Don’t kill the Cullen Fund

Written By: - Date published: 9:45 am, February 24th, 2009 - 46 comments
Categories: economy, welfare - Tags:

Michael Littlewood has made a career of advocating superannuation privatisation and is part of an international organisation called Pension Reforms dedicated to the privatisation of superannuation. Yesterday, he was given a platform in the Herald and on the news (one or three, can’t remember), to argue the New Zealand Superannuation Fund (known as the Cullen Fund) should be abolished or put on hold during the recession. That advice is economically illiterate and shows no understanding of the nature of long-term investments. It is more of the short-term, dumb thinking that got the world economy into this trouble in the first place. It says (and I know I hit this point a lot) something about our media that this guy got to spout his ideological rubbish in the Herald and on the news without his credentials, his agenda, or the quality of his advice being questioned or even mentioned.

Let me put this simply: if you are in it  for the long-term and you believe that the world economy will eventually rebound, now is a good time to be investing in assets because their future growth will be faster than their long-term average  growth.

I’ve tried to show why this is graphically. The wavy red line is the value of an asset, maybe a share or a bond or a house. The blue line is the long-term average value of that asset, basically the boom/bust cycle flattened out. The green zone represents a boom, the orange zone a bust.

long-term-investmentNow, if you’re a short-term thinking money-man, you want to be buying when the red line is climbing the most rapidly and selling before it starts falling. But if you’re a long-term investor, when is the best time to be buying this asset? During a bust, because the value is below the long-term average value, you are going to get a greater average growth rate than the average for the asset and much greater than if you were buying during a boom – check out the angle of the two thick purple lines compared to each other and the average.

Let’s take a real-world example. When you put your money in your Kiwisaver account what is actually happening is you are buying shares in your Kiwisaver providers’ Kiwisaver fund. In the last year, the value of those funds, and so the value of those shares has fallen. If you put in $100 today, it will buy you more shares in the fund that $100 did last year. You may have lost money on your Kiwisaver in the last year but, unless you are retiring soon, it doesn’t matter, what matters is the long-term return. Your long-term return on a $100 invested today, when the value of the Kiwisaver shares is below their long-term average is going to be higher than on $100 you use to buy shares in the Kiwisaver fund when they are above their long-term average value.

If you a investing for your retirement, or you are a government retirement fund designed to not even begin paying out money for ten years and then keep going for the next half century, or you are a sovereign wealth fund, or you are any kind of investor looking for a long-term gain who doesn’t have to worry about short-term loss (and you don’t believe we are at the start of a permanent period of economic decline), now is the time to be buying, while people are willing to sell you stuff for less than it is worth in the time-frame that matters to you. Sure, for now, we are borrowing, at low sovereign rates, the money we are putting into the fund but the long-term return on that investment will be much greater. To his credit, John Key makes much the same point.

My concern is that the hard right in National/ACT with the same privatisation agenda as Littlewood will see an opportunity to exploit economic illiteracy in the political media to kill the Cullen Fund, and cripple the future of superannuation in New Zealand.

46 comments on “Don’t kill the Cullen Fund ”

  1. Pat 1

    Dollar Cost Averaging is the term you are looking for, SP.

    Despite the principle behind Dollar Cost Averaging, I wonder if holding off the contribution this year might be a good idea when all indications are that world markets are going to fall further.

  2. gets pretty tricky if you’re trying to play intra-cycle games with a long-term fund. and there’s the political element too – once you’ve stopped for one year, will you really restart the next?

  3. Billy 3

    Will you personally be borrowing to speculate in the share market, Steve?

  4. BLiP 4

    Goober John Key and his big business mates have always had their eye on the Cullen Fund . They have taken their lesson’s from the Robert Maxwell School of Business and have been slavering over the fund since its inception.

    The fund belongs to all New Zealanders equally, not the National Party and its big business masters. If they are not prepared to borrow to fund it, then they should just leave it alone and not plunder it.

    hahahahaha – captcha = suited con !!

  5. Jasper 5

    Billy – If we borrowed to speculate in the SM, at least the interest on borrowed loans is tax deductible.

    Furthermore, if we borrowed 2b this year, who’s to say that in 3 years time when the SM turns around, that $2b borrowed won’t be worth double, or even triple. History has shown that when SM hits a (new) low point, the resulting bounceback typically takes it above the previous high point over a 3 – 5 year period.

    In this case, the Cullen Fund is a perfect example of long term thinking, and this year and the next are the years where funds should definitely be borrowed to invest. The long term prognosis is good. Not to mention that if Nactional go ahead with using 40% of the Cullen Fund in NZ, then the resulting profits end up coming back into the Cullen Fund via dividends and what have you. Why have Sky TV, but no shares in Sky TV… you’re effectively getting repaid what you pay Sky through dividends.

  6. djp 6

    Steve you are assuming we are at the bottom of the valley… we could be teetering at the edge of a cliff for all you know.

    As others have hinted at, why should the taxpayer be forced to pay for others to gamble on the stockmarket?

  7. ieuan 7

    Steve, your post misses the point of most of the objections to the government putting money into the Cullen fund. As the government will be running deficits for the foreseeable future then the government will have to borrow the money it feeds into the fund.

    So the question that has to be answered is ‘Does it make sense for the government to borrow money to put into a retirement fund’?

    As Billy has already asked ‘Steve is that something that you would do yourself’?

    Personally I feel that the government should not borrow to feed the fund, they should temporarily freeze contributions but as soon as the economy picks up they should start paying back into the fund.

    Also, looking at your graph, have you factored in the cost of borrowing the money? If the government is paying 5% for the money but only achieving 3% growth how does the graph look then?

  8. higherstandard 8

    For those that are arguing the point with SP it’s worth contemplating where we would be now if Rob hadn’t scuppered Norm Kirk’s super fund plan.

    Covered here very well.

  9. Matthew Pilott 9

    I’m investing in a super scheme because the units are very cheap and if I can get them at 2/3 the cost of a year ago, and small growth will have a fairly solid impact on the overall portfolio.

    That’s what I was thinking about when I heard this guy talk about not investing – surely any decent advisor will be telling you to look out for bargains at the moment (but be wary, of course, of the shakier investments).

    To sort-of answer Billy’s question, and address ieuan, I have debts that are servicable, and could be cleared faster if I stopped those super contributions. So in effect I’m borrowing to invest on the sharemarket. Hopefully works out well in five or ten years.

    If you think you’ll get a better return on the money you’re borrowing then do so to invest by all means. Just as long as you’re borrowing for something very worthwhile (like avoiding future pain from retiring baby-boomers…)

  10. Matthew Pilott 10

    HS, cheers for the link. Check out the NZ/Aus comparison:

    New Zealand would have led the world in terms of savings. Based on the $240 billion projection each worker would have $111,200 of superannuation assets compared with $6300 at present and A$74,400 ($86,821) in Australia.

    That’s outrageous. I think the Cullen fund needs every cent it can get.

    Incidentally the pro-Kiwisaver article has a ‘disclosure of interest’ at teh end about the author, but the one in questionin this thread does not.

  11. vto 11

    All these people who think they are experts at money and markets and business (Littlewood, Pierson, Oram, Morgan, etc)…

    I have always said that the only ones worth listening to seriously on these subjects are those who have made some money themselves. Otherwise quite frankly they don’t know squat about the harsh reality.

