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Election 2017: the battle lines are drawn

Written By: - Date published: 8:57 am, July 17th, 2017 - 77 comments
Categories: class, climate change, don brash, Donald Trump, election 2017, greens, Jeremy Corbyn, labour, making shit up, marama fox, Media, national, nz first, Politics, polls, same old national, Shane Jones, winston peters - Tags:

What a weekend …

First there was the attempted splash on Labour suggesting that the latest UMR poll had seem its support drop significantly. While this may be true the Roy Morgan poll released at the same time showed a significant increase in support for Labour. And both polls suggested that National has shed 5% points of support in the last month and is now at 42-43%. The headline should have been that National’s support crumbles. Making it a Labour problem when the evidence was much less clear was weird.

Then the Greens had the opportunity to get their campaign running and boy did they take that opportunity. Saturday was all about climate change and New Zealand’s insipid response. The world has at most a decade to do something meaningful about climate change. New Zealand’s next Parliament has a huge job to do.

And Sunday was a revelation, possibly the most significant political event since Don Brash’s Orewa speech. The Greens came out with a brave policy to essentially reverse National’s benefit cuts imposed by the mother of all budgets in 1991. They also propose removal of financial penalties and excessive sanctions, ameliorating abatement rules and a reduction in the bottom tax rate. And the policy that will make National fume? A new top tax bracket of 40% on income over $150,000.

The aspect that has caught much of the media’s attention is Metiria Turei’s acknowledgment that in the 1990s she lied to WINZ so that she could receive sufficient to feed her child. This eptomises the importance of an adequate benefit. Our future lawyers and politicians may need help at a stage of their life to get through a hard time and this is why the benefit should be set at a liveable level.

The right have climbed in and demanded that she be prosecuted. There is an offence under the Social Security Act 1964 of making a false statement to continue to receive a benefit. There is a 12 month limitation period which starts after WINZ finds out about the alleged fraud.

There is also the Crimes Act offence of fraud for which charges can be filed at any time.

There are two problems with the right’s demand. Firstly the specific dates would have to be established and currently the dates are t0o vague. Secondly the allegation is far too old. I cannot imagine any court wanting to deal with any claim and would dismiss any prosecution because undue delay has occurred.  Besides we all have things in our past which we may not be proud of.

And the claim is extraordinarily facile. People should be respected when they front up and say that they have done something wrong. And Bill English received significant advantage by claiming an occupation allowance when he should not have and Todd Barclay’s refusal to cooperate with the police allegation into his alleged bugging of his staff suggests that National’s desire to cooperate with authorities into inquiries involving National MPs is low.

Good on Metiria and good on the Greens. They have presented brave principled policy that I am sure Jeremy Corbyn would agree with.

Meanwhile Winston Peters was also making a splash, while at the same time making the thought of a Labour-Green-New Zealand First Government very unlikely.

He has announced two bottom lines, binding referenda on reducing the size of Parliament to 100 and binding referenda on ending the Maori seats. He better talk to Shane Jones about the latter policy as Jones has very recently stated that the seats should be retained. Immigration would also be slashed.

Peters’ policy received a big tick from Don Brash and a big cross from Maori Party’s Marama Fox. The policy presents the possibility that the Maori Party may be prised away from the National Party if Peters holds the balance of power and follows through with the proposal. Interesting times …

If the Greens adopted the Jeremy Corbyn uplifting campaign style then Peters is clearly borrowing from Donald Trump. The trouble for National is that I suspect they will lose the most votes from Peter’s proposals whereas the Green’s welfare policy is likely to get more people voting which is exactly what Labour and the Greens need.

Whatever happens the 2017 election campaign has well and truly started. And it looks like Labour-Green verses National-NZ First.  We have just under 10 weeks to change the Government.

77 comments on “Election 2017: the battle lines are drawn ”

  1. garibaldi 1

    I think this is the game breaker we have been waiting for. Metiria has stabbed neoliberalism with this policy and set this election alight. Go the Greens!!

  2. Irascible 2

    Our canvassing in The blue seat of Botany has revealed that there are more disillusioned National supporters drifting to NZF than there are Labour supporters considering such a move.

  3. Wayne 3

    In Meteria’s case as an MP she should expect to be under severe scrutiny for her past actions.

    As an example of the past criminal conduct of an MP affecting their current position recall David Garrett. More recently Todd Barclay effectively has had his political career terminated, though that was for actions while he was an MP.

    While I agree it is a long time ago, she could still repay the relevant sum of money. That would certainly help in public trust terms, and would be the morally ethical thing to do. It would be an appropriate rectification of a wrong.

    Whether you like it or not MP’s are held to a higher standard. And so they should be, they are deciding the laws that affect us all.

    • Ed 3.1

      Ignoring the actual policies, Wayne….

      You know these ones.
      ‘Benefit raise, tax cuts for poorest and hikes for wealthy in new Greens policy.’

      https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/94777073/benefit-raise-tax-cuts-for-poorest-and-hikes-for-wealthy-in-news-greens-policy

    • Carolyn_nth 3.2

      The more Turei’s circumstances are put under scrutiny, the more media attention will be given to the inadequate, punitive, damaging social security provisions we now have.

      A lot of difference between Turei’s actions – to better herself to get of benefit and support her family – and those of Garrett.

    • Reality 3.3

      Wayne, I would have liked to see you stating it would also be the morally ethical thing to do that Todd Barclay not receive his generous salary when he is not working at his job. He should have resigned if he does not want to show some moral fibre and turn up.

      Other people not turning up to their job do not get paid so why is he able to? (Guess a precedent was set with Alamein Kopu and is it a case of do as I say, not do as I do?)

    • mickysavage 3.4

      Differences are that Metiria has been up front about it and it is historical, unlike Barclay where it is recent. There is also the fact that she was open about it whereas Barclay refused to even talk to the police.

      Garrett’s offending was also pretty out there. Stealing the identity of a dead baby suggests a compromised morality system whereas lying to receive sufficient to feed your kid can be justified morally.

      • Ovid 3.4.1

        There is also the fact that she was open about it whereas Barclay refused to even talk to the police.

        I have no time for Barclay and I think he should quit immediately, but like anyone else he has a right to silence.

    • Karen 3.5

      You mean like the double dipper from Dipton?

      http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/2910957/Bill-English-buckles-over-housing-allowance

      The difference between Metiria Turei and Bill English is that Metiria lied in order to have enough to feed her child, while the already very wealthy Bill English lied in order to get more money out of the taxpayer than he was entitled to out of sheer greed.

      • Wayne 3.5.1

        Ed, Carolyn, reality, mickysavage, karen,

        Not one of you have argued that she should not pay it back. I would point out that I have not said she should leave parliament as David Garrett was required to do. Merely that she should pay the money back. She has said she knew what she was doing was against the law.

        The Green policies have nothing to do with that, even if she did make her statement at the time of the policy announcement.

        And reality and mickysavage, Barclay has had to effectively leave parliament as a result of what he did.

        • weka 3.5.1.1

          She’s already said she’d pay it back.

        • Reality 3.5.1.2

          Hmm, “effectively leave patliament” fudges the issue of why he is still being paid. So if he has “effectively left parliament” he should front up and say he has instead of hiding away or visiting a bar and looking at his bank balance growing.

        • OncewasTim 3.5.1.3

          I often watch your posts and responses @wayne out of what’s best described as a sociological interest.
          IMO You’re supposedly an intelligent man equipped with the skill of critical thought. If I checked your CV, NO DOUBT that would be confirmed on paper.
          But maaaaaate!, sometimes you really do come up with pompous, holier-than-thou, ideologically and ego-driven kaka, it just amazes me.
          In relation to MT (and like so many of your ummm ilk?/colleagues?/ spinners?) the double standards hang like a dog’s balls.
          I’ve been watching your contributions but I can’t seem to see (YET) that you’re the perfect specimen

        • DoublePlusGood 3.5.1.4

          I don’t think she should have to pay it back. She needed that money to live. Completely acceptable behaviour. The unacceptable behaviour is the welfare policies that forced her to do that.

      • Poission 3.5.2

        The Greens had their snouts in the trough at the same times as english.

        http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/2930184/Greens-pay-back-double-dip-rent-error

    • weka 3.6

      Turei has already said she will pay it back if WINZ asks for it. WINZ would have to do a formal assessment to see how much is owed.

      Looking forward to other MPs’ benefit histories being severely scrutinised too.

      • Wayne 3.6.1

        weka,

        That is a good thing. Of course Metiria could do the calculations of what she owes herself. She has plenty of people in the Green research unit who could help her do the detailed calculations.

        As an MP she is in a different situation to most other people. She has to be proactive in putting the issue behind her. Taking the initiative herself and paying it back will do that.

        • Carolyn_nth 3.6.1.1

          The bigger, more important issue, is that Turei is using her success to try to ensure that benefit provisions are adequate for all who need them.

          She lied by omission to support her child and get on a more productive life track. The underlying problem is that the benefit system is inadequate and increasingly punitive and life-damaging.

          Bad laws and regulations can be challenged through civil disobedience.

          Turei is not pulling up the ladder after herself. She is putting herself on the line to work for a better deal for others.

        • weka 3.6.1.2

          “Of course Metiria could do the calculations of what she owes herself. She has plenty of people in the Green research unit who could help her do the detailed calculations.”

          Sorry, did you just suggest that a political party use its funds and resources to sort out a historical personal issue of one of its MPs? I mean, I can understand why you would think that, coming from the National Party, but I doubt that the Greens would consider that either a good use of their resources or an ethically appropriate one.

          Turei might be able to figure out the amount herself (or pay someone to), but it wouldn’t surprise me if that’s not possible. WINZ rules and calculations are very complex especially historically. Better to let WINZ assess it, after all they’re have staff who are trained to exactly this kind of thing.

    • Stuart Munro 3.7

      If you had called for audits of Key’s and Brownlee’s financial ‘creativity’ it might be possible to take you seriously Wayne. But you are merely the pompous version of political opportunism.

    • As an example of the past criminal conduct of an MP affecting their current position recall David Garrett. More recently Todd Barclay effectively has had his political career terminated, though that was for actions while he was an MP.

      Both of those crimes came with significant maximum jail terms whereas Turei’s doesn’t. In fact, jail terms that automatically preclude them running as an MP ever.

      Whether you like it or not MP’s are held to a higher standard. And so they should be, they are deciding the laws that affect us all.

      Unless they’re National MPs right? Because if you meant all MPs should be held to that higher standard then you’d be demanding that Bill English and a few other National MPs should have their political career ended right next to Barclay’s.

    • It’s a hard life being an elder statestroll.

      Meyt has agreed that of course if WINZ assesses what she owes she will pay it back, so I’m not sure why you’re having a big grandstand about this.

    • Incognito 3.10

      Your comparison is skewed in that Metiria Turei at least made an honest attempt to come clean instead of ducking for cover or worse.

  4. Ad 4

    The small parties are going for margins and scraps.

    Sure hope National and Labour have kept their big election promises to the last two weeks out to go for the undecideds and shift larger percentages.

    Feels like the Greens have shot their bolt and gone for eating the left vote.

    • BM 4.1

      Do you think the Labour party would be particularly happy after this weekend? I don’t.

      MOU seems to be dead and the greens are doing their own thing.
      Unfortunately, the public perception is still that the Greens are married to Labour and what the Greens say is Labour policy no different if the Greens say it or Labour say it.

      I think Andrew Little has to come out soon and make some sort of statement distancing Labour from the Greens.

      • mickysavage 4.1.1

        It fits within the MOU. The new tax takes care of that. I am surprised at how cheap it is. And it will get more people voting and enthused.

        I respectfully disagree with Ad about eating the left vote, this has the possibility of increasing turnout which will work just fine.

      • weka 4.1.2

        “MOU seems to be dead and the greens are doing their own thing.”

        The MoU was designed precisely so that Labour and the Greens could do their own thing. That doesn’t preclude co-operation. Looks to me like they’re still cooperating.

        Beggars belief that it’s over a year old and politicised people still don’t understand what it was for, or even what it says.

        On the other hand you might just be deliberately misleading about the MoU in order to undermine the left.

      • Bearded Git 4.1.3

        The Right is desperate to portray the MOU as dead-Hooton was at it today on nine to noon. It follows:
        1. They are scared of the MOU
        2. It is not dead.
        Surely all the Greens are doing are setting out their policies which look excellent and are a little to the Left of Labour (d’oh), though we haven’t seen the full policy position from anybody yet. So nothing surprising has happened at all. And if Roy Morgan is right it’s all on for PM Little.

    • tc 4.2

      Serves labour right for not having such game changing policies just more bland centrist beltway focus groupthink chaff.

      Winnie needling the maori party and his member for jones simultaneously is priceless.

    • spikeyboy 4.3

      And you were probably one of those who thought Corbyn wss headed for the scrap heap…

    • swordfish 4.4

      Ad “Feels like the Greens have shot their bolt and gone for eating the left vote.”

      Yep.

      Useful to consider the Green’s tactics over the last 10 days from the viewpoint of National’s highly successful Coalition of Chaos / Rowing in different directions ad in the final weeks of the 2014 Election campaign.

      The whole point of the MOU was to close down that fruitful line of attack. Now we seem to have something approaching a Green sabotage of the Left’s / Oppo’s chances.

      Just look at the headlines swing-voters have been reading this week.

      There can be no Labour-led Govt without NZF.

      • swordfish 4.4.1

        Greens hit out at NZ First during campaign launch – Radio New Zealand

        NZ First, Greens lick wounds ahead of annual meetings | Radio New Zealand
        After a week of public squabbling, New Zealand First and the Green Party head to their annual conventions in Auckland this weekend

        Green Party’s Metiria Turei ‘racist’ call riles NZ First’s … – NZ Herald
        – NZ First leader Winston Peters has bailed up Green co-leader Metiria Turei for calling him “racist”, saying such attacks would have consequences …

        New Zealand First party leader Winston Peters: How the … – NZ Herald
        – When Winston Peters warned Green co-leader Metiria Turei that there would be consequences for her calling New Zealand First racist,

        Green MP’s comments on NZ First the ‘height of stupidity’ – Winston …
        NZ Herald

        Green MP threatens new election if Labour goes with NZ First | Newshub

        Greens won’t back Labour – NZ First government unless they’re in it – MP
        One News The Green Party won’t accept a Labour-New Zealand First coalition that doesn’t involve them and it’s a position that could force voters back to the polls, the party’s newest MP says.

        _____________________________________________________________________________

        Let’s see what the next round of polls make of this. I’m not overly optimistic.

        The tail-end of the UMR caught Turei’s attack on NZF … let’s hope the apparent Lab-to-NZF swing in that UMR wasn’t a consequence.

        • swordfish 4.4.1.1

          Jane Bowron pretty much hits the nail on the head.

          Green go nuclear and blow up hopes of a left-centre coalition

          https://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/comment/columnists/94742556/green-go-nuclear-and-blow-up-hopes-of-a-leftcentre-coalition

        • Carolyn_nth 4.4.1.2

          This seems a very Labour-centric view. I thought you guys were into political strategy and tactics?

          It’s very clear the medium sized parties are going to be needed for any left coalition – and NZF and the Greens are polling very close %age-wise.

          So, the Greens have made some strong statements recently to differentiate themselves from NZ First: on immigration (and immigrants are a sizeable sector of non-voters), the young (also under-represented in voters, and those struggling on benefits., those strongly left wing.

          Turei has basically said (on Nation or Q &A that this is (election) politics, and that they can work with NZ F.

          IMO, they are not trying to cannabalize Labour votes (Labour have long ignore many of the vote sectors the GP seem to be targeting), but to grow the GP vote – aiming at those wavering about voting at all (strongly left wing; or who haven’t voted much in recent years, many because they feel no party or pollies represent them).

          And the GP would want to have the numbers to be in a strong position to negotiate a left coalition vs NZF pushing its policies (i.e. long list of bottom lines)

  5. Karen 5

    I think this piece from Simon Wilson about the difference between the NZF and Greens conferences is very good:

    https://thespinoff.co.nz/politics/17-07-2017/the-greens-roar-into-election-mode/#.WWu-T1L0i8A.twitter

    Metiria has been hinting all week that there was something bold coming, and I was hoping it would be something like this. It was both brave and clever to use her own story of lying to WINZ in order to get enough money to support her daughter. Brave because there would be a backlash from the right and clever because it highlights the need for increasing benefits as well as ensuring extensive media coverage.

  6. David Mac 6

    Could the Greens have made more of this? I feel there are large numbers that could vote Green that would subscribe to the saying: ‘It’s the making right that counts.’

    MT could of plucked many more emotional heartstrings. She could of explained how she wrestled with her personal matter and how she has gone about setting it right. Paid it back with interest.

    Her speech would then make greater non partisan in roads. ‘This is what I did and this is how I set it right. This is how the Greens are going to make it right for all of us.’

    We all make mistakes and questionable judgement calls, we are judged by what we do in response to those issues.

    We all tend to buy into the ‘Making Good’ thing. We all like to hear of a jailbird that finds a way to make a meaningful contribution. A concerted effort to make good wins hearts and support right across the political spectrum.

    • weka 6.1

      That’s the soft right argument. Turei is making a distinctly progressive argument, which is the system is broken, and it’s not just about personal bad luck or personal issues and personal responsibility, the system itself is designed to create these problems.

      I think you have missed her central point. Benefits aren’t liveable on. This is a far bigger issue than the personal responsibility one, and she’s speaking directly to the people who understand this in their bones.

      • David Mac 6.1.1

        Yes, I get that. People that are voting left anyway are delighted. Hopefully some of those that can’t be bothered voting will be bothered. I’m more referring to broadening appeal and growing the tick count from the soft right. Enough deck chairs to build a raft rather than swapping not enough between the left block.

        It’s just a thought weka, I’m delighted with the Green announcement, it’s a quality bold move towards a fairer NZ.

        • Explaining is losing, David. If you have to have the debate on soft-right terms, you’ve already lost. You convince as many people as you can in your own framing and then move on. You only ever use your opponents’ framing if you want to ridicule it or show it as logically invalid.

        • weka 6.1.1.2

          I’d add to what Matthew just said that the point is to shift the Overton Window. Helen Clark’s government showed us that a centre-left govt in NZ is possible but not sufficient. Bennett made things much worse, but welfare in NZ was still dysfunctional and often punitive and still not enough to live on during the Clark years and they did bugger all about that. They also enabled bene-bashing and individual responsibility memes that were then picked up by National and taken to new extremes. All that requires pushing back against, not co-operating with.

          Let’s not forget the only 1/3 of NZ voters voted National. So pushing back against that is possible.

          • greywarshark 6.1.1.2.1

            I like the cuts of your jibs Matthew W and weka. Lets not forget that only 1/3 voters vote National!

  7. He has announced two bottom lines, binding referenda on reducing the size of Parliament to 100 and binding referenda on ending the Maori seats. He better talk to Shane Jones about the latter policy as Jones has very recently stated that the seats should be retained. Immigration would also be slashed.

    Winston should probably get educated:

    And the proposal is even dafter now than when it was when mooted at the end of the 1990s. Parliament last had 99 MPs back in 1993, prior to MMP’s introduction. At that point New Zealand’s population was 3.6 million, meaning we had one MP for every 36,363 people.

    Today, our population is 4.8 million. If we want to use the apparently halcyon pre-MMP days as our baseline, today’s Parliament actually should have 132 MPs on a straight population growth basis.

    Labour and the Greens should be making a lot of noise about Winston and NZFirst wanting to reduce the amount of representation per population that we have and how much worse for democracy that will be

    • mikesh 7.1

      As these changes are constitutional changes they would require 75% support from parliament. Is a referendum which is binding on government also binding on parliament?

      • Right now, you have to pass a law to have a binding referendum that deals with what happens if there is a mandate from the public for change. This is how it is made binding on the government- Parliament votes for it.

        You may be right that it would require overcoming entrenchment to succeed, in which case, you just need to know, say, that National will vote against, and suddenly you’re perfectly secure in agreeing to vote for it. 😉

        (IIRC, only the 100 MPs proposal would possibly come up against entrenchment. The Māori seats definitely aren’t entrenched yet because the MP has been campaigning for it)

        The other possibility, of course, is that Labour and the Greens counter by saying instead of offering those two binding referenda, they’ll put a mechanism into law for binding referenda in general, and if people care about those issues, they’ll start a campaign for a referendum.

        • mikesh 7.1.1.1

          These still don’t get around the 75% requirement. I.e. if a referendum could lead to a constitutional change it a statute to allow such a referendum would presumably need a 75% majority.

      • Craig H 7.1.2

        Neither change is covered by the reserved provisions of the Electoral Act (available online here – http://legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1993/0087/latest/DLM310495.html), although that depends on how the reduction of MPs is implemented – if the intention is to reduce the number of List MPs, no change is necessary, but if it is by reducing the number of electorates, that would require changing a reserved provision because either the minimum of 16 SI seats would need to be reworked, or how the NI seats are calculated.

        If the proposed changes are covered by the reserved provisions, they require either 75% of Parliament to vote in favour, or a majority of a referendum (poll of electors).

    • I made a similar point around electorate seats and how unsustainable the South Island quota is. It’s already headed to need to be adjusted in a matter of decades with 120 MPs and roughly 60ish electorates. If we lower the number of MPs to 100, we’d need to make sure electorates don’t exceed 50 if we want to make sure we don’t end up with National or Labour winning overhang seats while still getting at least a quarter of the vote. (which would be appalling political welfare much worse than ACT getting Epsom handed to them) This means repealing or replacing the current South Island quota, and making electorates bigger, therefore much bigger in the case of the South Island, where already we have to unite several communities of interest in order to form electorates with enough population to stay within the legally mandated limits to make electorate votes comparably important.

      Voting for 100 MPs means voting for worse local representation for rural and regional communities. It won’t just be Gore and Queenstown that end up glommed together to make viable electorates despite very disparate views. If anything, NZ First’s new focus on the regions should make this policy very unpopular with that part of their base, if they thought through its implications.

      NZ First will of course hide behind “people should have a democratic choice” for their excuse as to why they’re proposing such a stupid policy.

  8. Michael 8

    While the Greens have certainly announced principled policy, it is business as usual with Labour. Not only has the Labour hierarchy endorsed Winston’s xenophobia (more accurately, his appeal to the xenophobic prejudices of his political base and the rural rednecks he wants to entice away from Labour), its failure to endorse the Greens’ welfare policy speaks volumes for its commitment to social justice. It might be time for progressive lefties to abandon Labour and let it merge with the Nats, as the two neoliberal brands are practically indistinguishable.

    • McFlock 8.1

      Without Labour, the Greens won’t be in government come november.
      Without the Greens, Labour won’t be in government come november.

      If Labour is all that bad, it will wither on the vine and be supplanted by the Greens. Spitting bile won’t speed that process.

      • That isn’t spitting bile, McFlock. That’s disappointment talking.

        • McFlock 8.1.1.1

          whatever it is, it would be foolish to talk national into a fourth term

          • In Vino 8.1.1.1.1

            I hope that Labour will indeed do/say something, but it probably won’t be so radical as the Greens are taking limelight with. I think it too early to write Labour off. I will wait to see what Labour comes up with – then maybe I will write them off. Too early at this stage.

          • Michael 8.1.1.1.2

            Not sure I’ve “talk[ed] national into a fourth term” there, McFlock. FWICS, the Labour hierarchy have done that all by themselves. But, there’s always Bill English’s ability to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory so perhaps we may see a change of political actors in the executive branch after 23 September. Just not a change of government, unless the Greens do really, really well.

            • McFlock 8.1.1.1.2.1

              I hope the greens to really, really well, too. But this election they also need Labour to do well.

          • greywarshark 8.1.1.1.3

            Slogan for the next ? weeks McFlock for all of us.

      • Red 8.1.2

        You forgot without nzf, greens and labour won’t be in government, so it is highly likely labour and greens or what is left of their carcuses after election will be in opposition ( unless green have a cunning plan of which weka ensures me is not the case) The leadership challenged then will be a lot of fun, if and a big if that angry Andy makes the cut as part of the 23pc

  9. adam 9

    AS for the polls Mickysavage, the right have been playing that trick on the standard for months.

    I can probably say now the Ye ole ‘look how bad it is for labour!’ stunt.

    The bigger the lie. I suppose.

    But the press in this country don’t want to know, they don’t want to rock the boat, they never do. They don’t, nor have ever given a rats about working people. They want their mates in jobs, and stuff the little guy.

    As for Winston – it’s like the toe jam of Muldoon has finally reached the tipping point. Any chance someone could remind him it’s no longer the 1950’s?

    • In Vino 9.1

      Good expression of frustration that I also feel. But Winston knows his truth is eternal (yeah, right) much like most other oldies.

  10. greywarshark 10

    Brian Easton over at Pundit seems to think that TP2 will be necessary for our survival.
    https://www.pundit.co.nz/content/when-the-water-runs-out

    That bodes ill for the future of the New Zealand economy. Admittedly, farm production is no longer the dominant foreign-exchange earner it was in the 1960s when it supplied 95 percent of our external funds that were not borrowed. Today the ratio is less than half but it is not obvious that our other export industries can carry the deficit that a broadly stagnant farm sector would generate.

    (Once upon a time we would make careful projections of our export potentials. Today we are much more casual; we borrow to make up any deficit – but that is not sustainable.)

    • Nic the NZer 10.1

      Easton is clearly an idiot. What happens when other countries stop lending us the money needed to buy their stuff? (Eg the non-sustainable bit of his argument) the country stops buying and therefore stops running a current account deficit at the same time, coincidentally.

      Otherwise the problem he is alluding to (a currency crisis) can no longer happen for NZ since the exchange rate got floated.

  11. Enough is Enough 11

    Lets hope Labour’s alternative budget tomorrow mirrors the greens announcements. Then we will be certain the battle lines are drawn

  12. patricia bremner 12

    I’m in Australia, up taking painkillers for my hip, and having a cuppa.
    I read the Granny, JOY JOY!!!!!
    Andrew Little has put the Multi nationals on notice.
    They are to pay tax, or will be pinged with a higher penalty tax if they move funds to avoid same..
    Plank by plank, GP and LP are building good sound people based policy.
    I thought “makes Key’s “planking” look what it was ….. juvenile.
    “Oh happy day”

  13. patricia bremner 13

    Then I read the Aussie news.
    Guess who is to get an Aussie gong? JK!!!!!
    Funny that it is for “services to Aus”
    Funny how “Kiwis are losing rights over here”.
    Funny how the latest “Aus workers law just cut penalty rates and brought in contracts”!!!!!
    1% working for the 1%???

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    11 hours ago
  • Minister Sio to attend Asian Development Bank meeting in Manila
    Associate Foreign Affairs Minister Aupito William Sio travels to the Philippines this weekend to represent Aotearoa New Zealand at the 55th Annual Meeting of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) Board of Governors in Manila. “The ADB Annual Meeting provides an opportunity to engage with other ADB member countries, including those ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • United Nations General Assembly National Statement
    E ngā Mana, e ngā Reo, Rau Rangatira mā kua huihui mai nei i tēnei Whare Nui o te Ao Ngā mihi maioha ki a koutou katoa, mai i tōku Whenua o Aotearoa Tuia ki runga, Tuia ki raro, ka Rongo to pō ka rongo te ao Nō reira, tēnā ...
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    2 days ago
  • New strategy unifies all-of-Government approach to help Pacific languages thrive
    A united approach across all-of-Government underpins the new Pacific Language Strategy, announced by the Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio at Parliament today. “The cornerstone of our Pacific cultures, identities and place in Aotearoa, New Zealand are our Pacific languages. They are at the heart of our wellbeing,” Aupito ...
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    2 days ago
  • Upgrades for sporting facilities ahead of FIFA Women’s World Cup
    Communities across the country will benefit from newly upgraded sporting facilities as a result of New Zealand co-hosting the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023. The Government is investing around $19 million to support upgrades at 30 of the 32 potential sporting facilities earmarked for the tournament, including pitch, lighting and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Partnership supports climate action in Latin America and Caribbean
    Aotearoa New Zealand is extending the reach of its support for climate action to a new agriculture initiative with partners in Latin America and the Caribbean. Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor announced a NZ$10 million contribution to build resilience, enhance food security and address the ...
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    3 days ago
  • Landmark agreement for Māori fisheries celebrates 30th year
    The 30th anniversary of the Fisheries Deed of Settlement is a time to celebrate a truly historic partnership that has helped transform communities, says Parliamentary Under-Secretary to the Minister for Oceans and Fisheries Rino Tirikatene. “The agreement between the Crown and Māori righted past wrongs, delivered on the Crown’s treaty ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government backs initiatives to cut environmental impact of plastic waste
    The Government has today announced funding for projects that will cut plastic waste and reduce its impact on the environment. “Today I am announcing the first four investments to be made from the $50 million Plastics Innovation Fund, which was set last year and implemented a 2020 election promise,” Environment ...
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    3 days ago
  • Call for expressions of interest in appointment to the High Court Bench
    Attorney-General David Parker today called for nominations and expressions of interest in appointment to the High Court Bench.  This is a process conducted at least every three years and ensures the Attorney-General has up to date information from which to make High Court appointments.  “It is important that when appointments ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Depositor compensation scheme protects Kiwis’ money
    New Zealanders will have up to $100,000 of their deposits in any eligible institution guaranteed in the event that institution fails, under legislation introduced in Parliament today. The Deposit Takers Bill is the third piece of legislation in a comprehensive review of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand Act and ...
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    3 days ago
  • New fund to help more Pacific aiga into their own homes
    The Government has launched a new housing fund that will help more Pacific aiga achieve the dream of home ownership. “The Pacific Building Affordable Homes Fund will help organisations, private developers, Māori/iwi, and NGOs build affordable housing for Pacific families and establish better pathways to home ownership within Pacific communities. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • More than 100,000 new Kiwis as halfway point reached
    Over 100,000 new Kiwis can now call New Zealand ‘home’ after the 2021 Resident Visa reached the halfway point of approvals, Minister of Immigration Michael Wood announced today. “This is another important milestone, highlighting the positive impact our responsive and streamlined immigration system is having by providing comfort to migrant ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Maniapoto Claims Settlement Bill passes third reading – He mea pāhi te Maniapoto Claims Settl...
    Nā te Minita mō ngā Take Tiriti o Waitangi, nā Andrew Little,  te iwi o Maniapoto i rāhiri i tēnei rā ki te mātakitaki i te pānuitanga tuatoru o te Maniapoto Claims Settlement Bill - te pikinga whakamutunga o tā rātou whakataunga Tiriti o Waitangi o mua. "Me mihi ka ...
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    4 days ago
  • 50,000 more kids to benefit from equity-based programmes next year
    Another 47,000 students will be able to access additional support through the school donations scheme, and a further 3,000 kids will be able to get free and healthy school lunches as a result of the Equity Index.  That’s on top of nearly 90% of schools that will also see a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Healthy Active Learning now in 40 percent of schools across New Zealand
    A total of 800 schools and kura nationwide are now benefitting from a physical activity and nutrition initiative aimed at improving the wellbeing of children and young people. Healthy Active Learning was funded for the first time in the inaugural Wellbeing Budget and was launched in 2020. It gets regional ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Speech at 10th meeting of the Friends of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test Ban Treaty
    Kia Ora. It is a pleasure to join you here today at this 10th meeting of the Friends of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test Ban Treaty. This gathering provides an important opportunity to reiterate our unwavering commitment to achieving a world without nuclear weapons, for which the entry into force of this ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Speech for Earthshot Prize Innovation Summit 2022
    Kia ora koutou katoa Thank you for the invitation to join you. It’s a real pleasure to be here, and to be in such fine company.  I want to begin today by acknowledging His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales and Sir David Attenborough in creating what is becoming akin ...
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    4 days ago
  • New accreditation builds capacity for Emergency Management Volunteers
    Emergency Management Minister Kieran McAnulty has recognised the first team to complete a newly launched National Accreditation Process for New Zealand Response Team (NZ-RT) volunteers. “NZ-RT volunteers play a crucial role in our emergency response system, supporting response and recovery efforts on the ground. This new accreditation makes sure our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Govt strengthens trans-Tasman emergency management cooperation
    Aotearoa New Zealand continues to strengthen global emergency management capability with a new agreement between New Zealand and Australia, says Minister for Emergency Management Kieran McAnulty. “The Government is committed to improving our global and national emergency management system, and the Memorandum of Cooperation signed is another positive step towards ...
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    4 days ago
  • Christchurch Call Initiative on Algorithmic Outcomes
    Today New Zealand, the USA, Twitter, and Microsoft, announced investment in a technology innovation initiative under the banner of the Christchurch Call.  This initiative will support the creation of new technology to understand the impacts of algorithms on people’s online experiences.  Artificial Intelligence (AI) algorithms play a growing role in ...
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    4 days ago
  • JOINT PR: Trans-Tasman Cooperation on disaster management
    Hon Kieran McAnulty, New Zealand Minister for Emergency Management Senator The Hon Murray Watt, Federal Minister for Emergency Management Strengthening Trans-Tasman cooperation on disaster management issues was a key area of focus when Australia and New Zealand’s disaster management ministers met this week on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Ministerial Conference on ...
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    4 days ago
  • More transparency, less red-tape for modernised charities sector
    The Charities Amendment Bill has been introduced today which will modernise the charities sector by increasing transparency, improving access to justice services and reducing the red-tape that smaller charities face, Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector Priyanca Radhakrishnan said. “These changes will make a meaningful difference to over 28,000 ...
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    4 days ago
  • Pacific visas reopened to help boost workforce
    Work continues on delivering on a responsive and streamlined immigration system to help relieve workforce shortages, with the reopening of longstanding visa categories, Immigration Minister Michael Wood has announced.  From 3 October 2022, registrations for the Samoan Quota will reopen, and from 5 October registrations for the Pacific Access Category ...
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    5 days ago
  • Queen Elizabeth II Memorial Day Bill passes into law
    The Bill establishing Queen Elizabeth II Memorial Day has passed its third reading. “As Queen of Aotearoa New Zealand, Her Majesty was loved for her grace, calmness, dedication, and public service. Her affection for New Zealand and its people was clear, and it was a fondness that was shared,” Michael ...
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    5 days ago
  • New investor migrant visa opens
    The new Active Investor Plus visa category created to attract high-value investors, has officially opened marking a key milestone in the Government’s Immigration Rebalance strategy, Economic Development Minister Stuart Nash and Immigration Minister Michael Wood have announced. “The new Active Investor Plus visa replaces the previous investor visa categories, which ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New wharekura continues commitment to Māori education
    A new Year 1-13 designated character wharekura will be established in Feilding, Associate Minister of Education Kelvin Davis announced today. To be known as Te Kura o Kauwhata, the wharekura will cater for the expected growth in Feilding for years to come. “The Government has a goal of strengthening Māori ...
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    5 days ago
  • National minute of silence for Queen Elizabeth II
    A national minute of silence will be observed at the start of New Zealand’s State Memorial Service for Queen Elizabeth II, at 2pm on Monday 26 September. The one-hour service will be held at the Wellington Cathedral of St Paul, during a one-off public holiday to mark the Queen’s death. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Speech to the Climate Change and Business Conference
    Tēnā koutou i tēnei ata. Good morning. Recently I had cause to say to my friends in the media that I consider that my job is only half done. So I’m going to take the opportunity of this year’s Climate and Business Conference to offer you a mid-point review. A ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government enhances protection for our most-productive land  
    Enhanced protection for Aotearoa New Zealand’s most productive land   Councils required to identify, map, and manage highly productive land  Helping ensure Kiwis’ access to leafy greens and other healthy foods Subdivision for housing on highly-productive land could still be possible in limited circumstances  The Government has today released a National ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Kieran McAnulty to attend Asia-Pacific Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction
    Minister for Emergency Management Kieran McAnulty will travel to Brisbane this week to represent Aotearoa New Zealand at the 2022 Asia-Pacific Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction. “This conference is one of the most important meetings in the Asia-Pacific region to progress disaster risk reduction efforts and increase cooperation between ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Trade and Agriculture Minister to travel to India and Indonesia
    Minister of Trade and Export Growth and Minister of Agriculture Damien O’Connor will travel tomorrow to India and Indonesia for trade and agricultural meetings to further accelerate the Government’s growing trade agenda.  “Exploring ways we can connect globally and build on our trading relationships is a priority for the Government, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Poroporoaki: Cletus Maanu Paul (ONZM)
    E te rangatira Maanu, takoto mai ra, i tō marae i Wairaka, te marae o te wahine nāna I inoi kia Whakatānea ia kia tae ae ia ki te hopu i te waka Mātaatua kia kore ai i riro i te moana. Ko koe anō tēnā he pukumahi koe mō ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Pacific Wellbeing Strategy sets clear path to improve outcomes for Pacific Aotearoa
    Strengthening partnerships with Pacific communities is at the heart of the Government’s new Pacific Wellbeing Strategy, Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio announced today. “Working alongside communities to ensure more of our aiga and families have access to the staples of life like, housing, education, training and job opportunities ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Jobs on the horizon for more than 1,000 rangatahi
    Following on from last week’s Better Pathways Package announcement and Apprenticeship Boost 50,000th apprentice milestone, the Government is continuing momentum, supporting over 1,000 more rangatahi into employment, through new funding for He Poutama Rangatahi. “Our Government remains laser focused on supporting young people to become work ready and tackle the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • NZ/AU partnership to bring world-class satellite positioning services
    Land Information Minister Damien O’Connor today announced a joint Trans-Tasman partnership which will provide Australasia with world-leading satellite positioning services that are up to 50 times more accurate, boosting future economic productivity, sustainability and safety.  New Zealand and Australia have partnered to deliver the Southern Positioning Augmentation Network (SouthPAN), with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt helps small businesses get paid on time
    The Government is adding to the support it has offered New Zealand’s small businesses by introducing new measures to help ensure they get paid on time. A Business Payment Practices disclosure regime is being established to improve information and transparency around business-to-business payment practices across the economy, Small Business Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Economy grows as tourism and exports rebound
    The economy has rebounded strongly in the June quarter as the easing of restrictions and reopening of the border boosted economic activity, meaning New Zealand is well placed to meet the next set of challenges confronting the global economy. GDP rose 1.7 percent in the June quarter following a decline ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Ambassador to China announced
    Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta today announced the appointment of Grahame Morton as New Zealand’s next Ambassador to China. “Aotearoa New Zealand and China share a long and important relationship,” Nanaia Mahuta said. “As we mark 50 years of diplomatic relations between our nations, we are connected by people-to-people links, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • 1.4 million hectares of wilding pine control work in two years
    1.4 million hectares of native and productive land have been protected from wilding conifers in the past two years and hundreds of jobs created in the united efforts to stamp out the highly invasive weeds, Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor said. Speaking today at the 2022 Wilding Pine Conference in Blenheim, Damien ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • HomeGround – “a place to come together, a place to come home to”
    After 10 years’ hard mahi, HomeGround - Auckland City Mission's new home – is now officially open. “It’s extremely satisfying to see our commitment to providing a safety net for people who need housing and additional support services come together in a place like HomeGround, to create a better future ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago