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Don’t cut our future – Budget cut protest

Written By: - Date published: 12:51 pm, April 30th, 2011 - 41 comments
Categories: budget 2011 - Tags:

The signs are clear that the Goverment is ploughing ahead with spending cuts and that Budget 2011 will contain yet more cuts to public services and still maintain tax cuts for the wealthy.

Unlike Britain where they’ve taken an axe to public spending and preannounced massive cuts and layoffs, Key and English are more of the death by a thousand cuts persuasion.

But unions, community groups and concerned individuals are getting together to tell the government that more and deeper cuts to social services are the worst approach to be taking and will only make tough times tougher. There actually is an alternative.

If you’re in Wellington come and join in

12.15 – 1pm Parliament Grounds, Thursday 19 May

41 comments on “Don’t cut our future – Budget cut protest ”

  1. Afewknowthetruth 1

    What makes you think we have a future?

    We are on track for economic meltdown courtesy of collapse the industrial economy, and environmental meltdown courtesy of futile attempts to prop up the industrial economy.

    Anyway, people are not suffering enough yet. They’ll keep watching the distractions provided by the elites who are running the show -weddings, football matches, motor sports, cooking programmes, talent quests etc. until the screens go blank.

  2. David 2

    Strange question but why dont Labour advocate a higher retirement age, be better than all these cuts (although there is a fair amount of waste and rubbish spending) and make super more sustainable for the benefit of us hard working kiwis who aint millionaires.

    • Colonial Viper 2.1

      Higher retirement ages work OK for some, but for others they are a death sentence, e.g. those who have held manual labouring jobs all their lives and their bodies are breaking down by the time they are 55 or 60.

      Also not sure why workers have to work harder for longer when capital is not being asked to contribute more and sacrifice more.

      • Herodotus 2.1.1

        Somewhere along the line something has to give. Be it the underhanded way of cutting e.g. Lab and their cutting of support for post breast cancer surgery or the culling of those on waiting lists of be it by cutting their budgets (as is being indictaed this year) up front by spending less. Both result in less govt, taxing more and then expecting those who suffer to pay for themselves.
        Just noticed my power bill, Vector increased power from 13.56c/kWh to 16.21c/kWh, funny how then they made contact to fix this for 3 years a week after the increase. The 1st month was a short one so did not notice, I hope that there is some global warming to keep the power bills down and sthen i can feed the family- All we need now is for interest rates to commence increasing 🙁

    • KJT 2.2

      Super will be unsustainable and there will be no jobs as well if the NZ economy is not changed from being a support system for a few dairy farmers and many financial thieves.

      Notice the collapse of UK soon after they were crowing that most of their economy consisted of financial services. Ponzi schemes.

      The mantra super is unaffordable is has been endlessly repeated like every other right wing mantra. We now have people on the left who should know better repeating it.

      It is no more unaffordable than any other tax payer funded social wages. The originators of this idea are the same people who are against any form of welfare, state funded education and infrastructure so they can screw the rest of us by overcharging for private monopoly control.

      It will all be affordable in a successful sustainable economy.

      • mickysavage 2.2.1

        Labour tried. The Cullen Fund was to make retirement more affordable and may have been the last chance that New Zealand had to preserve the current system.

        Without it either we discuss an increase in the retirement age or a reduction in the benefit. Key is being disingenuous in refusing to debate either possibility.

        • Lanthanide 2.2.1.1

          If you have no other form of savings or income, the pension is already only liveable if you aren’t paying accommodation costs.

        • rosy 2.2.1.2

          Or discuss if it should be means tested. All other state benefits are – of course there is still the problem of hiding income.

          Problem: Older people vote. The young not so much.

        • Jenny 2.2.1.3

          “….either we discuss an increase in the retirement age or a reduction in the benefit. Key is being disingenuous in refusing to debate either possibility.”

          mickysavage

          Way to go Micky, taking the Nats to task for not discussing the Labour Party’s two options for cutting social spending.

          Instead of arguing with National which way to cut social spending. How about a third option. A financial transaction tax to fully fund social spending?

          A bridge to far for Labour?

          Would Labour rather cut pensions than tax rich speculators?

          Are you trying to discourage working people approaching retirement age (the so called baby boomers) from voting for Labour?

          Tax Justice AKA Hone Heke tax

  3. Mac1 3

    David, Brash advocated 75 as the age of Super entitlement. What might working till we’re seventy-five mean to us hard-working Kiwis who ain’t millionaires?

    Most of us will have been worked to death by then. Much cheaper all round. Does that answer the question for you? Edit… oh, snap, CV!

    • Colonial Viper 3.1

      🙂

      Yeah, if you’ve been an MP for years sauntering around in taxis and eating at Bellamys then working past 70 is not such a biggie. Otherwise…

      • Lanthanide 3.1.1

        I don’t think being an MP is a particularly easy job, especially the ones that Brash has had of late – leader of the National party, and now leader of Act.

  4. David 4

    I am a painter and dont see why I should retire at 65 and then have 20 plus years of the state looking after me, I just dont think its affordable and would happily work for a couple more years in return for security of state super and not at the same time impoverishing my kids.
    There was a guy on National Radio this week who was 70 and walked from Mexico to Canada ! My folks who are in their 70s went up the Amazon last year in a little boat and slept in hammocks.
    I really think it is a platform Labour could get some good traction on, Key is in the corner on this one and most people know they wont / dont want to retire at 65. Make Labour look fiscally responsible for a change rather than gimmicky gst off veges.

    • Colonial Viper 4.1

      Oh I see, you didnt have an honest question to start with.

