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Economy 2018

Written By: - Date published: 8:00 am, December 9th, 2017 - 31 comments
Categories: business, capitalism, climate change, debt / deficit, economy, Economy, employment, energy, exports, Financial markets, Free Trade - Tags:

Politics and economies

It’s interesting in 2017 how little effect political destabilisation in Spain, Australia, Germany, and the United States has had on any of their economies. It seems that in many parts of the developed world, we may well continue to see political fragmentation, polarisation, and a gradual fracturing of the global world rule-based system (outside of notable trade exceptions). And yet the share markets are going gangbusters, inflation is nowhere in sight, unemployment in the E.U. and many other blocs is trending down, global poverty continues downwards if not fast enough, and markets and economies largely continue to shrug off political disorder. On that basis, the risk of a substantial short-term setback seems relatively small.

The big exception is the United Kingdom, with its messy and expensive Brexit process. This is likely to continue to weaken business confidence to invest in Britain, and may well weaken London’s core financial services industry as it relocates elsewhere.

The strongest example against economic performance diverging from political management is, of course, China. Chinese President Xi Jinping is in a stronger position than ever, suggesting that effective management of imbalances and more consumption- and innovation-driven growth can be expected.

India also appears set to sustain its growth and reform momentum.

The growth of these economies will continue to pull up others in the region including New Zealand.

Debt

A serious challenge looming in the global background is a mountain of debt that makes markets nervous – and that thus increases the system’s vulnerability to destabilizing shocks. Yet the baseline scenario seems to be one of continuity, with no obvious convulsions on the horizon (at some point I will do a review of “Debt: The First 5,000 Years”, which is teaching me a lot).

China is certainly facing up to debt.

But the United States isn’t.

One potential shock that has received much attention relates to monetary tightening. In view of improving economic performance in the developed world, a gradual reversal of aggressively accommodative monetary policy does not appear likely to be a major drag or shock to asset values. Perhaps the long-awaited upward convergence of economic fundamentals to validate market valuations is within reach.

Debt from private mortgages is one massive short term economic risk that New Zealand and Australia faces.

This is why the Reserve Bank regularly tests how much stress ‘our’ banks can take during economic downturns.

Auckland, Sydney and Melbourne property prices may lower, but there’s no current sign of a spike in mortgagee sales that might stress banks. Real estate and drought that decreases dairy production remain New Zealand’s two highest risks, as they were in 2009 immediately after the GFC.

Our fresh Labour-led government is both continuing active cooling of the housing market, and also planning a lot more public borrowing, so some are predicting a shorter term downturn with longer term economic growth.

Cash and Payments

When it comes to technology, especially digital technology, China and the United States seem set to disrupt for years to come. Smaller countries that concentrate research and development on areas such as payment platforms will be well positioned. Such platforms are not just lucrative on their own; they also produce a host of related opportunities for new business models operating in and around them, in, say, advertising, logistics, and finance. Given this, economies that lack such platforms, such as the E.U., are at a disadvantage. Even Latin America has a major innovative domestic e-commerce player and a digital payments system.

In mobile online payments systems, China is in the lead. With much of the country’s population having shifted directly from cash to mobile online payments – skipping cheques, cash, and credit cards – China’s payments systems are robust. We are within a sustained consumer-led revolution in payments.

In November’s Singles’ Day, an annual festival of youth-oriented consumption that has become the single largest shopping event in the world, China’s leading online payment platform, Alipay, processed up to 256,000 payments per second, using a robust cloud computing architecture. China is about to overtake the U.S. in consumer spending.

Inclusion and Exclusion

In the coming years, developed and developing economies will also have to work hard to shift toward more inclusive growth patterns. Here, I anticipate that national governments may take a back seat to businesses, state and local and city governments, (remaining) labour unions, and educational and non-profit institutions in driving progress, especially in places hit by political fragmentation and a backlash against the political establishment. Outside of China, Singapore, or South Korea, I see greater likelihood of business leadership from groups like our Sustainable Business Council than central government.

New Zealand has been well positioned by pivoting its economy towards China, South Korea, India, Japan, and Vietnam, while retaining strong trade links into Europe.

Such fragmentation of the centre is likely to intensify. Automation is set to sustain, and even accelerate, change on the demand side of labour markets, in areas ranging from manufacturing and logistics to medicine and law, while supply-side responses will be much slower. As a result, even if workers gain stronger support during structural transitions (e.g. income support like Working for Families, and retraining options with free study), labour market mismatches are likely to grow, sharpening inequality and contributing to further political and social polarization.

Openness

Nonetheless, there are reasons to be cautiously optimistic. For starters, there remains a broad consensus across the developed and emerging economies on the desirability of maintaining a relatively open global economy, as in the upcoming signing of the RPTPP.

The notable exception is the U.S., though it is unclear at this point whether President Donald Trump’s administration actually intends to retreat from international cooperation. What does seem clear, at least for now, is that the U.S. cannot be counted on to serve as a principal sponsor and architect of the evolving rules-based global system for fairly managing interdependence.