    Has Littlewood made lotsa money on the markets etc?
    Has Pierson made lotsa money on the markets etc?
    Has Oram made lotsa money on the markets etc?
    Has Morgan made lotsa money on the markets etc?

    It is usually only a small number who are worth listening to.

  12. Matthew Pilott 12

    vto – what if they are successful at analysing the markets and passing on their analysis?

    Do you only even listen to a sports commentator if they were world #1 at that sport? You might find that they’re actually rubbish compared to people who are good at commentating – I think the analogy fits well here.

  13. Felix 13

    it’s worth contemplating where we would be now if Rob hadn’t scuppered Norm Kirk’s super fund plan.

    And isn’t Muldoon Key’s hero?

  14. higherstandard 14

    Felix bit of a long bow, try here

    What’s more telling was his views on HC and MC prior to the electioneering starting last year where he said that MC’s greatest contribution, which would be remembered long after he was gone, was getting the Cullen fund and super saving up and running in NZ.

  15. ieuan 15

    From the Gaynor article: ‘The 1975 scheme would have taken 16 years to reach the first $50 billion, five years to reach the next $50 billion and then six years and two years to reach $150 billion and $200 billion respectively.’

    Gaynor’s growth predictions read like the prospective for a get rich quick scheme, if it takes only 2 years to add another $50 billion how many years before there is so much money in the fund that no one in New Zealand has to actually work anymore?

    Something doesn’t add up, can’t put my finger on it…………that’s right, there is no such thing as infinite growth, that is why we are in the mess we are currently in.

  16. vto 16

    MP, there is some comparison of course, and analytical types probably do have a role. I just always find that so many ‘analysts’ overstate their position. Human nature I suppose. But seriously, its like getting advice on how to make money from your accountant or lawyer – how many of them have made a ton of dosh?

    I guess my point is that people’s expertise is often highly specific and its important to understand where that expertise is overstepped, when evaluating the worth of the commentary.

  17. Quoth the Raven 17

    vto – I ought to have asked Madoff or Stanford for advice last year then.

  18. vto 18

    QtR you egg. They clearly have not made money have they. They have stolen it – quite a difference from what I said ya?

  19. higherstandard 19

    Iuean

    An interesting analysis which I haven’t got the link for …… with an initial purchase of 10k shares – if any broker had made the correct bets on shares for a period of 50 years – only buying shares that were to go up and only selling shares that were to go down (poorly worded but you get my drift) they would amass more money than is currently in circulation on the planet.

  20. Quoth the Raven 20

    vto – I was being facetious, but I think the point stands that making a lot of money does not mean you have greater knowledge to impart. We’ve seen the masters of the universe the big swinging dicks fall flat on their faces in recent times I wouldn’t go running to them for advice.

  21. Chess Player 21

    Ok, QTR, so who then would you reckon could advise us on making money?

    Please enlighten us all.

  22. ieuan 22

    Come on Chess Player, it’s obvious – Steve Pierson

  23. Pat 23

    HS – one of the best returns I have read about was in Sam Walton’s biography. When Walmart listed on the US stock exchange in 1970 each share cost US$16.50.

    If you bought 100 shares in 1970, by 1990 they were worth US$3M. There had been nine 2-for-1 splits in that 20 year period.

    As company shares were a common part of staff remuneration, many long-serving Walmart staff retired as millionaries, simply by not selling their shares.

  24. vto 24

    QtR, sure, a point of sorts. But again, if you consider the ‘masters’ in detail you will find that the vast majority are still loaded to the hilt. It is only some that have crashed and burned.

    And I do in fact consider that those who have made a load of money do have a greater knowledge to impart – on money and market and business matters. By way of example, you could consider Oram vs Morgan. I dont know what Oram has made but my guess is probably not much. And in my opinion that comes across in his opinion. Compared to Morgan

    Aren’t opinions great …

  25. Matthew Pilott 25

    Gaynor’s growth predictions read like the prospective for a get rich quick scheme, if it takes only 2 years to add another $50 billion how many years before there is so much money in the fund that no one in New Zealand has to actually work anymore?

    Three years after we’ve nationalised everything, made a classless society and disbanded the armed forces for a People’s Militia.

    In Soviet New Zealand, money works for you!

  26. RedLogix 26

    Gaynor’s growth predictions read like the prospective for a get rich quick scheme,

    Australia’s Super scheme has over a trillion dollars in it; Norway invested huge amounts of it’s oil wealth, and so on. Gaynor stated that his estimates were deliberately conservative, but however you want to add the numbers up, New Zealand would have been hugely better off than the many billions in debt than it is now. Hell we might even still own one of our major banks.

    Rob’s decision to scupper that pioneering scheme has cost this country very, very dearly. It was a mistake we have all been paying for all our lives, and if Key repeats it, so will our children and grandchildren.

  27. Ed 27

    I think you have confused two different people both called Michael Littlewood. Only one of them thinks he is an expert on superannuation, and I would be horrified if that one was teaching law.

    Regarding contributions to the scheme, I thought it was anticipated that higher contributions would be made in a situation of surpluses than when the government was running a deficit – and that if the government wants to it can forgo contributions altogether. See Clause 44 of the New Zealand Superannuation and Retirement Income Act 2001 No 84 (as at 10 September 2008). If lower contributions are made the government does need to explain to the country what it is doing and the implications – that may not be palatable to the current government.

    The ‘superannuation’ Michael Littlewood has always been totally against any incentives for long terms savings – indeed for any savings at all – and since the removal of the (limited) tax deductions for superannuation contributions we have seen New Zealand savings drop consistently. I believe that the impact of small incentives has always produced a volume of savings that provides much larger benefits to the country than the cost of the incentives – Australia is a country that went directly contrary to the extreme right views of Michael Littlewood and has had a much better domestic source of capital than New Zealand – it shows our high percentage of overseas owned companies operating here.

    Given that National have committed to maintaining National Superannuation on its current basis it is important that we be sure that those commitments can be met as the number receiving them increases over the next 15 years or so. That might not be as newsworthy as Michael Littlewood’s extreme solutions, but it is important to many New Zealanders who now have little opportunity to save more for retirement.

  28. pk 28

    It’s interesting that no-one is actually talking numbers and harking back
    to Steve’s comment that it’s all about long term results

    The government borrows – this costs whatever the current Treasury rates are at the time – checking a couple of sites it’s about 6.5 % at the moment (and that’s a fairly typical rate) – it’s like the mortgage, pay it off and it’s a guaranteed return – so we can have a guaranteed return of 6.5% by paying off debt.

    The Cullen fund needs to beat this return – in order to make up for taking some risk it needs to beat it by a couple of percent – so it needs to return almost 10% – that’s a big return – Warren Buffet – arguably the world’s best investor has done about 13% compound p.a. (from memory, I’m too lazy to check the figures).

    So, the Cullen fund in good times is a bad idea!! As we always have debt, returns in booms generally return to the average (as per Steve’s graph) and frankly, getting such great returns on a long term basis is the exception, especially with such large amounts of money.

    Strangely though, for once it may be a good idea at this point in time as investing at the bottom of the market provides the best returns as Steve points out but ….

    – are we at the bottom of the market? No-one can predict the bottom
    – will we have a return of 10% or more?

    Though I think the Cullen fund was more of a political stunt than a decent investment approach I do think we “could’ lock in our losses if we close it off now. So, I’m not in favour of closing it off as a contrarian investment approach is very successful overall. But one can only take such a long term approach if one does not need the money now and that’s a big question do we need it now?