      I know lots of people in trades and many of them are only in their late 40’s/early 50’s and they are fucked.

      Especially the ones who played contact sports in their youth.

      Make Labour look fiscally responsible for a change rather than gimmicky gst off veges.

      Of course its gimmicky to you, you are wealthy enough that it makes no difference.

      Other families though really need that extra $40-$50/month help.

      Not that you give a fuck because its a “gimmick” to you.

      My folks who are in their 70s went up the Amazon last year in a little boat and slept in hammocks.

      Oh nicely retired are they, in their 70’s

      Lucky them

      Trust you to want to deprive others of the same pleasures your parents have.

      By the way, why do you want workers to work longer and harder, instead of making capital contribute more and sacrifice more?

      • Herodotus 4.1.1

        I have always thoght that should I attain the retirement age there will not be a retirement age (I no that this statement makes no logical sense, but still conveys the message !!), this will also show the issue with Kiwisaver that there has to be an age of retirement-We were sold a pup there as well. I/you will retire when we are able to be that 25,35,65,85 or when we are either incapable of working or die. Problem then is that the sickness benefit will become a “pension” as many who do physical work/computer work will have burnt out their bodies and be in constant pain as the health budget will not allow for new hips, arthritis etc.

        • Colonial Viper 4.1.1.1

          I’m hearing you mate.

          Although “David” is such a trooper he wants to put his body on the line until he’s 70 or 75 for the good of the country! What a guy. Gotta admire that.

          Funny thing is, all the painters I know who have been in the game for longer than 20 years are truly stuffed and have either left the trade or looking at exiting soon.

          Maybe “David” is just an excellent example of manly health.

          • David 4.1.1.1.1

            I dont really want to get into a tit for tat but I have been a painter for 27 years, my offsider is 63 and fit as a fiddle and neither of us particularly feel past our used by date.
            With life expectancy at 86 and expected to rise further I think we need to look at not only the cost but chucking 65 year olds into retirement when they still have a few good years in them is dumb.

            • Colonial Viper 4.1.1.1.1.1

              Hey I’m not saying that it doesn’t happen. A lot of people start running their first marathons in their 50’s.

              Having said that, they are a very small minority, and you and your mates’ luck should not be taken as if everyone can or should still be climbing ladders or on top of roofs when they are 63 or 73.

              So answer me: why aren’t you asking capital to sacrifice and give more when you are asking workers to sacrifice and give more?

              • David

                As far as capital I quite like my pension fund and dont want it taxed at all as I have already paid tax on it from working hard.

            • Herodotus 4.1.1.1.1.2

              There are some occupations e.g. bricklayers (especially those in Chch who have to lay the heaviest blocks in NZ) roofers who do it hard. For a great builders trade Carpet layer is the one to go for ever 10-14years you go back and replace the carpet after 30 years in the ind you have 3 generations of house to lay or replace!!!! though on knees, but they wear pads !!
              40 years on the computer just wait for those with injuries to appear poor eyesight (and try to get ACC to recognise that one !!!!) and fingers/wrist long term injuries, and the tensio from being at a desk al hours of the day.
              The only bright spot is that extended families WILL be required to help the elderly. There will be no money from one generation to the next to be passed down. That is without including the death taxes that Hone wants. Another example of blindly firing bullets and not facing up to the real issues. How I would love to have John and Phil over for dinner … at different times of course !!!!

            • Puddleglum 4.1.1.1.1.3

              David, I’m not sure what your point is. It’s not compulsory to retire at 65.

              All super does is say that, at age 65, we collectively will contribute to your living expenses because you’ve been working hard for all those years – consider it a repayment of your years of income tax paying, if you like (a kind of compulsory super scheme).

              Also, why is it ‘unaffordable’ – especially when “most people know they wont / dont want to retire at 65” and so, presumably, will keep working and, fortuitously, pay income tax? (Not to mention what relatively modest tax increases could do.)

              And, not sure where you got the figure of 86 years of life expectancy from. Here it looks more like 78 for a male. Seems that it’s only if you’re a non-Maori female that you can expect to live until your 86.

              If you’re a Maori male your life expectancy is about 73. Making the age of eligibility for super 75 makes so much sense, doesn’t it?

              • Colonial Viper

                Dave knows that plenty of “non-maori females” aged 80 and over continue to be active painters.

      • David 4.1.2

        Easy Tiger. I guess if you break your body playing sport it dont matter if you are 40 or 70 but for the 99.9% of us who dont play NPC we value our bodies because they are what we use to earn a living.
        Vege prices jump all over the place especially in Winter we just change the ones we buy, Peppers go from 90 cents to 3.99 for example so we dont buy them we buy winter seasonal veges instead.
        Dad is 75 and being in England doesnt get a state pension as he has his own private one like most do over there and he retired when he could afford to.

    • DJ 4.2

      Nobody’s forcing you to retire at 65. But how old are you? It’s easy to put down the retirement age when you’re in your 30’s or even 40’s. Nobody has the same body. Just because there’s a 70 year old bloke who can walk from Mexico to Canada doesn’t mean every other old bloke can. Besides the state’s ot really looking after you, the state’s giving you back your tax money.

      I’d also like to ask what you think of painting practices 30 years ago compared to now. Because there’s a lot more knowledge now about the effects paint chemicals can have on the brain, effects that can make it harder to work into old age and do the things you’ve described.

      Anyway I agree with Winston and Cullen when it comes to the retirement age. We need to get our exports up if this economy’s going to move forward, that’s if we’re going to afford a retirement age and welfare state.