The biggest test of economic openness is global labour mobility. The long and massive humanitarian chaos from U.S.-led wars has led to global displacement not seen since World War II. The continued test of global labour mobility is whether it only continues to favour a priviliged and skilled few. In New Zealand, the forecast is pretty good, but even a decade after the GFC the forecast for wage growth for most workers is still low.

Climate Change

The situation is similar with regard to mitigating climate change. The U.S. is now the only country that is not committed to the Paris climate agreement, which has held despite the Trump administration’s withdrawal. Even within the U.S., cities, states, and businesses, as well as a host of civil-society organizations, have signaled a credible commitment to fulfilling America’s climate obligations, with or without the federal government.

Still, it’s perfectly rational to be deeply pessimistic about the impact of the world’s damaged ecology taken as a whole, as so much of the global economy remains highly dependent on coal and oil. The Financial Times reports that peak demand for coal in India will come in about ten years.

Australia shows how hard it is to stop coal production, where Germany shows that it’s possible.

Global coal use is flattening, and renewables are quickly accelerating.

Even with upside potential in this scenario, the world is still years away from negative growth in carbon dioxide emissions.

Optimism

While some classes like private housing still appear as a bubble pumped up by artificial and unsustainable monetary stimulus, other parts of our economy and much of the developed world are maturing into an expansion of economic activity, profits, and employment that probably have many years to come.

No inflation arising anywhere, increased global financial stability, headline unemployment heading for 3.5% here, and Europe, Japan, China, India and emerging markets in a sweet spot of rising profits and low interest rates. Good news for little old New Zealand.

Also, New Zealand’s government has been confirmed as having between $1.4b and $2.1b to spend. The Minister of Finance will set the direction for this next week. That’s some serious supply-side Santa for 2018.

Conclusion

All of this suggests that the global economy will confront serious challenges in the months and years ahead. Looming in the background is a mountain of debt that makes markets nervous and increases the system’s vulnerability to destabilizing shocks. With New Zealand basing much of its consistently narrow export economy on uninterrupted and free water for agriculture and horticulture, it is exacerbating its economic risks in the medium term.

Yet the baseline scenario for 2018 seems to be one of continuity. New Zealand is situated within an economic power and influence shift from west to east, without any sudden change in its patterns of job, income, political, and social polarization, and with no obvious convulsions on the 2018 horizon. Not too hot, not too cold.

31 comments on “Economy 2018 ”

  1. Bill 1

    Sagittarius

    Tip – Gather up sticks, play jackstraws and don’t hang the man.

    Personal – Feelings of uncertainty will be overcome by a proper application of industriousness this month. Money worries should ease and a new relationship may be just around the corner. Beware close friends don’t steal your fire. Your conviviality and general sense of warmth will see you through any rough patch.

    Prospects – Turn the heating up to full and open the windows. You have money to burn this Christmas. Drink water. Things are looking goodbad… good.

    • Hanswurst 1.1

      +1. Sums my reaction up perfectly.

      • David Mac 1.1.1

        One man’s horoscope is another man’s roadmap.

        I think I stand to gain more from considering what Ad has to say about our economy than reading page 23 of New Idea.

        The subject generally bores me but I do enjoy considering what has happened in the past and how it relates to what we can expect in the future. Unlike astrology, it would be silly to think there wasn’t a link between the two.

        • greywarshark 1.1.1.1

          Does knowing about the New Idea page mean that you read the horoscope then? Quelle horreur? But then again why should that be worse than looking at chicken entrails or forensically looking at potential thumbprints on accidentally revealed field reports on significant shows at rare mineral search fields?

          • David Mac 1.1.1.1.1

            Ha! I guessed what page the Horoscope appears on. I wondered if there might be people that thought ‘C’mon Mac, the New Idea Horoscope is on page ?’ and bit their tongues.

            I think we all suck up degrees of pulpy trashy culture, it just needs to be a flavour we enjoy. I watch far too many people pretending to rummage through rubbish in other peoples’ barns.

    • Siobhan 1.2

      Ha! Indeed

  2. garibaldi 2

    Not too hot, not too cold. Yet it is hardly just right as in the fairy tale ! Quite the opposite,

  3. David Mac 3

    I think you’ve written a quality piece Ad. A handy window into our domestic and the world’s $ spin.

    I feel we’ve got some way to go until our money behavior matches the lifestyles we aspire to. Interesting that Chinese consumer spending is about to overtake that of the US. It’s a rise in fortunes that goes hand in hand with not being able to see each other through the pollution when kicking a soccer ball to your pal in the park.

    Anytime I think life’s a bit crook in NZ a U-Tube stroll through Homs soon changes my tune.

  4. cleangreen 4

    Time will tell if this rosy picture a just another water painting left out in the summer time but come a wet winter the water-painting will wash away?

  5. ianmac 5

    Great piece Ad.
    I wonder how AI will affect the balance of the workforce and flow on to the economy. It seems that the workforce will drastically diminish. Therefore how will those unemployed be able to live. What will we do with thousands of spare accountants?

    • Ad 5.1

      We used to think of automation as robots. Terminator etc.

      Now, it’s just deep algorithms, replacing whole classes of industry.

      If I get time before Christmas I’ll do a post on it.

