Economic recovery despite the Nats

Written By: - Date published: 1:34 pm, February 1st, 2011 - 44 comments
Categories: Economy, national - Tags: , ,

I don’t think the global economy is out of the woods yet. Not by a long shot. But pundits are talking up any sign of “recovery” as good news. Here in NZ for example:

Brighter economic times ahead

Cheer up Kiwis, because 2011 is looking like the brightest economic year since the global financial crisis plunged the world into recession three years ago.

Hurrah? Not really:

Treasury has this afternoon released a series of figures and commentary on the state of the economy so far this year. It’s hardly a cause for celebration, with growth expected to be 0.9 per cent less than earlier forecast, but it’s growth all the same. Treasury said it expected real economic growth in 2011 of around 3 per cent, which was better than the 1.5 per cent recorded in 2010 and the -1.7 per cent decline in 2009.

Prediction, the Nats will try to attach themselves to any good news this year like a bucket full of leeches, and claim the credit. They don’t deserve any. When the economy eventually claws its way back to health, it won’t be because of anything that this worse-than-useless government has done. What has been their contribution? Tax cuts that spectacularly failed to “kick start the economy” and bring us “roaring out of recsssion” (because – pssst! – tax cuts don’t cause growth). Cuts to jobs, public spending, and saving that did more harm than good. Oh – and the cycleway. Let’s not forget the cycleway.

Any good news we have seen recently, or will see in the near future, is due to external factors, not the Nats. Continuing the article above:

The good news stemmed mainly from historically high food prices and a one-off hit from the Rugby World Cup. New Zealand commodity prices continued to climb, the Treasury found, with one measure, the ANZ Commodity Price Index, at its highest since it began in 1986. Further increases were possible early this year as dairy prices in two global DairyTrade auctions showing a combined increase in sale price of 8.5 per cent. Rugby World Cup – “a key one-off event” – would boost the economy across the September and December quarters.

Like the anticipated blip from the RWC, the other occasional source of good news is returns on investments set up by previous Labour governments. Last week it was announced that the Government’s five-month operating deficit had been nearly halved due to the strongly performing NZ Super Fund and a turnaround in ACC’s accounts. (Same story last year.)

So keep it mind people, when you head out to vote this year. The NZ economy will eventually recover. Not because of the Nats, but in spite of them.

44 comments on “Economic recovery despite the Nats ”

  1. kriswgtn 1

    You forgot the 8 year roll out of Broadband

  2. Armchair Critic 2

    Welcome back r0b. You are being far too positive.
    I was totally pissed to see this all over the news like baby shit (but smellier) for the last few days. The best news National have given us on the economy is that there is no good news.
    Building consents are down to their lowest levels since 1965, in spite of the earthquake in Christchurch. That’ll be why Aussie firms are poaching NZ workers, even though Gerry doesn’t see it happening.
    The NZ economy will eventually recover. Not because of the Nats, but in spite of them because they were voted out and someone (anyone – please!) with an idea on how to run a country was elected. FIFY
    Captcha – fingers. National’s approach in one word.

    • Zaphod Beeblebrox 2.1

      That building consent figure is truly alarming. Thats despite very high record commodity prices, very low interest rates and before the Nats shrink the economy a lot further with their spending cuts.

      Heard much the same nonsense from economists at the start of last year- why does no-one call them in on their failed forecasts?

      • Draco T Bastard 2.1.1

        why does no-one call them in on their failed forecasts?

        People have been trying but, unfortunately, the MSM don’t listen to non-mainstream economists despite the fact that they’re often right and the mainstream ones are usually wrong. It’s another case of failure by the 4th estate (unless you’re JKeyl and Hide).

  3. Afewknowthetruth 3

    Brent oil has just hit $100, up from $70 just 6 moinths ago, and a 40% increase.

    Unless something very peculiar happens in the next week or so , the next round of economic collapse is on its way.

    • Draco T Bastard 3.1

      Yeah, heard that but haven’t seen it on any of the sites and gadgets I use to monitor oil price.

      • Colonial Viper 3.1.1

        http://af.reuters.com/article/energyOilNews/idAFL3E7CV0GR20110201

        NEW YORK, Jan 31 (Reuters) – Commodities ended the first month of the year up more than 2 percent and were on course to start February on a strong footing after crude oil surpassed $100 a barrel on Monday, the first time since 2008.

        London’s Brent crude settled above $101 on fears unrest in Egypt could spread to Middle East oil producing nations and disrupt oil shipments through the Suez Canal.

        U.S. crude, the benchmark for world oil prices, raced to catch up with Brent, jumping 2 percent to finish above $92.

        • Draco T Bastard 3.1.1.1

          http://oil-price.net/

          Still shows oil @ US$92.12, Desktop gadget shows US$91.95. I don’t think they use Brent Crude as their benchmark though.

          • Lanthanide 3.1.1.1.1

            They use west texas intermediaries, while AFKTT is talking about brent blend. Different grades of oil. There are other blends around too, one called tapis that is currently at $101/barrel also.

            The different blends reflect local conditions, eg the price of brent would’ve gone up more than WTI during England’s cold snap, as well as different grades of oil – tapis is lighter and sweeter than WTI, so trades at a premium.

          • infused 3.1.1.1.2

            Thanks for the cool gadget

    • Lanthanide 3.2

      Clearly the last bump in crude prices is due to unrest in Egypt and the ME generally, not a supply-side crunch leading to increased prices, as you’re trying to infer.

  4. Lanthanide 4

    They were talking on National Radio this morning, but unfortunately didn’t repeat it at the 8:30 or 9am news round-ups, that it seems likely the economy contracted by 0.4% in the December quarter, and that we’ve therefore entered a “technical recession”.

    So this forecast of 1.5% growth in 2010 may be just a bit too premature.

    • ak 4.1

      So burt and the lads will soon be blaming Key for “leading us into recession” I spose….oh no silly me, I forgot, it’s only bad when Labour does it eh burt?

      Anyhoo, seems we’re only tottering on the edge of the money cliff because China & co are amassing hard commodities and the parasitical speculative reef fish are along for the ride. The heyday (and hayday) for our agriculture is well into its last piss-up. It was never rocket surgery, and if the landed gentry think the developing world will sit back and watch them continue to cream it, they’re in for very stiff cheese. Within a couple of years. Tighten them belts – and get ready to walk like Egyptians.

    • mcflock 4.2

      But if the contraction was true then Marty’s forecast was spot on.

      What did Treasury predict? ah, here they are 31/1/11 (a couple of days ago):

      We expect that technical recession – where real GDP contracts in two consecutive quarters – was
      avoided in 2010 with positive growth in real GDP during the December 2010 quarter.

      Might as well see who’s the luckier fortune-teller staring into the scrying-glass.

  5. Rob A 5

    “Any good news we have seen recently, or will see in the near future, is due to external factors, not the Nats.”

    Replace Nats with Labour and you’ve got the exact thing the right whingers were saying three years ago.

    Personally I’m coming to the conclusion that neither National or Labour are capable of doing much more than running NZ into the ground and a serious alternative is needed soon

    • Zaphod Beeblebrox 5.1

      Except while the rest of the world recovers, GDP in NZ keeps declining. As everybody else climbs out of the mud (or in Australia case- washes the mud off) NZ seems to be slidingback into the morass.

      You’d have to say that neither side seems capable of facing up to the fundamental truth- we spend too much propping up our property prices. Maybe one day a leader who will tell us the truth will emerge.

      • fatty 5.1.1

        “Except while the rest of the world recovers”

        Are you talking about this world?….planet earth?

        • Zaphod Beeblebrox 5.1.1.1

          Ok perhaps I have low standards- but at least some countries are experiencing GDP growth now.

          • fatty 5.1.1.1.1

            “Ok perhaps I have low standards”

            Haha, me too…these days if I can afford a loaf of bread every second day, I’m happy

          • fatty 5.1.1.1.2

            “Ok perhaps I have low standards”

            Haha, me too…these days I’m happy if I can afford a loaf of bread every second day

    • r0b 5.2

      Except that Labour actually did stuff. It eliminated government (net) debt. It encouraged savings in ways that invested in the local economy (Kiwi Saver). It lifted families out of poverty to give them more spending power (WFF – like tax cuts only for low income families). It invested in education at all levels, including apprenticeships. It planned for the future (Cullen Fund). It invested in local infrastructure including public transport (Kiwi Rail). It put together a significant stimulus package to head off the recession (which the Nats claimed credit for). In short, Labour wasn’t sitting back and hoping for the best. Labour did stuff.

      But National? A cycleway.

      • Lanthanide 5.2.1

        Don’t forget the 9-day fortnight!

        You’ve also conveniently forgotten the “tax switch” that is “revenue neutral” while simultaneously making “everyone better off” and “fully compensates for the GST increase”.

      • Zaphod Beeblebrox 5.2.2

        I agree Cullen did do a good job keeping the government in surplus and Kiwisaver was a positive step. He also stepped in at the start of the global recession. But supporting public transport? They spent many times more on motorways than on the Wellington and Auckland commuter systems.

        and WFF- who did that help- the working class or middle class swing voters?

        And what did they do for NZ manufacturing? High interest rates to quell private borrowing for spiralling house prices and the resultant high NZ dollar- do you really think they handled that well?

        • Anthony C 5.2.2.1

          Regional fuel tax for Auckland, was a pretty big deal for Auckland in planning and rolling out public transport – cut by the Nats of course.

          • Lanthanide 5.2.2.1.1

            It was replaced by national fuel taxes, not entirely sure what the revenue is earmarked for, though.

      • Rob A 5.2.3

        Rob, I’m not trying to defend SohnKey and agree 100% with you but much of your post can be dismissed by my original arguement.

        And the Cullen Fund although an excellent idea will go down in my books as one of the great wasted opportunities. Billions of dollars that could be going into NZ startups or buying into our exporters and manufactuers (on the provision of job creation) and instead the vast majority of it has gone overseas. Yes I know it will come back but IMHO the money could be doing much more good in the short-medium term

        • Lanthanide 5.2.3.1

          The Cullen Fund’s goal is to beat the government bond rate by at least 1%. Clearly they figured if they invested in NZ companies, this wouldn’t happen.

  6. Colonial Viper 6

    A CGT and capital controls would also have been very helpful for stabilising our exchange rate, reducing private debt levels and helping our real economy industries.

    This means that many more high paying manufacturing/high tech jobs would have been secured in this country.

    These steps could all have been implemented years ago, and they should be implemented ASAP by Labour.

    • Zaphod Beeblebrox 6.1

      You are mentioning the elephant in the room which are current leaders are fearful of mentioning. Will Goff and Cunlifffe have the guts to go with it? Don’t count on it.

    • KJT 6.2

      And trying to fight inflation with interest rate inflation.
      Killing productive businesses every time they almost stood up.

  7. NX 7

    National has done a good job of reducing the budget spend from $2.2 billion during the Cullen era to around $1 billion, while maintaining most of Labour expensive entitlement programmes.

    • Colonial Viper 7.1

      National has done a good job of reducing the budget spend from $2.2 billion during the Cullen era to around $1 billion

      Not a good job once you add in the $500M per month Bill and John are spending on unaffordable income tax cuts focussed on the rich. Tax cuts causing us to bleed debt to foreign creditors.

      • NX 7.1.1

        I believe your figures are incorrect.

        The tax rate drop from 38% to 33% for people earning over $70K (about ~20K people) = $500 million PER MONTH!!

        Yeah right.

        • Colonial Viper 7.1.1.1

          people earning over $70K (about ~20K people)

          Get another napkin out and work your figures out again.

          10% of NZ’ers earn over $70K p.a.

          Straight away, that is way more than the ~20K people you talk about. If you were correct, that would mean that there are only 200,000 earners in NZ.

          So you are not correct. I am.

          • NX 7.1.1.1.1

            Colonial Viper – take your silence as a concession.

            Budget stats:
            2008
            2010

            • McFlock 7.1.1.1.1.1

              FWIW NX, I agree with your point vis the $70k plus tax take, while disagreeing with your starting premise that the current government are anything other than economic cockblockers.

              • NX

                Fair enough – that is in the realm of opinion.

                My only problem was Viper’s ludicrous claim that National had given a tax break of 6 billion per annum to people earning over $70k.

                You don’t even have to be a math wizz to crunch the numbers on the treasury website.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Hey yeah, I got the $6B per annum figure wrong, I attributed the Government’s entire net borrowing to the tax cuts for the wealthy which is clearly not correct.

                  However as a moral victory, you did get the number of people earning over $70K p.a. wrong by a factor of about 18. Which I see you amusingly attributed to a “typo” because “~20K” could easily be mistakenly entered instead of “~370K” as the keys are right next to each other 😛

                  So obviously you’re either deluded or lying.

                  DUde you get your numbers out by a factor of 18x and you put your own error down to a “typo”? How generous to yourself!

                  Whereas I only got my figures ($500M vs $70M) out by a factor of ~7, I’m the paragon of accuracy here 😛

        • NX 7.1.1.2

          Typo – number of people earning over $70k is around 350k (370,000).

          So a tax cut of 5% for ~370k people = $500 million per month???

          500,000,000*12= $6,000,000,000 (six billion dollars)

          So obviously you’re either deluded or lying.

          FYI – I calculated the tax break for people earning over 70K at around the $70 millon per month mark.

          However this, of course, doesn’t take into account the rise in GST increase & the changes to the Trust laws (something Labour never did). Plus, when you lower the top rate, there is less tax avoidance. So, I suspect the amount is probably around the $40 mill mark per month. Much of this money is probably reinvested in something, or used to pay down debt. So it’s not actually ‘lost’.

  8. M 8

    I think NACT will massage the figures or do some fast talking about how things grew slightly or were neutral to try and win and then if re-elected all of a sudden growth will be forecast to be about to drop off a cliff so a scythe can be taken to funding for health and education, and the main course that John and Paula have been salivating over, slashing benefits.

    Classic NACT bait and switch.

  9. Name 9

    Sorry, but I don’t find ‘historically high food prices’ anything to be happy about. The riots/revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt have as one cause the fact that food is being priced off people’s tables, and in less developed parts of the world people are starving to death because they can’t afford to eat.

    I came to New Zealand twenty years ago because it was – and and still is – one of the few places on the earth with a food surplus, and in its isolation is unlikely to be swamped by desperate, starving masses on the move.

    If the dollar returned to its ‘natural’ level the country’s overseas debt – including sovereign debt – would increase by 10% overnight and petrol would be $2.25/litre so it’s very much in the govt’s best interest to keep the dollar up. But that’s not difficult because currency speculators can see that New Zealand will always have something to sell which the world wants. Not cars, planes and guns like the USA, or cheap plastic tat and computers like India and China. Food.

    • ZeeBop 9.1

      The world can feed itself! NZ exports food to wealthy people who were not heavily in debt and needing to export themselves out of their hole, with high oil inputs and stable climates – which is nolonger assured will push up the cost of growing food here. So its not a given that food spikes will mean food shortages, rather if the market adjusts to higher oil and climate uncertainty governments are likely to invest heavily in more not less food and drive down food prices in a coulpe of years, add in the long sea voyage to Europe and possible say good by to added value, and we go back to a bulk commodity lamb freezer. The other side of the currency exchange is that for farmers to buy oil they need to get their food to market and their profits back, so there has to be someone on the other end of the trade, someone willing to sell NZ dollars and buy US dollars (and no thats not more exporters!). Thats people consuming foriegn goods, or people paying foreign debt. And that’s the NZ game, do we want to be able to buy stuff or pay off debts, and looking at the last thirty years it seems Douglas wants us to owe people money rather than have more money to invest, save, and buy stuff. Because the currency brokers run our parliament, now for the first time in a generation we have a chance to shift the game, introduce a CGT and kiwis from across the globe will return because they will know that the system isn’t rigged anymore, that their money in growing a NZ manufacturing base, etc.

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    Save some money, get rich and old, bring it back to Tobacco Road.Bring that dynamite and a crane, blow it up, start all over again.Roll up. Roll up. Or tailor made, if you prefer...Whether you’re selling ciggies, digging for gold, catching dolphins in your nets, or encouraging folks to flutter ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    4 days ago
  • Trump’s Adopted Son.

    Waiting In The Wings: For truly, if Trump is America’s un-assassinated Caesar, then J.D. Vance is America’s Octavian, the Republic’s youthful undertaker – and its first Emperor.DONALD TRUMP’S SELECTION of James D. Vance as his running-mate bodes ill for the American republic. A fervent supporter of Viktor Orban, the “illiberal” prime ...
    4 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Friday, July 19

    TL;DR: As of 6:00 am on Friday, July 19, the top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day are:The PSA announced the Employment Relations Authority (ERA) had ruled in the PSA’s favour in its case against the Ministry ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • The Hoon around the week to July 19

    TL;DR: The podcast above of the weekly ‘hoon’ webinar for paying subscribers last night features co-hosts and talking with:The Kākā’s climate correspondent talking about the National-ACT-NZ First Government’s release of its first Emissions Reduction Plan;University of Otago Foreign Relations Professor and special guest Dr Karin von ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #29 2024

    Open access notables Improving global temperature datasets to better account for non-uniform warming, Calvert, Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society: To better account for spatial non-uniform trends in warming, a new GITD [global instrumental temperature dataset] was created that used maximum likelihood estimation (MLE) to combine the land surface ...
    5 days ago
  • We're back again! Join us for the weekly Hoon on YouTube Live

    Photo by Gabriel Crismariu on UnsplashWe’re back again after our mid-winter break. We’re still with the ‘new’ day of the week (Thursday rather than Friday) when we have our ‘hoon’ webinar with paying subscribers to The Kākā for an hour at 5 pm.Jump on this link on YouTube Livestream for ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Gut Reactions.

    Trump Writes His Own Story: Would the “mainstream” media even try to reflect the horrified reaction of the MAGA crowd to the pop-pop-pop of the would-be assassin’s rifle, and Trump going down? Could it even grasp the sheer elation of the rally-goers seeing their champion rise up and punch the air, still alive, ...
    5 days ago
  • Dodging Bullets.

    Fight! Fight! Fight! Had the assassin’s bullet found its mark and killed Donald Trump, America’s descent into widespread and murderous violence – possibly spiralling-down into civil war – would have been immediate and quite possibly irreparable. The American Republic, upon whose survival liberty and democracy continue to depend, is certainly not ...
    5 days ago
  • 'Corruption First' Strikes Again

    There comes a point in all our lives when we must stop to say, “Enough is enough. We know what’s happening. We are not as stupid or as ignorant as you believe us to be. And making policies that kill or harm our people is not acceptable, Ministers.”Plausible deniability has ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    5 days ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Thursday, July 18

    TL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy today are:The inside stories of KiwiRail’s iRex debacle, Westport’s perma-delayed flood scheme and Christchurch’s post-quake sewer rebuild, which assumed no population growth, show just how deeply sceptical senior officials in Treasury, the Ministry of ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • What's that Jack Black?

    Ah-rah, deeSoo-guh-goo-gee-goo-geeGoo-guh fli-goo gee-gooGuh fli-goo, ga-goo-buh-deeOoh, guh-goo-beeOoh-guh-guh-bee-guh-guh-beeFli-goo gee-gooA-fliguh woo-wa mama Lucifer!I’m about ready to move on, how about you?Not from the shooting, that’s bad and we definitely shouldn’t have that. But the rehabilitation of Donald J Trump? The deification of Saint Donald? As the Great Unifier?Gimme a bucket.https://yellowscene.com/2024/04/07/trump-as-jesus/Just to re-iterate, ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • June 2024: Earth’s 13th-consecutive warmest month on record

    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Jeff Masters and Bob Henson June 2024 was Earth’s warmest June since global record-keeping began in 1850 and was the planet’s 13th consecutive warmest month on record, NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information, or NCEI, reported July 12. As opposed to being focused in ...
    5 days ago
  • Connecting the dots and filling the gaps in our bike network

    This is a guest post by Shaun Baker on the importance of filling the gaps in our cycling networks. It originally appeared on his blog Multimodal Adventures, and is re-posted here with kind permission. In our towns and cities in Aotearoa New Zealand, there are areas in our cycling networks ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    5 days ago
  • Webworm Down Under Photos!

    Hi,I wanted to share a few thoughts and photos from the Webworm popup and Tickled screening we held in Auckland, New Zealand last weekend.In short — it was a blast. I mean, I had a blast and I hope any of you that came also had a blast.An old friend ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    5 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Thursday, July 18

    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 6:30 am on Thursday, July 18 are:News: Christchurch's sewer systems block further housing developments RNZ’s Niva ChittockAnalysis: Interislander: Treasury, MoT officials' mistrust of KiwiRail led ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Thursday, July 18

    TL;DR: As of 6:00 am on Thursday, July 18, the top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day are:Verbatim: Climate Change Minister Simon Watts held a news conference in Auckland to release the Government’s Emissions Reduction Plan, including ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • The politics of managed retreat

    Climate change deniers are now challenging the Government over a key climate change adaptation policy. That begs the question of whether New Zealand First will then support Government moves to implement processes to deal with a managed retreat for properties in danger of flooding because of sea level rise and ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    5 days ago
  • Some changes are coming

    Warm welcome again to those who are here. The Mountain Tui substack was officially started on the 2nd of July. I wrote about what led me here on this post. Since then, it’s been a learning to navigate the platform, get to meet those in the community, and basically be ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    6 days ago
  • About fucking time

    The US Supreme Court has been rogue for years, with openly corrupt judges making the law up as they go to suit themselves, their billionaire buyers, and the Republican Party. But now, in the wake of them granting a licence for tyranny, President Biden is actually going to try and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: False accounting and wishful thinking

    National released their draft 2026-2030 Emissions Reduction Plan today. The plan is required under the Zero Carbon Act, and must set out policies and strategies to meet the relevant emissions budget. Having cancelled all Labour's actually effective climate change policies and crashed the carbon price, National was always going to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • The Enemies Of Sunshine And Space.

    Our Houses? The Urban Density debate is a horrible combination of intergenerational avarice and envy, fuelled by the grim certainty that none of the generations coming up after them will ever have it as good as the Boomers. To say that this situation rankles among those born after 1965 is to ...
    6 days ago
  • Still the 5 Eyes Achilles Heel?

    The National Cyber Security Centre (NZSC), a unit in the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) dedicated to cyber-security, has released a Review of its response to the 2021 email hacking of NZ members of the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China (IPAC, … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    6 days ago
  • Britain's Devastating Electoral Slip.

    Slip-Sliding Away: Labour may now enjoy a dominant position in Britain’s political landscape, but only by virtue of not being swallowed by it.THE BRITISH LABOUR PARTY’S “landslide victory” is nothing of the sort. As most people understand the term, a landslide election victory is one in which the incumbent government, or ...
    6 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on why right wingers think all governments (including their own) are incompetent

    Since open denial of climate change is no longer a viable political option, denial now comes in disguise. The release this week of the coalition government’s ‘draft emissions reductions plan” shows that the Luxon government is refusing to see the need to cut emissions at source. Instead, it proposes to ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Wednesday, July 17

    TL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy this morning are:Chris Penk is set to roll back building standards for insulation that had only just been put in place, and which had been estimated to save 40% from power costs, after builders ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Open Letter to Pharmac

    All this talk of getting oldIt's getting me down, my loveLike a cat in a bag, waiting to drownThis time I'm coming downAnd I hope you're thinking of meAs you lay down on your sideNow the drugs don't workThey just make you worse but I know I'll see your face ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • A blanket of misinformation

    Two old sayings have been on my mind lately. The first is: “The pen is mightier than the sword”, describing the power of language and communication to help or to harm. The other, which captures the speed with which falsehoods can become ingrained and hard to undo, is: “A lie can ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Wednesday, July 17

    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day to 7:00 am on Wednesday, July 17 are:Scoop: Government considers rolling back home insulation standards RNZ’s Eloise GibsonNews: Government plans tree-planting frenzy as report shows NZ no longer ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Wednesday, July 17

    TL;DR: As of 6:00 am on Wednesday, July 17 , the top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day were:Simon Watts released the Government’s draft Emissions Reduction Plan (ERP), which included proposed changes to the Emissions Trading Scheme ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • “Shhhh” – National's 3 Waters is loaded with higher costs and lays a path to ...