      • David 4.2.1

        I am 45 and fit as a fiddle (the odd ache and pain at the end of the week). The paints these days are brilliant especially NZ made Resene and nothing like the old rubbish, I use a neck brace for big ceiling jobs, a sprayer when I can and most roofs these days are permanent colours so we dont have to do too much of that but there is no shortage of young fellas we can use.
        Technology has made the trades so much easier these days, nail guns, pre made trusses, lifting gear etc etc and of course there is always the “enthusiastic” apprentice who sleeps in 3 days out of 6 and you have to carry for a few years before you get anything useful out of them.
        I think the brain is fine.

        • Colonial Viper 4.2.1.1

          so we dont have to do too much of that but there is no shortage of young fellas we can use.

          I love it, use the young fellas to do the hard jobs

          But what about the old fellas who aren’t employers but just ordinary workers who are still doing the hard jobs?

          Seriously, you may be benefitting from new technology now, what about the guys who are in their fifties and came through doing it the hard old fashioned way?

          Still amazed you are asking workers to sacrifice their bodies, but not willing to ask the same level of sacrifice from capital.

        • Mac1 4.2.1.2

          I’m glad you’re still fit as a fiddle, Dave, at forty five. My house painter mate at 60 plus has huge problems with his shoulders. His heart problems are probably not able to be laid at his painting door but are not assisted by heavy physical work.

          He is glad of socialised medicine, knowing that the state will back stop him there, and ACC did ante up with hearing aids for him for the damage caused by driving tractors and using noisy machinery as a maintenance man.

          He has always been a hard-working, cheerful and willing worker, but still his body has started to betray him at just over 60. He by the way does not like spray guns, being the old trade three coat brush man, and finds work harder to find since his trade ethic makes his work a bit more expensive than the younger competition. He’s one of the old school that Colonial Viper refers to above.

          A conservative voter, he has always tried to pay his own way and not rely on anyone. Now, he need the help which his taxes paid for. I don’t think he would want to be working as hard as he has up till now for another ten years.

    • terryg 4.3

      as a painter you probably wont live that long. people who spend their working lives working with nasty chemicals tend not to make it into their 80’s. ISTR the NZ army did a detailed study in the late 70s, looking for correlations between serving near radar installations and cancer. they didnt find one, but did find that armourers tended to die young (they deal with the NASTIEST chemicals), but that painters didnt do much better. YMMV

      and as far as your current level of physical ability, I think you are neglecting the effect of the exponential curve. dont expect a linear relationship (27yrs working = a few niggles therefore 54 yrs = 2x niggles) it DOES NOT work that way.

    • Jenny 4.4

      So Dave, I guess you plan to turn up for Budget Cut Protest at parliament with a sign saying raise the age of retirement.

      Catchy

  5. Chris 5

    ‘Cononial viper’ you do write some absolute delusional rubbish.

  6. Afewknowthetruth 6

    Peak Oil occurred between 2005 and 2008.

    The global economic system is now in the early stages of implosion. As the global supply of oil declines, so will global economic activity.

    At the same time climate instability is increasing, bringing ever worse climate-related disasters more frequently.

    It’s time for some completely different paradigms. Actually, the time for completely different paradigms was around 1975. But the international money-lenders wanted to stick to the game they knew, as did the oil companies.

    Now we’re screwed and we’ve pretty well wrecked the planet. But the money lenders and oil companies will try to keep their particular games running for as long as they can ….. maybe till 2015.

    • Draco T Bastard 6.1

      Try telling that to Labour. They really do seem to have their head stuck in the sand as much as the RWNJs do.

      • terryg 6.1.1

        I think labour have 3 separate problems.

        Firstly, they too believe all this global economy bullshit. essentailly all empirical evidence diametrically opposes the fundamental tenets of economics, yet the economists NEVER CHANGE THEIR THEORIES to support the observations.

        (its not science, its BULLSHIT. Fucking homeopathy is closer to science than economics)

        Secondly, they have fallen for the whole poll-driven thing. the only poll that ever counts is the election itself. But oh no, polls all the time accompanied by labour re-positioning itself to suit said fickle winds.

        Thirdly, they appear to have a serious dearth of capable people. their sheer ineptitude is astonishing – I honestly dont know if they are any better than national is proving to be – OK not entirely fair, as each are demonstrating considerable ineptitude in entirely different areas, but applying elementary duck theory…..(looks, quacks, walks)

        #3 of course just makes #2 that much worse, as their changes not only dont help but seem to actively hinder them…..

    • terryg 6.2

      yep.

      alas few people understand the concept of pumping a system (think lasers), but thats what we’ve been doing to the atmosphere. and shit oh dear is it starting to become apparent.

      these weather-related catastrophes (floods, tornadoes etc – I dont think there’s enough evidence to add in volcanoes and earthquakes – yet) are appallingly tragic at an individual level, BUT

      I cannot feel ANY sympathy for the countries involved. Like AFKTT says, these are the results of DELIBERATE economic policy. Hell, I think its poetic justice.

      George Carlin once wisely said something along the lines of “the planet is NOT in any danger – its fine. WE are in danger, and it serves us right”.

      the times are just going to keep get interestinger.

      • Colonial Viper 6.2.1

        I cannot feel ANY sympathy for the countries involved.

        Yeah but the people who end up getting screwed over by these environmental changes first and worst are typically the poor and most vulnerable who had the least to do with the top level decision making and economic policies which were responsible in the first place.

        • terryg 6.2.1.1

          CV, I agree wholeheartedly – hence the “appallingly tragic” bit, although my prose is far from the clarity you express.

          I am so conflicted when I see these things – as you say, the tragedy is both overwhelming and falls almost entirely upon those without culpability. I simultaneously weep for the individuals, rage at the machine and laugh as reality trumps their bullshit talking points.

          And while some might argue “they voted for them” that just demonstrates ignorance of how the so-called democratic process really works, and outright nastiness.

          we little people have no real influence over the important decisions our governments make, and I cannot see that changing. I started to write something along the lines of “until we come to the realisation that our arabic brothers & sisters have reached” but I doubt thats going to happen – TPTB simply dont treat us badly enough for that to happen.

          • terryg 6.2.1.1.1

            Here’s a more understandable explanation for pumping than “think lasers” (which is in retrospect unbelievably stupid, as it doesnt explain anything, unless you already understand it. doh)
            Sit on a swing, and without help make it swing higher and higher. THAT is pumping – repeatedly giving a little push at just the right time, so after a while it adds up to one helluva big swing, EVEN THOUGH each individual push was small.

  7. Jenny 7


    Where does the Labour Party get it’s ideas?

    It seems that some Labour party supporters at least, look to the financiers.

    Sam Stubbs: Tackle pension age

    Sam Stubbs is the CEO of Tower Investments

    Micky Savage, David, how about instead of taking direction from a neo-liberal money changer.

    How about listening to the unions instead?

    The CTU published Alternative Economic Strategy, is diametrically opposed to the Neoliberal policies of cuts being promoted by the likes of Sam Stubbs.

    This from the preamble to the CTU document:

    Neoliberalism has failed internationally. The Global Financial Crisis which has damaged the lives of hundreds of millions of blameless workers, farmers, beneficiaries, and retired people around the world is but the latest example of the instability, recklessness, waste and enormous imbalances of power and wealth neoliberalism has cultivated.

    Part of the CTU’s Alternative Economic Strategy is a Financial Transactions Tax that targets the huge earnings from speculative trading that people like Sam Stubbs fear, like the devil fears holy water.

    Specifically to this debate, in relation to the issue of retirement, the CTU Alternative Economic Stragegy says:

    Maintain New Zealand Superannuation supported by a New Zealand Superannuation Fund to which contributions should be resumed as soon as practicable.

    This should be augmented by a Kiwisaver scheme which is enhanced both to increase saving and to include people unable to provide for their own retirement. Because the majority of Kiwisaver fund clients are workers, governance of funds should include union representation. Enhancements:
    • Compulsory employer contributions of 6 percent phased in over 4 years
    • Compulsory employee contribution 2 percent
    • Government top-up 2 percent
    • Address equity issues: Inquiry into addressing equity issues, such as those resulting from lower pay rates and lifetime incomes of women with view to beneficiaries and non-working parents receiving government contribution in lieu of employer

    CTU press release: Abandon KiwiSaver cuts

    Instead of the CTU’s measured and thoughtful response to the economic crisis as it affects the affordability of retirement, RWNJ Sam Stubbs wants to raise the retirement age to 70.

    I remain hopeful that Labour Party supporters like Micky Savage and David will ditch the extreme advice of Sam Stubbs, and that these right wing ideas never get traction inside the Labour Party proper.