    My other concern about cashing in the savings and spending them right now is that this recession may have further to go keep the powder dry and something in reserve.

    FYI I’ve managed to invest, good job, frugal and all that, and up until the recent debacle was hitting about 15% p.a. returns easier with small amounts of money down to about 11% at the moment. I’ve even borrowed to invest and succeeded but it’s a very high risk strategy and only do it on <10% of my investments.

    Jasper loans being tax deductable is completely a red herring for the government as we then give up the tax revenue also doubling one’s money??? Extremely unlikely.

  29. Quoth the Raven 29

    Chess Player – Not Wall Street Analysts anyway. See here for why.

    vto – Has Morgan or Oram advised you on shares to buy lately have you made a bundle to snort cocaine off a model’s backside. I didn’t know Oram was an investment adviser now. Anyone here have their investments managed by Gareth Morgan’s company? Have you been making loads of cash the last few months? or are you holding out over the longterm? Point of this post.

  30. vidiot 30

    So I see both the Greens & ACT now both want to suspend payments to the Cullen fund. Never though I would ever seem those two agreeing on something.

  31. Pat 31

    Oh so confusing!

    Labour say keep making the contributions.
    Greens say stop them.
    United say keep them.
    ACT say stop them.
    National say they haven’t decided yet.
    Maori Party say they didn’t know the fund existed until yesterday, so they are gonna check out if they can put in a claim.

  32. Jasper 32

    Pk – I was responding to Billys point about “personally borrowing to invest in the sharemarket”

    Not saying that the government would claim tax back on interest – but we can if we borrow personally to invest in the sharemarket, as long as there is a taxable income stream, which there is through dividends and CGT on shares.

    Still, it’s complete idiocy to stop contributing. Regardless of how much further there is to fall, at best it’s probably another 10%, worst, 30%. Either way over a 15 year period, being the timeframe for the fund, returns will far outstrip any borrowings + interest on borrowings.

    • PK 32.1

      Jasper – on the borrowing side – sorry read it differently as you said “if WE borrowed”

      Disagree on the returns outstripping borrowings though – because if it did then everybody would be doing it – it’s incredibly risky and exceedingly unlikely to happen over a 15 year period. Shares return on average 2% over inflation in the long term – rates to borrow are normally > 2% more than inflation.

      But go do it and I’ll watch 🙂

  33. Rich 33

    You are of course assuming that the sharemarket will recover as has always happened in the past.

    At current prices, one would have to have invested an awfully long time ago (15-20 years) before a stock market investment beats a bank deposit.

    Right now there is a total loss of confidence in the market, which seems to have eclipsed any value in the actual companies as investments. It may be that stocks will never recover and a new model of financing business will be needed.

    Perhaps Labour need to think of what will happen if we go into the next election with the Dow at 5000 (versus 8000 or so today and 14000 at its peak).

    • Ed 33.1

      I believe that the investments of the fund should be left to the investment management team. Of far more importance than continuing contributions is not mucking about with the investments and for example using them to fund ‘think big’ favoured projects within New Zealand. I had thought that it was the response to such suggestions that initially at least led Phil Goff to ask the government that they be clear about their intentions for the Fund. Yes contributions are important, but at least some of the investmetns of the fund will be there for a long time – provided we realise that contributions not made this year need to be made up at some time int he future.

      Yes the investments of the fund were initially invested in very volatile assets – and we can all hope that the exposure to the American dollar has been reduced, and that exposure to speculative investments has also reduced. The fall in values that has occurred was of course not anticipated, but that does not invalidate the decision to invest to make our ability to meet the commitments to National Superannuation more certain. At any given time, I have a belief that long term investment will add value – certainly I would be uncomfortable with political promises to continue National Super without some assets having been set aside.

      The example given of dollar averaging tells a lot of the story – but the point of the fund is confidence in the ability (and poltical willingness) of future governments to pay National Superannuation – I am happier with the money there than being used to avoid borrowing for short term stimulus policies.

      I notice that Kiwiblog is conveniently focussing on the contributions, and not the need for clarity regarding all aspects of the Fund. It may be inconvenient of the government to have to explain what they would do to make up for a short contribution holiday – a bigger concern would be if they started using the fund for other purposes – even they would not know the long term effect of that.

  34. Roger 34

    Lack of NZ capital has been one of the reasons for our high level of overseas borrowings and indebtedness. The funds established by Kirk and later by Cullen are useful steps towards a more self-reliant economy. The Australians learned this lesson many years ago. Small economies need to have the added strength of significant domestic savings to help ride out the booms and busts of the global economy. Let’s not keep repeating the same mistake. If the government really feels compelled to temporarily suspend contributions to the Fund then so be it. But for goodness sake let’s not spend the retirement income of the next generation. Leave the Cullen Fund alone.

  35. Michael Littlewood 35

    For the record:

    1. I am not the other Michael Littlewood who is a senior lecturer in law at the University of Auckland. I am Co-director of the Retirement Policy and Research Centre at the Business School, having retired in 2008 from a career in financial services.

    2. I have not made a “career out of superannuation privatisation” though, until 1991, I did think that was a good idea. My 15 months on the first Todd Task Force convinced me that compulsory private provision was a bad idea and that tax incentives for private provision are an even worse idea. That, in each case, is because they don’t work.

    3. I think New Zealand Superannuation is one of the best Tier 1 schemes in the world but that we need to start a debate now as to whether it is the best way of delivering retirement incomes from, say, 2030 onwards. The fact that I am reasonably content to see something in excess of 6% of GDP go to pensioners from taxation scarcely makes me an “extreme right winger”.

    4. The New Zealand Superannuation Fund will not change the cost of New Zealand Superannuation by $1 but will slightly rearrange the incidence of that cost. What really matters is the future strength of the New Zealand economy. The NZSF is a relative sideshow in that regard, even if it reaches the expected $60 billion or so.

    5. If it’s a good idea to borrow $2 billion to put into the NZSF in 2009/10, why don’t we borrow $40 billion and really do a job on it? If that doesn’t sound sensible then perhaps we need to start thinking about the $2 billion for the coming year. Borrowing to invest in sharemarkets isn’t a sensible idea for savers – neither is it a great idea for governments.

    6. PensionReforms is not “an international organisation … dedicated to the privatisation of superannuation.” http://www.PensionReforms.com is in fact a web site run out of the University of Auckland and of which I am the principal editor. It is dedicated to the promotion of quality research on pension issues from around the world. If I had to sum up the lens through which PensionReforms looks at this research, it would be a generous, universal, non means-tested, Tier 1 pension, no compulsory private provision, no tax breaks for private provision and high quality information that will let citizens decide for themselves how to save further amounts for retirement. That doesn’t sound like the right wing conspiracy suggested by the author of that comment.

    7. What I really want is for New Zealand to start a research-based discussion on what both public and private provision (including KiwiSaver) might look like in 2020 and beyond. We have never had such a debate. Instead, we were rushed into both the NZSF and KiwiSaver by a government that thought it knew better what to do with my tax money than I did. I do not want to see that proposed discussion rushed; worse, I do not want to see the government make unilateral decisions. We should at least have learned that those kinds of decisions are unlikely to survive. On that, New Zealand probably has the best experience of any country.

    8. Finally, I do not call myself an “expert on superannuation”. Over the last 35 years or so, I have learned a few things and have changed my mind from time to time when new evidence convinces me I was wrong about something. I can’t stop other people from describing me as they choose.

  36. Felix 36

    5. If it’s a good idea to borrow $2 billion to put into the NZSF in 2009/10, why don’t we borrow $40 billion and really do a job on it? If that doesn’t sound sensible then perhaps we need to start thinking about the $2 billion for the coming year.

    Sorry, fucking what??

    When I borrow money I have to calculate the amount I can afford to pay to service the debt. Is this not a factor in this case for some reason?

  37. RedLogix 37

    Michael,

    Well done for posting here and attempting to back your ideas.

    Instead, we were rushed into both the NZSF and KiwiSaver by a government that thought it knew better what to do with my tax money than I did.

    Oops sounds like a classic right wing talking point, but I’ll take it on face value. The problem is that until very recently the savings rate in this country was appallingly low, we treated our homes like ATM machines, racked up hundreds of billions of debt, and spent about $1.13 for every $1 we earnt.

    Arguably Michael Cullen was merely trying to do the saving for us as a nation, that we had demonstrably failed to do for ourselves. Maybe he really DID know what to do with our tax money better than we do ourselves.

    That is the whole point of government when you think about it.

    Felix;

    Fair point, but manners…tsk tsk.

  38. Matthew Pilott 38

    7. What I really want is for New Zealand to start a research-based discussion on what both public and private provision (including KiwiSaver) might look like in 2020 and beyond. We have never had such a debate. Instead, we were rushed into both the NZSF and KiwiSaver by a government that thought it knew better what to do with my tax money than I did.

    Don’t take it so personally, Mr Littlewood, Kiwisaver wasn’t set up exclusively for you. It was actually set up for NZ as a whole, due to our awful savings culture. Seems to have turned it around nicely. The decision wasn’t made to benefit you, and individually and in the short term, it may have affected you negatively.

    That’s fairly inevitable when a government makes any decision. If it’s better for society in the long term (and let’s be clear – what has been done clearly falls into that category) then it will also probably be better for you in the long term, whether you continue to gripe about your short term loss or not.

    Redlogix – interesting we both saw the same in the same point there…

    • Michael Littlewood 38.1

      Matthew

      Were you aware that most (about two thirds) of New Zealanders were saving enough or more than enough for retirement (before KiwiSaver)? If you go to http://www.PensionReforms.com, then to the Search & options tab and select “New Zealand” as the country, you will find several academic studies that back me up on that.

      I would therefore like to understand what your evidence is for “our awful savings culture”. You mustn’t cite the CAD in this regard (what Michael Cullen used to do) – it says nothing about New Zealanders’ retirement saving habits, something KiwiSaver is supposed to fix. Again, there is an NZIER report listed on PensionReforms that explains this point.

      You needn’t worry about me and KiwiSaver – I joined on day 1, not because I agree with the idea but because I know I will get more out of it than I put in, thanks in part to you. I just can’t resist the temptation of ‘free’ money but I still think it’s a bad piece of public policy – a ‘solution’ looking for a problem to solve.

      You say that KiwiSaver falls clearly into the category of being better for society. The best evidence we have so far is that about 81 cents of every dollar put into KiwiSaver is in fact savings shifted from another place, not ‘new’ money (once again, there is a report on PensionReforms about that). That’s what happens when a partcular savings behaviour is incentivised. Again, there is any amount of international evidence on that point – choose “Taxation” as the topic sort on PensionReforms to see that.

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    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    8 hours ago
  • Rage Bait!
    Hi,Today’s newsletter is all about how easy it is to get sucked into “rage bait” online, and how easy it is to get played.But first I wanted to share something that elicited the exact opposite of rage in me — something that made me feel incredibly proud, whilst also making ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    8 hours ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Friday, June 14
    Seymour said lower speed limits “drained the joy from life as people were forced to follow rules they knew made no sense.” File Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Friday, June 14 were:The National/ACT/NZ First ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    9 hours ago
  • Friendly but frank talks with China Premier
    It sounded like the best word to describe yesterday’s talks between Chinese Premier Li Qiang and his heavyweight delegation of Ministers and officials and Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and New Zealand Ministers and officials was “frank.” But it was the kind of frankness that friends can indulge in. It ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    10 hours ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #24 2024
    Open access notables Wildfire smoke impacts lake ecosystems, Farruggia et al., Global Change Biology: We introduce the concept of the lake smoke-day, or the number of days any given lake is exposed to smoke in any given fire season, and quantify the total lake smoke-day exposure in North America from 2019 ...
    20 hours ago
  • Geoffrey Miller: China’s message to New Zealand – don’t put it all at risk
    Don’t put it all at risk. That’s likely to be the take-home message for New Zealand Prime Minister Christopher Luxon in his meetings with Li Qiang, the Chinese Premier. Li’s visit to Wellington this week is the highest-ranking visit by a Chinese official since 2017. The trip down under – ...
    Democracy ProjectBy Geoffrey Miller
    23 hours ago
  • The Real Thing
    I know the feelingIt is the real thingThe essence of the soulThe perfect momentThat golden momentI know you feel it tooI know the feelingIt is the real thingYou can't refuse the embraceNo?Sometimes we face the things we most dislike. A phobia or fear that must be confronted so it doesn’t ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 day ago
  • Gordon Campbell on how moderates empower the political right
    Struth, what a week. Having made sure the rural sector won’t have to pay any time soon for its pollution, PM Christopher Luxon yesterday chose Fieldays 2024 to launch a parliamentary inquiry into rural banking services, to see how the banks have been treating farmers faced with high interest rates. ...
    1 day ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Thursday, June 13
    In April, 17,656 people left Aotearoa-NZ to live overseas, averaging 588 a day, with just over half of those likely to have gone to Australia. Photo: Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Thursday, June 13 ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 day ago
  • Our guide to having your say on the draft RLTP 2024
    Auckland’s draft Regional Land Transport Plan (RLTP) 2024 is open for feedback – and you only have until Monday 17 June to submit. Do it! Join the thousands of Aucklanders who are speaking up for wise strategic investment that will dig us out of traffic and give us easy and ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    1 day ago
  • The China puzzle
    Chinese Premier Li Qiang arrives in Wellington today for a three-day visit to the country. The visit will take place amid uncertainty about the future of the New Zealand-China relationship. Li hosted a formal welcome and then lunch for then-Prime Minister Chris Hipkins in Beijing a year ago. The pair ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 day ago
  • Fossil fuels are shredding our democracy
    This is a re-post of an article from the Climate Brink by Andrew Dessler published on June 3, 2024. I have an oped in the New York Times (gift link) about this. For a long time, a common refrain about the energy transition was that renewable energy needed to become ...
    2 days ago
  • Life at 20 kilometres an hour
    We are still in France, getting from A to B.Possibly for only another week, though; Switzerland and Germany are looming now. On we pedal, towards Budapest, at about 20 km per hour.What are are mostly doing is inhaling a country, loving its ways and its food. Rolling, talking, quietly thinking. ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    2 days ago
  • Hipkins is still useless
    The big problem with the last Labour government was that they were chickenshits who did nothing with the absolute majority we had given them. They governed as if they were scared of their own shadows, afraid of making decisions lest it upset someone - usually someone who would never have ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Exercising with the IDF.
    This morning I did something I seldom do, I looked at the Twitter newsfeed. Normally I take the approach of something that I’m not sure is an American urban legend, or genuinely something kids do over there. The infamous bag of dog poo on the front porch, set it on ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    2 days ago
  • Helm Hammerhand Anime: First Pictures and an Old English ‘Hera’
    We have some news on the upcoming War of the Rohirrim anime. It will apparently be two and a half hours in length, with Peter Jackson as Executive Producer, and Helm’s daughter Hera will be the main character. Also, pictures: The bloke in the middle picture is Freca’s ...
    2 days ago
  • Farmers get free pass on climate AND get subsidies
    The cows will keep burping and farting and climate change will keep accelerating - but farmers can stop worrying about being included in the ETS. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Wednesday, June 12 were:The ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 days ago
  • Six ideas to secure Te Huia’s Future
    This is a guest post by our friend Darren Davis. It originally appeared on his excellent blog, Adventures in Transitland, which features “musings about public transport and other cool stuff in Aotearoa/ New Zealand and around the globe.” With Te Huia now having funding secure through to 2026, now is ...
    Greater AucklandBy Darren Davis
    2 days ago
  • The methane waka sinks
    In some ways, there may be less than meets the eye to the Government announcement yesterday that the He Waka Eke Noa proposal for farmers to pay for greenhouse gas emissions has been scrapped. The spectre of farmers still having to pay at some point in the future remains. That, ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    2 days ago
  • At a glance – Does positive feedback necessarily mean runaway warming?
    On February 14, 2023 we announced our Rebuttal Update Project. This included an ask for feedback about the added "At a glance" section in the updated basic rebuttal versions. This weekly blog post series highlights this new section of one of the updated basic rebuttal versions and serves as a ...
    3 days ago
  • Climate Change: Farmers get what they wanted – for now
    Since entering office, National has unravelled practically every climate policy, leaving us with no effective way of reducing emissions or meeting our emissions budgets beyond magical thinking around the ETS. And today they've announced another step: removing agriculture entirely. At present, following the complete failure of he waka eka noa, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Presumed Innocent?
    The blue billionaireDistraction no interactionOr movement outside these glazed over eyesThe new great divideFew fight the tide to be glorifiedBut will he be satisfied?Can we accept this without zoom?The elephant in the roomNot much happens in politics on a Monday. Bugger all in fact. Although yesterday Christopher Luxon found he ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    3 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on our doomed love affair with oil and gas
    What if New Zealand threw a fossil fuel party, and nobody came? On the weekend, Resources Minister Shane Jones sent out the invitations and strung up the balloons, but will anyone really want to invest big time in resuming oil and gas exploration in our corner of the planet? Yes, ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    3 days ago
  • Building better housing insights
    This is a guest post by Meredith Dale, senior urban designer and strategist at The Urban Advisory. There’s a saying that goes something like: ‘what you measure is what you value’. An RNZ article last week claimed that Auckland was ‘hurting’ because of a more affordable supply of homes, particularly townhouses ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    3 days ago