    This is a long, possibly technical, but very, very important read. I encourage you to take the time and spread your awareness.IntroductionIn 2022, then Labour Party Prime Minister Jacinda Adern expended significant political capital to protect New Zealand’s water assets from privatisation. She lost that battle, and Labour and the ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    7 days ago
  • Plugging a video channel: Dr Gilbz

    Dr. Ella Gilbert is a climate scientist and presenter with a PhD in Antarctic climate change, working at the British Antarctic Survey (BAS). Her background is in atmospheric sciences and she's especially interested in the physical mechanisms of climate change, clouds, and almost anything polar. She is passionate about communicating climate ...
    7 days ago
  • Some “scrutiny” again

    Back in 2022, in its Open Government Partnership National Action Plan, the government promised to strengthen scrutiny of Official Information Act exemption clauses in legislation. Since then they've run a secret "consultation" on how to do that, with their preferred outcome being that agencies will consult the Ministry of Justice ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Crashing New Zealand's health system is not the way to prosperity, Prime Minister

    Another day, and yet another piece of bad news for New Zealand’s health system. Reports have come out that General Practitioners (GP) may have to close doors, or increase patient fees to survive. The so-called ‘capitation’ funding review, which supports GP practices to survive, is under way, and primary care ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    1 week ago
  • Closer Than You Think: Ageing Boomers, Laurie & Les, Talk Politics.

    Redefining Our Terms: “When an angry majority is demanding change, defending the status-quo is an extremist position.”“WHAT’S THIS?”, asked Laurie, eyeing suspiciously the two glasses of red wine deposited in front of him.“A nice drop of red. I thought you’d be keen to celebrate the French Far-Right’s victory with the ...
    1 week ago
  • Come on Darleen.

    Good morning all, time for a return to things domestic. After elections in the UK and France, Luxon gatecrashing Nato, and the attempted shooting of Trump, it’s probably about time we re-focus on local politics.Unless of course you’re Christopher Luxon and you’re so exhausted from all your schmoozing in Washington ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • How the Northwest was lost and may be won

    This is a guest post by Darren Davis. It originally appeared on his excellent blog, Adventures in Transitland, which we encourage you to check out. It is shared by kind permission. The Northwest has always been Auckland’s public transport Cinderella, rarely invited to the public funding ball. How did ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    1 week ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Tuesday July 16

    Luxon has told a Financial Times’ correspondent he would openly call out China’s spying in future and does not fear economic retaliation from Aotearoa’s largest trading partner.File Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy on Tuesday, ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Tuesday, July 16

    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 6:00 am on Tuesday, July 16 are:PM Christopher Luxon has given a very hawkish interview to the Financial Times-$$$ correspondent in Washington, Demetri Sevastopulu, saying ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Tuesday, July 16

    Photo by Ryunosuke Kikuno on UnsplashTL;DR: The top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day to 6:00 am are:BNZ released its Performance of Services Index for June, finding that services sector is at its lowest level of activity ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • The second crisis; assumption was the mother

    Late on the night of July 16, 1984, while four National Cabinet Ministers were meeting in the Beehive office of Deputy Prime Minister Jim McLay, plotting the ultimate downfall of outgoing Prime Minister Sir Robert Muldoon, another crisis was building up in another part of the capital. The United States ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • Can we air condition our way out of extreme heat?

    This is a re-post from The Climate Brink by Andrew Dessler Air conditioning was initially a symbol of comfort and wealth, enjoyed by the wealthy in theaters and upscale homes. Over time, as technology advanced and costs decreased, air conditioning became more accessible to the general public. With global warming, though, ...
    1 week ago
  • Review: The Zimiamvian Trilogy, by E.R. Eddison (1935-1958)

    I have reviewed some fairly obscure stuff on this blog. Nineteenth century New Zealand speculative fiction. Forgotten Tolkien adaptations. George MacDonald and William Morris. Last month I took a look at The Worm Ouroboros (1922), by E.R. Eddison, which while not strictly obscure, is also not overly inviting to many ...
    1 week ago
  • Media Link: AVFA on the Trump assassination attempt.

    In this episode of “A View from Afar” Selwyn Manning and I discuss the attempt on Donald Trump’s life and its implications for the US elections. The political darkness grows. ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago

  • Sir Don to travel to Viet Nam as special envoy

    Sir Don McKinnon will travel to Viet Nam this week as a Special Envoy of the Government, Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced.    “It is important that the Government give due recognition to the significant contributions that General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong made to New Zealand-Viet Nam relations,” Mr ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • Grant Illingworth KC appointed as transitional Commissioner to Royal Commission

    Minister of Internal Affairs Brooke van Velden says newly appointed Commissioner, Grant Illingworth KC, will help deliver the report for the first phase of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into COVID-19 Lessons, due on 28 November 2024.  “I am pleased to announce that Mr Illingworth will commence his appointment as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • NZ to advance relationships with ASEAN partners

    Foreign Minister Winston Peters travels to Laos this week to participate in a series of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)-led Ministerial meetings in Vientiane.    “ASEAN plays an important role in supporting a peaceful, stable and prosperous Indo-Pacific,” Mr Peters says.   “This will be our third visit to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • Backing mental health services on the West Coast

    Construction of a new mental health facility at Te Nikau Grey Hospital in Greymouth is today one step closer, Mental Health Minister Matt Doocey says. “This $27 million facility shows this Government is delivering on its promise to boost mental health care and improve front line services,” Mr Doocey says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • NZ support for sustainable Pacific fisheries

    New Zealand is committing nearly $50 million to a package supporting sustainable Pacific fisheries development over the next four years, Foreign Minister Winston Peters and Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones announced today. “This support consisting of a range of initiatives demonstrates New Zealand’s commitment to assisting our Pacific partners ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • Students’ needs at centre of new charter school adjustments

    Associate Education Minister David Seymour says proposed changes to the Education and Training Amendment Bill will ensure charter schools have more flexibility to negotiate employment agreements and are equipped with the right teaching resources. “Cabinet has agreed to progress an amendment which means unions will not be able to initiate ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • Commissioner replaces Health NZ Board

    In response to serious concerns around oversight, overspend and a significant deterioration in financial outlook, the Board of Health New Zealand will be replaced with a Commissioner, Health Minister Dr Shane Reti announced today.  “The previous government’s botched health reforms have created significant financial challenges at Health NZ that, without ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Minister to speak at Australian Space Forum

    Minister for Space and Science, Innovation and Technology Judith Collins will travel to Adelaide tomorrow for space and science engagements, including speaking at the Australian Space Forum.  While there she will also have meetings and visits with a focus on space, biotechnology and innovation.  “New Zealand has a thriving space ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Climate Change Minister to attend climate action meeting in China

    Climate Change Minister Simon Watts will travel to China on Saturday to attend the Ministerial on Climate Action meeting held in Wuhan.  “Attending the Ministerial on Climate Action is an opportunity to advocate for New Zealand climate priorities and engage with our key partners on climate action,” Mr Watts says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Oceans and Fisheries Minister to Solomons

    Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones is travelling to the Solomon Islands tomorrow for meetings with his counterparts from around the Pacific supporting collective management of the region’s fisheries. The 23rd Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Committee and the 5th Regional Fisheries Ministers’ Meeting in Honiara from 23 to 26 July ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government launches Military Style Academy Pilot

    The Government today launched the Military Style Academy Pilot at Te Au rere a te Tonga Youth Justice residence in Palmerston North, an important part of the Government’s plan to crackdown on youth crime and getting youth offenders back on track, Minister for Children, Karen Chhour said today. “On the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Nine priority bridge replacements to get underway

    The Government has welcomed news the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) has begun work to replace nine priority bridges across the country to ensure our state highway network remains resilient, reliable, and efficient for road users, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.“Increasing productivity and economic growth is a key priority for the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Update on global IT outage

    Acting Prime Minister David Seymour has been in contact throughout the evening with senior officials who have coordinated a whole of government response to the global IT outage and can provide an update. The Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet has designated the National Emergency Management Agency as the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand, Japan renew Pacific partnership

    New Zealand and Japan will continue to step up their shared engagement with the Pacific, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.    “New Zealand and Japan have a strong, shared interest in a free, open and stable Pacific Islands region,” Mr Peters says.    “We are pleased to be finding more ways ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New infrastructure energises BOP forestry towns

    New developments in the heart of North Island forestry country will reinvigorate their communities and boost economic development, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones says. Mr Jones visited Kaingaroa and Kawerau in Bay of Plenty today to open a landmark community centre in the former and a new connecting road in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • 'Pacific Futures'

    President Adeang, fellow Ministers, honourable Diet Member Horii, Ambassadors, distinguished guests.    Minasama, konnichiwa, and good afternoon, everyone.    Distinguished guests, it’s a pleasure to be here with you today to talk about New Zealand’s foreign policy reset, the reasons for it, the values that underpin it, and how it ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Delivering 24 hour pothole repairs

    Kiwis and freight operators will benefit from the Coalition Government delivering on its commitment to introduce targets that will ensure a greater number of potholes on our state highways are identified and fixed within 24 hours, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  “Increasing productivity to help rebuild our economy is a key ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Peer Support Specialists rolled out in hospitals

    Five hospitals have been selected to trial a new mental health and addiction peer support service in their emergency departments as part of the Government’s commitment to increase access to mental health and addiction support for New Zealanders, says Mental Health Minister Matt Doocey.  “Peer Support Specialists in EDs will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Consultation opens for the Emissions Reduction Plan

    The Government’s draft Emissions Reduction Plan shows we can stay within the limits of the first two emissions budgets while growing the economy, Climate Change Minister Simon Watts says. “This draft Emissions Reduction Plan shows that with effective climate change policies we can both grow the economy and deliver our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Benefit stats highlight need for welfare reset

    The coalition Government is providing extra support for job seekers to ensure as many Kiwis as possible are in work or preparing for work, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says. “While today’s quarterly data showing a rise in the number of people on Jobseeker benefits has been long ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • School attendance continues to increase

    Provisional school attendance data for Term 2 2024 released today has shown more students are back in class compared to last year, with 53.1 per cent of students regularly attending, compared with 47 per cent in Term 2 2023, Associate Education Minister David Seymour says. “The Government has prioritised student ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • $22.7m of West Coast resilience projects underway

    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has welcomed news of progress being made by the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) on the first of several crucial resilience projects underway on the South Island’s West Coast.“State highways across the West Coast are critical lifelines for communities throughout the region, including for freight and tourism. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Migrant school leavers to get part-time work rights

    The coalition Government is providing migrant school leavers with greater opportunities, by increasing access to part-time work rights for those awaiting the outcome of a family residence application, Immigration Minister Erica Stanford has announced.  “Many young people who are part of a family residence application process are unable to work. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Funding to support use of NZ Sign Language

    Seven projects have received government funding totalling nearly $250,000 to maintain and promote the use of New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL). Initiatives that received an NZSL Board Community Grants this year include camps that support the use of NZSL through physical and sensory activities, and clubs where Deaf people and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Inflation data shows progress in economic recovery

    Today’s Consumer Price Index data which has inflation at 3.3 per cent for the year to July 2024, shows we are turning our economy around and winning the fight against rampant inflation, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  “While today’s data will be welcome news for Kiwis, I know many New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Experts to advise Minister on Oranga Tamariki

    The Oranga Tamariki Ministerial Advisory Board has been re-established by the Minister for Children, Karen Chhour. “I look forward to working with the new board to continue to ensure Oranga Tamariki and the care and protection system, are entirely child centric,” Minister Chhour says. “The board will provide independent advice ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Expectations set for improved medicines access

    Associate Health Minister David Seymour says he has set clear expectations for Pharmac around delivering the medicines and medical technology that Kiwis need.  “For many New Zealanders, funding for pharmaceuticals is life or death, or the difference between a life of pain and suffering or living freely. New cancer medicines ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Regional Development Minister to host summits

    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones will hold a series of nationwide summits to discuss regional priorities, aspirations and opportunities, with the first kicking off in Nelson on August 12. The 15 summits will facilitate conversations about progressing regional economic growth and opportunities to drive productivity, prosperity and resilience through the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government delivers new school for Rolleston

    The Coalition Government is addressing growing demands on Canterbury’s school network, by delivering a new primary school in Rolleston, Education Minister Erica Stanford says. Within Budget 24’s $400 million investment into school property growth, construction will begin on a new primary school (years 1-8) in Selwyn, Canterbury.  Rolleston South Primary ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New speed camera signs to improve safety

    The Government is welcoming the rollout of new speed camera signs for fixed speed cameras to encourage drivers to check their speeds, improving road safety and avoiding costly speeding tickets, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says. “Providing Kiwis with an opportunity to check their speed and slow down in high crash areas ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • NZ, Korea strengthen relationship

    New Zealand and the Republic of Korea continue to strengthen their relationship, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “New Zealand and Korea have a long history – from New Zealand soldiers fighting in the Korean War, through to our strong cooperation today as partners supporting the international rules-based order.    ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Investing for future growth in tourism and hospitality

    The Government is moving forward with recommendations from the Tourism Data Leadership Group, beginning with establishing a Tourism Data Partnership Fund says Tourism and Hospitality Minister Matt Doocey. “The Tourism Data Partnership Fund is funded through the International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy (IVL) and will provide up to $400,000 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • 4000 more job seekers to get case managers

    A new over-the-phone employment case management service will see thousands more job seekers under the age of 25 supported to find work, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston has announced. “MSD case managers provide valuable support to help people into work, but less than a third of those receiving ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Trade Minister to attend G7 meeting in Italy

    Trade Minister Todd McClay will attend the Group of Seven (G7) Trade Ministers meeting in Reggio Calabria, Italy next week. This is the first time New Zealand has been invited to join the event, which will be attended by some of the world’s largest economies and many of New Zealand’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Ministers reveal consequences for unruly Kāinga Ora tenants

    Ministers are pleased to see Kāinga Ora taking a stronger approach to managing unruly, threatening or abusive tenants, Housing Minister Chris Bishop and Associate Housing Minister Tama Potaka say.    “For far too long, a small number of Kāinga Ora tenants have ridden roughshod over their neighbours because, under Kāinga ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister wraps up US visit in California

    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has finished a successful four-day visit to the United States with meetings in California on his final day focusing on innovation and investment.  “It has been fantastic to be in San Francisco today seeing first-hand the deepening links between New Zealand and California. “New Zealand company, EV Maritime, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister leads Indo-Pacific Four at NATO

    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon today chaired a meeting of the Indo-Pacific Four (IP4) countries – Australia, Japan, the Republic of Korea and New Zealand. The IP4 met in the context of NATO’s Summit in Washington DC hosted by President Biden. “Prosperity is only possible with security,” Mr Luxon says. “We need ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • District Court judges appointed

    Attorney-General Hon Judith Collins today announced the appointment of three new District Court Judges.   The appointees, who will take up their roles in July and August at the Manukau, Rotorua and Invercargill courts, are:   Matthew Nathan Judge Nathan was admitted to bar in New Zealand in 2021, having previously been ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Urgent review into Wairoa flood response begins

    Environment Minister, Penny Simmonds today announced the terms of reference for a rapid review into the Wairoa flood response. “The Wairoa community has raised significant concerns about the management of the Wairoa River bar and the impact this had on flooding of properties in the district,” says Ms Simmonds. “The Government ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • NZDF’s Red Sea deployment extended

    New Zealand has extended its contribution to the US-led coalition working to uphold maritime security in the Red Sea, Defence Minister Judith Collins and Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today. “The decision to extend this deployment is reflective of the continued need to partner and act in line with New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago

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