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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • When will Goldsmith resign?
    The National Party’s campaign has gone from bad to worse with a further two large miscalculations being uncovered in their alternative fiscal plan. Firstly, National’s economic spokesperson and list MP, Paul Goldsmith, used May's Budget figures instead of last week's PREFU numbers, and came up with a whopping $4.3 billion ...
    5 days ago
  • The Adventures of Annalax: Part IX
    The initial session was a struggle. Annalax and Magni tried sorting out the details with the Isaac twins (the people pursuing the mountain trip). Annalax happened to mention his devotion to Lolth… whom the Isaacs, being ...
    5 days ago
  • This is bullshit
    On March 13, three plainclothes police officers kicked in Breonna Taylor's door under a no-knock warrant targeting another person. When a person inside reasonably assumed they were home invaders and (this being America) started shooting, they shot up the place and everyone around them - killing Taylor. Today, one of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Arctic sea ice is being increasingly melted from below by warming Atlantic water
    Tom Rippeth, Bangor University Arctic sea ice today (white) is covering a much smaller area than in 1980-2010 (orange line). National Snow and Ice Data Center, University of Colorado, Boulder, CC BY-SA Each September, scientists like me look out for the point when the Arctic’s meagre summer fizzles out and ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    5 days ago
  • The long-term health burden of COVID-19: further justification for NZ’s elimination strategy
    Prof John D. Potter* This blog briefly surveys the emerging scientific evidence on the longer-term burden of symptoms and disease in survivors of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of these symptoms point to damage in the brain and heart. These long-term harms add to the wide range of other reasons for ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    5 days ago
  • Going High, Going Low: An Assessment Of The First Leaders’ Debate.
    Uncrushed: Jacinda Ardern knew exactly what was expected of her in the first Leaders' Debate. Labour’s dominant position, three weeks out from the general election, is constructed out of the admiration and gratitude of hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders who, more often than not, vote National.  Nothing she said ...
    5 days ago
  • The smokefree policies of political parties: Do they care about people who smoke?
    George Thomson*, Nick Wilson, Janet Hoek, Andrew Waa, Richard Edwards In this time of Covid-19, helping people who smoke to quit their addiction has an even greater importance. Smokers are more vulnerable to many harmful health effects, including severe effects from the virus. Policies that support people who smoke to ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    5 days ago
  • The Fog Of Economic Policy Is Starting To Clear…
    Bryan Bruce, https://www.facebook.com/www.redsky.tv, 19 September 2020 National’s economic policy of temporary tax cuts yesterday proved, if proof be needed, that they are unapologetic neoliberals. While their claim that with more money in their pockets people will spend more might sound attractive, the reality is that tax cuts always benefit the ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    5 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #38, 2020
    Highlighted article: Carbon pricing and planetary boundaries  Engström et al take what might be called a systems approach to evaluating carbon pricing, taking into a account various economic sectors affected by and affecting paying for emissions. The conclusions are overall a rare pleasant surprise— a feature predicated on cooperation.  Abstract: ...
    6 days ago
  • Humans ignite almost every wildfire that threatens homes
    Nathan Mietkiewicz, National Ecological Observatory Network and Jennifer Balch, University of Colorado Boulder CC BY-ND Summer and fall are wildfire season across the western U.S. In recent years, wildfires have destroyed thousands of homes, forced hundreds of thousands of people to evacuate and exposed tens of millions to harmful ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: China steps up
    China has increased its climate change ambition, and set a target to be carbon-neutral by 2060: China will reach carbon neutrality before 2060 and ensure its greenhouse gas emissions peak in the next decade, Xi Jinping has told the UN general assembly. “China will scale up its intended nationally ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Humans have dealt with plenty of climate variability
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz How much climate variability have humans dealt with since we ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • Indigenous perspectives on unrestricted access to genomic data
    By Genomics Aotearoa researcher Maui Hudson, University of Waikato It is vital that genomics research respects genomic data and genetic heritage from indigenous communities. Genomics research is a rapidly growing field of study, and there is a strong push to make the huge amount of data being produced open ...
    SciBlogsBy Genomics Aotearoa
    6 days ago
  • Terrible luck: lockdowns on learning and youth job prospects
    What is bad luck? Bad luck is spilling spaghetti sauce down your shirt right before an important meeting. When the person in front of you gets the last seat on the bus, that’s bad luck. Bad luck is when it’s sunny outside, so you leave the house without a coat, ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • Ian Powell: Does private healthcare threaten public healthcare in New Zealand?
    Is the private health system impacting negatively on the public health system? Health commentator Ian Powell evaluates a recent NZ Herald article by Natalie Akoorie (“Public v private healthcare: Moonlighting, skimming, duplication – should NZ do better”), and looks at how the dual system works, and concludes that the answer ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    6 days ago
  • A rabbit-hole election debate: So do you want more avocado orchards?
    We live in strange and unusual times. It’s been a century since we’ve endured a global pandemic like this, more than half a century since we’ve had economic woes like this. So maybe we got an opening election debate for the times - because that was a strange and unusual ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    6 days ago
  • LIVE: Jacinda Ardern vs. Judith Collins, First Debate
    Tonight, The Civilian will be live-blogging the first of too many debates between Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and National Party leader Judith Collins, and also the last fifteen minutes of the news. Be sure to tune in from 6:45pm for regular updates, which can be accessed by refreshing this page ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    7 days ago
  • Hundreds of Aucklanders arrested after illegal mass gathering on Harbour Bridge
    An enormous drive-in party, shown here, was held this morning on Auckland’s Harbour Bridge, where police were forced to intervene. Hundreds of Aucklanders were arrested this morning on public health grounds, after an apparent illegal mass gathering on the city’s Harbour Bridge. Police say hundreds of Aucklanders gathered in their ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    7 days ago
  • The Looming Fight.
    Social Distancing Be Damned - It's Jacinda! Shortly after ascending to Labour’s leadership, Jacinda described herself as a “pragmatic idealist”. It was an inspired oxymoron – packing into just two words the essence of the social-democrat’s dilemma. It was good to know that she knew what lay ahead of her. ...
    7 days ago
  • Climate Change: Moving faster
    Back in 2017, the UK announced that it would ban the sale of new fossil fuel vehicles by 2040. Its a basic climate change measure, aimed at reducing emissions by shifting the vehicle fleet to cleaner technologies. Now, in the wake of the pandemic, they're planning to bring it forward ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • The Australian courts have had enough of refugee detention
    For the past decade, Australia has had a racist, anti-refugee policy. Those claiming refugee status are imprisoned without trial and left to rot in the hope they would "voluntarily" return to be tortured and murdered. When the courts have granted them visas, the government has immediately revoked them on racial ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Friction and the Anti-lock Braking System
    Yesterday afternoon I had to call on my car’s anti-lock braking system (ABS). For reasons best known to its driver, a car pulled out of a side road right in front of me while I was driving home after work, and I needed to stop in a hurry. I rather ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    7 days ago
  • The Inside Word: New Zealand Quarantine
    There are a fair few misconceptions about conditions within New Zealand’s Quarantine Hotels. Madeline Grant’s misplaced accusations being one prominent example, though she is not alone. Today, I thought I’d share the inside word, so to speak. A friend of mine has recently returned to New Zealand from overseas, and ...
    7 days ago
  • Hard News: ASA: Let’s not talk about this
    Last week, major newspapers carried a full-page ad as part of the campaign for a "No" vote to the referendum question about supporting the Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill. The ad was authorised by the SAM NZ Coalition, which takes its name from a controversial American anti-cannabis group and includes ...
    7 days ago
  • This is not kind
    New Zealand has a serious homelessness problem, due to skyrocketing rents and a lack of state houses. One of the ways we stick a band-aid on it is to put people up in motels. Previously, they were charged full commercial rates, saddled with odious debt due to the government's failure ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Wokies are the establishment
    by Ani O’Brien In the absence of a better word with which to refer to the rabid activists who claim progressivism while demanding adherence to an increasingly prescriptive set of political beliefs, I call them “woke”. With its roots in Black American slang, the term originally denoted a person or ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • How to strengthen the post-isolation Covid rules
    Over the weekend, the Ministry of Health reported a case of Covid-19 in Auckland that is not related to the current Auckland cluster. Before we start to panic, here’s how I think the case happened and how we can strengthen our current border controls. The new Covid-19 case is someone ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • Neuralink and You: A Human-AI Symbiosis
    Becky Casale Elon Musk reckons his Neuralink brain implant is much more than a medical device–that one day it will drive a symbiosis between humans and artificial intelligence. “Good morning! I’m Dr Benedict Egg and I’ll be supervising your Neuralink insertion today. Do you have any questions?” “Yes, Doc. ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Liam Hehir: Our obsession with American politics
    Many New Zealanders take a strong interest in US politics, with the death of Supreme Court Judge Ruth Bader Ginsberg being the latest example. Liam Hehir wonders if it very wise for New Zealanders to get so worked about it.   Many politically engaged New Zealanders are now furiously ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    1 week ago
  • COVID: Back to Level 1
    After stamping the Coronavirus out via strict lockdown between March and May, New Zealand went through a good three months without any community cases. Then a local outbreak in Auckland rather buggered things up last month. Auckland’s been in level 3 and level 2.5 for the past six weeks. ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Climate injustice
    Who's causing our skyrocketing emissions? As with most of our other problems, It's the rich: The wealthiest 1% of the world’s population were responsible for the emission of more than twice as much carbon dioxide as the poorer half of the world from 1990 to 2015, according to new ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Good riddance
    The border closure and resulting lack of foreign slave-workers is driving the fishing industry out of business: One fishing company is effectively out of business while others are bracing for large financial hits as the deepwater New Zealand industry, unable to get skilled foreign workers into the country, have ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #38
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Review... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... The tipping points at the heart of the climate crisis Many parts of the Earth’s climate system have been destabilised by ...
    1 week ago
  • Anyone for Collins?
    In the absence of national public opinion polls, we have had to make do in recent weeks with other guides to voter intentions. Those guides, such as the Auckland Central poll, the incidence of google enquiries and the responses to Vote Compass questions, have suggested, not unexpectedly, that Labour is ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Crusher’s fiscal malfunction
    Crusher Collins - National Party leaderWe all know that the National Party is desperate to gain some traction during this election campaign and have been throwing pretty much everything at the Labour Party in order to try and undermine Jacinda Ardern and what the Coalition Government has achieved. But unfortunately ...
    1 week ago
  • Much of the commentariat’s reporting of the most recent GDP figure was misleading and unhelpful. The prize for the stupidest remark about the GDP figure for second quarter 2020 (2020Q2) released on Thursday (17 Sept) goes to Judith Collins, whose response to Grant Robertson’s comments indicated she did not ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • Love and Hate as Complementary Revolutionary Acts
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh goloing@gmail.com (19/09/2020) Che Guevara said that a true revolutionary is motivated by love i.e. love of the oppressed, the poor, the children dying from preventable illnesses. This phrase of his is true but has been used by reformists and their more hippy wing have taken advantage ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #38
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week: Sun, Sep 13, 2020 through Sat, Sep 19, 2020 Editor's Choice Get to Net-Zero by Mid-Century? Even Some Global Oil and Gas Giants Think it Can Be Done A report by a ...
    1 week ago
  • Tax cuts for all!!! (except you, you, and you)
    With the National Party this week announcing a new policy of tax cuts to spice up the election campagin. MyThinks went along to the launch and afterwards we spoke to the party’s finance spokesperson Paul “Golden Touch” Goldsmith. MT: Thanks for speaking to us Mr Goldsmith. PG: No. Thank you. ...
    My ThinksBy boonman
    1 week ago
  • Great Waves Washing Over New Zealand
    Always to islanders danger Is what comes over the seas ‘Landfall in Unknown Seas’ (Allen Curnow)Six economic issues external to New Zealand, which will greatly impact upon us. 1.         The Diminishing Global Dominance of the US. Since 1941 America has dominated the world economically and politically. Probably it could ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand has role to play in resolving crisis on ‘geopolitical fault line’, Helen Clark says
    By Geoffrey Miller New Zealand should continue to champion human rights in Belarus amidst an ongoing crackdown on protests by the country’s regime, former Prime Minister Helen Clark says. Protests in the country often referred to as ‘Europe’s last dictatorship’ erupted after the country’s disputed presidential elections on August 9 ...
    Democracy ProjectBy Geoffrey Miller
    2 weeks ago
  • Euthanasia referendum: How to cut through the emotions
    Jacqui Maguire, registered clinical psychologist This podcast episode highlights how difficult it is to have effective conversations about euthanasia due to how polarised people’s views are. I’m a clinical psychologist, with a passion for science communication. In early 2020 I founded the podcast Mind Brew, with an aim to make psychological ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Why we need cameras on boats
    In case anyone needed further convincing, there's another example today of why we need cameras on fishing boats: reported seabird bycatch doubled during a camera trial: Commercial fishers operating off Auckland's coast around vulnerable seabirds are twice as likely to report accidentally capturing them when cameras are on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Graham Adams: The religious right’s campaign to spike the euthanasia referendum
    In the leadup to the euthanasia referendum, an array of conservative Christian political organisations is running an expensive campaign to sow doubt about the safety of assisted dying. Graham Adams argues that these religious forces know that Christian arguments aren’t convincing the public, but that it is in the public ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    2 weeks ago
  • Opportunistic looting
    The National Party has spent the last six months acting horrified at the cost of supporting people through the pandemic and banging on about how the debt must be repaid. So what was their economic policy released today? Massive tax-cuts for the rich, of course! National has walked back ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Uncomfortable Choices.
    Dangerous Times: This will be the choice confronting those coming of age in the 2020s. Embrace Neoliberalism’s belief in racial and sexual equality; adopt its secular and scientific world view; and cultivate the technocratic, multicultural, global outlook required of those who keep the machinery of hyper-capitalism humming. Or, throw your ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Tony Burton: Covid and benefit payments
    It would be a great time to reform the benefit system, according to former Deputy Chief Economic Advisor at the Treasury, Tony Burton. He argues the complexity of benefit system means that it’s failing to achieve its difficult three core objectives, which form an “iron triangle”.   New Zealand’s benefit ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    2 weeks ago
  • Talking tax: How to win support for taxing wealth
    Tax Justice UK, September 2020 Serious tax reform is on the political agenda for the first time in decades due to the coronavirus crisis. As this debate hots up it is important to understand what people think about public spending, wealth and tax. Tax Justice UK, along with Survation and ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    2 weeks ago
  • Getting Tough.
    Not Mucking Around: With upwards of 800 dead from the virus’s resurgence in the Australian state of Victoria, leniency is not on Premier Daniel Andrews’ agenda. The Victorian Police are cracking down hard on the protesters the Australian press has labelled "Covidiots".IMAGES OF POLICE, some in riot gear, others on ...
    2 weeks ago

  • Job numbers up in August
    New data from Stats NZ today shows a rise of more than 9,000 filled jobs from July – driven mostly by the education and training sector, Grant Robertson says. Filled jobs were up 9,147 to 2.2 million in August 2020 compared with July – with 7,409 of those in education ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • Māori development receives funding
    Māori development projects across the country will receive a total of $18.8 million from the Provincial Growth Fund that will create infrastructure and permanent jobs, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “These projects will support economic development in Northland, Bay of Plenty, Tairawhiti, Manawatū-Whanganui, Waikato and Southland to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • Hand-up for owners of earthquake-prone units
    From today, owner-occupiers of unit and apartments living in earthquake-prone buildings can apply for financial support to fix their homes, Minister for Building and Construction Jenny Salesa says. The Residential Earthquake-Prone Building Financial Assistance Scheme will help unit owners facing financial hardship over earthquake strengthening costs. “We understand how complicated ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • PGF backing successful Māori enterprise
    Whanganui will benefit from a Provincial Growth Fund investment in a local food-processing company which will help the company increase production and create jobs, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. Kii Tahi Ltd, which is owned by South Taranaki iwi Ngaa Rauru Kiitahi, will receive a Provincial Growth Fund ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Hokitika Landmark earmarked for $22m restoration
    Seddon House in Hokitika, once a hub for government on the West Coast, has been earmarked for government use once again. “Today we’re announcing a $22 million investment from the Government’s $3 billion infrastructure fund for shovel ready projects for the purchase and restoration of Seddon House in the heart of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Town halls and war memorials in PGF renovation programme
    Town halls, war memorials and other community landmarks across the country will be renovated thanks to grants totalling just under $12.4 million from the Provincial Growth Fund. Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says more than 1000 jobs are expected to be created during the renovation programme. “Town halls, other ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Minister of Foreign Affairs makes two diplomatic appointments
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced two new diplomatic appointments: •         Michael Appleton as New Zealand’s first resident High Commissioner to Sri Lanka. •        Tredene Dobson as New Zealand’s next Ambassador to Viet Nam.  Sri Lanka “New Zealand is opening a post in Colombo in 2021 because we are ready ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • NZ’s most prestigious conservation award – Loder Cup presented to Graeme Atkins
    The Minister of Conservation Minister, Eugenie Sage, today presented Aotearoa New Zealand’s most prestigious conservation award, the Loder Cup, to the 2020 winner Graeme Atkins while in Gisborne/Tūranga-nui-a-Kiwa. “Graeme Atkins of Ngāti Porou is a Department of Conservation ranger whose contribution to conservation goes well above and beyond his employment,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Early help for whānau who need extra support
    The Government is investing in a new, whānau-centred early intervention prototype designed to strengthen families and improve the safety and wellbeing of children. The new programme, Ngā Tini Whetū, is a collaboration between Oranga Tamariki, Te Puni Kōkiri, ACC and the Whānau Ora Commissioning Agency (WOCA) and was announced today ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Parliament to install solar and cut carbon
    Parliament is leading by example by taking action to cut its carbon footprint by installing solar and improving energy efficiency, the Minister for Climate Change, James Shaw said today. The Minister confirmed that Parliamentary Services will receive support through the Clean-Powered Public Service Fund to install solar PV and LED ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Tuvalu Language Week theme promotes community resilience in the face of COVID-19
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio says the 2020 Tuvalu Language Week theme of “Fakatili Te Kiloga Fou” which means “Navigating the changing environment” is a call on all Pacific peoples to be strong and resilient in the face of COVID-19. “This theme is a reminder to us ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • International sport back up and running in New Zealand
    The Government is welcoming today’s announcement that the West Indies and Pakistan cricket teams will tour New Zealand this summer.  “A lot of hard work has been undertaken by sports officials including New Zealand Cricket, Netball New Zealand and government officials to ensure that international sport can return safely to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • 1BT funds for Northland forest taonga
    Northland’s indigenous tree canopy is set to grow for the benefit of mana whenua and the wider community thanks to nearly $2 million in One Billion Trees funding, Forestry Minister Shane Jones announced today. Te Komanga Marae Trust has received more than $1.54 million to restore and enhance the native ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Better health care for West Coasters as Te Nikau Hospital officially opened
    The Government has delivered a new hospital for Greymouth and is starting work on a much needed new health centre in Westport, ensuring local communities will benefit from better access to high quality integrated health services. Today, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Associate Health Minister Peeni Henare officially open Te ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government backing local with PGF loan
    A West Coast distillery will benefit from a Provincial Growth Fund investment that will enable it to expand its operations and create jobs in the town of Reefton, Rural Communities Minister Damien O’Connor and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones have announced. The Reefton Distilling Co will receive a $928,000 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Primary sector exports and jobs up again
    Primary sector exports and jobs are up again, demonstrating the sector’s underlying strength amid the COVID-19 global pandemic and US-China trade war, and supporting New Zealand’s economic recovery. Stats NZ today reported New Zealand’s merchandise exports in August were up 8.6% on a year ago, driven by an increase in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Clean energy future for more schools
    Schools across Aotearoa New Zealand will be supported by the Government to upgrade to run on clean energy, the Minister for Climate Change James Shaw announced today. The Minister has allocated $50 million from the Clean Powered Public Service Fund to replace, or convert, coal boilers in schools with clean ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Building business strength with digital tools
    New training and tools for digital commerce will give small businesses, especially in the tourism sector, the support they need to adapt and innovate in a COVID world. Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis and Small Business Minister Stuart Nash have announced details of how $20 million digital capability funding set aside ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New pest lures to protect nature
    The Department of Conservation (DOC) is investing $1.4 million to develop new predator lures that would be game-changers for trapping and surveillance towards a predator-free Aotearoa, the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage, announced in Christchurch today. The proposal is to develop long-life lures attractive to a range of predators—rats, mustelids ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Support for innovative Pacific education responses to COVID-19 needs
    Supporting new and creative Pacific education practices as part of our COVID-19 response and recovery is the focus of a new $28.5 million Pacific Education Innovation Fund announced today by Associate Minister of Education Jenny Salesa.  “There is already an incredible amount of innovative and creative work going on in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Eligibility expanded for COVID-19 leave support
    The expanded scheme will cover: People who have COVID-19 like symptoms and meet the Ministry of Health’s criteria, and need to self-isolate while awaiting the results of a COVID-19 test. People who are directed to self-isolate by a Medical Officer of Health or their delegate or on advice of their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Seasonal work visa available to more people
    The Government is putting in place a range of immigration policy changes to help fill labour shortages in key industries while ensuring New Zealanders, who have lost jobs due to COVID-19, have the chance to find new employment. “Two key sectors we are moving to help are horticulture and wine ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • More border exceptions for critical roles
    The Government has established class exceptions for border entry for a limited number of veterinarians, deep sea fishing crew, as well as agricultural and horticultural machinery operators. “Tight border restrictions remain the backbone of the Government’s border strategy to protect New Zealand against COVID-19 and ensure New Zealand citizens and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Crown will not appeal Dodds v Southern Response decision
    The Crown will not appeal the Court of Appeal decision in the Dodds v Southern Response case, Grant Robertson announced today. “Southern Response will be paying the damages awarded by the Court to Mr and Mrs Dodds shortly. The Crown was already meeting their legal costs for this appeal. “The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Crucial PGF investments for Northland
    The Provincial Growth Fund is investing nearly $30 million in a diverse range of projects that will create immediate and long-term jobs and lift economic and social outcomes for Northland and its people. Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones made the announcement today in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • $27million investment in global vaccine facility
    The Coalition Government has committed to invest $27 million in COVID-19 vaccine development through the global COVAX Facility, Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today. “The COVAX Facility is a key part of our COVID-19 Vaccine Strategy to obtain safe and effective vaccines. It allows us to invest in a high-quality, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government backing Māori landowners
    The Government will provide up to $1.69 million through the One Billion Trees programme to Māori landowners to make their whenua more productive through the planting of forests, both native and exotic, and improve economic and environmental outcomes, Forestry Minister Shane Jones has announced. “Around 1.5 million ha of land ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New tools to make nature more accessible
    People planning to head outdoors now have a resource that lets them know how accessible an area is for people with varying levels of mobility, Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage announced today. The Halberg Foundation, Sensibel, and the Department of Conservation (DOC) have launched Accessibel, a new tool which helps ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF makes Māori history more accessible
    One of the most significant battle sites of the 1860s Land Wars will receive $2.96 million from the Provincial Growth Fund to improve the site and help tell the New Zealand story to visitors, Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones have announced. Nanaia Mahuta ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Making it official: The journey of te reo Māori | Kia whakapūmautia: Ngā piki me ngā heke o te r...
    The journey towards recognising Māori as an official language and taonga has been captured as a web series and launched today during Te Wiki o te Reo Māori, announced Associate Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Carmel Sepuloni. “Te reo Māori is a living language, and understanding its significance, and pathways to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Better-than-forecast GDP reflects decision to protect New Zealand
    Today’s better-than-forecast GDP figures show the expected impact of the decision to act quickly to protect New Zealanders from the global COVID-19 pandemic. GDP fell 12.2% in the June quarter from March, reflecting decisions to close New Zealand’s borders and enter Alert Level 4. “This result was better than the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Boost for COVID-19 related Pacific education needs
    The Government is investing $39.7 Million over four years to support the educational needs of Pacific learners and families in the regions hardest hit by COVID-19, with Auckland getting an immediate boost, Associate Minister of Education Jenny Salesa says.   “Like all New Zealanders Pacific families want learners to do well ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • More resources for kiwi conservation
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