                    • Tat Loo (CV)

                      that’s a very interesting idea. Allow it to occur as long as part of the monies goes into a nominated and registered charity.

                      And why don’t we allow all NZers to buy this from the NZ Govt as a form of life insurance which forms part of a KiwiSave concept?

                      Just tossing ideas around…

    • karol 7.2

      Inflation? Because human beings are just like spreadsheets and dollars on computer systems?

    • rich the other 7.3

      Geez Tangled up,
      I suppose you still believe in global warming as well .
      Just like global warming was a passing phase which has passed , evidenced by the fact that there has been no recorded lift in temperatures in the last 15 years (fact).
      Life expectancy is currently at a peak and recent forecasts are predicting life expectancy to fall due to the takeaway generation which is causing massive increases in over weight people, diabetes and heart disease.
      In 30 years time average life expectancy could fall by as much as 8 years.

      • Tangled_up 7.3.1

        You lost me at denier.

      • One Anonymous Knucklehead 7.3.2

        Yawn. What a tosser.

      • Lanthanide 7.3.3

        “Life expectancy is currently at a peak and recent forecasts are predicting life expectancy to fall due to the takeaway generation which is causing massive increases in over weight people, diabetes and heart disease.
        In 30 years time average life expectancy could fall by as much as 8 years.”

        Interestingly, US health experts are thinking that the current generation today will be the first one in history that is less healthy than their parents, and may have a drop in their life expectancy.

        • One Anonymous Knucklehead

          Which says something about the stupidity, greed and selfishness of the Right, except rto who will claim it was inevitable and driven by sunspots.

      • Anne 7.3.4

        In 30 years time average life expectancy could fall by as much as 8 years.

        Good point rto. These overweight people with diabetes and heart disease will be the first to succumb to the effects of global warming which, in thirty years time, will be considerably more advanced than it is now.

  8. Ad 8

    Great Conference pointer.

    Never understood where either Shearer or Parker got the idea they could unilaterally change such a fundamental policy like that.

    Would be good to see Labour debate compulsory Kiwisaver, more firmly than simply “opt out” provisions.

    Liked your second bullet point. Would be great to see us adopt the Australian model where they go to 9% (i think) diversion of salary to their Super.

    And of course if the govt is short of income to service Super it should seriously consider directing its fund managers to buy back good income-generating assets. Apparently they’re cheap at a buck each on the sharemarket!

    What would NZ’s version of Temasek look like?

    • Tat Loo (CV) 8.1

      Ah yes, Temasek. Also the Norwegian sovereign wealth fund. Models we can definitely learn from.

      • alwyn 8.1.1

        You do realise where the Norwegian Sovereign Wealth Fund comes from I hope?
        It comes from the taxs and royalties provided by the oil production in Norway’s part of the North Sea.
        We can’t possibly get one here as the Green and Labour parties of the left refuse to allow us to have any offshore oil production. No oil, no equivalent of the Norwegian Sovereign Wealth Fund.
        Actually I know that statement is true for the Green Party. Labour policy seems to be deliberately rather fuzzy.

        • QoT

          Because sovereign wealth funds can literally only be funded by oil profits. 🙄

          • Tat Loo (CV)

            Surely that’s how the Cullen Fund amassed $23B. Is it not??? 😛

            • alwyn

              One can hardly compare the Cullen Fund with the oil-financed Norwegian fund.
              The Norwegian fund is at least 40 times the size of the Cullen Fund. The population of Norway is only very slightly (about 6% I think) larger than that of New Zealand. How do you see us getting from the size of the Cullen fund, which I assume is about the $23 billion you quote to the $1,000 billion of the Norwegian fund unless we do it by something like oil production on a large scale?

          • alwyn

            No, not necessarily, but of the 20 largest Sovereign Wealth Funds 12 were, including Norway’s.

        • millsy

          Well your beloved National want to piss away the royalties. So not only we have rivers and beaches choked with filth, we having nothing to show for it.

          Neo-liberal scum.

        • miravox

          “We can’t possibly get one here as the Green and Labour parties of the left refuse to allow us to have any offshore oil production.”

          Interesting, I thought we had offshore oil production already… and exploration and drilling permits were granted and used under the last Labour government.

          A record 42 petroleum wells were drilled in New Zealand in 2007 as exploration and development activity reached new heights.

          The latest Ministry of Economic Development’s Energy Data File also reports record spending of over NZ$1.5 B on petroleum industry exploration and development.

          The 42 wells drilled represent a 40% increase on the 30 wells drilled in 2006. The previous highest number of wells was 34 in 2005.

          Another record was set in the number of offshore wells drilled at 17. This was up from 10 in 2006. Of the 42 wells drilled in 2007, 26 were exploration wells and 16 were appraisal or development wells.

          • alwyn

            That was then baby, this is now. Helen Clark and Michael Cullen (remember them) were running the party in 2008 but they are long gone.
            Moana Mackey is certainly fairly outspoken in her views, as given in her Press Releases, on the evils of offshore exploration and she is currently in Parliament.
            I did say, as you may note, that the Labour policy on this is a bit fuzzy. There is no doubt at all what the Greens want.

  9. rich the other 9

    More Comedy from labour,
    What a bunch of halfwits ,it’s taken them years to figure out that raising the retirement age was a no brainer, if the correct policy’s are implemented then the status quo is very affordable.
    The split in labour is becoming more obvious with parker going into panic mode because of his obsession with the need to increase the age limit, recently he was seen in parliament screaming at the top of his voice demanding the age of entitlement be lifted , trust this lot at your peril, the splits widening.

    • Tat Loo (CV) 9.1

      “What a bunch of halfwits ,it’s taken them years to figure out that raising the retirement age was a no brainer”

      Actually, I back the PM, John Key, in not raising the retirement age. He is an astute business person and senior banker, so he would know. Right?

  10. ianmac 10

    Switzerland currently has a referendum (binding?) on the GMI. It would be interesting to see such an innovation in action in a country instead of on paper only. Paula Bennet would be out of a job and few left to bully.

  11. Crunchtime 11

    Lower the Super age to 18.

    …in other words, introduce a Universal Basic Income

    (it would be good if it were higher for those over 65).

  12. Pete 12

    I’m in my mid 30s. If my retirement age is going to rise, I want it to be signalled decades out so I have adequate time to plan. Not like the increase from 60 to 65 that was first announced in 1991 and finalised in 2001.

    • Lanthanide 12.1

      Fundamentally, barring a new source of wealth being available, the retirement age is going to have to go up. Better for it to be signalled sooner and to go up over a longer period, than signalled later and go up quicker, and possibly also higher.

      At such time when a new source of wealth is available, whether that’s oil being found (and responsibly invested into a retirement fund a la Norway), a new technology created that produces virtually unlimited free energy or social and political change that allows for wealth to be distributed more evenly, then the retirement age can be lowered again.

      Better to make adjustments for the future based on the current trajectory, and then re-adjust after the trajectory changes, than to sit around imagining how else the future might be and refuse to make changes because of that.

      • Draco T Bastard 12.1.1

        Fundamentally, barring a new source of wealth being available

        You’re making the fundamental mistake of confusing money for wealth.

        • Lanthanide

          I deliberately said wealth and not money, because printing money isn’t creating wealth, it’s printing money. Printing money devalues all existing money in the system because the total wealth hasn’t increased, only the sum total of the money has, which means the money is individually worth less than it was before.

          • Tat Loo (CV)

            The bullshit part of that is that money isn’t the important part of the system, yet we are all acting as if it is.

            Who cares if money is individually worth less than it was before if the majority of people can hardly get enough money in the first place? What we are doing know is wasting the true wealth of the nation by letting unemployed people sit idle, when they could be creating real wealth (something that you seem to say you are for).

            It seems to me that the people most concerned with the unit by unit value of money are the people who have hoarded vast sums of it, who are only starting to realise know that there might not be enough real resources, goods and services to deliver on all those digitised financial claims.

            As you have already implied, it is “wealth” which is the key yet it is “wealth” that we are refusing to acknowledge in the way we manage this overly financialised economy.

            • Lanthanide

              Actually printing more money is a way of redistributing wealth, which is the 3rd example I listed as a requirement to avoid raising the age of retirement.

              “The bullshit part of that is that money isn’t the important part of the system, yet we are all acting as if it is.”

              Well you want to go back to trying to barter your day of labour for a sheep carcass, and another days labour for some shoes, go right ahead. I’ll stick with money becuase it’s much more convenient.

              Money facilitates trade. That’s all it does. I haven’t put it up on some magical pedestal as the be-all-and-end-all.

              • Tat Loo (CV)

                Ancient countries never ran their economies on barter. That’s a bullshit a-historic fairy tale from Econ 101.

                Actually printing more money is a way of redistributing wealth


          • Draco T Bastard

            We can use printed money to divert labour into creating wealth through R&D to increase productivity. Increased productivity means that we can maintain the same standard of living with less labour thus allowing us to ensure that we can afford to maintain retirement at 65. And, yes, we then use taxes to decrease the amount of money in circulation so as to maintain the value of the dollar but it doesn’t have to be exact destruction of money – the government can run at a deficit (due to the dead weight loss of profit in the private sector it would have to no matter what) and it won’t matter any. Once the bulge is over and population goes down we run at a “surplus” for a few years to maintain monetary value.

            Your example of finding a new source of wealth such oil would be utilised by the government printing money to hire the people and buy the tools necessary to access that oil. The “taxes” for that oil would be people buying, and thus paying, for it. In other words, the printed money is removed at about the same rate as it’s printed (it’s more complicated than that of course as the money would go through several hands before it returns to the government).

  13. The retirement age should come down to 60 not go up to 67.
    The generational argument is a red herring (making Labour’s red rather fishy)

    Society is more productive every year, yet the proportion of the increase that goes to labour decreases.
    The result is that capital creams it while workers are expected to work longer for lower wages and low pension (if they survive).

    The LP should take a stand on principles not affordability (neo-liberal bullshit about balancing the budget while taxes on capital decrease).

    Labour produces the wealth. The working lifespan should decrease as productivity rises. Taxes on the rising share of capital should increase. The state can easily fund a living pension for a longer retirement.

    The irony is that a Labour Government led by Cunliffe who has spoken of renouncing neo-liberalism, has adopted the ACT policy of increasing the age of retirement so that workers work more productively and longer for a diminishing share of the wealth they produce.

    • Rogue Trooper 13.1

      just a note, when questioned over CGT in the weekend tele-media, English argued (despite indicating considerable familiarity with such a policy proposal) that “NZ relies on foreign investment”, which such a tax would deter. hmm!

    • Draco T Bastard 13.2


    • MrSmith 13.3

      I agree RR Only fools and horses work!

      Cut the retirement age back to 60 I say and if you want to keep working after 60 fine but bye bye the pension till you decide to stop work, what is it with people like Lath that the love working so much they have to keep at it till they drop dead, get a life fools.

      • MrSmith 13.3.1

        Oh and Labour please call National out on not raising the age above 65 by making it law through legislation with a super majority needed to raise the age, but not to lower it.

        • Jim Nald

          How true.
          So many gullible folks swallowed that bullshit line “National is not going to be raising GST”.

  14. Bill 14

    Add up the total number of children, retired workers and women who were financially supported during (say) the 50’s – when women were largely excluded from the workforce and families were generally bigger.

    And look at that number as a proportion of the total population.

    Now in the 21st C with women and men both holding down jobs as well as families being generally smaller, why is it again that governments claim we can’t ‘afford’ to support ourselves as a population? It just doesn’t stack up and leads to this obvious question.

    Where’s the fucking money gone/going?

    • Tiger Mountain 14.1

      Well the old rattler is onto it and answers Bill’s question.

      Tat has raised a realpolitik matter, which will be dealt with very soon by Labour Conference delegates with vote. It is a crossroads issue for Labour. The old guard ‘will not like it up em’ but moving to 67 has to be discarded by this conference. Hopefully the confidence among the members from regaining significant control of their own party from caucus will continue.

      Key is not for turning so he says on this one (admittedly while PM) so why the hell is Labour even going there? Trumping a tory is the proverbial warm fart on cold toast.

      • greywarbler 14.1.1

        Tiger Mountain
        Why is Labour talking up a later retiring age? It seems to me it is based on a bossy prefect approach from the past thinking that Labour is the responsible party doing the heavy lifting that National hasn’t the guts to do.

        Labour is superior and does what is necessary in policy changes, even if they take an ascetic line – it takes them nearer the angels really. Like religiously putting the country into Lent-mode where all give up the irresponsible desire for a comfortable life and follow a Better Way.

    • Draco T Bastard 14.2

      Where’s the fucking money gone/going?

      It’s going to the bludging shareholders and the overpaid upper-management.

  15. Draco T Bastard 15

    Conference delegates: force Labour to think outside the orthodox economic box.

    Especially considering just how bankrupt the economic orthodoxy truly is.

    It always comes as a shock to outsiders to realize that orthodox economics has no solid internally consistent and compatible explanation for common things. Like growth. Like the modern business firm. Like involuntary unemployment. When it offers up its explanation all reality has been squeezed out in order to keep market magic primary. The whole edifice is riddled through with the equivalent of epicycles. There has to be a better way. There must be a better way. What we know is that the market magic way is not it.

    We have the resources needed to ensure that no one in NZ lives in poverty so why is there so much of it and why is it increasing?

  16. Bill 16

    Another question.

    These ‘burdensome’ baby boomers that we can’t afford.. How was it they clothed, housed and fed before they reached the age of 16? (And especially given that that was at a time when, generally speaking, women weren’t participating in the workforce)

  17. blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 17

    “We already have too many people unable to find full time work in an economy geared to create too few jobs. Increasing an already excess pool of idle labour by asking people to retire later is a nonsense. “

    Well said TL (CV). Excellent to hear such switched on views. The above quote from your post really should end this talk of raising the retiring age. We have high youth unemployment and that has a devastating effect on young lives; this is the issue that should be prioritised (jobs for young people).

    I believe the raising the superannuation age policy was a major cause of Labour not getting in last time. There must be a better way to deal with this issue.

    p.s. Good to hear you are a Labour candidate. 🙂

    • Tat Loo (CV) 17.1

      Thank you BL; this series of write ups I’m doing is designed to raise some critical issues, put forward some real alternatives (which to be blunt, are mostly common sense, not rocket science), and to develop a clearer personal profile within the party.

      • Jenny Kirk 17.1.1

        “put forward some real alternatives (which to be blunt, are mostly common sense, not rocket science)”

        Thank you Tat Loo for putting forward this post. I, too, am a conference delegate and am very worried about this particular policy proposal so I’m pleased to see some opposition to it.

        Its a nonsense that “there are no alternatives” (TINA) which has for far too long been the catchcry of the neo-libs. There ARE alternatives – the CTU have raised some – including getting the economy working properly with more sustainable jobs for people.

        Did you know that migrants over a certain age who enter NZ needing to show they have sufficient income to sustain themselves can then obtain NZ Super after a certain limited period of residence without any input from themselves beforehand into NZ’s taxation system ? If they had to wait a much longer period – say 25 years instead of 10 (5 of which must be over age 50), that would reduce the cost of super a bit.

        And the idea that some people who may have ill health will be able to access NZ Super at an earlier age (65) if the age limit is lifted to 67 is illusory. If that person has a spouse earning even a limited income, then it will be means tested. That’s what happens now to people being made redundant before the age of 65, who are unable to obtain other work, and who have a spouse who is getting NZ Super. I don’t think this sort of means testing would be abolished. Its automatically built-in to benefits. There are always fish-hooks in these loose “exemptions”.

        • Tat Loo (CV)

          Thx for the details, Jenny. We’re a very generous nation, that’s for sure…

  18. ak 18

    p.s. Good to hear you are a Labour candidate. 🙂

    Hear, hear. Top post, Tat – yes this lunatic move was another pathetic foreshore and seabed monstrosity. Trying to “out-sensible” the “sensible economics” propaganda.

    The media will go more than mental with “Lab flip-flop” of course, but that faux-outrage will be nothing compared to what they’ll do next year regardless.

    Go hard delegates. Take this proud party back.

  19. Rogue Trooper 19

    as an aside; “No scandals in health Dr Mapp? Really? Mr / Professor Orthopedic Surgeon Gary Hooper (St Georges) outlined on Midday Report the “inability of DHB’s to keep ahead of hip and knee replacement surgery demand”, which is only going to increase. “People are living in pain”

    and, did you know that social isolation is epidemic in NZ society, with recent research (no link sorry) finding around only 30% of adults meeting at least one person or more for a social catch-up per week. (Life in New Zealand is not accurately portrayed in the weak television dramas produced here).

  20. McFlock 20

    Technically, the Weimar Republic never ran out of cash. Still got fucked up beyond recognition, though.

    The only reason that we have unemployment at the moment is because of government policy and the NAIRU boogeyman. Whacking in a few more economic controls on specific markets (especially housing), increasing the inflation tolerance of the RBA by a couple of percent, and Robert’s your father’s brother – unemployment down to 3% (mostly because at those levels workers can tell a shitty boss “fuck you” and quit with a reasonable chance of getting another job within a few weeks, so unemployment is a purely transitional state, rather than class-oriented).

    Longer term, I think that the pension-bubble folk are assuming that retired people in the future will be on average as economically productive as they are today – this I think is underestimating what “retirement” will be in the future. I reckon employment will be more discretionary than retiring from necessity, with broken bodies and/or minds.

    • Rogue Trooper 20.1

      such is wear and tear.

    • Tat Loo (CV) 20.2

      Technically, the Weimar Republic never ran out of cash. Still got fucked up beyond recognition, though.

      OK let’s put the stake through the heart of this one once and for all.

      If the Weimar Republic’s war reparations and debts had been denominated in German Marks, there would be no problem in repaying them.

      Instead, the Weimar Republic was forced to pay massive war reparations in USD, gold, silver and other mineral resources.

      And it was because their loan repayments were in a currency that they could not produce, and also in real resources, that a massive currency collapse was eventually triggered.

      Can I add that the international banking fraternity played direct roles in the precipitation of both WWI and WWII.

      NZ is NOT Zimbabwe, it is NOT the Weimar Republic, the economic and monetary circumstances are quite different.

      • Lanthanide 20.2.1

        And the reason the war reparations were denominated in USD, gold, silver and other mineral resources is because they have value to people other than Germany…

        • Tat Loo (CV)

          Yes. It also gives the foreign financiers a far greater degree of control over the country while greatly diminishing the policy options available to the sovereign government.

          Effectively, this is what has happened to Spain, Greece, Portugal, Italy. They have given up their own currencies, and now all their debt is denominated in foreign currencies which they do not control. In effect (with respect to currency) they have stopped being countries and are now just provinces of Europe.

        • Draco T Bastard

          Which is actually wrong. If the reparations had been denominated in the Deutsche Mark then, effectively, they would have been paid for by German products and services. This would have massively boosted Germany’s economy after the war and the other people would have got their value. By forcing it to be paid in a foreign currency and gold it did the exact opposite.

          • Tat Loo (CV)

            The Allies realised this before the end of WWII, hence the Marshall Plan poured massive funding and resources into Germany.

            They did not try and make Germany pay back war reparations after WWII, given how badly that had ended after WWI…

      • McFlock 20.2.2

        And it was because their loan repayments were in a currency that they could not produce, and also in real resources, that a massive currency collapse was eventually triggered.

        Yes, because they had to purchase the gold and foreign currency that they bought using marks and therefore had to start printing lots and lots of marks.

        You think that NZGov printing money to pay for multi-billion dollar infrastructure investment or a UBI won’t have an effect on inflation? As you said yourself, the NZD is a “widely accepted IOU”. Now, I’m as much in favour of an export-led economy lowering its exchange rate as much as the next chap, but if you just print a shitload, less people will accept it at face value. We still have to import some stuff, and even if we didn’t then we’d need inflation to be low enough that wages and incomes generally keep up with the expansion of prices. The fact that none of this seems to be considered in your grand design makes me cautious.

  21. millsy 21

    Rather than working out who should miss out on getting a pension (if certain people had their way, people would just work until they dropped), perhaps we would be better off eliminating overheads and simplifiying the system. For example, when people turn 65 they should be able to just bring their birth certificate and proof of address into a post shop, fill in a form, and hey presto, start getting paid – or perhaps even apply online.

    You could even shift the responsibility for NZ Super. from WINZ to the NZ Superfund. The workforce required to administer the scheme should be able to fit into a single office building floor.

  22. PHILG 22

    The solution to this is so straight forward but totally politically unpalatable. It’s so so frustrating, but so inevitable.

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    Get Back Jojo! The elation in Mayor Phil Goff’s camp may be easily imagined as they watched social media light up in indignation at challenger John Tamihere’s "Sieg Heil to that" quip. Just when JT’s notoriously right-wing, sexist and homophobic stains were beginning to fade back into his ‘colourful’ past, ...
    1 day ago
  • Hard News: A fun but flawed weed documentary
    Patrick Gower is good value when he's high. Not that I've ever, you know, got stoned with him. But in the second part of his documentary Patrick Gower on Weed, he does what you'd expect in a modern weed documentary and immerses himself – first with a doctor, then a ...
    1 day ago
  • Candidate Survey: Western Bay of Plenty – Local Body Elections 2019
    We surveyed candidates on their attitudes to issues facing the Western Bay Region, find out what they think: “Closing the Gap” Tauranga, one of the area groups of Income Equality Aotearoa NZ Inc., has surveyed all candidates in the three local body elections to discover attitudes to some basic issues ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    2 days ago
  • Project Nettie calls on scientists to defend biology
    Please spread widely, and sign, to support science and rationalism over the new irrationalism sweeping universities and institutions.  PROJECT NETTIE Sexual reproduction, the generation of offspring by fusion of genetic material from two different individuals, evolved over 1 billion years ago. It is the reproductive strategy of all higher animals ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 days ago
  • I’m glad I don’t live in Auckland
    Just when I was thinking that Palmerston North's mayoral race (which includes a convicted child molester / public wanker and a convicted child beater) was the worst in the country, Auckland mayoral candidate John Tamihere opened his mouth:Auckland mayoral candidate John Tamihere is being slammed for using the words "sieg ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Index of Power Update, 2018-19: China #2
    We reprint below an article from the excellent website the Economics of Imperialism by Tony Norfield This is an update of the statistics for my Index of Power, using data for 2018-19 and discussing what a country’s ranking reflects. The major change is that China’s rank has shifted up and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 days ago
  • Climate Change: A history lesson
    Why is New Zealand climate change policy so crap? The Herald this morning has a long article on the twists and turns of climate change policy in New Zealand [paywalled / depaywall script], which shows where we've been. The short version is that the government first began worrying about this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • What the All Blacks Mean to Us
    The All Blacks have been, for more than a century, arguably the most successful International sports team in the world. But they are more than that; even for those Kiwis who are immune to the charms of rugby (and there are more than a few), the All Blacks are ambassadors ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 days ago
  • No one is born into the wrong body
    A short and incredibly powerful speech from a young lesbian woman. No one is born in the wrong body. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • Contempt
    Back in June, the UK Court of Appeal ruled that that country's continued arms sales to Saudi Arabia were unlawful. So you'd expect that the UK government stopped approving them, right?Of course not:The government has apologised for breaching a court ruling against the sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Covering up the cover-up
    Yesterday NZDF officials were put on the stand about the lies they had told over Operation Burnham, making implausible claims that it was all a big mistake. But along the way, we learned they had already been put on the spot about it by a previous Defence Minister, who had ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Not as important as they think they are
    Farmers have been whining a lot lately, about the methane targets in the Zero Carbon Bill, about Canterbury's proposed nitrogen limits, and about the government's new proposals to stop them from shitting in our lakes and rivers. These policies are "throwing farmers under the tractor", they will force farmers off ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Behind Every Good Woman Should Stand – Another Good Woman.
    Alone, Alone, All, All, Alone: To argue that the Prime Minister is the victim of her advisers’ failure to keep her informed may offer Jacinda some measure of exoneration – but only at the cost of casting her as a hopeless political ingénue. A star-dusted muppet, whose only purpose is to ...
    3 days ago
  • Poor quality, poorly educated kiddie ‘Journalists’ spreading fake news
    In times of hysteria about the “World coming to an end” and “rising sea levels” so-called ‘Journalists’ who can barely spell words longer than four letters are having a ball! Though the majority of the Public have worked out that manmade climate change is nothing short of pseudo-science, and the ...
    An average kiwiBy
    3 days ago
  • Chris Trotter on the BFD
    I don't want to give pblicity to certain parts of the internet that are better left to fester in their own irrelevance (I know, a bit like this place) but the listing of Chris Trotter as a 'author' on Cameron Slater's spinoff website, the BFD requires some explanation.Now, I don't ...
    3 days ago
  • Sex is not a spectrum
    The text below is a Twitter thread by Heather Heying that explains the essence of sexual reproduction and it long evolutionary history. She is an evolutionary biologist and a “professor-in-exile” after she and her husband, Bret Weinstein, stood up to supporters of an enforced “Day of Absence” for white staff and teachers ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • Climate Change: Trees, aviation, and offsets
    With crunch time for new Zealand climate policy approaching, most of the New Zealand media have got on board with a global reporting effort to cover the issue. There's one strand of stories today about polling and what it shows about changing public attitudes to the crisis, but the strand ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Pissing-Off The Israelis Is A High-Risk Strategy.
    Dangerous Foes: For those readers of Bowalley Road who feel disposed to dismiss any prospect of an Israeli destabilisation of New Zealand politics, the example of the United Kingdom repays close attention. Ever since the election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the British Labour Party, the Israelis have sanctioned, funded and ...
    4 days ago
  • Something to go to in Wellington
    Make It 16, the youth-led campaign to lower New Zealand's voting age, is holding an official campaign launch at Parliament this Friday from 16:30. If you'd like to attend, you can register using EventBrite here. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • A founding member responds to Peace Action Wellington
    by Don Franks It was a lovely sunny Wellington afternoon with blue skies above  the beaches.  In Courtenay Place, political activists packed out a stuffy upstairs room for an important meeting. The assembled pacifists, anarchists, communists and independent young radicals of Peace Action Wellington felt the need for a mission ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    4 days ago
  • “Mistakes and errors”
    Current and former NZDF top brass are being publicly grilled this week by the hit and run inquiry over their public responses to allegations of civilian casualties. Previously, they've claimed there were no casualties, a position which led them to lie to Ministers and to the public. Now, they're saying ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • “Homosexuality is same-sex attraction and relationships, not heterosexuals with delusions of gende...
    by Rafael D. Quiles (gender-critical gay man from Puerto Rico) The writing on the wall is right in people’s faces and people just don’t see it or don’t want to. What could actually possess a heterosexual male to want to feminize himself and claim that he is a lesbian? Because ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    4 days ago
  • Trump: “Where’s my favourite dictator?”
    From the Wall Street Journal:Inside a room of the ornately decorated Hotel du Palais during last month’s Group of Seven summit in Biarritz, France, President Trump awaited a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi. Mr. Trump looked over a gathering of American and Egyptian officials and called out in ...
    5 days ago
  • Magdalen Burns, 1983-2019, fighter for women’s liberation
    by the Redline blog collective At Redline we are very saddened to hear of the death of Magdalen Burns who passed away on the morning of Friday, September 13 (British time). Magdalen was a great fighter for the rights of women in general and lesbian women in particular, a defender ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • Parliament and the Executive
    The Brexit issue has certainly brought with it a series of apparently difficult constitutional issues, many of them concerning the respective roles of the executive and parliament. Most of them arise because of the unwillingness of MPs, despite their professions to the contrary, to be bound by a constitutional rarity ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    6 days ago
  • The Abigail Article; Martyn Bradbury’s Article, and My Response
    . . This blogpost is different to my usual format of reporting on issues… Since July 1011, I have blogged on a variety of political issues; near always political and/or environmental; mostly highly critical of the previous National Government. Other issues included Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and repression of ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • Police will have to wear silly Buckingham Palace hats from now on, says Police Minister
    Those close to the Police Minister believe the initiative may be the result of Nash “seeing a great deal” on AliExpress. In a move that comes seemingly out of nowhere, Police Minister Stuart Nash announced this afternoon that he expects all frontline staff to don bearskin hats, famously worn by ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    7 days ago
  • A sensible crackdown
    The government has released its Arms Legislation Bill, containing the second tranche of changes to gun laws following the March 15 massacre. And it all looks quite sensible: a national gun register, higher penalties for illegal possession and dealing, tighter restrictions on arms dealers and shooting clubs, and a shorter ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • California bans private prisons
    Private prisons are a stain on humanity. Prison operators explicitly profit from human misery, then lobby for longer prisons terms so they can keep on profiting. And in the US, prison companies run not only local and state prisons, but also Donald Trump's immigration concentration camps. Faced with this moral ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Why PPPs are a bad idea
    When National was in power, they were very keen on Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) - basicly, using private companies to finance public infrastructure as a way of hiding debt from the public. They were keen on using them for everything - roads, schools, hospitals. But as the UK shows, that "service" ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • A Movement That No Longer Moves.
    Moving And Shaking: There was a time when people spoke matter-of-factly about the “labour movement” – a political phenomenon understood to embrace much more than the Labour Party. Included within the term’s definition was the whole trade union movement – many of whose members looked upon the Labour Party as ...
    7 days ago
  • NZ ‘left’ politically embracing extreme postmodernism
    by Philip Ferguson Much of the left, even people who formally identify as marxists, have collapsed politically in the face of postmodern gender theory of the sort pioneered by American philosopher Judith Butler. For Butler even biological sex is socially constructed. “If the immutable character of sex is contested, perhaps ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • The obvious question
    The media is reporting that the (alleged) Labour party sexual assaulter has resigned from their job at Parliament, which means hopefully he won't be turning up there making people feel unsafe in future. Good. But as with everything about this scandal, it just raises other questions. Most significantly: why the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The moment I found out that you found out, I acted swiftly
    By Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern I am every bit as angry as you are. I am every bit as disappointed as you must be. The people with power, oversight and the ability to do something about these processes within the Labour Party should be ashamed. Whoever those people are, I ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • This is why people hate property developers
    Property developers think there is an "oversupply" of houses in Auckland:High turnover rates and falling prices may be a sign that there are too many new houses going in to some parts of Auckland, commentators say. [...] Property developer David Whitburn said there was a "bit of an oversupply" in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Australia to Pacific: “Fuck you, you can all drown”
    World leaders are meeting in New York in two weeks for the 2019 Climate Action Summit, where they are expected to announce new and more ambitious targets to stop the world from burning. But the Australian Prime Minister won't be there, despite being in the USA at the time:Scott Morrison ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Implausible ignorance
    Labour Party president Nigel Haworth resigned yesterday over the party's sexual assault scandal. But while that's good news, its unlikely to take away the stench of a coverup. Because according to Paula Bennett in Parliament yesterday, pretty much everyone in the Prime Minister's office was involved as well:I have been ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Labour’s Fatal Flaw.
     Two-Faced? Labour insiders' commitment to the neoliberal status quo puts them at odds with their party’s membership; its trade union affiliates; and a majority of Labour voters, but this only serves to strengthen the perception they have of themselves as a special elite. Among the lesser breeds, they’ll talk up a ...
    1 week ago
  • Ten reasons the Tories do NOT want an election
    There has been a lot of talk about Boris Johnson wanting an election, and he has blustered with great gusto about 'chicken' Jeremy Corbyn refusing one, but I think there are many reasons why he is secretly glad he has been refused the opportunity:The Tories are an utter rabble,tearing themselves ...
    1 week ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    1 week ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    1 week ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    1 week ago
  • Union solidarity with Ihumatao land occupation
    by Daphna Whitmore Every Sunday for the past two months unionists from First Union, with supporters from other unions, have set out to the Ihumatao land protest, put up gazebos and gas barbeques, and cooked food for a few hundred locals and supporters who have come from across the country. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: The wrong kind of trees?
    Newsroom today has an excellent, in-depth article on pine trees as carbon sinks. The TL;DR is that pine is really good at soaking up carbon, but people prefer far-less efficient native forests instead. Which is understandable, but there's two problems: firstly, we've pissed about so long on this problem that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • No freedom of speech in Turkey
    Canan Kaftancioglu is a Turkish politician and member of the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP). Like most modern politicians, she tweets, and uses the platform to criticise the Turkish government. She has criticised them over the death of a 14-year-old boy who was hit by a tear gas grenade during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Speaker: Tadhg Stopford: Why I’m standing for the ADHB
    Hi there, just call me Tim.We face tough problems, and I’d like to help, because there are solutions.An Auckand District Health Board member has nominated me for as a candidate for the ADHB, because her MS-related pain and fatigue is reduced with hemp products from Rotorua.  Nothing else helped her. If I ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Good little vassals
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has published their report on whether the SIS and GCSB had any complicity in American torture. And its damning. The pull quote is this:The Inquiry found both agencies, but to a much greater degree, the NZSIS, received many intelligence reports obtained from detainees who, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Who Shall We Turn To When God, And Uncle Sam, Cease To Defend New Zealand?
    Bewhiskered Cassandra? Professor Hugh White’s chilling suggestion, advanced to select collections of academic, military and diplomatic Kiwi experts over the course of the past week, is that the assumptions upon which Australia and New Zealand have built their foreign affairs and defence policies for practically their entire histories – are ...
    2 weeks ago
  • The Politics of Opposition
    For most of the time I was a British MP, my party was out of government – these were the Thatcher years, when it was hard for anyone else to get a look-in. As a front-bencher and shadow minister, I became familiar with the strategies required in a parliamentary democracy ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • More expert comments on the Canadian fluoride-IQ paper
    The Green et al (2019) fluoride/IQ is certainly controversial – as would be expected from its subject (see If at first you don’t succeed . . . statistical manipulation might help and Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear). Anti-fluoride campaigners have been actively promoting it ...
    2 weeks ago
  • The return to guerrilla war in Colombia
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh On August 29th a video in which veteran FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) commander Iván Márquez announced that they had taken up arms again was released. There was no delay in the reaction to it, from longtime Liberal Party figure and former president Uribe, for ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago

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