  • Putin would be proud of them
    A Prime Minister directs his public service to inquire into the actions of the opposition political party which is his harshest critic. Something from Orban's Hungary, or Putin's Russia? No, its happening right here in Aotearoa: Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has announced the Public Service Commission will launch an ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Resources for debunking common solar and wind myths
    This is a repost from a Yale Climate Connections article by SueEllen Campbell published on June 3, 2024. The articles listed can help you tell fact from fiction when it comes to solar and wind energy. Some statements you hear about solar and wind energy are just plain false. ...
    4 days ago
  • Juggernaut
    Politics were going on all around us yesterday, and we barely noticed, rolling along canal paths, eating baguettes. It wasn’t until my mate got to the headlines last night that we learned there had been a dismayingly strong far right result in the EU elections and Macron had called a ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    4 days ago
  • Numbers Game.
    Respect Existence, Or Expect Resistance? There may well have been 50,000 pairs of feet “Marching For Nature” down Auckland’s Queen Street on Saturday afternoon, but the figure that impresses the Coalition Government is the 1,450,000 pairs of Auckland feet that were somewhere else.IN THE ERA OF DRONES and Artificial Intelligence, ...
    4 days ago
  • Media Link: AVFA on post-colonial blowback.
    Selwyn Manning and I discuss varieties of post colonial blowback and the implications its has for the rise of the Global South. Counties discussed include Palestine/Israel, France/New Caledonia, England/India, apartheid/post-apartheid South Africa and post-colonial New Zealand. It is a bit … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    4 days ago
  • Policy by panic
    Back in March, Ombudsman Peter Boshier resigned when he hit the statutory retirement age of 72, leaving the country in the awkward (and legally questionable) position of having him continue as a temporay appointee. It apparently took the entire political system by surprise - as evinced by Labour's dick move ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • PSA: NZ's Richest Company, Zuru, Sucks
    Hi,Today the New Zealand press is breathlessly reporting that the owners of toy company Zuru are officially New Zealand’s wealthiest people: Mat and Nick Mowbray worth an estimated $20 billion between them.While the New Zealand press loses its shit celebrating this Kiwi success story, this is a Webworm reminder that ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    4 days ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Monday, June 10
    TL;DR: The six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty in the past day to 8:36 pm on Monday, June 10 were:20,000 protested against the Fast-track approval bill on Saturday in Auckland, but PM Christopher Luxon says ‘sorry, but not sorry’ about the need for ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • In Defence of Kāinga Ora
    Given the headlines around the recent findings of the ‘independent’ review of Kāinga Ora by Bill English, you might assume this post will be about social housing, Kāinga Ora’s most prominent role. While that is indeed something that requires defending, I want to talk about the other core purpose of ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    4 days ago
  • Baby You're A Rich Man
    “How does it feel to beOne of the beautiful peopleNow that you know who you areWhat do you want to beAnd have you traveled very far?Far as the eye can see”Yesterday the ACT party faithful were regaled with craven boasts, sneers, and demands for even more at their annual rally.That ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    4 days ago
  • Stopping a future Labour government from shutting down gas exploration
    A defiant Resources Minister Shane Jones has responded to Saturday’s environmental protests by ending Labour’s offshore oil exploration ban and calling for long-term contracts with any successful explorers. The purpose would be to prevent a future Labour Government from reversing any licence the explorers might hold. Jones sees a precedent ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    4 days ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #23
    A listing of 32 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, June 2, 2024 thru Sat, June 8, 2024. Story of the week Our Story of the Week is Yale Climate Connection's Resources for debunking common solar and wind myths, by ...
    5 days ago
  • Fission by the river
    This is where we ate our lunch last Wednesday. Never mind your châteaux and castles and whatnot, we like to enjoy a baguette in the shadow of a nuclear power plant; a station that puts out more than twice as much as Manapouri using nothing more than tiny atoms to bring ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    5 days ago
  • Fact Brief – Is the ocean acidifying?
    Skeptical Science is partnering with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. This fact brief was written by John Mason in collaboration with members from the Gigafact team. You can submit claims you think need checking via the tipline. Is the ocean acidifying? Acidification of oceans ...
    6 days ago
  • 20,000+ on Queen St.
    The largest protest I ever went on was in the mid 90s. There were 10,000 people there that day, and I’ve never forgotten it. An enormous mass of people, chanting together. Stretching block after block, bringing traffic to a halt.But I can’t say that’s the biggest protest I’ve ever been ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • Josh Drummond's Columns
    Hi there,I wanted to put all of Josh Drummond’s Webworm pieces all in one place. I love that he writes for Webworm — and all of these are a good read!David.Why Are So Many “Christians” Hellbent on Being Horrible?Why do so many objectively hideous people declare themselves “Christian”?Meeting the Master ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    6 days ago
  • Bernard’s Saturday soliloquy and weekend Pick ‘n’ Mix for June 8/9
    Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: On reflection, the six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty this week were:The Government-driven freeze in building new classrooms, local roads and water networks in order to save cash for tax cuts is frustrating communities facing massive population ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • The no-vision thing
    Hello! Here comes the Saturday edition of More Than A Feilding, catching you up on the past somewhat interrupted week. Still on the move!Share Read more ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    6 days ago
  • When Journalists are Disingenuous
    Hi,One of the things I like the most about Webworm is to be able to break down the media and journalism a little, and go behind the scenes.This is one of those times.Yesterday an email arrived in my inbox from journalist Jonathan Milne, who is managing editor at Newsroom.I don’t ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    6 days ago
  • Me, elsewhere: Just say you’ll do the thing
    Wrote something over at 1/200 on a familiar theme of mine: The way we frame the economy as a separate, sacred force which must be sacrificed to, the way we talk about criminals as invaders who must be repelled, the constant othering of people on the benefit, people not in ...
    Boots TheoryBy Stephanie Rodgers
    7 days ago
  • A Voyage Among the Vandals: Accepted
    A nice bit of news today: my 4600-word historical fantasy-horror piece, A Voyage Among the Vandals, has been accepted by Phobica Books (https://www.phobicabooks.co.uk/books) for their upcoming Pirate Horror anthology, Shivering Timbers. This one is set in the Mediterranean, during the mid-fifth century AD. Notable for having one of history’s designated ...
    7 days ago
  • Ministerial conflicts of interest
    Since the National government came to power, it has been surrounded by allegations of conflicts of interest. Firstly, there's the fast-track law, which concentrates power in the hands of three Ministers, some of whom have received donations from companies whose projects they will be deciding on. Secondly, there's the close ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • The 2024 Budget Forecasts Are Gloomy Prognosis About The Next Three Years.
    There was no less razzamatazz about the 2024 Budget than about earlier ones. Once again the underlying economic analysis got lost. It deserves more attention.Just to remind you, the Budget Economic and Fiscal Update (BEFU), is the Treasury’s independent assessment and so can be analysed by other competent economists (although ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    7 days ago
  • A government that can't see twenty feet ahead
    There are two failings that consistently characterise a National government. One is a lack of imagination, the other is their willingness to look after their mates, no matter what harm it might do to everyone else.This is how we come to have thousands of enormous trucks carving up our roads. ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • A post I hope is incorrect
    In May, we learned that National MP David MacLeod had "forgotten" to declare $178,000 in electoral donations. Filing a donation return which is false in any material particular is a crime, and the Electoral Commission has now referred MacLeod to police, since they're the only people who are allowed to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Māori Cannot Re-Write New Zealand’s Constitution By Stealth.
    The Kotahitanga Parliament 1897: A Māori Parliament – at least in the guise of a large and representative body dedicated to describing the shape of New Zealand’s future from a Māori perspective – would be a very good idea.THE DEMAND for a “Māori Parliament” needs to be carefully unpicked. Some Pakeha, ...
    1 week ago
  • Cowpats and Colonials.
    Dumbtown, is how my friend Gerard refers to people like ZB listeners - he’s not wrong.Normally on a Friday I start by looking at Mike Hosking’s moronic reckons of the week which he vomits down the throats of his audience like helpless baby birds in a nest, grateful for the ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Gordon Campbell on cutting the sick leave of vulnerable workers
    Should sick leave be part and parcel of the working conditions from Day One on the job, just like every other health and safety provision? Or should access to sick leave be something that only gradually accumulates, depending on how long a worker has been on the payroll? If enacted ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    1 week ago
  • Nobody Move: Ageing Boomers, Laurie & Les, Talk Politics.
    So long as we live in a democracy, economic policy can never be anything other than social-democratic.“HEH!”, snorted Laurie, as he waved his debit card over the EFTPOS machine. “Same price as last week. I guess budgets aren’t what they used to be.”“I wouldn’t know,” replied the young barman, wearily, ...
    1 week ago
  • In Search Of Unity.
    Kotahitanga: New Zealand’s future belongs to those who do not fear a nation carved out of unity and solidarity, and are willing to trust the carvers. Some New Zealanders will be required to step up, and others, perhaps for the first time in their lives, will be expected to step ...
    1 week ago
  • Weekly Roundup 7-June-2024
    Welcome to another Friday roundup! Here are some recent links and stories that caught our eye, perfectly timed for your watercooler discussions and weekend reading. As always feel free to share more in the comments. Our header image this week is by Patrick Reynolds, and shows Te Komititanga from above. ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    1 week ago
  • The Hoon around the week to June 7
    As Workplace Relations and Safety Minister, ACT’s Brooke van Velden is fronting proposed changes to sick pay regulations and The Holiday Act. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The podcast above of the weekly ‘hoon’ webinar for paying subscribers features talking with:The Kākā’s climate correspondent talking about the ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Did we boil the oceans by cutting pollution?
    Lowering aerosol emissions from shipping has altered clouds, with potentially drastic effects. Photo: Getty ImagesTL;DR: Here’s the top six news items of note in climate news for Aotearoa-NZ this week, and a discussion above between Bernard Hickey and The Kākā’s climate correspondent Cathrine Dyer:New evidence is increasingly pointing at efforts ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #23 2024
    Open access notables Abrupt reduction in shipping emission as an inadvertent geoengineering termination shock produces substantial radiative warming, Yuan et al., Communications Earth & Environment: Human activities affect the Earth’s climate through modifying the composition of the atmosphere, which then creates radiative forcing that drives climate change. The warming effect ...
    1 week ago
  • Fragments
    The best observation I’ve read this week about the deep, profound harm Trump is doingTrump has hurled threats and smears at witnesses, jurors and the judge (including his family)... [he] has tried to intimidate witnesses and delegitimize the New York courts as corrupt. In continuing to incite his mob (that ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • March for Nature
    Do do do do do do do doDo do do do do doDi di di di di di di di di di diNature enter me…In 2018 the Labour lead government banned new oil and gas exploration in Aotearoa. A change welcomed by those who care deeply for our environment and ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Bernard’s Dawn Chorus and pick ‘n’ mix for Thursday, June 6
    The Transport Minister is trying to push through urgent legislation that would allow him to change emissions standards for car imports without approval from Parliament, after only consulting car importers. Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: Just as two major reports showed fossil fuel burning was warming the planet to dangerous levels and ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • A Better Broadway: Act 2
    This is a guest post by reader Grant A, the second of a pair about how to fix Broadway. If you missed the beginning of the show, here’s the link to Act 1 from yesterday. Yesterday, I discussed changing traffic circulation around Broadway in Newmarket. This included implementing a car-free ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    1 week ago
  • National breaks another health promise
    National has broken another manifesto health promise, apparently to save only $550,000. It will now train an additional 25 med students next year rather than the 50 it promised. This comes on top of the delays caused by National’s coalition partners in pushing ahead with the Waikato Medical School and ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • Climate Adam: Coping as the world’s best known climate scientist
    This video includes conclusions of the creator climate scientist Dr. Adam Levy. It is presented to our readers as an informed perspective. Please see video description for references (if any). Katharine Hayhoe is quite possibly the world's most famous climate scientist. She's produced wide ranging research, and communicated climate change with ...
    1 week ago
  • SIS “evidence” isn’t, again
    Back in 2016, then-Internal Affairs Minister Peter Dunne cancelled a New Zealand woman's passport, claiming she was a terrorist. The basis for his decision was a secret briefing by the SIS, which claimed that if she was allowed to travel, the woman would "engage with individuals who encourage acts of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • As Low As You Go
    Taking you as low as you goAs low as you goA sense of Déjà vu this morning. How many times have I begun a newsletter, “just when you thought they couldn’t go any lower…” Only for the groundhog to reappear, more pissed off than the day before.Another day with headlines ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Wednesday June 5
    TL;DR: The public health costs of human-caused air pollution in Aotearoa-NZ is estimated at $38.8 billion a year because it kills 3,300 people each year, which is almost ten times more than the death toll on roads from accidents. Yet the Ministry for the Environment has just one staff member ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • A Better Broadway: Act 1
    This is the first of a two-part guest post by Grant A, a long time reader and commenter with a keen interest in all things urban, especially cycling and public transport. He’s been thinking about how to fix Broadway. Stay tuned for Act 2! Readers might remember the pre-Christmas traffic snarl-ups in ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    1 week ago
  • Road trance
    Sometimes technology is your friend and sometimes it can’t be bothered with you. Once you’re away from home and your dependable wifi, well, there’s no telling what will happen. I’ve been going in and out of high-speed and low-speed no-speed Internet pockets all over England and France and look, I’m ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • You Can't Undo Fake News
    Hi,I’ve been thinking a lot about Corey Harris, the 44-year old man who went viral after Zooming into his court appearance while driving. The headlines generated were basically all the same: “Man With Suspended Driver's License Dials Into Court Hearing While Driving”. The headlines said it all, and most people ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago

  • Government delivers landmark specialist schools investment
    The coalition Government is delivering record levels of targeted investment in specialist schools so children with additional needs can thrive. As part of Budget 24, $89 million has been ringfenced to redevelop specialist facilities and increase satellite classrooms for students with high needs. This includes: $63 million in depreciation funding ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • Major health and safety consultation begins
    A substantial consultation on work health and safety will begin today with a roadshow across the regions over the coming months, says Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Brooke van Velden.  This the first step to deliver on the commitment to reforming health and safety law and regulations, set out in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • Growing the potential of New Zealand’s forestry sector in partnership
    Forestry Minister Todd McClay, today announced the start of the Government’s plan to restore certainty and confidence in the forestry and wood processing sector. “This government will drive investment to unlock the industry’s economic potential for growth,” Mr McClay says. “Forestry’s success is critical to rebuilding New Zealand’s economy, boosting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • Government cancels forestry ETS annual service charges for 2023-24
    Annual service charges in the forestry Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) will be cancelled for 2023/24, Forestry Minister Todd McClay says. “The sector has told me the costs imposed on forestry owners by the previous government were excessive and unreasonable and I agree,” Mr McClay says. “They have said that there ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • Speech to the LGNZ Infrastructure Symposium
    Introduction Thank you for having me here today and welcome to Wellington, the home of the Hurricanes, the next Super Rugby champions. Infrastructure – the challenge This government has inherited a series of big challenges in infrastructure. I don’t need to tell an audience as smart as this one that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • Government boosts Agriculture and food trade with China
    Trade and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard welcomed outcomes to boost agricultural and food trade between New Zealand and China. A number of documents were signed today at Government House that will improve the business environment between New Zealand and China, and help reduce barriers, including on infant formula ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • NZ and China launch Services Trade Negotiations
    Trade Minister Todd McClay, and China’s Commerce Minister Wang Wentao, today announced the official launch of Negotiations on Services Trade between the two countries.  “The Government is focused on opening doors for services exporters to grow the New Zealand’s economy,” Mr McClay says.  As part of the 2022 New Zealand-China Free Trade Agreement Upgrade ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • Prime Minister Luxon meets with Premier Li
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon met with Chinese Premier Li Qiang at Government House in Wellington today.  “I was pleased to welcome Premier Li to Wellington for his first official visit, which marks 10 years since New Zealand and China established a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership,” Mr Luxon says. “The Premier and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • Government and business tackling gender pay gap
    The coalition Government is taking action to reduce the gender pay gap in New Zealand through the development of a voluntary calculation tool. “Gender pay gaps have impacted women for decades, which is why we need to continue to drive change in New Zealand,” Acting Minister for Women Louise Upston ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    24 hours ago
  • Funding Boost for Rural Support Trusts
    The coalition Government is boosting funding for Rural Support Trusts to provide more help to farmers and growers under pressure, Rural Communities Minister Mark Patterson announced today. “A strong and thriving agricultural sector is crucial to the New Zealand economy and one of the ways to support it is to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Latest data shows size of public service decreasing
    Spending on contractors and consultants continues to fall and the size of the Public Service workforce has started to decrease after years of growth, according to the latest data released today by the Public Service Commission. Workforce data for the quarter from 31 December 23 to 31 March 24 shows ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Speech to the Law Association
    Thank you to the Law Association for inviting me to speak this morning. As a former president under its previous name — the Auckland District Law Society — I take particular satisfaction in seeing this organisation, and its members, in such good heart. As Attorney-General, I am grateful for these ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • 25 years on, NZ reaffirms enduring friendship with Timor Leste
    New Zealand is committed to working closely with Timor-Leste to support its prosperity and resilience, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “This year is the 25th anniversary of New Zealand sending peacekeepers to Timor-Leste, who contributed to the country’s stabilisation and ultimately its independence,” Mr Peters says.    “A quarter ...
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    1 day ago
  • Inquiry requested into rural banking
    Promoting robust competition in the banking sector is vital to rebuilding the economy, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  “New Zealanders deserve a banking sector that is as competitive as possible. Banking services play an important role in our communities and in the economy. Kiwis rely on access to lending when ...
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    1 day ago
  • Ministry for Regulation targets red tape to keep farmers and growers competitive
    Regulation Minister David Seymour, Environment Minister Penny Simmonds, and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard have today announced a regulatory sector review on the approval process for new agricultural and horticultural products.    “Red tape stops farmers and growers from getting access to products that have been approved by other OECD countries. ...
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    1 day ago
  • Government to reverse blanket speed limit reductions
    The Coalition Government will reverse Labour’s blanket speed limit reductions by 1 July 2025 through a new Land Transport Rule released for public consultation today, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  The draft speed limit rule will deliver on the National-ACT coalition commitment to reverse the previous government’s blanket speed limit ...
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    1 day ago
  • Chair appointments for NZSO, CNZ and NZ On Air
    Minister Paul Goldsmith is making major leadership changes within both his Arts and Media portfolios. “I am delighted to announce Carmel Walsh will be officially stepping into the role of Chair of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, having been acting Chair since April,” Arts Minister Paul Goldsmith says.  “Carmel is ...
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    1 day ago
  • Government focus on long-term food, fibre growth
    Food and fibre export revenue is tipped to reach $54.6 billion this year and hit a record $66.6b in 2028 as the Government focuses on getting better access to markets and cutting red tape, Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones say. “This achievement is testament ...
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    1 day ago
  • Govt consulting on cutting red tape for exporters
    A new export exemption proposal for food businesses demonstrates the coalition Government’s commitment to reducing regulatory barriers for industry and increasing the value of New Zealand exports, which gets safe New Zealand food to more markets, says Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard.  “The coalition Government has listened to the concerns ...
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    2 days ago
  • New Zealand and Philippines elevating relationship
    New Zealand and Philippines are continuing to elevate our relationship, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “The leaders of New Zealand and Philippines agreed in April 2024 to lift our relationship to a Comprehensive Partnership by 2026,” Mr Peters says. “Our visit to Manila this week has been an excellent ...
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    3 days ago
  • Paid Parental Leave increase to help families
    Workplace Relations and Safety Minister, Brooke van Velden says paid parental leave increase from 1 July will put more money in the pockets of Kiwi parents and give them extra support as they take precious time off to bond with their newborns. The increase takes effect from 1 July 2024 ...
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    3 days ago
  • Defence increases UN Command commitment
    The number of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel deployed to the Republic of Korea is increasing, Defence Minister Judith Collins and Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today.  NZDF will deploy up to 41 additional personnel to the Republic of Korea, increasing the size of its contribution to the United ...
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    3 days ago
  • New Zealand to attend 'Summit on Peace in Ukraine' in Switzerland
    New Zealand will be represented at the Summit on Peace in Ukraine by Minister Mark Mitchell in Switzerland later this week.    “New Zealand strongly supports Ukraine’s efforts to build a comprehensive, just, and lasting peace,” Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “Minister Mitchell is a senior Cabinet Minister and ...
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    3 days ago
  • Big step forward for M.bovis programme
    Farmers’ hard work is paying off in the fight against Mycoplasma bovis (M. bovis) with the move to a national pest management plan marking strong progress in the eradication effort, says Biosecurity Minister Andrew Hoggard.  “The plan, approved by the Coalition Government, was proposed by the programme partners DairyNZ, Beef ...
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    3 days ago
  • Build To Rent opening welcomed by Housing Minister
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and Housing Minister Chris Bishop formally opened a new Build to Rent development in Mt Wellington this morning. “The Prime Minister and I were honoured to cut the ribbon of Resido, New Zealand’s largest Build to Rent development to date.  “Build to Rent housing, like the ...
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    3 days ago
  • Agriculture to come out of the ETS
    The Government will deliver on its election commitment to take agriculture out of the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme (NZ ETS) and will establish a new Pastoral Sector Group to constructively tackle biogenic methane, Coalition Government Agriculture and Climate Change Ministers say. Agriculture Minister Todd McClay says New Zealand farmers ...
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    3 days ago
  • Luxon Tokyo-bound for political and business visit
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon will travel to Japan from 16-20 June, his first visit as Prime Minister.   “Japan is incredibly important to New Zealand's prosperity. It is the world’s fourth largest economy, and our fourth largest export destination.  “As you know, growing the economy is my number one priority. A strong economy means ...
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    4 days ago
  • Bayly travels to Singapore for scam prevention meetings
    Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Andrew Bayly, travels to Singapore today to attend scam and fraud prevention meetings. “Scams are a growing international problem, and we are not immune in New Zealand. Organised criminal networks operate across borders, and we need to work with our Asia-Pacific partners to tackle ...
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    4 days ago
  • More help for homeowners impacted by severe weather
    People who were displaced by severe weather events in 2022 and 2023 will be supported by the extension of Temporary Accommodation Assistance through to 30 June 2025. Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says the coalition Government is continuing to help to those who were forced out of their ...
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    5 days ago
  • Government to reverse oil and gas exploration ban
    Removing the ban on petroleum exploration beyond onshore Taranaki is part of a suite of proposed amendments to the Crown Minerals Act to deal with the energy security challenges posed by rapidly declining natural gas reserves, Resources Minister Shane Jones says. “Natural gas is critical to keeping our lights on ...
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    5 days ago
  • New Zealand and Malaysia to intensify connections
    New Zealand and Malaysia intend to intensify their long-standing, deep connections, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.    “Malaysia is one of New Zealand’s oldest friends in South-East Asia – and both countries intend to get more out of the relationship," Mr Peters says.   "Our connections already run deep and ...
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    6 days ago
  • Ending contracted emergency housing motels in Rotorua
    The end of Contracted Emergency Housing (CEH) motels in Rotorua is nearing another milestone as the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announces it will not renew consents for six of the original 13 motels, Associate Housing Minister Tama Potaka says. The government is committed to stop using CEH ...
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    6 days ago
  • First Home Grant closure exemptions
    The Government is providing a narrow exemption from the discontinuation of the First Home Grant for first home buyers who may face unfair situations as a result, Housing Minister Chris Bishop says. “The First Home Grant scheme was closed with immediate effect on 22 May 2024, with savings being reprioritised ...
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    7 days ago
  • Faster consenting for flood protection projects in Hawke's Bay
    Work to increase flood resilience in Hawke’s Bay can start sooner, thanks to a new fast consenting process, Minister for Emergency Management and Recovery Mark Mitchell and Environment Minister Penny Simmonds say.  “Faster consenting means work to build stop banks, spillways and other infrastructure can get underway sooner, increasing flood ...
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    7 days ago
  • Judge Craig Coxhead and Nathan Milner newest Māori Land Court appointments
    Tangata tū tangata ora, tangata noho tangata mate. Minister for Māori Development Tama Potaka today announced acting Deputy Chief Judge Craig Coxhead as the new Deputy Chief Judge, and Nathan Milner as Judge of the Māori Land Court. "I want to congratulate Judge Coxhead and Mr Milner on their appointments ...
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    1 week ago
  • Government signs Indo-Pacific Economic agreements to boost trade
    Trade Minister Todd McClay and Climate Change Minister Simon Watts, today signed three Indo Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) agreements that will boost investment, grow New Zealand’s digital and green economies and increase trade between New Zealand and the 14 IPEF partners. IPEF’s partners represent 40 per cent of global GDP ...
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    1 week ago
  • Government signs Indo-Pacific Economic agreements to boost trade and cooperation
    Trade Minister Todd McClay and Climate Change Minister Simon Watts, today signed three Indo Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) agreements that will boost investment, grow New Zealand’s digital and green economies and increase trade between New Zealand and the 14 IPEF partners. IPEF’s partners represent 40 per cent of global GDP ...
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    1 week ago
  • Visit to Viet Nam strengthens ties
    New Zealand and Viet Nam are focused on strengthening cooperation by making progress on mutually beneficial opportunities, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says. “Viet Nam matters enormously to New Zealand," Mr Peters says. "Our countries enjoy broad cooperation, in such areas as defence, security, trade, education and tourism. We are ...
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    1 week ago
  • Government delivers funding boost to fix potholes
    The Coalition Government is delivering on its commitment to boost funding for pothole prevention, with indicative funding levels confirmed by NZTA showing a record increase in funding to help fix potholes on our State Highways and Local Roads, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  The NZTA Board has today confirmed indicative ...
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    1 week ago
  • Government making fuel resilience a priority
    The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment will halt work on procuring reserve diesel stock and explore other ways to bolster New Zealand’s diesel resilience, Associate Energy Minister Shane Jones says. The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) will also begin work on changes to the minimum fuel stockholding ...
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    1 week ago

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