    • David Mac 5.2

      We can get on with what matters: People and the planet.

      The jobs that are going are by and large repetitious satisfaction sink-holes. Yes, we’re asking train ticket collectors to step down. But sheesh, after a mere 5000 times I’d be well fed up with saying ‘Tickets Please’. The happy smiling faces would be cool but there will be a few every day that respond to a request for a ticket with something hurtful to say, problematic dickheads.

      Nobody’s career legacy should be the number of times they said ‘Good Morning’ or the number of holes they clicked in bits of paper. We deserve better.

      We depend heavily on Pacifica people for help with our elderly. That doesn’t need to change, but rather than cleaning floors, showering people and peeling potatoes I think it would be great if machines could take care of those roles and our Pacifica friends take on more of a companion role. Playing ukuleles instead of dancing with mops.

    • greywarshark 5.3

      ianmac
      Question: What about the workers? What about the non-workers and pensioners? What about the majority of the world? Who accounts for these when there is no employment for accountants? What is it all for? Some huge madness, some inflated ego to the nth degree?

  6. Siobhan 6

    “It’s interesting in 2017 how little effect political destabilisation in Spain, Australia, Germany, and the United States has had on any of their economies”..unless, of course you factor in the Economy that actual people live in…not just investors and Corporations and Government books thanks to Austerity policies.

    Focusing on Australia

    “According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, average household debt has almost doubled in the last 12 years”

    (In Australia)Using ‘Part Time’ meaning less then 35 hours per week, those workers classified as part-time, contract or casual swell to over 30% of the entire employed workforce, well above the 10% levels seen in the early 1970s. Especially in lower paid jobs, so its not like a work life balance choice.

    I won’t go on, but just to mention… “UK joins Spain at bottom of EU wage growth league
    A sharp rise in inflation cancels out any gain in pay rises for UK workers”

    I know you do tip the hat to these issues, but these small gems are the ACTUAL economy…and its grim.

    • Ad 6.1

      The sentence started with current “…political destabilization..” and any relationship to economies.

      If I had wanted to discuss austerity, I would have, and it would have taken us to about 10 years ago and to reactions to the GFC. Instead I focussed solely on the year gone and the year ahead. You can check the citations.

  7. greywarshark 7

    Here is Chris Trotter bringing a jaundiced eye onto our present sidduashun.
    http://bowalleyroad.blogspot.co.nz/2017/12/warning-signs-briefings-to-incoming.html

    • Ad 7.1

      Trotter is right that National has left behind a massive set of social deficits, as outlined in the BIMs.

      But Trotter should have reflected that the electorate showed during the election that they were simply unwilling to have a major adjustment to the tax burden and essentially re-form the state to pre-1984.

      He’s never given up on that, and he should.

      He also weakens his argument with no inclusion on the positive points within New Zealand currently. There’s a lot of them. You don’t have to do Ardern’s “relentless positivity”, but without something like it Labour will never gain power, and will never sustain it.

      • greywarshark 7.1.1

        Ad
        Yes good points. Don’t want to be complacent, don’t want to talk down, have to keep looking to find where change is being stifled in favour of austerity.

      • RedBaronCV 7.1.2

        yep National definitely looted the country and handed the proceeds over to the high income earners leaving behind a raft of unfunded issues. The leaky buildings fiasco of the 90’s Nact government is small change compared to the sums we are going to have to find to fix our infrastructure issues caused by excessive immigration & neglect. Change our governance arrangements so there can’t be huge sales of the people’s assets to benefit the few.

        No appetite for taxes? I think there would be plenty of appetite for a high rate of income tax on over say $200,000 to $300,000, resource taxes where our resources are being used to enrich non citizens, taxing non citizens for their use of our country, taxing massive monopoly profits flowing offshore

        • Ad 7.1.2.1

          Let’s see what the Tax Working Group comes up with.

          The terms of reference for that group pretty much rule out anything really substantial from the get-go, but they are pretty keen to effectively raise GST as a consumption tex by raising fuel tax in Auckland: the price of freight and all goods using plastic and all other petroleum derivatives made in Auckland go up massively.

          • RedBaronCV 7.1.2.1.1

            I can see the straight jacket that the “no new taxes and borrowing” have put on the new government but that doesn’t leave many other choices and I’d say that the capacity of a large chunk of the population ( where wage rates are static) to absorb new charges is pretty limited.

            But taxing external players,high incomes & large wealth agglomerations isn’t going to bother too many of the current governments voters.

            • RedBaronCV 7.1.2.1.1.1

              And call it a levy and put on for a few years then make it permanent. Tag it as offsetting Nacts “looting”. I like that word.

              • Ad

                Aye well, that really would require a properly socialist government.

                Maybe a John A. Lee government.

                • RedBaronCV

                  The Piggy Muldoon Government had a top rate of some 60% IIRC . Hardly socialist. And there are some macro studies in the US that redistributive taxes ( equalizing incomes) have touched off ‘long periods of growth” trying to avoid the “growth” word but actually innovation.

                  i think we’d do better channeling Jeeza rather than Tony Blair but suspect we have too many 3rd wayers in the current labour givernment.

          • greywarshark 7.1.2.1.2

            Ad
            Does the Tax Working Group have a direction to look at relieving the tax burdens on beneficiaries’ earnings, and secondary tax, and loss of assistance grants $ for $ meaning? At present it is hard for poor people to get out of the poverty pit, as the rungs on the ladder sink down as they try to climb up.

            It could be good to have an understood policy of seeking infrastructure investment from the wealthy as an offset to having higher taxes introduced.
            Raising money within the country would lessen the flow of interest outside the country, but paid in our own currency, strengthening our own economy and probably with a multiplier effect.

            • Ad 7.1.2.1.2.1

              I sure hope so.

              I’m trying to be positive about that group even though they’ve ruled out so much.

              It was particularly striking to see the Children’s Commissioner come out on Friday stating that the best thing to alleviate child poverty was to index benefits the same way as NZSuper is.

              I think you are dead right about infrastructure investment from the wealthy. The Minister of Transport is very keen on specific infrastructure bonds, as an alternative to rates. Personally I would look at investing that kind of thing myself, and I would want NZSuperFund and my Kiwisaver to do so as well.

              • greywarshark

                Thanks Ad – it will be interesting and heartening to hear about ‘concrete’ thinking likely to lead to definite decisions and the built environment either of buildings or stalwart action-oriented policies and legislation.

  8. One Two 8

    Good on you for having a go, Ad

    Too much to disagree with however, and not enough time or inclination to go into it

    Thanks for the effort though..

    That’s a genuine comment, which also applies to all who post articles to read

  9. Pat 9

    tis a house of cards with all the worlds bankers desperately preventing any vibration or breeze….we know they are unable to do so forever so then the question becomes how long?……another 12 months?…..i wouldn’t bet anything important on them being able to.

    ….and then theres CC

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  • The Australian courts have had enough of refugee detention
    For the past decade, Australia has had a racist, anti-refugee policy. Those claiming refugee status are imprisoned without trial and left to rot in the hope they would "voluntarily" return to be tortured and murdered. When the courts have granted them visas, the government has immediately revoked them on racial ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Friction and the Anti-lock Braking System
    Yesterday afternoon I had to call on my car’s anti-lock braking system (ABS). For reasons best known to its driver, a car pulled out of a side road right in front of me while I was driving home after work, and I needed to stop in a hurry. I rather ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    5 days ago
  • The Inside Word: New Zealand Quarantine
    There are a fair few misconceptions about conditions within New Zealand’s Quarantine Hotels. Madeline Grant’s misplaced accusations being one prominent example, though she is not alone. Today, I thought I’d share the inside word, so to speak. A friend of mine has recently returned to New Zealand from overseas, and ...
    5 days ago
  • Hard News: ASA: Let’s not talk about this
    Last week, major newspapers carried a full-page ad as part of the campaign for a "No" vote to the referendum question about supporting the Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill. The ad was authorised by the SAM NZ Coalition, which takes its name from a controversial American anti-cannabis group and includes ...
    5 days ago
  • This is not kind
    New Zealand has a serious homelessness problem, due to skyrocketing rents and a lack of state houses. One of the ways we stick a band-aid on it is to put people up in motels. Previously, they were charged full commercial rates, saddled with odious debt due to the government's failure ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Wokies are the establishment
    by Ani O’Brien In the absence of a better word with which to refer to the rabid activists who claim progressivism while demanding adherence to an increasingly prescriptive set of political beliefs, I call them “woke”. With its roots in Black American slang, the term originally denoted a person or ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • How to strengthen the post-isolation Covid rules
    Over the weekend, the Ministry of Health reported a case of Covid-19 in Auckland that is not related to the current Auckland cluster. Before we start to panic, here’s how I think the case happened and how we can strengthen our current border controls. The new Covid-19 case is someone ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    5 days ago
  • Neuralink and You: A Human-AI Symbiosis
    Becky Casale Elon Musk reckons his Neuralink brain implant is much more than a medical device–that one day it will drive a symbiosis between humans and artificial intelligence. “Good morning! I’m Dr Benedict Egg and I’ll be supervising your Neuralink insertion today. Do you have any questions?” “Yes, Doc. ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • Liam Hehir: Our obsession with American politics
    Many New Zealanders take a strong interest in US politics, with the death of Supreme Court Judge Ruth Bader Ginsberg being the latest example. Liam Hehir wonders if it very wise for New Zealanders to get so worked about it.   Many politically engaged New Zealanders are now furiously ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    6 days ago
  • COVID: Back to Level 1
    After stamping the Coronavirus out via strict lockdown between March and May, New Zealand went through a good three months without any community cases. Then a local outbreak in Auckland rather buggered things up last month. Auckland’s been in level 3 and level 2.5 for the past six weeks. ...
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: Climate injustice
    Who's causing our skyrocketing emissions? As with most of our other problems, It's the rich: The wealthiest 1% of the world’s population were responsible for the emission of more than twice as much carbon dioxide as the poorer half of the world from 1990 to 2015, according to new ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Good riddance
    The border closure and resulting lack of foreign slave-workers is driving the fishing industry out of business: One fishing company is effectively out of business while others are bracing for large financial hits as the deepwater New Zealand industry, unable to get skilled foreign workers into the country, have ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #38
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Review... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... The tipping points at the heart of the climate crisis Many parts of the Earth’s climate system have been destabilised by ...
    6 days ago
  • Anyone for Collins?
    In the absence of national public opinion polls, we have had to make do in recent weeks with other guides to voter intentions. Those guides, such as the Auckland Central poll, the incidence of google enquiries and the responses to Vote Compass questions, have suggested, not unexpectedly, that Labour is ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    6 days ago
  • Crusher’s fiscal malfunction
    Crusher Collins - National Party leaderWe all know that the National Party is desperate to gain some traction during this election campaign and have been throwing pretty much everything at the Labour Party in order to try and undermine Jacinda Ardern and what the Coalition Government has achieved. But unfortunately ...
    6 days ago
  • Much of the commentariat’s reporting of the most recent GDP figure was misleading and unhelpful. The prize for the stupidest remark about the GDP figure for second quarter 2020 (2020Q2) released on Thursday (17 Sept) goes to Judith Collins, whose response to Grant Robertson’s comments indicated she did not ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    6 days ago
  • Love and Hate as Complementary Revolutionary Acts
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh goloing@gmail.com (19/09/2020) Che Guevara said that a true revolutionary is motivated by love i.e. love of the oppressed, the poor, the children dying from preventable illnesses. This phrase of his is true but has been used by reformists and their more hippy wing have taken advantage ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    7 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #38
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week: Sun, Sep 13, 2020 through Sat, Sep 19, 2020 Editor's Choice Get to Net-Zero by Mid-Century? Even Some Global Oil and Gas Giants Think it Can Be Done A report by a ...
    7 days ago
  • Tax cuts for all!!! (except you, you, and you)
    With the National Party this week announcing a new policy of tax cuts to spice up the election campagin. MyThinks went along to the launch and afterwards we spoke to the party’s finance spokesperson Paul “Golden Touch” Goldsmith. MT: Thanks for speaking to us Mr Goldsmith. PG: No. Thank you. ...
    My ThinksBy boonman
    1 week ago
  • Great Waves Washing Over New Zealand
    Always to islanders danger Is what comes over the seas ‘Landfall in Unknown Seas’ (Allen Curnow)Six economic issues external to New Zealand, which will greatly impact upon us. 1.         The Diminishing Global Dominance of the US. Since 1941 America has dominated the world economically and politically. Probably it could ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand has role to play in resolving crisis on ‘geopolitical fault line’, Helen Clark says
    By Geoffrey Miller New Zealand should continue to champion human rights in Belarus amidst an ongoing crackdown on protests by the country’s regime, former Prime Minister Helen Clark says. Protests in the country often referred to as ‘Europe’s last dictatorship’ erupted after the country’s disputed presidential elections on August 9 ...
    Democracy ProjectBy Geoffrey Miller
    1 week ago
  • Euthanasia referendum: How to cut through the emotions
    Jacqui Maguire, registered clinical psychologist This podcast episode highlights how difficult it is to have effective conversations about euthanasia due to how polarised people’s views are. I’m a clinical psychologist, with a passion for science communication. In early 2020 I founded the podcast Mind Brew, with an aim to make psychological ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Why we need cameras on boats
    In case anyone needed further convincing, there's another example today of why we need cameras on fishing boats: reported seabird bycatch doubled during a camera trial: Commercial fishers operating off Auckland's coast around vulnerable seabirds are twice as likely to report accidentally capturing them when cameras are on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Graham Adams: The religious right’s campaign to spike the euthanasia referendum
    In the leadup to the euthanasia referendum, an array of conservative Christian political organisations is running an expensive campaign to sow doubt about the safety of assisted dying. Graham Adams argues that these religious forces know that Christian arguments aren’t convincing the public, but that it is in the public ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    1 week ago
  • Opportunistic looting
    The National Party has spent the last six months acting horrified at the cost of supporting people through the pandemic and banging on about how the debt must be repaid. So what was their economic policy released today? Massive tax-cuts for the rich, of course! National has walked back ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Uncomfortable Choices.
    Dangerous Times: This will be the choice confronting those coming of age in the 2020s. Embrace Neoliberalism’s belief in racial and sexual equality; adopt its secular and scientific world view; and cultivate the technocratic, multicultural, global outlook required of those who keep the machinery of hyper-capitalism humming. Or, throw your ...
    1 week ago
  • Tony Burton: Covid and benefit payments
    It would be a great time to reform the benefit system, according to former Deputy Chief Economic Advisor at the Treasury, Tony Burton. He argues the complexity of benefit system means that it’s failing to achieve its difficult three core objectives, which form an “iron triangle”.   New Zealand’s benefit ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    1 week ago
  • Talking tax: How to win support for taxing wealth
    Tax Justice UK, September 2020 Serious tax reform is on the political agenda for the first time in decades due to the coronavirus crisis. As this debate hots up it is important to understand what people think about public spending, wealth and tax. Tax Justice UK, along with Survation and ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • Getting Tough.
    Not Mucking Around: With upwards of 800 dead from the virus’s resurgence in the Australian state of Victoria, leniency is not on Premier Daniel Andrews’ agenda. The Victorian Police are cracking down hard on the protesters the Australian press has labelled "Covidiots".IMAGES OF POLICE, some in riot gear, others on ...
    1 week ago
  • Media Link: Nuclear strategy, then and now.
    Although I had the fortune of being a graduate student of some of the foremost US nuclear strategists of the day (1970s) and later rubbed shoulders with Air Force and Naval officers who were entrusted with parts of the US nuclear arsenal, I seldom get to write or speak about ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • The Chinese List.
    News that Zhenhua Data, an arm of China Zhenhua Electronics Group, a subsidiary of the military-connected China Electronic Information Industry Group (CETC), maintains a list of 800 New Zealanders on a “Overseas Key Information Database” that contains personal information on more than 2.4 million foreign individuals, has caused some consternation ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Things that grow fast, and things that surprise us
    Marie Becdelievre January 2020. The number of news article mentioning coronavirus exploded and anxious voices whispered about a global pandemic. Whisper? To me, it was only a whisper. I tend to learn about the world through non-fiction books, conferences, and academic research rather than news and social media, so ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #37, 2020
    2,082,476,000,000,000 Viability of greenhouse gas removal via the artificial addition of volcanic ash to the ocean  (not open access, unfortunately) walks us through the numbers on a particular means of CO2 removal, addition of volcanic tephra to the ocean. The mechanism is straight chemistry and the cost is fully an order of ...
    1 week ago
  • Barbados to become a republic
    Barbados is planning to remove the queen as head of state and become a republic in time for the 55th anniversary of its independence in 2021: Barbados has announced its intention to remove the Queen as its head of state and become a republic by November 2021. [...] Reading ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Party Like It’s 1989: Bait and Switch is a Bad Look, Mr Hipkins
    At the 2017 election, the New Zealand Labour Party promised a Fees Free Policy for tertiary students. Basically, it would make the first year of university education free in 2018, with a second year in 2021, and a third in 2024. It also promised to restore Post-Graduate access to the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Will the tropics eventually become uninhabitable?
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz What is the impact of temperature increases in the tropics? ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • A first-hand look: What it’s like to live in a 2020 California wildfire evacuation zone
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Daisy Simmons It felt like 100 degrees in my in-laws’ Grass Valley, California, kitchen, but at least the lights were on and for the moment we were safely “distanced” from the Jones Fire. We’d just finished dessert, after pizza and a movie ...
    2 weeks ago
  • COVID-19 is not the only infectious disease New Zealand wants to eliminate, and genome sequencing is...
    Nigel French, Massey University Genome sequencing — the mapping of the genetic sequences of an organism — has helped track the spread of COVID-19 cases in Auckland, but it also plays an important role in the control of other infectious diseases in New Zealand. One example is Mycoplasma bovis, a ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • A flaw in our electoral transparency regime
    A key part of our electoral funding regime is a requirement for some transparency around donations, on the basis that if we can find out who has bought our politicians (typically after we have voted for them) then everything is alright. There are a lot of problems with that regime ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Don’t Steal This Book
    On “In Defense of Looting” Matt Taibibi takes an entertaining look at this generation of woke activists and how they compare with Abbie Hoffman the iconic anti-Vietnam war counter-culture figure of the 1960s On Thursday, August 27th, the same day Donald Trump formally accepted the Republican nomination, National Public Radio ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago

  • Hokitika Landmark earmarked for $22m restoration
    Seddon House in Hokitika, once a hub for government on the West Coast, has been earmarked for government use once again. “Today we’re announcing a $22 million investment from the Government’s $3 billion infrastructure fund for shovel ready projects for the purchase and restoration of Seddon House in the heart of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • Minister of Foreign Affairs makes two diplomatic appointments
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced two new diplomatic appointments: •         Michael Appleton as New Zealand’s first resident High Commissioner to Sri Lanka. •        Tredene Dobson as New Zealand’s next Ambassador to Viet Nam.  Sri Lanka “New Zealand is opening a post in Colombo in 2021 because we are ready ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • NZ’s most prestigious conservation award – Loder Cup presented to Graeme Atkins
    The Minister of Conservation Minister, Eugenie Sage, today presented Aotearoa New Zealand’s most prestigious conservation award, the Loder Cup, to the 2020 winner Graeme Atkins while in Gisborne/Tūranga-nui-a-Kiwa. “Graeme Atkins of Ngāti Porou is a Department of Conservation ranger whose contribution to conservation goes well above and beyond his employment,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Parliament to install solar and cut carbon
    Parliament is leading by example by taking action to cut its carbon footprint by installing solar and improving energy efficiency, the Minister for Climate Change, James Shaw said today. The Minister confirmed that Parliamentary Services will receive support through the Clean-Powered Public Service Fund to install solar PV and LED ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Tuvalu Language Week theme promotes community resilience in the face of COVID-19
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio says the 2020 Tuvalu Language Week theme of “Fakatili Te Kiloga Fou” which means “Navigating the changing environment” is a call on all Pacific peoples to be strong and resilient in the face of COVID-19. “This theme is a reminder to us ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • International sport back up and running in New Zealand
    The Government is welcoming today’s announcement that the West Indies and Pakistan cricket teams will tour New Zealand this summer.  “A lot of hard work has been undertaken by sports officials including New Zealand Cricket, Netball New Zealand and government officials to ensure that international sport can return safely to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • 1BT funds for Northland forest taonga
    Northland’s indigenous tree canopy is set to grow for the benefit of mana whenua and the wider community thanks to nearly $2 million in One Billion Trees funding, Forestry Minister Shane Jones announced today. Te Komanga Marae Trust has received more than $1.54 million to restore and enhance the native ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Better health care for West Coasters as Te Nikau Hospital officially opened
    The Government has delivered a new hospital for Greymouth and is starting work on a much needed new health centre in Westport, ensuring local communities will benefit from better access to high quality integrated health services. Today, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Associate Health Minister Peeni Henare officially open Te ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government backing local with PGF loan
    A West Coast distillery will benefit from a Provincial Growth Fund investment that will enable it to expand its operations and create jobs in the town of Reefton, Rural Communities Minister Damien O’Connor and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones have announced. The Reefton Distilling Co will receive a $928,000 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Primary sector exports and jobs up again
    Primary sector exports and jobs are up again, demonstrating the sector’s underlying strength amid the COVID-19 global pandemic and US-China trade war, and supporting New Zealand’s economic recovery. Stats NZ today reported New Zealand’s merchandise exports in August were up 8.6% on a year ago, driven by an increase in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Clean energy future for more schools
    Schools across Aotearoa New Zealand will be supported by the Government to upgrade to run on clean energy, the Minister for Climate Change James Shaw announced today. The Minister has allocated $50 million from the Clean Powered Public Service Fund to replace, or convert, coal boilers in schools with clean ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Building business strength with digital tools
    New training and tools for digital commerce will give small businesses, especially in the tourism sector, the support they need to adapt and innovate in a COVID world. Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis and Small Business Minister Stuart Nash have announced details of how $20 million digital capability funding set aside ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New pest lures to protect nature
    The Department of Conservation (DOC) is investing $1.4 million to develop new predator lures that would be game-changers for trapping and surveillance towards a predator-free Aotearoa, the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage, announced in Christchurch today. The proposal is to develop long-life lures attractive to a range of predators—rats, mustelids ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Support for innovative Pacific education responses to COVID-19 needs
    Supporting new and creative Pacific education practices as part of our COVID-19 response and recovery is the focus of a new $28.5 million Pacific Education Innovation Fund announced today by Associate Minister of Education Jenny Salesa.  “There is already an incredible amount of innovative and creative work going on in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Eligibility expanded for COVID-19 leave support
    The expanded scheme will cover: People who have COVID-19 like symptoms and meet the Ministry of Health’s criteria, and need to self-isolate while awaiting the results of a COVID-19 test. People who are directed to self-isolate by a Medical Officer of Health or their delegate or on advice of their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Seasonal work visa available to more people
    The Government is putting in place a range of immigration policy changes to help fill labour shortages in key industries while ensuring New Zealanders, who have lost jobs due to COVID-19, have the chance to find new employment. “Two key sectors we are moving to help are horticulture and wine ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • More border exceptions for critical roles
    The Government has established class exceptions for border entry for a limited number of veterinarians, deep sea fishing crew, as well as agricultural and horticultural machinery operators. “Tight border restrictions remain the backbone of the Government’s border strategy to protect New Zealand against COVID-19 and ensure New Zealand citizens and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Crown will not appeal Dodds v Southern Response decision
    The Crown will not appeal the Court of Appeal decision in the Dodds v Southern Response case, Grant Robertson announced today. “Southern Response will be paying the damages awarded by the Court to Mr and Mrs Dodds shortly. The Crown was already meeting their legal costs for this appeal. “The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Crucial PGF investments for Northland
    The Provincial Growth Fund is investing nearly $30 million in a diverse range of projects that will create immediate and long-term jobs and lift economic and social outcomes for Northland and its people. Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones made the announcement today in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • $27million investment in global vaccine facility
    The Coalition Government has committed to invest $27 million in COVID-19 vaccine development through the global COVAX Facility, Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today. “The COVAX Facility is a key part of our COVID-19 Vaccine Strategy to obtain safe and effective vaccines. It allows us to invest in a high-quality, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government backing Māori landowners
    The Government will provide up to $1.69 million through the One Billion Trees programme to Māori landowners to make their whenua more productive through the planting of forests, both native and exotic, and improve economic and environmental outcomes, Forestry Minister Shane Jones has announced. “Around 1.5 million ha of land ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New tools to make nature more accessible
    People planning to head outdoors now have a resource that lets them know how accessible an area is for people with varying levels of mobility, Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage announced today. The Halberg Foundation, Sensibel, and the Department of Conservation (DOC) have launched Accessibel, a new tool which helps ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • PGF makes Māori history more accessible
    One of the most significant battle sites of the 1860s Land Wars will receive $2.96 million from the Provincial Growth Fund to improve the site and help tell the New Zealand story to visitors, Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones have announced. Nanaia Mahuta ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Making it official: The journey of te reo Māori | Kia whakapūmautia: Ngā piki me ngā heke o te r...
    The journey towards recognising Māori as an official language and taonga has been captured as a web series and launched today during Te Wiki o te Reo Māori, announced Associate Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Carmel Sepuloni. “Te reo Māori is a living language, and understanding its significance, and pathways to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Better-than-forecast GDP reflects decision to protect New Zealand
    Today’s better-than-forecast GDP figures show the expected impact of the decision to act quickly to protect New Zealanders from the global COVID-19 pandemic. GDP fell 12.2% in the June quarter from March, reflecting decisions to close New Zealand’s borders and enter Alert Level 4. “This result was better than the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Boost for COVID-19 related Pacific education needs
    The Government is investing $39.7 Million over four years to support the educational needs of Pacific learners and families in the regions hardest hit by COVID-19, with Auckland getting an immediate boost, Associate Minister of Education Jenny Salesa says.   “Like all New Zealanders Pacific families want learners to do well ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • More resources for kiwi conservation
    New Zealand’s goal of 100,000 kiwi by 2030 is being helped by an extra $19.7 million in funding to accelerate iwi and community efforts to protect kiwi, Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage announced. “$19.7 million of Jobs for Nature funding is being invested in kiwi conservation activities including increased predator ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Improving access to affordable electricity
    Ensuring New Zealanders can get the best deal on their electricity takes a step in the right direction today with the South Island launch of the EnergyMate pilot run by the Electricity Retailers’ Association, says Minister of Energy and Resources, Dr Megan Woods. EnergyMate is an industry-led programme providing coaching ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government achieves 50 percent women on state boards
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter announced today that the Government has reached its target of 50 percent on women on state sector board and committees – setting a new record level of women on state sector boards. “This Government is committed to having more women in leadership roles - ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Record transport investment to help economic recovery and save lives
    Transport Minister Phil Twyford released today the final Government Policy Statement on land transport (GPS) 2021 which outlines the planned $48 billion investment in services and infrastructure over the next decade. “The final GPS supports our Government’s five-point plan for economic recovery by confirming our record investments in transport infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Advancing clean energy technology
    Three ambitious and cutting-edge research programmes that will lift New Zealand’s advanced energy technology research capability over seven years, have been supported by Government today, says Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods. The projects will each receive a share of $40.7 million investment from the Strategic Science Investment Fund. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Major milestone reached in Pike River Re-entry
    The critical area for forensic examination known as Pit Bottom in Stone has been reached in what is a major milestone for the Pike River re-entry project, Minister Responsible for Pike River Re-entry Andrew Little announced. “The infrastructure located in Pit Bottom in Stone is of very significant interest in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Economic recovery guides Govt response to retirement income policy review
    The Government is working on how New Zealand’s retirement income policies and settings can best support Kiwis in light of the COVID-19 economic recovery, with the help of the Retirement Commissioner’s latest review, Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said. “The Retirement Commissioner’s three-yearly review into New Zealand’s retirement ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Iwi community hub opens in Murupara
    A new digital hub and development centre in Murupara will be instrumental in growing the region’s productivity, said Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau at the official opening of two community initiatives today. “I’m pleased to be here celebrating a significant milestone for two projects set to make a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • PREFU shows economy doing better than forecast
    PREFU shows economy doing better than forecast Unemployment to peak at 7.8%, down from 9.8% forecast in the Budget Year-to-June accounts show tax revenue, debt and OBEGAL better than forecast Global forecast downgraded as COVID-19 second waves and uncertainty grows Balanced plan to support critical public services, manage debt and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Spruce-up for Ōtaki community facilities
    The Kāpiti Coast town of Ōtaki will receive $1.4 million in Government funding for two projects providing scores of jobs for locals while improving community facilities, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. The Māoriland Charitable Trust will receive a $900,000 Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) grant to upgrade the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF funding for Jobs for Nature programme
    The Provincial Growth Fund will provide $11.88 million to fund fencing and waterway projects nationwide that will improve the environment and create jobs in their communities, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. “These projects will create more than 100 jobs nationwide with work starting within the next couple ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Procurement to promote jobs, Māori and Pasifika businesses and sustainability
    As part of the COVID-19 recovery, the Government has strengthened its procurement rules to ensure its annual $42 billion spend creates more jobs, uses more sustainable construction practices and results in better outcomes for Māori and Pasifika, Government Ministers announced today.   Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford says the $42 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Timaru’s Theatre Royal to be upgraded and new heritage facility built
    The Government is supporting a major upgrade of Timaru’s iconic Theatre Royal and the construction of a new connected Heritage Facility museum and exhibition space with $11.6 million from the Government’s Infrastructure Fund, Jacinda Ardern announced today. “We heard the call from the community and the council. The Theatre Royal ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • District Court judge appointed
    Chrissy Montague (formerly Armstrong), barrister of Auckland has been appointed as a District Court Judge with Family Court jurisdiction to be based in Wellington, Attorney-General David Parker announced today. Ms Montague commenced practice in Auckland in 1987 and went into general practice dealing with Wills, Estates, Trusts, Conveyancing, Relationship Property ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago