web analytics

Does that make sense?

Written By: - Date published: 1:44 pm, February 4th, 2009 - 10 comments
Categories: economy, national/act government - Tags: ,

I know when I write a post that if two statements in the post seem to disagree someone will quickly point out the apparent logical inconsistency to me and I’ll either have to explain it or fix it. Which is all well and good. So, I thought I would do the same for Vernon Small and Tracey Watkin’s article on the front page of the Dom today.

At the beginning of the article, triumphantly entitled ‘Government bulldozes barriers to growth‘ we are told that “Sweeping changes to the Resource Management Act were unveiled yesterday, designed to help fast-track big projects with economic spinoffs” to “ease the pain of the recession”. In the related article on A2 (‘RMA changes may go too far‘ – different sub-editor?), we’re told that, in a best-case scenario, “an 18-month delay could be halved.”

But, then, at the end of the first article Bill English is quoted as saying the end of the recession “hopefully six to 12 months away”.

First, no-one else believes that recovery will be so soon and all our major trading partners are expecting large decreases in growth this year and into next year, which you would have thought might have prompted the journos to challenge English’s claim.

Secondly, if the end of the recession is really so close, how can the RMA changes, or any infrastructure spending aid in that recovery? The RMA changes won’t even be passed until September and the first major projects gaining consent under the new rules are years away. The major new infrastructure spending Key is meant to announce soon will be barely underway by the time English’s 6-12 months are up.

In fact, if the recession really is going to be over in 6-12 months, what are we getting all worked up about? Why would we even need more recovery programmes? It would have been nice if these inconsistencies had been pointed out to English or, at least, recognised in the article.

10 comments on “Does that make sense? ”

  1. Ianmac 1

    I think that naturally a new Govt, would talk of big improvrements, sweeping changes, new broom sweeps clean, and so on. A few months later, Bill and John will gloss over any memory of the estimates or promises and we will have forgotten the details, but of course the residual “Good on Yer National!” will liger on- unless you and the MSM keep holding them to account. Keep up the good work. Someone must!

  2. It took about 2 years for the 1929 Great Depression to reach our shores. As trade contracts and the likes expired, the affect was fully felt. I wonder if English has read up on this

  3. gingercrush 3

    New Zealand was heading towards or already in recession before this financial crisis. The financial crisis only compounded the problem. While certainly the economy will recover and I think Bill English is right to point to 6-12 months. What hasn’t happened yet is the exodus in job losses which are still to happen. Those infrastructure programs should ease unemployment somewhat.

    To be honest, I’m glad New Zealand isn’t undergoing some huge fiscal stimulus packages like so many other countries seem to be doing. I look at Obama’s plan which seems stupid in its size and scale. I see he believes the plan will bring in 2-4 million new jobs. I don’t believe it will happen. I see Australia which has been luckier than most in it hasn’t even reached a recession yet is now undergoing a huge stimulus package. Giving people $950 in the hope they spend it? Just looks set to be a disaster. The only thing all these stimulus plans etc seem to have in common, is making those countries go further and further in debt. Eventually, all that needs to be paid, and what will that do for the future of those economies.

  4. Quoth the Raven 4

    Ginger – I agree about the stimulus packages. You’d be interested in this article about Obama’s stimulus package: The Trouble with Those “Shovel-Ready’ Projects I think much of it would apply to ours as well.

  5. gingercrush 5

    Interesting article Quoth. Though in fairness, these road work constructions would happen regardless of government and regardless of whether we’re in a financial crisis or not. And is really a matter of debate between building more roads or building better transit programs.

    Personally I believe we need more roads and we could probably spend more on transit. But I just don’t see the convenience in using public transport. And frankly, I think most of New Zealand think that way as well. For instance I live basically in the centre of CHCH, anywhere in and out of CHCH takes 30 mins or less something that just doesn’t happen using the Bus.

  6. Aj 6

    If indeed we get bak to postive growth later this year or early next year, it is a compliment to Cullens prudent managemt in the years leading up tp 2009.
    There won’t be many OECD economies rebounding that quickly.

  7. rave 7


    doesnt see the convenience in public transport.
    I agree my bladder’s bursting.

    Australia? Yeah lets join. Who wants to be part of the effluent of fed farmers stimulus package when they can vote with the feet and partake of the 42 bill bonanza in Aussie?

    They pretty much own us. Why shouldnt we hop across for a bit of the dividend.

    Who are we kidding? Just so we can beat them at league or rugby we have to pretend we are a separate nation.

    Then we can all focus on the real task ahead saving the country from financial and climate melt down.

    Debt? That can be paid for by future generations who will thank us for handing them a country that is habitable.

    Call it the Mad Max dividend.

    Kiwis cant fly but we can always jump ship.

  8. Quoth the Raven 8

    Ginger – One of the points that Carson is trying to make in that article is that more raods generally just equals more urban sprawl and not less traffic congestion.

    Again, by way of background, twenty years ago the region built Hwy U.S. 471, itself a western bypass intended to relieve congestion on the old U.S. 71 that ran through the centers of all the major cities of NW Arkansas on a north-south corridor. And guess what? As anyone but an urban planner or traffic engineer might have predicted, the new subsisized highway didn’t alleviate congestion at all! Instead it generated new congestion, filling up with new traffic from the new subsidized subdivisions and strip malls that grew up like mushrooms at every single exit.

    He doesn’t support the spending at all, but is saying if it’s going to be spent it would be better to spend it on mass transit than on roading. We’re lucky to live in a place where it doesn’t take long to get anywhere, but talk to some old people you’ll find that decades ago taking the train was common in Christchurch. Not anymore.

  9. Greg 9

    “But, then, at the end of the first article Bill English is quoted as saying the end of the recession “hopefully six to 12 months away’.”

    Lets not forget that when the recession ends, we won’t actually figure out that its ended for another 6 months or so. Everything thats being reported on in the media currently is past tense.

  10. gingercrush 10

    Yes of course Quoth. Building more roads mean more people use it. Meaning eventually, you’ll have the same congestion you had before only even more roads. Roading in itself is a poor use of funding. I don’t doubt that. But I don’t think building huge infrastructure around public transport will improve this country. Since it would cost way more money than roading does and until things change to such a point, people will continue to use their cars. I’m well aware of the former rail/tram services Christchurch use to have. They were stupid to remove it. But there’s no way Christchurch can pay for such a service again. I know a possible rail to Rangiora and Kaiapoi is planned. That will be a good idea. But still people will use their cars because its more convenient. Christchurch doesn’t have the space to build bus lanes or anything so that too is out of the question. Meaning for Christchurch more people will continue to use their cars.

    Until New Zealanders demand more expenditure on public transport we’re going to keep getting roads. And I don’t see things changing.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Tokelau Language Week reminds us to stay united and strong
    Staying strong in the face of challenges and being true to our heritage and languages are key to preserving our cultural identity and wellbeing, is the focus of the 2020 Tokelau Language Week. Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio, says this year’s theme, ‘Apoapo tau foe, i nā tāfea ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • NZ announces a third P-3 deployment in support of UN sanctions
    The Government has deployed a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 Orion (P-3) maritime patrol aircraft to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions imposing sanctions against North Korea, announced Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters and Minister of Defence Ron Mark. “New Zealand has long supported ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Pacific trade and development agreement a reality
    Pacific regional trade and development agreement PACER Plus will enter into force in 60 days now that the required eight countries have ratified it. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker welcomed the announcement that the Cook Islands is the eighth nation to ratify this landmark agreement. “The agreement represents ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Securing a pipeline of teachers
    The Government is changing its approach to teacher recruitment as COVID-19 travel restrictions continue, by boosting a range of initiatives to get more Kiwis into teaching. “When we came into Government, we were faced with a teacher supply crisis,” Education Minister Chris Hipkins said. “Over the past three years, we ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Border exceptions for a small number of international students with visas
    The Government has established a new category that will allow 250 international PhD and postgraduate students to enter New Zealand and continue their studies, in the latest set of border exceptions. “The health, safety and wellbeing of people in New Zealand remains the Government’s top priority. Tight border restrictions remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • First COVID-19 vaccine purchase agreement signed
    The Government has signed an agreement to purchase 1.5 million COVID-19 vaccines – enough for 750,000 people – from Pfizer and BioNTech, subject to the vaccine successfully completing all clinical trials and passing regulatory approvals in New Zealand, say Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods and Health Minister Chris Hipkins. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • International statement – End-to-end encryption and public safety
    We, the undersigned, support strong encryption, which plays a crucial role in protecting personal data, privacy, intellectual property, trade secrets and cyber security.  It also serves a vital purpose in repressive states to protect journalists, human rights defenders and other vulnerable people, as stated in the 2017 resolution of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Ministry of Defence Biodefence Assessment released
    The Ministry of Defence has today released a Defence Assessment examining Defence’s role across the spectrum of biological hazards and threats facing New Zealand. Biodefence: Preparing for a New Era of Biological Hazards and Threats looks at how the NZDF supports other agencies’ biodefence activities, and considers the context of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Approaches to Economic Challenges: Confronting Planetary Emergencies: OECD 9 October 2020
    New Approaches to Economic Challenges: Confronting Planetary Emergencies: OECD 9 October 2020 Hon David Parker’s response following Thomas Piketty and Esther Duflo. Good morning, good afternoon, and good evening, wherever in the world you might be. I first acknowledge the excellent thought provoking speeches of Thomas Piketty and Esther ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Kaipara Moana restoration takes next step
    A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed today at Waihāua Marae between the Crown, local iwi and councils to protect, restore and enhance the mauri of Kaipara Moana in Northland. Environment Minister David Parker signed the document on behalf of the Crown along with representatives from Ngā Maunga Whakahī, Ngāti ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand and Uruguay unite on reducing livestock production emissions
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor and Uruguayan Minister of Livestock, Agriculture and Fisheries Carlos María Uriarte have welcomed the launch of a three-year project that will underpin sustainable livestock production in Uruguay, Argentina, and Costa Rica.  The project called ‘Innovation for pasture management’ is led by Uruguay’s National Institute of Agricultural ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • 3100 jobs created through marae upgrades
    Hundreds of marae throughout the country will be upgraded through investments from the Provincial Growth Fund’s refocused post COVID-19 funding to create jobs and put money into the pockets of local tradespeople and businesses, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones and Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta have announced. “A total ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Health volunteers recognised in annual awards
    Health Minister Chris Hipkins has announced 9 teams and 14 individuals are the recipients of this year’s Minister of Health Volunteer Awards.  “The health volunteer awards celebrate and recognise the thousands of dedicated health sector volunteers who give many hours of their time to help other New Zealanders,” Mr Hipkins ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Community COVID-19 Fund supports Pacific recovery
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio says a total of 264 groups and individuals have successfully applied for the Pacific Aotearoa Community COVID-19 Recovery Fund, that will support Pacific communities drive their own COVID-19 recovery strategies, initiatives, and actions. “I am keen to see this Fund support Pacific ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Community benefits from Māori apprenticeships
    Up to 50 Māori apprentices in Wellington will receive paid training to build houses for their local communities, thanks to a $2.75 million investment from the Māori Trades and Training Fund, announced Employment Minister Willie Jackson today. “This funding will enable Ngāti Toa Rangatira Incorporated to provide its Ngā Kaimahi ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Training fund supports Māori jobseekers
    Rapidly growing sectors will benefit from a $990,000 Māori Trades and Training Fund investment which will see Wellington jobseekers supported into work, announced Employment Minister Willie Jackson today. “This funding will enable Sapphire Consultants Ltd. to help up to 45 Māori jobseekers into paid training initiatives over two years through ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Ruakura Inland Port development vital infrastructure for Waikato
    The Government is investing $40 million to develop an inland port at Ruakura which will become a freight super-hub and a future business, research and residential development for the Waikato, Urban Development and Transport Minister Phil Twyford, and Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta announced today. The funding has been has ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Appointments made to Defence Expert Review Group
    Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today the establishment of an Expert Review Group to review a number of aspects of the New Zealand Defence Force’s (NZDF) structure, information management and record-keeping processes.  The Expert Review Group’s work arises out of the first recommendation from the Report of the Government’s Inquiry ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • No active community cases of COVID-19
    There are no active community cases of COVID-19 remaining in the country after the last people from the recent outbreak have recovered from the virus, Health Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “This is a big milestone. New Zealanders have once again through their collective actions squashed the virus. The systems ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Clean energy upgrade for more public buildings
    More public buildings will be supported by the Government to upgrade to run on clean energy, the Minister for Climate Change James Shaw announced today. Minister Shaw announced that Lincoln and Auckland universities will receive support through the Clean-Powered Public Service Fund to replace fossil fuel boilers. Southern, Taranaki, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago