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English spins on GST with no traction

Written By: - Date published: 10:49 am, September 28th, 2010 - 39 comments
Categories: bill english, Economy, spin - Tags:

It’s worth having a look at Bill English’s performance on Q+A the other day. What’s telling, to my mind, is that English can’t present a real vision or even any spin-free information. Why not? Because his tax swindle is about taking from us and giving to the elite, and he can’t just come and say that.

MR ENGLISH … Businesses who do that [increase their prices by more than the GST hike] are really taking a risk. When your consumers are being so careful, if you put your prices up, people are going to be very sensitive to that. They’ll just move to someone else who hasn’t put their prices up.

GUYON And is that the only weapon – the market? Or can you clamp down on these people?

MR ENGLISH Well, the market is the weapon that works, actually.

Lolz. The wonderful market. Let’s leave it to those wonderfully efficient markets. Wait, aren’t these the same wonderful markets that failed so badly that the world’s governments have had to step in with borrowed trillions to prevent complete financial collapse.

GUYON OK, you said the vast majority of New Zealanders were going to be better off under your tax switch when GST goes up and the income tax comes down. Is there any group of New Zealanders… You’ve crunched the numbers over the last few months – is there any group of New Zealanders who will be worse off?

MR ENGLISH Well, I think that will depend on some individual circumstances. For instance…

GUYON What are they?

MR ENGLISH Well, there’s some groups, for instance, who don’t pay any accommodation costs. Because for most people, the cost of their housing and accommodation – they don’t pay GST on that, so they don’t have GST going up on it. But there are a small group of people who don’t pay any accommodation costs. There may be other people who are living on borrowed money, for instance. So there’s a few groups who may. There may be some individuals who put their heads up. But in the end, this is not just about whether people are better off – they’ll believe that when they see it – it’s about the longer-term need to balance the economy to strengthen it.

But that Nice Man Mr Key told me that I would be $50 a week better off. Now, it’s not about whether people are better off?

GUYON We had a New Zealand Institute of Economic Research forecasting paper out recently. They say that 50% of households will see their tax cuts eaten up by the end of the year. Do you agree with that?

MR ENGLISH No, I don’t, and I don’t know how they calculated that.

Who to believe? The country’s leading economic institute? Or Double Dipton, the man who claimed that cutting contributions to the Cullen Fund at a time when it was buying up assets at once-in-a-generation low prices was the sensible thing to do?

GUYON They say, though, that they estimate that 50% of households will be worse off after a year, at the end of the year, given rising food prices, GST and other one-off charges. I mean, there are a lot of costs in the economy going up.

MR ENGLISH Yeah, but when you add them all together, there’s actually some prices going down – like fuel and food prices have actually been dropping, not rising [petrol’s actually up 14.5% since English came to power]. When you add them up in the round, inflation is relatively low. Look, there’s no free lunch here. This is not a lolly scramble. It was never meant to be.

But, again, that Nice Man Mr Key told me I would be getting $50 a week of lollies. The truth, of course, is that the tax cut money hasn’t magically appeared out of thin air. The income tax cuts are paid for by the GST increase and a billion dollars of borrowing.

GUYON Yeah, and that may well be true, and that’s the theory of it, but for a lot of people, it’s going to be what’s in their pocket, and that’s fair enough for those people. And it isn’t much, is it, when you’re on the average wage of around $45,000. Your tax switch gives them $12 a week – three cups of coffee, really.

Or a block of cheese.

GUYON But when they look at someone on your salary gets $143 a week after this tax switch, and, say, someone starting out as a teacher on $37,000 gets $13 a week. Is it really fair?

MR ENGLISH It is, and we put a lot of information out around the budget.

GUYON What’s fair about that?

MR ENGLISH Well, it’s because we’ve increased the effective tax rate on property in particular. When you average it out across the income groups, most of the property tends to be owned by the higher income groups.

That may be but we all know that most wealthy people, especially the very wealthy, are not property investors – they’ll get the massive tax cuts but no depreciation clawbacks.

Imagine you’re a typical taxpayer, the Deputy Prime Minister for instance, and you’re renting your family home out to Ministerial Services who are then providing that home to you for your family to live in, you won’t be able to claim depreciation any more. On the other hand, say your rort was discovered a year ago and you’re not doing it now, then the changes to the depreciation rules mean nothing and you (already on seven times the starting teacher’s wage) walk away with eleven times the tax cut.

In the end of the interview, Guyon asks English about the abysmal growth track we’re on. English’s spin is that slow growth is good (funny, a few weeks ago he was misconstruing Labour’s record on growth to claim it was slow. I didn’t realise he meant it as a compliment). English says growth is slow because people are spending less and saving more. Now, English is an ex-Treasury official so he knows that isn’t true. GDP includes both consumption and capital formation (ie. savings/investment). The fact of the matter is that any new capital wealth we are accumulating is counted in that abysmal 0.2%.

My challenge to English is to stop spending all his time deceiving and actually come up with an economic strategy. One that isn’t based on cycleways and spinning.

39 comments on “English spins on GST with no traction”

  1. bbfloyd 2

    good luck on that challenge.. personally, i doubt dipton bill is capable of speaking straight english(pun intended). he’s been sounding like a wind up toy for so long the gears are jammed…

  2. Herodotus 3

    “But that Nice Man Mr Key told me that I would be $50 a week better off. Now, it’s not about whether people are better off?”
    Is that like the Nice Phil Goff informing me that GST off F&V will save $300-$400 p.a., or a MP S.Nash using his $130k+ salary and spending habits as a basis for what the rest are to save on this policy.
    It is the pollys job to use smoke and mirrors, and for the rest of us to find out the real truth, or the truth for us, and the medias job is to ? Entertain us only.
    There is no talk as to what their vision (Lab or Nat) is for NZ. Just bribe us for our vote for what is good for me. Sometimes what i sgood for me is not good for the country, we are becomming only takers.

  3. nzfp 4

    When English states “Look, there’s no free lunch here”, he is demonstrating that he either:

    1. Thinks we are complete economic illiterates

    or

    2. He is a complete economic illiterate.

    The term “Free Lunch” is a classical economic definition that has been debased by neoclassical economists. A “free lunch” in classical economics is defined as profit taken from the economic rent on products provided freely by nature. Conversely failed neoclassical economists define a free lunch as a reduction of taxes on labour – the complete opposite. In fact the term neoclassical would better be described as anti-classical.

    The best example of a “Free Lunch” is the economic rent extracted by Wealthy land owners who own lots of property that they rent out, it is typically managed in the form of a Trust (like the Double Dipton English family Trust).

    The free lunch occurs when the tax man is either prevented or refuses to tax this [land, rental properties,etc…] revenue stream and instead the tax burden is shifted from land taxes to labour – in the form of income and GST tax.

    Consequently we have a free lunch! The Wealthy land owners lke Bill English and his family get a free lunch of untaxed/poorly taxed rental revenue at the expense of the rest of us who offset the Bill English land tax with an increase in our labour costs with an increase in GST.

    In order for Bill English to keep getting his “FREE LUNCH”, English is willing to risk the stability of our economy. Bill English is literally stealing money from our back pockets to continue funding his “Free Lunch”.

    Think about that everytime you hear that A*****E say there is no free lunch.

    Stuff Englsih and stuff the rest of the anti-classical anti-liberal economists like him.

    I really want to use another word instead of “stuff”. Maybe that’s why that other website that produces agitprop/propaganda is called “Stuff”.

    • Colonial Viper 4.1

      It must burn the Righties that smart lefty people like you exist in our society.

      They won’t worry though, a few more education cut backs and putting more vulnerable children into deprivation and you’ll be an endangered species.

  4. prism 5

    His spin on overseas investment this morning was noticeable. He said that overseas investment is needed to start new businesses when apparently most are buying businesses already established. However Fed Farmers have recognised that overseas buying of farms should be difficult, mainly because China doesn’t allow foreigners to buy in their country. Tit for tat, that’s the only argument they can think of.

    • Colonial Viper 5.1

      Tit for tat is the only rationale they can come up with which fits their free market neo-con view of the world. They know in their gut its wrong to sell off productive farm land to foreign interests, but their philosophy can’t deal with issues of economic sovereignty etc. You might as well be trying to talk Martian to them.

      • insider 5.1.1

        Yes let’s have the kind of economic sovereignty rules that encourage people like the Crafars to run our farms. They’re locals so got to be better land managers than some foreigner.

        • Colonial Viper 5.1.1.1

          Now you’re pointing to how the system of debt the dairy industry runs under is killing farms.

          Not sure why you might suggest that the Chinese can manage farmland and the surrounding environment better than capable NZ’ers. We have the expertise in that, after all.

          • insider 5.1.1.1.1

            Well you’re the one saying foreign bad local good. I’m pointing out it’s not that simple.

            And according to recent reports NZers aren’t doing a tremendous job of managing farms and the surrounding environments, so maybe the Chinese could do better. I don’t think ability or inclination is driven by the colour of your passport.

            • Draco T Bastard 5.1.1.1.1.1

              No, from looking at the actions of our farmers and other business leaders, it’s driven from their wallet. If it costs money they just won’t do it even though it would be better practice.

      • prism 5.1.2

        I’ve got a sound sample of Elvish. But wait a minute NACT neo cons would come from the wraith darkland,.

  5. grumpy 6

    I wish you would stop using the word \”elite\”. Very Sarah Palinish.

  6. randal 7

    so bill is taking from the poor and giving to the rich. something seems wrong in this modern fable.I mean its not as if they are even rich. just two bob tories that need some cast to visit macchu piccu or buy a new harvey dalidson or sumfing.

  7. tc 8

    Joe Bloggs like Goff’s living in the past….quoting Cullen is quoting history, that was then this is now.
    Goff’s fallen into the trap of ‘why we did what we did..’ FFS Phildo move forward and hold out the vision and reasons why……plays to NACT hands wringing your hands over yesterdays decisions in the boyant pre GFC world……no-one cares, wake up and stop getting sucked into a time we’ll never see again and focus on blinglish/sideshows tax swindle for what it is.
    An unsustainable, unecessary redistribution of wealth.

    • Jim Nald 8.1

      I’m puzzled by the reactions from the GST purists and fundamentalists.
      The sky has not fallen for other countries.

      • insider 8.1.1

        When the policy is premised on it being simple and there are clear cut definitions, you can’t blame people for pointing out where it might not be and saying it’s better to stick with a purer system.

        More importantly it is proposed that it will cure a whole load of ills. IMO it is a crude and poorly targeted response to those ills.

        I’m not fussed on purity, I just think you could do a lot more with $250m than rebating dollars to people like me to save cents for people on low incomes and (possibly, maybe sometime) in the future a bit more on the health system.

        • Lanthanide 8.1.1.1

          My main complaint is over the $ values involved, and the fact that it’s going to increase compliance costs.

          Now if they were suggesting taking GST off all food (excluding restaurant/takeaway food of any kind), we’d be talking a much bigger $ value going into the hands of the poorest, while not dramatically increasing the compliance costs over what they will already be. That would be a policy I could support and I think would be useful. At the moment we’re stuck with a half-way house that doesn’t deliver much in the way of benefits while still increasing costs.

          • Puddleglum 8.1.1.1.1

            Fair enough. Extra compliance costs probably wouldn’t increase linearly with the number of exemptions so why not go further (not that I’m sure we should be overly concerned about compliance costs – the history of modern economies over the past one or two centuries is full of ‘extra compliance costs’ and it doesn’t seem to have broken the camel’s back)?

            But, notice that when it comes to companies putting up prices beyond the GST rise, Bill English thinks consumers will switch their behaviour (for what would be very marginal differences) and enforce discipline. By contrast, when it comes to lower income groups saving ‘only’ $6 per week on fruit and vegetables, apparently this won’t make any difference to their purchasing behaviour and would be seen as an insignificant saving – talk about shifting your position with the rhetorical winds!!

          • Draco T Bastard 8.1.1.1.2

            Processed food isn’t as good for you as fresh food. We want to enable and encourage people to buy fresh food rather than frozen ergo, we take the GST off the food that we want people to buy and not the food that we don’t them to buy.

            • Puddleglum 8.1.1.1.2.1

              I agree about much processed food being unhealthy – I’d like to see that addressed separately. Some ‘processed’ foods, as the right will be all too quick to mention, are healthy enough given that ‘processing’ covers some age-old practices that pre-date the industrial revolution. (I read once that our digestive system has actually co-evolved in relation to the discovery of cooking so some ‘processing’ is not ‘unnatural’ for humans.)

              Personally, I’d wipe GST entirely and, in the current economic system, impose a mix of other taxes – e.g., environmental taxes, taxes on some forms of financial activity, etc.. GST at the moment is indiscriminate in that it is a tax on every and all goods and services (with some interesting exemptions in relation to charging of interest (i.e., the service of providing money) – ‘good’ or ‘bad’. (Interesting that financial services (at lest some?) are exempt – strangely the sky hasn’t fallen in under the weight of extra compliance costs in those areas.)

  8. Jeremy Harris 9

    Because his tax swindle is about taking from us and giving to the elite,

    This is where you lose me, how is the government deceasing the amount of money it takes from another person, taking from you..? GST goes up for all of us…

    • BLiP 9.1

      [. . . groan . . . ]

      • Lanthanide 9.1.1

        BLiP, you must be under the delusion that tax money is revenue for the government to spend on it’s many programmes to benefit society as a whole! You’ve fallen for the leftist propaganda!

        Everyone with a brain truly knows that tax money is the government stealing from private citizens so they can go on overseas holidays, drive around in flash cars and sit around in fancy air-conditioned offices all day.

        Jeremy Harris: grow up.

        • Jeremy Harris 9.1.1.1

          I am thanks, you accept as a given that all government funds are well spent – when clearly a lot aren’t and that the government has the right to set tax rates at whatever level it wants for whatever programmes the government of the day deems necessary…

          I think that is a troubling amount of power to give to any politician who believes they have good intentions…

          Raising the standard of living benefits society as a whole and overtaxation reduces that, all government spending isn’t good, the equation is more complex than lowering tax rates equals bad…

          • Colonial Viper 9.1.1.1.1

            you accept as a given that all government funds are well spent – when clearly a lot aren’t and that the government has the right to set tax rates at whatever level it wants for whatever programmes the government of the day deems necessary…

            You are into transport systems, yes?

            So how do you think the AKL transportation system would fare with 3 yearly yo-yo-ing of planning and budgets based on nothing more than what the Government of the day deems necessary to see things through its own day?

            Actually, we have our answer, don’t we?

            Raising the standard of living benefits society as a whole and overtaxation reduces that, all government spending isn’t good, the equation is more complex than lowering tax rates equals bad…

            Raising who’s standard of living? Raising Peter Jackson’s standard of living further is going to benefit society as a whole, how exactly?

            Maybe if you were talking about raising the standard of living of the 2 most deprived deciles in this country as the priority I would agree with you.

            But if this is another trickle down sell, no I don’t think so.

            I am thanks

            Lanthanide wasn’t talking about your height, but more your ability to think past just one persons personal interests. Your own or someone elses. Something that used to happen by the end of the teenage years but has apparently become more and more delayed.

          • Puddleglum 9.1.1.1.2

            Isn’t it interesting how, for the right, our government – which at other times (e.g., invading Iraq, ‘standing up’ to Communism, etc., etc.) is lauded for it being government for the people, of the people, blah, blah, blah – when it comes to taxation is seen as simply a group of politicians out for their own gain? Which is it, eh?

            Governments, in a democratic set-up, are supposed to be us exercising our will. Are they or aren’t they?

            • Jeremy Harris 9.1.1.1.2.1

              @colonial viper, on other blogs I’ve stated that when running such huge deficits it makes no sense to have tax cuts and if we are going to have tax cuts it should be to introduce a tax free threshold, as that would give everyone an even amount, give relief to the lowest earners and act as a stimulus…

              The statement is what I have a problem with… Lowering one person’s tax rate is not taking from another person… It reduces that amount of money available for services yes but if that results in a reduction of poor government spending – say bailing out finance companies – it can ultimately be a good thing…

              • Lanthanide

                “Lowering one person’s tax rate is not taking from another person… It reduces that amount of money available for services yes”
                So it is taking from another person. It’s taking services that that person would otherwise enjoy.

                “but if that results in a reduction of poor government spending – say bailing out finance companies – it can ultimately be a good thing…”
                Except it doesn’t work that way at all. Note how the government has slashed night classes, early childhood education, ACC etc AND they have also bailed out the finance companies for a huge sum that far eclipses all of the other expenses. If what you suggest actually happened in reality, then we would’ve kept all the services and not had the bail out.

                Also, thank you for actually replying with something that we can actually have a discussion about and isn’t a trite inanity that know-nothing Palin supporters like to spout off – that is why I told you to grow up.

              • Draco T Bastard

                Lowering one person’s tax rate is not taking from another person… It reduces that amount of money available for services yes…

                Which would be removing those services from where they were needed. This is seen in the present governments actions. Decreased taxes and decreased education (Except to the rich whose private schools got a multi-million $$ boost), and did the same for health.

                but if that results in a reduction of poor government spending

                National were unable to identify any wasteful spending prior to and after entering government (they had to take down their “wastewatch” website because they didn’t have anything to put on it). This means that all the services that they’ve reduced to pay for their tax cuts was good and necessary spending.

                ay bailing out finance companies

                That needs an inquiry into it to find out why it happened when it obviously shouldn’t have and, you’ll note, that NACT aren’t going to. IMO, the SCF bailout shows prima facie evidence of corruption at the top levels of government.

                • Jeremy Harris

                  You’re certainly not going to get an argument from me that National haven’t cut some very valueable government spending while wasting billions on poorly directed tax cuts and bailouts…

                  My point simply is that if the top tax rate had been lowered and poor spending eliminated to off set it then no one would have “taken” from the poster to “give” to the wealthy…

                  • Lanthanide

                    Yeah, if there happened to be “poor spending”, then I would agree with you. The problem is that “poor spending” doesn’t really happen unless you have an inept government. The last government was not inept.

  9. Jum 10

    That’s wonderful talk Marty, but until you can get it to the masses it won’t matter a damn. We know; we understand; we do the homework. So many do not. Get the picture?

    captcha: secret

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    We are very pleased to publish this submission is from Lucinda Stoan. She is a social justice activist, mother, and educator, based in Washington State in the  US.   This detailed and comprehensive source-linked overview of trans issues and what is at stake will be useful for many people, especially in ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Faafoi should be fired
    Newshub last night reported that Broadcasting Minister Kris Faafoi had apparently promised to help out a mate with an immigration issue. While its normal for people to approach MPs for assistance in this area, when you're a Minister, the rules are different: as the Cabinet Manual says, Ministers must "at ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Adrian Orr – The Reserve Bank’s Revolutionary Governor?
    New Zealand's Underarm Banker: It bears recalling that the “independence” of the Reserve Bank Governor was for decades held up by neoliberal capitalists as the most compelling justification for passing the Reserve Bank Act. Interesting, is it not, how the ruling class’s support for the Bank’s independence lasted no longer than ...
    6 days ago
  • Driving Us Up The Poll.
    Rubbish In, Rubbish Out: Put all this together, and it’s difficult to avoid the conclusion that anyone who responds positively to a pollster’s request to “answer a few questions” is just ever-so-slightly weird. Desperately lonely? Some sort of psephological train-spotter? Political party member primed to skew the poll for or against ...
    6 days ago
  • Jordan Williams, Colin Craig podcast series announced
    “Free at last, Free at last, Thank God almighty we are free at last.” ― Martin Luther King Jr. A long and bitter court feud between former Conservative Party leader Colin Craig and Jordan Williams has been settled, with an apology and compensation from Williams. On Tuesday, Craig sent out ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    7 days ago
  • How plant-based meat is stretching New Zealand’s cultural and legal boundaries
    Samuel Becher, Victoria University of Wellington and Jessica C Lai, Victoria University of Wellington Earlier this year, the New Zealand-based pizza chain Hell Pizza offered a limited-edition “Burger Pizza”. Its customers weren’t told that the “meat” was plant-based. Some customers complained to the Commerce Commission, which enforces consumer law in ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    7 days ago
  • Scientific integrity requires critical investigation – not blind acceptance
    Some people seem to want to close down any critical discussion of the current research into the relationship between water fluoride and child IQ. They appear to argue that claims made by researchers should not be open to critical review and that the claims be accepted without proper consideration ...
    7 days ago
  • Climate Change: The shameful reality
    The government has been congratulating itself over the passage of the Zero Carbon Act, which sets out long-term emissions targets. Meanwhile, Climate Action Tracker has the shameful reality: those targets are insufficient:While New Zealand is showing leadership by having passed the world’s second-ever Zero Carbon Act in November 2019, under ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • More secrecy
    The government introduced a Racing Industry Bill today. As an urban who horse racing as pointless-to-cruel, and gambling as a tax on stupidity and/or hope, this isn't normally a bill which would interest me in the slightest, beyond grumpiness at more government money for a dying industry. But there is ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Unlikely online bully, Liam Hehir
    Check. Check. One, two, three, four. Is this thing ON? Hello readers, I logged in last night (yeah, it’s been a while) to mark THE END of the landmark legal case, Jordan Williams v Colin Craig, which (gulp) reached The Supreme Court, in which New Zealand’s most-defamed man was suing the politician he ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    7 days ago
  • The Birth Of Israel: Wrong At The Right Time.
    Before The Birth: Israel’s most fervent supporters set their clocks ticking in Biblical times. They cite the kingdoms of David and Solomon as proof that, in the words of the Exodus movie’s theme-song: “This land is mine.” The majority of Israel’s backers, however, start their clocks in 1933 – the year Adolf ...
    7 days ago
  • Hard News: Public Address Word of the Year 2019: Korero phase
    In an unreliable, strange and confusing world, Public Address is proud to present a measure of comfort and stability by annually asking everyone what words or phrases sum up the year that's been – and then giving some of them consumer goods as prizes for being clever or simply lucky.Well, ...
    1 week ago
  • Generalist to specialist
    Both my parents are pretty handy – and they seem to have the right tools for most jobs in the garage and they know how to fix practically anything. A similar story could be told about their generation’s experience in the workforce – being a generalist was not unusual and ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • A “coincidence”
    When it was revealed that NZ First had tried to enrich itself from public office via the Provoncial Growth Fund, the Prime Minister assured us that everything was OK as Shane Jones, the Minister responsible for the fund, had recused himself. Except it seems that that recusal came very late ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day
    Today is a Member's Day, and probably the last one of the year. After the marathon of the End of Life Choice Act, most of the bills up for debate today are uncontentious. First up is the second reading of Chlöe Swarbrick's Election Access Fund Bill. This will be followed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Worse than I thought
    The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee has reported back on the government's odious and tyrannical control orders bill. As expected, the fraudulent select committee process has made no significant changes (partly because they couldn't agree, but mostly because it was a stitch-up from the start, with no intention of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The cannabis bill and the referendum
    Yesterday, the government released its draft Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill, which will be put to a non-binding referendum at the next election. I'm not a drug policy expert, but Russell Brown is, and he thinks its pretty good. And pretty obviously, it will be a massive improvement on the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: The Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill: pretty good so far
    As you're probably aware, the draft bill outlining the proposed legal cannabis regime to be put to a referendum late next year was published yesterday, and has already attracted a flurry of comment. It's notable that a good deal of the comment is about proposals that aren't actually new.A minimum ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Alignment
    One of the big problems in New Zealand climate change policy is the government working at cross-purposes with itself. It wants to reduce fossil fuel use, but encourages oil and gas exploration. It wants to reduce transport emissions, but then builds enormous new roads. The problem could be avoided if ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • How climate change will affect food production and security
    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 According to the United Nations, food shortages are a threat ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • More bad faith
    Last year, the government announced it was ending offshore oil exploration by no longer issuing new permits. The idea was that the industry would then die off as permits expired. Except almost immediately the government revealed its bad faith, by saying they would extend permits and alter conditions to keep ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Banning foreign money from our elections
    The government has said it will ban foreign donations to political parties and candidates, and will be introducing legislation to be passed under all-stages urgency this afternoon. While I agree with the goal, I don't see a particular case for urgency, unless the government is concerned about a flood of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Reforming the Education Acts
    The government introduced the Education and Training Bill to Parliament yesterday. Its a massive bill, which replaces both existing Education Acts, as well as various other bits of legislation (including some which are still proceeding through the House). I'll leave the serious analysis to teachers and people who actually know ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Bite-sized learning
    Amelia SharmanThere’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to micro-credentials, those bits of bite-sized learning that can help workers stay on top of technological change.  What’s a micro-credential? While definitions vary, micro-credentials can be understood as short courses that allow people to learn new skills or have an existing competency recognised. ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • “Not The Labour Party We Once Knew.”
    All Smiles Now: Claire Szabo is taking up her presidential role after serving as the CEO of Habitat For Humanity. Which is absolutely perfect! After KiwiBuild was so comprehensively mismanaged by Phil Twyford, the party has not only elected a new president from a thoroughly respectable not-for-profit, but one who ...
    1 week ago
  • Marxist versus liberal methodology on transgender ideology/identity politics
    While much of the NZ left has transitioned to postmodern and identity politics in relation to transgender ideology, there are some very good articles about that deploy Marxist methodology in relation to this subject.  The one below is from the British marxist group Counterfire and appeared on their site here ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Book review: The Farm by Joanne Ramos
    by Daphna Whitmore At Golden Oaks, a luxurious country retreat in the Hudson Valley, pregnant women have the best care money can buy. From the organic food, personalised exercise programmes, private yoga instruction and daily massages Golden Oaks looks like a country lodge for the upper class. Set some time ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Loosening the purse strings
    When Labour was running for election in 2017, it felt it needed to demonstrate "fiscal responsibility" and signed itself up to masochistic "budget responsibility rules". It was a fool's errand: the sorts of voters who demand fiscal responsibility are also the sorts of voters who believe that labour can never ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: How to get there
    Writing in Stuff, Joel MacManus looks at what we need to do to meet the Zero Carbon Act's targets. The core of it:1. Convert 85 per cent of vehicles on the road to electric. 2. Eliminate fossil fuels from all industrial heating up to 300 degrees Celsius. 3. Double our ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • anti-vaxxers in a measles epidemic: so many ways to be untruthful
    “Anti-vaxers are a pro-death movement,” those comments from Dr Helen Petousis-Harris speaking about six more Measles related deaths in Samoa over the past twenty-four hours. “Anti-vaxers are a pro-death movement,” those comments from Dr Helen Petousis-Harris speaking about six more Measles related deaths in Samoa ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    1 week ago
  • Is Youth Vaping a Problem in New Zealand?
    Professors Janet Hoek and Richard Edwards, Emeritus Professor Phil Gendall, Jude Ball, Dr Judith McCool, Anaru Waa, Dr Becky Freeman Recent media reports have presented conflicting evidence on youth vaping in NZ. While some NZ school principals report concerns about increasing vaping on school grounds and confiscating vapes, ASH Year ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • In pursuit of “Freedom and Democracy”: Forever Wars in “America’s backyard”.
    “America the Beautiful!”, staunch defender of democracy, freedom and… a whole lot of despotic tyrants that play nice with what is called “the Washington Consensus.” America is indeed capable of immense good, but like any Nation, and most assuredly any aspirant to the mantle of Empire, great, immense evil. All ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • November ’19 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: The beginner’s guide to blogging I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your blog is ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Whodunnit? Finding the mystery 1080 testing lab
    1080 is used to control pests in NZ. Its use is contested by a noisy few. A new report claims high levels of 1080 in rats washed up on a beach. Flora and Fauna of Aotearoa (F&F) won’t name the laboratory that did their testing. It has sparked a hunt ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    2 weeks ago
  • Authoritarian Friends, Democratic Enemies.
    What Kind Of Empire? The thing for Kiwis to decide is what kind of empire they want to belong to. The kind that, while offering its own citizens democratic rights, demands absolute obedience from its “friends”? Or, the kind that, while authoritarian at home, takes a relaxed attitude to the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Boris Johnson Goes Down
    It hasn't been a good week for the Conservatives, pollwise.  All major recent polls are showing their lead shrinking.Comparing each pollster's current (between 29/11 and 22/11) and previous most recent poll.Com Res - Conservative lead down 3 points.You Gov - Conservative lead down 1 point.Kantar - Conservative lead down 4 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Interesting
    Within quick succession, Countdown maths wizard and twitterer Rachel Riley, alleged comedian David Baddiel and prominent lawyer Andrew Julius have all expressed very similar opinions / ideas:
    These #3billboards are going round London today, organised by ex-Labour people, horrified by what their party has become. Their principles haven’t changed, they’re ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Damn the Polls
    So, there have been a bunch of bad polls out for Labour, and even the Leftie's friend, Survation, have recently given the Conservatives a rip-snorting 11% lead.  You Gov's much vaunted MRP poll - which pretty much nailed the result in 2015 - is currently predicting a comfortable majority for ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Europe declares an emergency
    The European Parliament has voted overwhelmingly to declare a climate emergency:The European parliament has declared a global “climate and environmental emergency” as it urged all EU countries to commit to net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The vote came as scientists warned that the world may have already crossed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • A Bi-Partisan Commitment To X-ing “P”.
    Pure Fear: Worse than Heroin, this drug’s addictive power was terrifying. People under its influence didn’t drift off to Elysium. Nor did it persuade inadequate individuals that they could conquer the world. No, this drug – pure crystal methamphetamine, “P” for short – unlocked the gates of Hell itself. It ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Advice about measles: when ignorance is definitely not a virtue
    As the rate of measles infection, and of deaths, continues to climb in Samoa, antivaccination activists infectious disease proponents seem intent on doubling down on their claims about vaccination. (Check pretty much any news-media FB post about measles & you’ll see exactly what I mean.) Unfortunately, some of them have ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    2 weeks ago
  • Samoa’s devastating measles epidemic – why and how bad?
    Samoa are experiencing a devastating measles epidemic. It is possible that 2-3% of the population will ultimately be infected by the time it is over. Hopefully the mass immunisation campaign currently under way can mitigate some of this, for many it is too late. The first question many people ask ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    2 weeks ago
  • “It’s basic rights we are defending”: the Meghan Murphy interview
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    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • A week of protests in Colombia
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    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Anti-neutrinos–When you are your own opposite
    Around a million billion pass through you each second, almost all originating from our sun, but few of them are likely to interact with you enroute. I was reading in a physics magazine earlier in the week about the nature of neutrinos. These are extremely numerous elementary particles, but only ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    2 weeks ago
  • Exoplanets, life, and the danger of a single study
    By Pallab Ghosh There’s value in covering new research advances, even when the underlying science is unsettled. But there are also risks. The recent announcement that scientists discovered water on the planet K2-18b, 110 light years away, prompted a media swoon. News stories, including a piece written by me, billed ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • The Intersex Continuum
    I wrote this review a couple of years ago when I was still in the process of getting my head around the politics of transgenderism, and specifically the claim that intersex conditions lend support to the notion that sex is ‘socially constructed’. Since writing this review I have come across ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Leaving us with the bill
    Two weeks ago, Malaysian-owned oil company Tamarind declared it was insolvent and went into administration after a failed offshore drilling campaign. Tamarind apparently specialises in buying oil fields at the end of their life and trying to squeeze out the last few drops of pollution. But part of their scam ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

  • Surgical mesh restorative justice report received
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter has received the report back from a surgical mesh restorative justice process undertaken by Victoria University. The process heard stories, either in person or online submission, from more than 600 people affected by surgical mesh. “The report made for heart-breaking and confronting reading,” says ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    27 mins ago
  • The Water Services Regulator Bill – Taumata Arowai a milestone for drinking water safety
    The Water Services Regulator Bill – Taumata Arowai , introduced to Parliament today, is a milestone for drinking water safety in New Zealand and will help improve environmental outcomes for urban waterways, rivers and lakes.  “This is a breakthrough for New Zealanders in terms of providing safe drinking water throughout ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • Speech to new direction for criminal justice reform announcement
    Kia ora koutouE ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā matā wakaTēnā koutou katoaHaere ngā, moe maiKoutou ma ngā Rangatira Ko Anaru ahauKo au te Minita mo ngā TureHe Honore tino nui kei roto I ahau No reira tena koutou katoa Today, we are releasing two reports that are the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • New direction for criminal justice reform
    The Government is looking to turn around the long-term challenges of criminal justice by taking a new approach to break the cycle of offending to ensure there are fewer victims of crime. Justice Minister Andrew Little released two reports today, Turuki! Turuki! from Te Uepū Hāpai I te Ora, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • New law sets up $300m Venture Capital Fund
    New Zealand firms expanding beyond the start-up phase are set for more support after today’s passage of the Venture Capital Fund Bill, Associate Finance Minister David Parker said. The Bill, which establishes a $300 million Venture Capital Fund, puts in place a key initiative of the Wellbeing Budget’s economic package. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • New Zealand’s National Statement to COP25
    E ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā iwi, e ngā rau rangatira mā. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa. Señora Presidenta, Excellencies, Delegates. International action A common thread that runs through the Paris Agreement is the commitment we have made to each other to do what we can to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • $12 billion in extra infrastructure investment
    The Government is lifting capital investment to the highest level in more than 20 years as it takes the next step to future-proof New Zealand. Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced $12 billion of new investment, with $8 billion for specific capital projects and $4 billion to be added to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • Strong economy, careful spending gives $12bn of surpluses
    The Government is forecast to run $12 billion worth of surpluses across the four years to 2023/24 as the economy continues to grow. The surpluses will help fund day-to-day capital requirements each year. These include fixing leaky hospitals, building new classrooms to cover population growth and take pressure off class ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • Priorities for 2020 Wellbeing Budget outlined
    Budget 2020 will continue the Coalition Government’s focus on tackling the long-term challenges facing New Zealand while also investing to future-proof the economy. When the Government took office in 2017 it was left with crumbling infrastructure, severe underinvestment in public services, degraded rivers and lakes, a housing crisis and rising ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • Minister welcomes data-rich coastline mapping tool
    The Minister responsible for the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Act 2011 (te Takutai Moana Act 2011), Andrew Little has welcomed the launch of an online geospatial tool that provides data-rich, dynamic coastline maps that will significantly boost research and evidence-gathering under the Act. Te Kete Kōrero a Te ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • Chief Victims Advisor reappointed for a further two years
    The Chief Victims Advisor to Government Dr Kim McGregor, QSO, has been reappointed in her role for a further two years. Dr McGregor has held the role since it was established in November 2015. She provides independent advice to government on how to improve the criminal justice system for victims. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New Zealand tsunami monitoring and detection system to be established
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Civil Defence Minister Peeni Henare have today announced the deployment of a network of DART (Deep-ocean Assessment and Reporting of Tsunami) buoys. “New Zealand and the Pacific region are particularly vulnerable to natural disasters. It is vital we have adequate warning systems in place,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • DART Buoys Announcement
    DART Buoys Announcement Aotea Wharf, 9.30am 11 December 2019   Acknowledgements Acknowledgements to Minister for Civil Defence Hon Peeni Henare also here today. White Island It is with regret that this event shadows the tragic natural disaster two days ago. The volcanic eruptions on White Island have claimed 5 lives, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Final steps for racing industry reform
    Racing Minister Winston Peters has welcomed the first reading of the Racing Industry Bill in parliament today. This is the second of two Bills that have been introduced this year to revitalise New Zealand’s racing industry. “Our domestic racing industry has been in serious decline.  The Government is committed to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Funding to promote New Zealand Sign Language initiatives
    Minister for Disability Issues, Carmel Sepuloni, is pleased to announce that $291,321 is to be awarded to national and local community initiatives to maintain and promote the use of New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL). “New Zealand is one of the few countries  in the world where Sign Language is an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • How New Zealand defines and recognises veterans
    Minister for Veterans Ron Mark has announced today the Coalition Government’s initial response to work completed by the independent statutory body, the Veterans’ Advisory Board. “When Professor Ron Paterson completed his review of the Veterans’ Support Act in 2018, he made a number of recommendations, including one which I referred ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government to fund lion’s share of Ohakea water scheme
    The Government will fund the bulk of the cost of a rural water supply for the Ohakea community affected by PFAS contamination, Environment Minister David Parker announced today at a meeting of local residents. This new water scheme will provide a reliable and clean source of drinking water to the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Prime Minister statement on White Island eruption
    I have had the opportunity to be briefed on the details of the volcanic eruption of Whakaari/White Island, off the coast of Whakatane in the Bay of Plenty.  The eruption happened at 2.11pm today.  It continues to be an evolving situation.  We know that there were a number of tourists ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Govt funds $100k for weather-hit communities
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare have today confirmed initial Government support of $100,000 for communities affected by the severe weather that swept across the South Island and lower North Island over the weekend. The contribution will be made to Mayoral relief funds across the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Death of NZ High Commissioner to Cook Islands
    New Zealand's High Commissioner to the Cook Islands, Tessa Temata, died in Palmerston North over the weekend, Foreign Minister Winston Peters said today. Ms Temata, 52, had recently returned to New Zealand for medical treatment. "On behalf of the Government and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, we extend ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Wellington rail upgrade full steam ahead
    Transport Minister Phil Twyford today announced construction is underway on Wellington commuter rail upgrades which will mean more frequent services and fewer breakdowns. The upgrades include converting the Trentham to Upper Hutt single track section to a double track, with a new signalling system, upgraded stations and level crossings, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Defence Climate Change Implementation Plan released
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark and Minister for Climate Change James Shaw have announced the release of a Defence Climate Change Implementation Work Plan, titled Responding to the Climate Crisis: An Implementation Plan.  The plan sets out a series of recommendations based on the 2018 New Zealand Defence Assessment, The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Govt releases funding to support South Canterbury
    A medium-scale adverse event has been declared for the South Canterbury district, which will see up to $50,000 in funding made available to support farming communities which have been significantly affected by recent heavy rain and flooding in the area, says Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. “Two weeks of solid rain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Speech at launch of Rethinking Plastics Report
    Thank you Professor Juliet Gerrard and your team for the comprehensive and extremely helpful report and recommendations. Thank you too to all the stakeholders and interested parties who have contributed ideas and thinking to it. “Making best practice, standard practice” is a great framework for change and the action plan ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Govt pledges next steps on plastic waste
    The Government will phase out more single-use plastics following the success of its single-use plastic bag ban earlier this year and the release today of a pivotal report for dealing with waste. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has welcomed the Rethinking Plastics in Aotearoa New Zealandreport, released by her Chief Science Advisor ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • International student enrolments grow in universities and the regions
    International education continues to thrive as the Government focuses on quality over quantity, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said. The tuition revenue from international education increased to $1.16 billion last year with the average tuition fee per student increasing by $960. The total number of international students enrolled in New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Speech to Government Economics Network 2019 Conference
    I want to talk about one of the most pressing issues in our national life: the housing crisis and the poor performance of our cities. The argument I want to make to you is that generations of urban land use policy have lacked a decent grounding in economics. The consequences ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • DHB leadership renewed and strengthened
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says new appointments to DHBs represent a significant changing of the guard, with 13 new chairs including four Māori chairs. Today 76 appointments have been announced to complement elected board members, as well as eight elected members appointed as either chair or deputy chair.  Four ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Tabuteau to advance New Zealand’s trade and political interests with European partners
    Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Fletcher Tabuteau, is travelling to Germany, Poland, Austria, and Spain next week to bolster New Zealand’s political and trade relationships in Europe. While in Spain, Mr Tabuteau will represent New Zealand at the 14th Asia-Europe (ASEM) Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Madrid. “New Zealand strongly supports ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Statement from the Prime Minister on Kris Faafoi
    “I’ve spoken to Minister Faafoi, who has apologised for his poor handling of this issue,” Jacinda Ardern said. “I have confidence in Kris as a hardworking and effective Minister, but this should have been dealt with in a much clearer manner, and I’ve made my views on that very clear ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Tonga-New Zealand Joint Ministerial Forum
    Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters met with Tongan Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pohiva Tu'i'onetoa in Wellington today. The pair signed a Statement of Partnership setting out joint priorities for cooperation out to 2023.  “We welcomed Prime Minister Tu'i'onetoa on his first visit to New Zealand as Prime Minister. Tonga ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Shooting in Kurow
    The Minister of Police Stuart Nash says his sympathies are with the family of a man who died after being shot by Police in Kurow. “Initial reports are that Police were called by a family member to help the man who was threatening to harm himself,” Mr Nash says. “However ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government delivers funding boost for ethnic communities
    Ethnic communities will be able to plan and deliver more community initiatives thanks to an increase in Government funding, Minister for Ethnic Communities Hon Jenny Salesa said today. “Ensuring Aotearoa New Zealand is a place we can all be proud to call home has been a key priority of our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Govt supports Southland farmers in sustainability
    Healthier waterways, better productivity and farmer wellbeing are front and centre in a new project involving more than 1000 Southland farmers and growers. Minister of Agriculture Damien O’Connor today announced that the Thriving Southland Change and Innovation Project is the first region-wide extension programme supported by the $229 million Sustainable ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • Flood of support for Top of the South catchment
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  • Eight Queen’s Counsel appointed under new criterion
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