web analytics

English’s faith-based economics

Written By: - Date published: 8:40 am, July 2nd, 2010 - 87 comments
Categories: bill english, capitalism, class war, Economy, public services - Tags:

I really wonder sometimes about Bill English. He seems to think he has a licence to just make things up. Take his claim yesterday that our low national savings rate is due to the ‘government paying for everything’. According to English, people don’t need to save because the government pays for early childhood education, superannuation, Working for Families, and interest-free student loans. Does he have any evidence that is the case? Of course not.

This is faith-based government – English has faith that whatever silly idea he comes up with must be correct.

Leaving aside arguments over whether taxation to pay for superannuation, etc, is a form of collective saving/insurance, just look at nations that have more comprehensive public services than we do – Germany, the Nordic countries etc – they are huge net savers. Look at countries with similar or worse public provision than us – the US, Australia – they are big borrowers. No, public provision of services does not crowd out private saving.

If anything, it should make it easier for most people because they are net recipients of public services (they get more in public services than they pay in tax). Those public services replace private spending that families would have to make to get those services instead (either that or they would miss out entirely). That suggests lower expenses for families, which gives them more chance to save or less reason to go into debt.

Imagine a young family with a child in pre-school. In English’s utopia, they would not be getting WFF, they would be repaying their student loans (or, more likely, couldn’t have afforded tertiary education at all), they would be paying for their child’s pre-school and would have to be saving anything they can for retirement. In return, they would have a small tax cut.

Is that family going to be able to save more now or in English’s fantasyland?

Why can’t English just be honest and say he wants public services cut so he and his rich mates can have tax cuts? His CEO buddies certainly have no trouble being up front about the name of their game.

At least, English has once again given us a glimpse at National’s true vision for this country – public services cut to the bone and privatisation – a land for the few.

On a side note, English also says Corrections is about to become the largest government department. What an indictment on our society. We refuse to invest in young people and jobs to alleviate poverty but we’ll spend up big to lock up those people when they go off the tracks. If only we had a government with the vision to invest in the future of our people, rather than one whose only solution is to put more people in prison.

87 comments on “English’s faith-based economics”

  1. Gooner 1

    According to English, people don’t need to save because the government pays for early childhood education, superannuation, Working for Families, and interest-free student loans. Does he have any evidence that is the case? Of course not.

    Um, er, the evidence is that the government pays for all of this, meaning people don’t need to save to pay for it themselves.

    • Marty G 1.1

      where is the evidence that the government pays for “early childhood education, superannuation, Working for Families, and interest-free student loans”?

      http://treasury.govt.nz/budget/2010

    • kriswgtn 1.2

      errr people pay taxes on everything duh-therefore WE pay for these services

      2- Nzers wages are low-cost of living is high,rents are high ,mortgages are high

      All fine fine for the clown to make those remarks- hes all good aint in in his little house in Karori that we been funding for how long??????

      Arrogant cock

    • Ari 1.3

      For your basic argument, you need two pieces of evidence to prove it, in the form of:

      If A, then B.
      A.

      Which gets you to B. All you’ve given us is the “A”- that the government has spending projects. You’ve yet to establish a rigorous link between government spending and lack of saving- in fact, Kiwisaver would suggest the best you could hope for would be:

      For some cases of A, then B.
      A.
      Therefore to some degree, B.

  2. Draco T Bastard 2

    Oh, Blinglish’s economy could work but it would require high wages (wages that would actually cover the costs of the required services), everybody to be omniscient (so that they really actually do know what’s best for themselves) and zero profit (reduction of deadweight loss).

    So, yeah, his actual position is based on faith and not reality.

    • Bored 2.1

      Draco, stating the obvious, it gets so boring that we have to keep doing so. I became a high level economist a few minutes ago, it was all a result of not using the tea strainer and looking into the cup afterward.

      Maybe the coffee machines and teabags available at Treasury and other corporate stargazing departments need loose tea and no strainers. Maybe filtered expresso is a form of transubstantiation, a mystery to be interpreted and ministered by the corporate priesthood? Who knows? They dont?

  3. Tigger 3

    That Corrections news is shameful. Talk about ambitious for New Zealand…

  4. joe90 4

    His CEO buddies certainly have no trouble being up front about the name of their game.

    His CEO buddies certainly have no trouble being up front about the name of their game about lining their pockets with a taxpayer funded construction bonanza.

    ftfy

  5. Herodotus 5

    A least Bill got one thing right “By any international measure, our housing market it still way overpriced. Ours and Australia’s are even more expensive than China’s. Is it going to stay that way? I would like to hear the case as to why it would,” English said.
    But like most pollys he has no idea as to why, so if you do not know the cause how do you cure? I thought a husband to a Dr would at least know that much.
    The sad thing is that houses are selling well below replacement value in Auckland, yet they are overpriced. So how can we build a house more efficiently, not cheaper (remember what happens to cheap houses, they leak !!)
    Perhaps the way the world is going Faith based management may be the only thing we can do :mrgreen:

    • Draco T Bastard 5.1

      Well, according to the market ATM, the way to build houses more efficiently is to pay the builders less than it costs to go to work.

  6. Roger 6

    Bill English must be comparing us to China where there is a high level of precautionary saving due to the lack of a proper social safety net. This adds to what we also know about National; they dislike democracy and will attack it on any front they can, they want protesters (eg Russel Norman)silenced and will even apologise for people who exercise their right to protest. They dislike free speech and dissent and will either silence or attack people for engaging in either. Perhaps being more like China is what National’s aspiration for New Zealand is. This is only National’s first term and China has been slowly improving in these areas over the last few decades so maybe in National’s Second term they can model their leadership on Kim Jong Il.

  7. ianmac 7

    Like Bill English, I am sure that most ordinary folk go out to see if they can buy a very expensive house that they can’t afford, and choose to buy overpriced ones at that. S’obvious Bill.
    So it is the buyers fault! Huh?

    • Draco T Bastard 7.1

      Blinglish had an advantage though. He didn’t need to be able to afford the house as he got the taxpayers to pay for it.

  8. tsmithfield 8

    Marty, the problem with your argument is it is much too simplistic.

    IF the government was to tax less and allow people to fund a lot of things themselves (education etc) then people would have more money in their pockets, although they would also have more outgoings in terms of the costs taxpayers would then pick up themselves. Obviously, the poor would need education vouchers or the like still provided by the tax system, although they could direct this funding to where they perceived they were getting the best bang for their buck.

    SO the question then is, would those type of services be funded more economically if funded directly by taxpayers rather than incurring the churn that results going through the government system. If direct funding by taxpayers is cheaper, then, people on average should have more money in their pockets thus allowing them more to save. Whether they actually WOULD save it is another question entirely, and strikes more the the cultural attitude towards saving.

    • TightyRighty 8.1

      don’t tax their poor wee brains ts. the concept of user pays is difficult enough without throwing in the outlandish concept of personal responsibility as opposed to state control.

      • joe90 8.1.1

        User pays, great, so when do we see a toll on the western ring route given that the rationale for building more motorways is economic benefits. To who?.
        I live in the lower north island so no economic benefit to me but a national surcharge on my fuel will be used to fund Auckland motorways. Oh, that’s right, user pays only applies to the great unwashed and Auckland businesses get propped up by the surcharge I pay.

        • TightyRighty 8.1.1.1

          I live in the lower north island, yet one arm of my business is in auckland, therefore we have auckland customers. if they can be more efficient in their day thanks to improved roading, then hopefully i can make more money out them. wealth flows to wellington and gets spent here, maybe at your place of work, you benefit.

          you could also look at your argument this way joe. south auckland has a high proportion of unemployed. you pay your taxes (read surcharge), that pay their dole. the great unwashed and auckland liqour stores are propped up by the surcharge you pay.

          I know which surcharge i would rather pay.

          • marsman 8.1.1.1.1

            TightyRighty is no doubt talking about Shipley’s ‘personal responsibilty’ which doesn’t apply to corporations or poeple like her on their taxpayer funded travel and taxpayer funded new BMW per annum etc.

    • just saying 8.2

      Had a chuckle to myself picturing a whole lot of Mangere kids showing up at their local King’s College with their education vouchers……..

    • Draco T Bastard 8.3

      It’s not cheaper. The cheapest way to provide the services is through collective systems (ie, taxes, government) that pay enough to do the services well but don’t incur the deadweight loss of profit.

      I know you don’t want to believe this but it’s simple reality.

      • tsmithfield 8.3.1

        I wasn’t necessarily talking privatisation. I was talking about taxpayers having direct control over where their money is spent.

        In the case of education for instance, taxpayers would direct their money (or vouchers) towards schools they believed would give them the best bang for their buck. This would mean that successful schools (public or private) would grow, while the unsuccessful ones would die. Thus, in an evolutionary sort of way the educational system would gradually improve and become more efficient.

        This is the way it should be.

        • just saying 8.3.1.1

          And these “successful schools” would just accept the poor kids with their vouchers and their begging bowls for lunch?

          • tsmithfield 8.3.1.1.1

            “Successful” doesn’t necessarily mean richest or best academic performance. Some schools might be extremely good at lifting disadvantaged kids into the high achieving category.

            • just saying 8.3.1.1.1.1

              And if Mangere parents thought King’s would give them “the best bang for their buck”?

              • tsmithfield

                Since Kings College is a private school, the Mangere parents would be able to use their vouchers to offset the private fees. If they were able to come up with the balance, then they should be able to be enrolled so long as they meet any other entry criteria.

                • just saying

                  So not really any choice for Mangere families then, given that the school in walking distance with the best facilities, equipment, grounds, teacher-pupil ratios etc costs more than the vouchers will afford them.
                  So, they can choose another local school in walking distance. But hang on a minute – they can do that now.
                  So how exactly does this system give Mangere parents more and better options?

        • Draco T Bastard 8.3.1.2

          Ah, so you’re the type that believes everyone is omniscient.

  9. randal 9

    the low savings rate in new zealand is a direct result of the media exercising unlimited pressure to persuade kwis tha they will no be happy unless they buy a hardly davidson or go to macchu picchu for the weekend.
    the savings paradox has been hidden from sight to match the unsatiable desire of of the bourgeois to distinguish themselves by their acquisitons
    we have become a nation of squanderers who cant do anything else except waste their disposable income on trade goods.
    thats a bout the size of it and until a revolution occurs in our thinking and habits then the government will always have the means to squeeze the the last dollar out of the spendthrifts pockets.

  10. burt 10

    English is right, the cradle to the grave promises that were made to the last few generations of New Zealanders has a lot to answer for. My parents generation in particular were told repeatedly by successive govt’s that if they just paid their high taxes and enjoyed the few pennies of private income for day to day living that the govt would ensure they retired in dignity.

    Naturally it was never going to work and the pollies knew that, but it made people vote for them and that was all they cared about.

    • Carol 10.1

      Well, I don’t know how old your parents are, burt, but I grew up in the heyday of the craddle-to-grave welfare state. We were brought up to live frugally, and were strongly schooled in the belief that the way to prosperity is through personal savings, and careful spending.

      It was the neo-liberal revolution of the 80s that promoted the belief that the way to prosperity is through consumption, and instant gratification.

    • burt 10.2

      Carol

      The Labour voting dim-bulbs of the 50’s and 60’s who were told that Nanny would look after them as they paid their 66% tax are the people who are passing away today with reverse mortages on their houses and no other savings. I pay the power bill and car running costs for one every month, bless her gullible soul.

      • Carol 10.2.1

        Well, that just doesn’t match up with my experience.

        But ofcourse, the 80s shift must have made some things worse for people on low wages, who couldn’t have afforded to save anything much, after either paying their taxes for welfare or user-pays essential services.

        • burt 10.2.1.1

          Yes that was the time the govt quietly slipped out from the social contract and started making the same people who had been promised they would be taken care of pay for themselves. That was the time that we slowly started digesting the message that the number of older people was going to be too high to support in the intergenerational theft model that had been so popular for so long.

          Anyone younger than about 50 today who didn’t read the signals that they needed to start looking after themselves and saving for their own retirement got caught between the BS promise of cradle to the grave and the reality that socialism was going to fail them.

          • Draco T Bastard 10.2.1.1.1

            You mean like the inter-generational theft model that NACT are presently implementing?

      • Pete 10.2.2

        Yeah, because burt sez something, that makes it so:

        Age and investment income (including as a proportion of total income) circa 2003 (latest available info): http://www.stats.govt.nz/browse_for_stats/work_income_and_spending/income/investment-income-nz-income-survey.aspx

        Of course they’re all like your dependents burt.

      • lprent 10.2.3

        Ummm wasn’t the National party in power for all of the 1960’s and most of the 50’s. I think that you’re retrospectively rewriting history?

        But from memory, actual real history isn’t one of your strong suits. Perhaps you’re directing your bile at the wrong party?

        (Nice when someone leaves such a wide open and inaccurate comment)…

        • burt 10.2.3.1

          So are you saying cradle to the grave was National party policy ?

          • lprent 10.2.3.1.1

            In the period you identified, National was the government for all except for 3 years (from memory), and implemented the social welfare policy of that time – which was the one you were complaining about.

            Do you deny that?

          • burt 10.2.3.1.2

            No, I got the period wrong. Make that 60’s & 70’s. Good call lprent.

            I think I’m still saying the same thing I was saying here;

            Govt rich – people poor

            We can’t pay high taxes to fund state provided “everything” for special target groups and expect individuals to accumulate personal wealth as well. Only so much money to go around and when the state hords and spends it – we can’t all do the same.

            • Rosy 10.2.3.1.2.1

              Govt rich = people poor is a bit of a sweeping statement isn’t it? Are you sure there is a correlation between personal wealth and government spending? I suspect there are some pretty wealthy people in high tax northern European countries that think they are doing ok.

            • lprent 10.2.3.1.2.2

              Pretty much the same in the 60’s/70’s though.

              During that period Labour was in for exactly 3 years. 1972-1975.

              The most expensive social policy during the whole of that period was the national superannuation swindle because of the way that it institutionalized intergenerational theft. Needless to say it was put in by National as being part of their usual short-term mindset.

              As I said, you are targeting the wrong party. Short-term thinking that costs too much in the long term is a characteristic of the National party….

      • Kerry Thomas 10.2.4

        Actually it was national who charged the 60% taxes to pay election bribes to superannuates and farmers. Look up your history. labour had introduced a savings fund for super that national removed to get elected.

        • burt 10.2.4.1

          I have no argument with that, National did carry on the cradle to the grave model because it was popular. The fact the concept was popular and was a failure is to be blamed more on the party that introduced the fantasy of socialism working but both parties in the two horse popularity contest of NZ politics have caused the issues English now points out.

          • Draco T Bastard 10.2.4.1.1

            National did carry on the cradle to the grave model because it was popular.

            No burt, they carried it on because, in the circumstances of the times, it worked and everything else that they had done didn’t. Everything else that they had done was reimplemented in NZ by the 4th Labour government and, as we’re finding out again, it still doesn’t work.

            Go read some economic history. Prior to he implementation of Keynesian theory, the economy was pretty much crashing every few years. The Great Depression was what finally got people to admit that the Classical Economics was wrong. Neo-Liberalism is a slight redefinition of Classical Economics.

        • burt 10.2.4.2

          Kerry

          We see much the same thing today, we still have the worlds only no fault state monopoly one size fits all accident compensation scheme, we still have WFF and we still have interest free student loans. Hell paying for all that it’s no wonder few people save much for their own retirement.

          • Pete 10.2.4.2.1

            So:

            – having a litigious accident insurance scheme which may exacerbate injury and illness, increase the work of medical and health professionals (at the expense of others in the public health system) and leaving people to move more slowly back into work will mean higher rates of saving

            – not incentivising people on low wages to enter or return to the workforce by providing tax breaks, accommodation supplements and assistance with childcare costs will mean higher rates of saving

            – making students pay for interest on top of ever-rising fees (already rising above inflation) will mean higher rates of saving.

            Yep, makes sense.

          • burt 10.2.4.2.2

            Another lover of state monopolies and one size fits all…. Is your house exactly like the one next door… the cost of building different houses is silly, we should all have exactly the same house….

            • Pete 10.2.4.2.2.1

              Am I?

              Are you suggesting that WFF and student loans are compulsory (i.e no choice is afforded to NZers), and that ACC exists in a vacuum?

              And, in your opinion, is the state not responsible for the well-being of its population (to the point where the negative symptoms of people’s deprivation impede on the rest of society)? – I’m talking about education, health and crime issues in particular, but also about allowing families to live above subsistence (or worse) c/o WFF.

              Also, do you believe that kids who are born to deprived families should be punished by not having a family able to afford food or healthcare (through no fault of their own)? Would removing WFF fix that in some way? Or is it a ‘who cares’ situation because those fools decided to have kids they couldn’t afford (not that you would be a culprit of that sort of thinking would you burt? – because, clearly, you’re not one to dismiss individual circumstances)?

              And no, my house is not the same as the one next door, thanks for asking. If you could constructively sway me on the points I made above that’d be OK BTW…

          • Kerry 10.2.4.2.3

            Yes we have the worlds most effective bang for buck accident and injury system or we did until the right wing messed with it. Do you prefer the states with the worlds most expensive and ineffective medical care where only a few get coverage.

    • millsy 10.3

      So you would have retirees living on the street?

      • burt 10.3.1

        Of course not, they paid their high taxes all that time so they kept their end of the social contract. The govt didn’t but that’s what we are talking about here.

  11. Adrian 11

    Of course public is cheaper, you have to look no further than schools. The private ones cost a lot more money for a lesser standard of results and a noticibly higher failure rate in the first year at Uni. All you are paying for is elitist bullshit. Health is exactly the same, in fact a hell of a lot worse because all of their cockups end up in the public system.

    • ianmac 11.1

      “The private ones cost a lot more money for a lesser standard of results and a noticibly higher failure rate in the first year at Uni”
      I agree. Given the huge advantages you would expect 1st year Uni theywould excel- but they don’t.
      And given the huge advantages and avoidance of public assessment, there is evidence that the value added is far less that in a State School.
      You would think that the private schools that Key/English send their kids to would leap at the chance to adopt NATIONAL STANDARDS for which they are exempt.

  12. kriswgtn 12

    but in meantime MPs going to get a 10% raise to compensate losing their travel perks

    What a disgrace

  13. BLiP 13

    Its not so much a faith-based economic as much as it is a “blame”-based economic model. Its about sending the word out that the government is cutting all the services for our own good, “incentivising” those of us who have been leeching off the system. Shame on us.

  14. burt 14

    Over the last decade when the govt was running record surpluses how did personal debt change?

    Did we (the people) get poorer or richer during that time? Our OECD ranking changes and the presence of govt surpluses during that time suggest English has hit the nail on the head. Socialism fails… nothing new in that, it’s happened everytime it has been tried.

    • Draco T Bastard 14.1

      Um, burt, it’s actually capitalism that has failed every time that it’s been tried (failed in ancient Greece, Rome, Egypt, the British Empire and now the American Empire). It then goes back to socialism to repair itself at everyone else’s expense.

      • tsmithfield 14.1.1

        It wasn’t capitalism that failed this time around. It was gross over-gearing of the financial system that caused the failure.

        • Lazy Susan 14.1.1.1

          Too true ts – gross over-gearing of the financial system by capitalists.

          • tsmithfield 14.1.1.1.1

            Not only. I think you will find there has been a lot of over-gearing and financial mismanagement by governments with a socialist bent who have been running massive deficits for decades trying to meet every need that people bleat for. So far as financial mismanagement by socialists, just look at the sub-prime fiasco as a good example of this. People who couldn’t afford house loans being given them anyway.

            • Lazy Susan 14.1.1.1.1.1

              Not sure what governments you might be referring to but I know you will find there’s been alot of over-gearing and mismanagement by governments with a neo-liberal capitalist bent. As for the big deficits – that’s what you get when you have to bail out the irresponsibilty of the private banking sector. Its what’s called privatising the profits and socialising the losses.

            • Uroskin 14.1.1.1.1.2

              I thought you used to blame Michael Cullen for running surpluses, not deficits. Looks like righty pundits suffer from amnesia when it comes to blaming “socialist” governments for capitalist market fuck ups. Try Goldman Sachs instead.

        • Draco T Bastard 14.1.1.2

          The financial system is capitalism. It failed. Same as it did in 1987, 1929, 1890s and every time before.

          • kriswgtn 14.1.1.2.1

            it doesnt fail for who it is set up to represent though and that is tory right wing sockpuppets whose end game is:: as long as I am ok its all good

            anti spam word: Ours

            ironic isnt it

            • Puddleglum 14.1.1.2.1.1

              Exactly. Capitalism (of the ‘pure’ or crony kind) works wonderfully at what it was designed for: The accumulation of wealth and, more importantly, its concentration in relatively few hands.

              The fact that it fragments social structure (community, family, even the individual) is neither here nor there and should be unsurprising. You can’t make a GDP omelette that is served on silver to the already wealthy without breaking social eggs. (There’s no such thing as a free omelette.)

      • burt 14.1.2

        OK, putting aside what failed, did average household debt levels increase or decrease during the period of fiscal drag that produced massive surpluses ?

      • tsmithfield 14.1.3

        Yeh. And socialism was such a screaming success in China that they’ve decided to move towards a more capitalistic model.

        • kaplan 14.1.3.1

          Fuck that’s one of the dumbest replies you’ve ever made.
          Had to be said.

        • uke 14.1.3.2

          I believe China had totalitarian communism not “socialism”.

          Socialism was what NZ enjoyed from 1935-1984. (Or even prior to that according to George Bernard Shaw.)

          • Kerry Thomas 14.1.3.2.1

            Socialism is what they enjoy in Denmark, Belgium, Switzerland, Sweden etc. All of which have higher taxes, more welfare, lower overseas debt and a more healthy economy than the less socialist Anglo Saxon countries which are heading towards failed states with huge debts and a large proportion of their population impoverished.

        • Draco T Bastard 14.1.3.3

          Ah, no. China wasn’t and isn’t socialist/communist – it is, and has been since it’s revolution, state capitalist. This fact is easily identified by it’s dictatorial nature.

          • uke 14.1.3.3.1

            Thanks Draco – I’ll ponder that one.

          • tsmithfield 14.1.3.3.2

            Socialism/Communism. It all blurs into one for us righties. 🙂

            [lprent: Just as the rather arbitrary distinction between wingnut, brownshirt, troll, and idiot blurs for me when I’m moderating… ]

        • Daveosaurus 14.1.3.4

          Communism (not socialism) was such a screaming success in China that the local Tories are absolutely terrified of the thought of offending their Chinese Communist Party lords and masters.

  15. peter 15

    I’d love to be able to save money ! However, after paying the mtge, rates, insurance, pwr, phone and food…There isn’t exactly a large amount left every payday !

    • burt 15.1

      Then we should put taxes up and offer you a bigger welfare benefit if you vote for the red team…. that will work… for getting the red team elected… but will “F” you up more in the long term.

      • Pete 15.1.1

        OR we could gear those working within the NZ economy to raise wages/salarys rather than seeing them progressively reduced in real terms.

        It’s what happened over in Australia (the country lauded so much as an exemplar we should follow during the campaign of ’08).

      • Bright Red 15.1.2

        burt. the change being suggested here is from national – that peter and everyone else should have to pay for their kids’ education etc directly. That would take more money out of our pockets, wewould be worse off, and our savings would be lower.

        Btw, you know what’s really going to screw over savers in this coming year? Bill English’s GST hike. It’s going to lead to sub-inflation interest rates, which will disincentivise savings an encourage borrowing.

        • burt 15.1.2.1

          Bright Red

          That would take more money out of our pockets, wewould be worse off, and our savings would be lower.

          I’m not sure about that, it is a national party policy so if people choose to opt out of the public system they will be able to have that adjusted in their taxes. Unlike Labour who would just call them rich pricks and demand that having paid for private they still fully fund the public system they do not use.

          • Kerry Thomas 15.1.2.1.1

            I am sure the people who do not want to support the public system will be happy to forgo a pension to be paid from the taxable income of the kids educated in the public system.

          • burt 15.1.2.1.2

            Kerry

            OMG – are you suggesting there could be a chance to move away from the one size fits all delivered by state monopoly model of socialism ?

            • Kerry 15.1.2.1.2.1

              I would rather have our system controlled by a democratic state than big business. Though it would be nice to actually have democracy.

              In 1941, the editor Edward Dowling wrote: “The two greatest obstacles to democracy in the United States are, first, the widespread delusion among the poor that we have a democracy, and second, the chronic terror among the rich, lest we get it.”

  16. Olwyn 16

    I wonder if the thought that he could rent a house off himself, with a government paid housing allowance, caused Bill to abandon saving. He, unlike the majority, is actually in the position to save. If he gave it up because the government pickings were too good to bother, then he has one example on his side.

    • Bored 16.1

      Or perhaps Bill has given up saving as he knows that the ‘money” is just digits in a database, removed from reality and tangibility….and he has no faith in the longevity of the institutions or the currency lasting….or the power staying on for the mainframe.

  17. The basic truth is New Zealand is a low wage economy with a high cost of living. This is why there is no money left over for savings.

    It makes you realise just how divorced from the realities of life Politicians are with their big fat salaries, their expense accounts and all the perks that go with the job as well.

    That is not adding in the superannuation we pay them from our public purse.

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • The coronavirus outbreak in China: what a difference a week makes
    When it comes to emerging infectious diseases and outbreaks, so much can happen in a week. In the case of the coronavirus outbreak in China, I’ve gone from not being too alarmed, to thinking “oh, crap!”. But that still doesn’t mean we should all panic. As I’m writing this on ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    10 hours ago
  • National cries wolf over Coronavirus
    Opposition MP Michael WoodhouseLast week, the current National Party leader, Simon Bridges, claimed that the Minister of Health wasn’t leading on ‘significant issues that matter to New Zealanders within his Health portfolio’ when commenting about the Government’s response to the Coronavirus outbreak.This silly comment was made despite David Clark working ...
    19 hours ago
  • Fluoridation and sex steroid hormones – or the mouse that roared
    All the recent research anti-fluoride campaigners promote as “evidence” of harm from community water fluoridation amount to cherry-picking a very few statistically significant results from a large number of non-significant results. The whole exercise is a bit like the “Mouse that Roared.” Credit: The Mouse that Roared – TMTR Intro ...
    21 hours ago
  • Leave Neve alone
    Neve Te Aroha Gayford at RatanaI’m sure I’m not the only one to notice that the Ratana birthday celebrations this year were a well-attended event that went off without much of a hitch. This is in stark contrast to previous years, where some form of controversy has usually taken centre ...
    2 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #4
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Jan 19, 2020 through Sat, Jan 25, 2020 Editor's Pick The companies that have contributed most to climate change Thought-provoking readings on those most responsible for the pollution. Sometimes, ...
    2 days ago
  • The swimming pool paradox
    It’s another warm day, but the breeze isn’t helping much, so off I go to the inviting outdoor swimming pool (banner picture) at the other end of campus. It’s an unheated pool (well, there’s no artificial heat source), which means one thing: It’s going to feel cold when I get ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    4 days ago
  • 100 seconds to midnight
    The Doomsday Clock is a tracker created by he Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists for how close we are to global destruction. Created in 1947, it got worse as the Cold War started, then improved as it cooled down, then got worse again as Ronald Reagan tried to confront the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • A multitude of drops: Social tipping points in climate action
    If you’re here, you probably know that the climate crisis is upon us, that it’s getting steadily worse, and that attempts to address it haven’t worked yet. People are still driving and even advertising SUVs with impunity, and oil companies are exploring like crazy, even in New Zealand. Politically, socially, ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    4 days ago
  • The Thoughtful Mr Parker.
    Stunningly Wrong-Headed: So blinded are the “left-wing” believers in free markets and free trade (like Trade Minister, David Parker) that even when they are staring directly at the wreckage of the lives and communities which these “unconscionable freedoms” (to borrow Marx’s telling phrase) have left in their wake, they cannot ...
    4 days ago
  • What’s the problem with all science being “done” in English?
    I’ve been listening to a wonderful podcast this morning which left me thinking. The podcast was a 30-min well-spent break, in the company of Daniel Midgley and Michael Gordin.  You might know Daniel Midgley from the Talk the Talk linguistics podcast. Michael Gordin is the author of “Scientific Babel”, which ...
    SciBlogsBy Andreea Calude
    4 days ago
  • Snakeflu?! An intriguing source suggested for new Chinese coronavirus
    The whole world is on edge over a coronavirus outbreak that started in early December in Wuhan City, China. The virus is thought to have first infected people working at a seafood and live animal market. So what could the original source have been? There’s no official word yet, but ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    4 days ago
  • Simon’s Philippine jaunt: #LittleBoysPlayingToughguys
    Not too far back, Simon Bridges the Leader of the Opposition and National Party, went on an excursion to China. This was arranged not by MFAT (NZ’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade), but by their MP Jian Yang – a man who also just happened to “forget to mention” ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    4 days ago
  • Will Turia ever forgive Labour?
    Dame Tariana Turia with former PM John KeyWhat is it about Tariana Turia’s grudge against the Labour Party? Not content with attacking the Government over Whānau Ora funding, which was increased by $80 million in 2019, she has now made it personal by saying that Jacinda Ardern is out of her ...
    5 days ago
  • What are the recent fluoride-IQ studies really saying about community water fluoridation?
    Scaremongering graphic currently being promoted by Declan Waugh who is well known for misrepresenting the fluoride science This graphic is typical of current anti-fluoride propaganda. It is scare-mongering, in that it is aimed at undermining community ...
    5 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #3, 2020
    Biography of a policy metric Bård Lahn performs a sweeping literature review to present the history of our notion of a "global carbon budget" and how this number has come  to encapsulate a massive amount of scientific research into a useful, easily grasped tool in our policy skill set.  A ...
    5 days ago
  • Oxfam Report: Time to Care – Unpaid and underpaid care work and the global inequality crisis
    January 2020 Economic inequality is out of control. In 2019, the world’s billionaires, only 2,153 people, had more wealth than 4.6 billion people. This great divide is based on a flawed and sexist economic system that values the wealth of the privileged few, mostly men, more than the billions of ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    5 days ago
  • How to avoid being a cunt to hospo workers’
    Working hospo is hard mahi for many reasons, from long hours and gruelling high-volume weekends to customers who treat us as their servants. There are always lovely and polite customers who treat hospo workers with respect and kindness but, throughout my 15-years in the biz, I’ve collected a number of ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    5 days ago
  • 2019-nCoV (the new coronavirus): Should we be concerned, and will there be a vaccine?
    Probably yes to both but don’t panic yet. There is a plan. What is this virus? 2019 novel coronavirus, aka 2019-nCoV, belongs to a family of viruses called coronavirus. These are very common viruses that infect a wide range of animals including humans and can cause mild to severe disease, ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    6 days ago
  • The Chinese coronavirus outbreak: what are the options for vaccines and treatments?
    By now you’ve probably heard of the coronavirus outbreak that started in Wuhan City, China. The number of cases is rising, up to about 300 with six deaths. Cases have been reported in several more Chinese cities, including Beijing and Shanghai, as well as in Japan, Thailand, and South Korea. ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    6 days ago
  • Educating New Zealand’s future workforce
    Judy Kavanagh Do you remember your first day at school? The education I received was for a very different world than the world of today. Along with huge social shifts there have been big changes in the New Zealand economy and the work people do. There are occupations unheard of ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • A casual attitude towards transparency
    Back in December, when the government was introducing new secrecy legislation on an almost daily basis, I posted about the Infrastructure Funding and Financing Bill. The Bill establishes a new class of public entity, "special purpose vehicles", which collect and spend public money and enjoy statutory powers. Despite this, they ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Against a carbon bailout
    If we are to avoid making the planet uninhabitable, we need to cut carbon emisisons fast. Which basicly means putting the fossil fuel industry - coal, gas, and oil - out of business. But this means that the banks and other lenders who have bankrolled the industry's environmental destruction will ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Still a criminal industry
    More evidence that the fishing industry suffers from pervasive criminality, with Forest & Bird highlighting some odd numbers in the annual statistics:The Annual Review Report For Highly Migratory Species Fisheries 2018/19 (Pg 4, Table 4) showed only 4% of commercial long lining trips for tuna and swordfish reported non-fish bycatch ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Controversy? Or Manufactroversy?
    A few days ago, New Zealand’s Minister of Education announced the wider release of a resource on climate change, which was initially trialled at a Christchurch school during 2018. According to the Minister, children will learn about “the role science plays in understanding climate change, aids understanding of both the response ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    6 days ago
  • The emerging coronavirus outbreak in China
    By now you’ve probably heard of the new virus causing an outbreak of severe pneumonia in China. The question on most people’s minds is, how worried should we be, especially as hundreds of millions of people will soon be travelling across China and beyond to visit family for the Lunar ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    6 days ago
  • How did climate change get so controversial?
    An excerpt from the book Cranky Uncle vs. Climate Change, released Feb 25. Our human brain is poorly equipped to deal with a threat like climate change. Over millions of years, we’ve evolved to avoid life-threatening dangers like predators jumping out of bushes. We’ve survived by quickly detecting and avoiding immediate, short-term ...
    6 days ago
  • Farmers are ruining Canterbury’s rivers
    Its summer, so people naturally want to go for a swim. But in South Canterbury, you can't, because the rivers are full of toxic goo:As of Monday, the Waihi River at Wilson Street footbridge, Geraldine, the Waihao River at Bradshaws Bridge, and three spots on the Opihi River - at ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Sack Shane Jones
    Late last year, NZ First was caught trying to enrich itself from public office, with a dodgy forestry company linked to a number of NZ First figures sticking its hand out repeatedly for government money. Regional Economic Development Minister shane Jones' "explanations" were patently unconvincing, and his recusal from deciding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • BIG idea physics
    This morning I’ve been having a quick look through some documentation from The Ministry of Education on proposed changes to NCEA Level 1 Science. For those not familiar with the NZ secondary education system, a typical student would complete NCEA level 1 at the end of year 11.  In this ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    7 days ago
  • Revolution in New Zealand? Not Even Close!
    No Fires Thanks, We're Kiwis: For the moment, in those close-to-home places where revolutions are born, there may be tetchiness and resentment, frustration and complaint, but nowhere is anybody uttering the cry that will bring a New Zealand revolution into being: “We have found the way to make tomorrow better ...
    7 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #3
    Story of the Week... Editorial of the Week... Toon of the Week... Quote of the Week... Graphic of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Reviews... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... 'It's heart-wrenching': 80% of Blue Mountains and 50% of ...
    1 week ago
  • Britain exits the European Union and takes a sharp right turn
    by John Smith  Britain’s exit from the imperialist bloc known as the European Union (EU) is now irreversible. The crushing electoral defeat of the Labour Party has dismayed many workers and youth who had placed their hopes in Jeremy Corbyn, its left-wing leader. This article assesses these historic events, neither of which ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #3
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Jan 12, 2020 through Sat, Jan 18, 2020 Editor's Pick The Past and the Future of the Earth’s Oldest Trees Bristlecone pines have survived various catastrophes over the millennia, and they ...
    1 week ago
  • How climate change influenced Australia’s unprecedented fires
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections, and has been adapted into a new myth rebuttal on climate-wildfire connections with the short URL sks.to/wildfires Australia’s frightening bushfires, which kicked off an early fire season in September 2019, have already had cataclysmic effects, and the continent is still just in the early ...
    1 week ago
  • Gender Identity Ideology – A Partial Bibliography of Online Coverage
    This great resource has been contributed to Redline by Janie Doebuck. Janie made some notes on the bibliography: 1) It is by no means exhaustive. There are tons more gender critical posts, essays, articles, podcasts, youtube videos, etc. online. 2) There are links in the bibliography that are behind paywalls. There ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • About those biased Oscar Nominations
    There’s been a lot written about the 2020 Oscar Nominations and their apparent lack of diversity. It’s true, there are in fact no women nominated for the Best Director and very few nominees of colour across the board. But is this a result of a biased process or a symptom ...
    2 weeks ago
  • How New Zealand media reports chronic pain
    Hemakumar Devan Around three million New Zealanders access news media (both paper and online) every week. Yes, you heard that right! So, the potential for news media to shape public health beliefs is common sense. As chronic pain affects one in five New Zealanders, we wanted to find out how ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Still Waiting For American Democracy.
    Unfinished Republic: Though the United States' crimes against democracy are legion, most Americans are blissfully unaware of them. The brutal realities of American life: the officially sanctioned violence; the refusal to hold racists accountable for their actions; the seemingly endless tragedy of African-American suffering; of which White America is the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • In Outrage Over Its Bunk Science, Goop Finds Fuel for Growth
    Michael Schulson For years, experts have said that Goop, the wellness and lifestyle brand founded by the actor and entrepreneur Gwyneth Paltrow, markets pseudoscience and overblown cures. And for years, despite the criticism, Goop has just kept growing. Now the company, which was valued at $250 million in 2018, ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Tobacco Excise Taxes and the Smokefree 2025 Goal: Some Ways Forward
    Janet Hoek, Richard Edwards, George Thomson, Andrew Waa, Nick Wilson Debate over tobacco tax increases has intensified as research indicates potentially conflicting policy directions. On the one hand, excise tax increases continue to stimulate quit attempts among smokers yet, on the other hand, they may lead to financial hardship for ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #2, 2020
    Conflation and how to fix it VIa AMS,  Raul Lejano looks at what in a layperson's thinking would be called conflation— confusion and blending of entirely different topics— when people think about climate change. Ideology and the Narrative of Skepticism  (open access) starts with some arguably frightening false connections between the science and ...
    2 weeks ago
  • ‘Cranky Uncle’ smart phone game will show you how to disarm climate deniers
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Bud Ward (Image: Courtesy of John Cook) When it comes to climate change, it seems every family has its own version of the proverbial Cranky Uncle. An uncle, cousin, grandparent, in-law, neighbor, whatever. Just think back to the recent holiday season’s large ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Science in the ’20s – part 1
      Outrageous, immoral or downright dangerous. That’s a description of the lifestyle of women “flappers” in the 1920s. Could it apply to science (and scientists) in the 2020s? Actually, you could look back at the past decade and see those, or similar terms, used about some science and scientists. Sometimes ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    2 weeks ago
  • Postscript: Citizenship Granted.
    I am pleased to say that I have been granted NZ citizenship. I need to do the ceremony for things to be official, but the application was a success. I now join my son as a dual NZ-US citizen. To be fair, very little will change other than the fact ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: Music: Morales is coming
    It will be no secret to longtime readers that I, Russell Brown, love the disco.   So I'm pretty excited by the fact that one of the greats of the game is returning this summer – and also pleased to say I have tickets to give away.Legendary mixer and DJ ...
    2 weeks ago
  • The WHO Vaccine Safety Summit – from someone who was actually there
    The conspiracy I saw a new conspiracy theory flying around the other day. According to the conspiracy (that seems to originate from Del Bigtree), the World Health Organization have been ‘caught on camera’ questioning the safety of vaccines. Gosh this sounds as though someone was a mole at a ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    2 weeks ago
  • The timely death of the British Labour Party
    Below is an article submitted to Redline by Alec Abbott  At its inception, the British Labour Party was a vehicle for the propagation of racist and imperialist views within the working-class. Such views are still widespread in the party, as they are in Europe’s Social-Democratic parties, though, in the case of ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Mystery China pneumonia outbreak likely caused by new human coronavirus
    Connor Bamford, Queen’s University Belfast Since December 2019, there has been a cluster of 59 cases of pneumonia in Wuhan, eastern China. The pneumonia is associated with a previously unidentified coronavirus related to the deadly SARS virus. Seven of those cases are thought to be serious, and one person – ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Yes, koalas are cute – but should we bring them to NZ? Errm, no
    It’s been hard to miss the extreme fires raging across Australia and the tragic plight of the animals – human and otherwise – affected by the fires’ insatiable spread. I know I’ve been captivated and concerned by the tales of how Australia’s famous wildlife has been coping. Koalas approaching cyclists ...
    SciBlogsBy Sarah-Jane O'Connor
    2 weeks ago
  • National’s negative campaigning
    Anybody who looked into the Dirty Politics saga knows all too well that honesty is often in short supply within the National Party. You would think that after the exposure the John Key government received over their untruthful attack politics, the National Party would learn from its "mistakes" and leave ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Ending the government’s charade over water
    For the past decade, the government has been responding to the obvious Treaty issues raised by water allocation with the mantra that "no-one owns water". But last year, the Waitangi Tribunal ruled that actually, Māori owned it, and that those rights had never been extinguished. They recommended that iwi bring ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Northern Ireland joins the civilised world
    Same-sex marriage has finally become legal in Northern Ireland. But not through any decision of the Northern Irish Executive or Assembly, which has only just reformed after a three year walkout by the DUP; instead, Westminster made that decision for them. I've talked before about the constitutional impropriety of this, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • I had an intense conversation at work today.
    Claire Cohen-Norris volunteers with Citizens Climate Lobby as a chapter founder and leader in rural New York. Her climate advocacy sprung from her drive to provide a secure, joyful and fulfilling life for her two wonderful children. It has become a life’s mission, shared with her like-minded husband and partner. Claire ...
    2 weeks ago
  • French transport workers take on Macron over pension reform
    by John Edmundson Starting on December 5th, 2019 workers in the Parisian rail network commenced an open-ended strike in opposition to French President Emmanuel Macron’s proposed changes to their pension scheme. Rail workers in the Metro Underground have, for decades, had retirement conditions that compensate them for the low wages, ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • What a difference the decimal point makes
    I’m back at work following a nearly three-week break over Christmas. We were fortunate to be offered a house to stay in for a week over Christmas, which enabled us to have a holiday in Dunedin and see the extended family reasonably cheaply. But the house came with a catch:  ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    2 weeks ago
  • Who’s Going To Stop Him?
    Blank And Pitiless: Having ordered the assassination of the Iranian General, Qasem Soleimani, President Donald Trump promised to reduce the cultural monuments of Iran’s 3,000 year-old civilisation to rubble if a revenge attack was mounted. A breach of international law? Certainly. A war crime? Indisputably. Who’s going to stop him? Nobody.WHAT ...
    2 weeks ago
  • A worker’s story
    This interview is from Aotearoa Workers Solidarity Movement (AWSM) and is the first of an ongoing series of interviews they plan to do with workers from various sectors who are having their well being and livelihoods damaged. They begin with an educator in Southland. Due to the attitude and actions ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #2
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Jan 5, 2020 through Sat, Jan 11, 2020 Editor's Pick Debunked Australian Bushfire Conspiracy Theories Were Pushed by Alex Jones, Murdoch Media   As unusually intense and widespread bushfires have ...
    2 weeks ago
  • J.K. Rowling, the Seattle Library, and the Issue That Must Not Be Named
    This article was submitted to Redline by Seattle-based activist Lucinda Stoan J.K. Rowling recognizes repression when she sees it.  That’s why the author of the wildly popular Harry Potter books recently tweeted in defense of Maya Forstater. Forstater lost her job for stating that sex is real and immutable. A judge ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Rules of Empire: Laws simply do not apply and “National Security” excuses all else.
    Empires rise and fall, and the American Empire is absolutely no different. But while an Empire, in order to further the footprint, it seems to pay to do one primary thing above all else: project that everything – everything – is “simply for the good of the world” at large, ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • Indian lessons for NZ workers – the January 8 general strike
                    by Phil Duncan On Wednesday (January 8) another massive general strike took place in India.  Some 250 million industrial workers, white-collar workers, agricultural labourers struck against the government’s economic policies and attacks on the Muslim population through new proposed citizenship rules. This ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    3 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: The action that counts
    Over on Newsroom, Professor Jacqueline Beggs writes about the action she is taking on climate change. Its the usual list: reduce meat, don't fly, consume less. I'm doing some of this myself, and none of it hurts - but the way our economic system is constructed means the impact of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 weeks ago
  • Fossil fuel political giving outdistances renewables 13 to one
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Karin Kirk Corporations, special interest groups, and individuals inject billions of dollars into the American political system every year. Much of the financial support in politics is concealed from public view, as some rules – and loopholes – allow “dark money” and ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Animal response to a bushfire is astounding. These are the tricks they use to survive
    Dale Nimmo, Charles Sturt University Have you ever wondered how our native wildlife manage to stay alive when an inferno is ripping through their homes, and afterwards when there is little to eat and nowhere to hide? The answer is adaptation and old-fashioned ingenuity. Australia’s bushfire season is far from ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    3 weeks ago
  • Should I ditch my fossil-fueled car?
    Yes. Reducing the number of cars in your household, or switching from petrol/diesel to electric, will dramatically reduce your greenhouse gas emissions. It’s one of the easiest and highest-impact climate steps you can take. New Zealand is being flooded with cars The New Zealand vehicle fleet is increasing rapidly. In ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    3 weeks ago
  • Speaker: Planet History: Taking Tea with Quentin
    This interview with Quentin Crisp is part of a series of articles republished from Planet, the independent magazine I edited in the early 90s from a base at 309 Karangahape Road, along with Grant Fell, Rachael Churchward, Fiona Rae, David Teehan, Mere Ngailevu and others.Inevitably, you forget things, and over ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #1, 2020
    Supply Side How are we doing with CO2 emissions? It's an important question, increasingly posed to a mixed bag of CO2 contributors who may or may not provide accurate reportage. Liu et al present a new, additional means of measurement based on satellite observations of nitrogen dioxide co-emitted from ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Donald Trump’s strategic gamble
    There’s a meme going around the Internet at the moment claiming that Donald Trump is a bit of an idiot. To outside eyes it does seem as though the President of the United States thumbs his nose at his own countries laws and administration far too often to be taken ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Is the prostitute the seller or the sold?
    Excerpts from Being and Being Bought, by Kajsa Ekis Ekman, Spinifex Press, 2013. Ekman, a Swedish journalist and critic, brings together a Marxist and feminist analysis of prostitution and surrogacy in this groundbreaking book. This is the third part of a synopsis and brief commentary of the book by Daphna Whitmore. Part 1 was ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 weeks ago
  • The climate crisis is also a biodiversity crisis
    Dr Andrea Byrom Like many of us, the summer break has seen me transfixed with horror at the scale and magnitude of the bushfire crisis in Australia. As an ecologist, I can’t help but be appalled at the loss of some of Australia’s most beautiful ecosystems and landscapes. And ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    3 weeks ago

  • Week That Was: 2020
    We are back for 2020! From changes to Family Funded Care, to a record high number of Kiwis in construction in the trades - we're already back making progress on those long-term challenges. Read all about it and more ...
    4 days ago
  • Winston Peters: “Ihumātao deal still a long way off”
    Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters told Mike Hosking that a settlement deal regarding Ihumātao in Auckland is still a long way off. The Maori King's flag was lowered at the site near Auckland Airport yesterday, sparking suggestions an announcement of a deal could be made by Waitangi Day. Pania Newton, ...
    5 days ago
  • Winston Peters accuses Gerry Brownlee of ‘politicising’ Holocaust memorial
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters is accusing Gerry Brownlee of "politicising" a Holocaust memorial event after the National MP questioned the lack of Kiwi representation there. The Yad Vashem World Holocaust Remembrance Centre in Jerusalem, Israel, is holding the World Holocaust Forum on January 23 to mark 75 years since ...
    5 days ago
  • Provincial Growth Fund to help Waipukurau Pā sites attract thousands of tourists
    The Ngā Ara Tipuna - Waipukurau Pā Site Interpretation project is receiving $2.798 million from the Provincial Growth Fund. It is is expected to boost the town's employment and tourism, creating sixteen new jobs once completed and attract up to 15,000 visitors a year. Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development ...
    6 days ago
  • “Common sense will prevail, not extremism” Winston Peters backs Shane Jones’ pro-meat stance
    New Zealand First leader Winston Peters is backing his MPs who have spoken out against a new climate change teaching resource that advises students to eat less meat to save the planet. The new teaching resource, announced by Education Minister Chris Hipkins and Climate Change Minister James Shaw, tells students ...
    7 days ago
  • Violent assault on paramedic highlights need for law change
    Darroch Ball MP, Spokesperson for Justice Today’s horrific violent assault of an on-duty female paramedic which rendered her unconscious is truly unsettling. “Our thoughts are with the paramedic, her loved ones and the St John’s team at Warkworth Station,” says New Zealand First Justice Spokesperson Darroch Ball. “Harsher penalties for perpetrators ...
    1 week ago
  • Acting PM Winston Peters confirms NZDF troops in Iraq not hit by Iranian attacks
    Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters called for calm and diplomacy following Iranian missile strikes on bases housing United States troops in Iraq, but confirmed New Zealand's base in the country was not hit. The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) was earlier today investigating claims New Zealand's base in Iraq had ...
    1 week ago
  • Kaikōura $10.88 million boost in tourism & business
    Fletcher Tabuteau MP, Parliamentary Undersecretary for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $10.88 million to boost business and tourism opportunities in Kaikōura, Parliamentary Undersecretary for Regional Economic Development, Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. As part of the Kaikōura Marina Development Programme, the following two projects will receive ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Delivering a stable water supply to Wairarapa
    Hon. Ron Mark, New Zealand First List MP based in Wairarapa The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $7.11 million to create a sustainable water supply for the Wairarapa. The PGF will provide a $7 million investment to Wairarapa Water Limited to progress the Wairarapa Water Storage Scheme towards procurement, consenting, ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Housing consents hit highest level since 1974
    Housing consents have hit a 45-year high, as Statistics NZ data shows a total of 37,010 residential consents were issued in the year to November --- the first time they have breached the 37,000 mark since the mid-1970s. Statistics NZ said the trend had been rising since late 2011, when ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Darroch Ball MP: “Violence against first responders is a problem on the rise”
    New Zealand First MP Darroch Ball says that a paramedic being kicked unconscious last night in an attempted burglary in Warkworth, north of Auckland, is a symptom of a larger problem. "Incidents like this are becoming more and more frequent...and it’s getting worse," Mr Ball said. The MP is pushing for ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister Ron Mark asks NZDF to conduct fire risk assessment from defence point of view
    Defence Minister Ron Mark said there was nothing to prevent similar large-scale bushfires seen in Australia from also happening in New Zealand, and has asked the New Zealand Defence Force to conduct a nfire risk assessment from a defence point of view. The defence assessment would help prevent a disaster ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Defence Minister Mark expresses “absolute confidence” in NZDF forces stationed in Iraq
    While feeling worried about increased Middle East tensions, Defence Minister Ron Mark said he had "absolute confidence" in New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) leadership. His statements come as the fate of Kiwi troops stationed in Iraq comes under intense scrutiny. Forty-five Defence Force personnel were thought to be in the ...
    3 weeks ago

  • Minister pays tribute to journalist, author and broadcaster, Gordon McLauchlan
    The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, has paid tribute to well-known New Zealand author, journalist and broadcaster, Gordon McLauchlan, following Mr McLauchlan’s death today. “Gordon held a statesman-like place in New Zealand’s media, which was fittingly acknowledged in last year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours, when he was ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • Minister wishes best of luck to those heading back to school
    As Kiwi kids and teachers return to classrooms over the coming weeks, the families of around 428,000 students will feel a bit less of a financial pinch than in previous years, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “The Government’s decision to increase funding for schools that don’t ask parents for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • Health staff to meet flights from China as precautionary measure
    Public health staff will begin meeting flights from China from tomorrow, to actively look for signs of the novel coronavirus and provide advice, information and reassurance to passengers. Health Minister Dr David Clark says the additional measures are being taken following the arrival of the disease in Australia, via flights ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • National Yearling Sales 2020
    National Yearling Sales at Karaka   26 January 2020    [CHECK AGAINST DELIVERY] Good morning. It is a pleasure to be here on opening day of the 2020 National Yearling Sales Series. Let us all acknowledge Sir Peter Vela and the Vela family for their outstanding contribution to the New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government and construction industry to build big, lift productivity with Transformation Plan
    Delivering the workforce and productivity gains required to build the houses, schools, roads, rail and hospitals New Zealand needs will become easier with the Government-industry Construction Sector Transformation Plan launched today, Minister for Building and Construction Jenny Salesa says. “The action plan launched today delivers on the Government’s Construction Sector ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Log trains to begin on Wairoa-Napier line
    Log trains are about to start running between Wairoa and Napier following Provincial Growth Fund investment to reopen the rail line, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. The Government invested $6.2 million to reopen the mothballed rail line which was closed after significant storm damage in 2012. “With PGF ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Minister of Defence concludes successful visit with his US counterpart
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark met with United States Secretary of Defense Mark Esper today. “This was an excellent opportunity to meet with one of our closest security partners,” Ron Mark said. “The main focus of the meeting was to discuss challenges that New Zealand and the United States share ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand acknowledges ICJ decision on Myanmar
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters today acknowledged the ruling of the International Court of Justice in relation to the Rohingya people in Myanmar. The ruling ordered the Government of Myanmar to take all measures within its power to prevent the commission of acts of genocide in relation to members of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • NZ’s trade aims advanced at Davos meetings
    A proposal to cut “trade and production-distorting subsidies” in the agricultural sector by 2030 has set out important measures to ensure a fair agricultural trading system.  Speaking after attending meetings of trade ministers in Davos, Switzerland, Minister for Trade and Export Growth David Parker welcomed the joint proposal from the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Great news for New Zealanders with cystic fibrosis
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says he is delighted that PHARMAC has struck a provisional deal to fund Kalydeco – a medicine which is set to improve the quality of life for about 30 New Zealand children and adults with cystic fibrosis. “While rare, cystic fibrosis is an awful inherited ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand least corrupt country in the world
    New Zealand has regained its position as the least corrupt country in the world for the second time under this Coalition Government, says Justice Minister Andrew Little. “New Zealanders can be proud that our reputation as one of the least corrupt countries in the world has been restored,” says Andrew ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Boost for Rēkohu/Wharekauri/Chatham Islands Community Conservation
    Community conservation in Rēkohu/Wharekauri/the Chatham Islands is receiving a boost, with grants to support local projects announced today by Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage. “Rēkohu/Wharekauri/ the Chatham Islands are home to 20 per cent of New Zealand’s threatened bird species and 11 per cent of New Zealand’s threatened plant species. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Rātana Pā goes high-tech with UFB
    Iwi, hapu and visitors to Rātana Pā near Whanganui now have access to ultra-fast broadband following its connection, completed in time for annual Rātana celebrations, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. The connection and associated hardware were funded from the Provincial Growth Fund’s $21 million Marae Digital Connectivity programme, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Govt’s strong financial management acknowledged
    The Government’s strong financial management and plan to future proof the economy with new infrastructure investment has gained further recognition from an international ratings agency. Credit rating agency Fitch has upgraded one of its main metrics assessing the Government’s books, lifting its foreign currency AA rating outlook to ‘positive’ from ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Boost in Whānau Ora funding to keep changing lives
    Whānau throughout New Zealand are set to benefit from an extra three million dollars that will go directly to Whānau Ora Commissioning Agencies, the Minister for Whānau Ora Peeni Henare announced today.  Including previous funding boosts, the Agencies will now receive $87 million this year between them.  In Budget 2019 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • More people getting into work
    The December quarter benefit numbers released today show the Government’s plan to get people off the benefit and into work is starting to pay off,” Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni said.   “Nearly 19,000 people cancelled their benefit and went into work in the last few months of the year – ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Wairoa gets up to $6.1m to rebuild heart of CBD
    The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing up to $6.1 million to revitalise business and tourism opportunities in Wairoa, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. The PGF is funding: Up to $4.8 million for the Wairoa Integrated Business and Tourism Facility Up to $960,000 for the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Major Events support for creative and cultural events
    Creative and cultural events that highlight New Zealand’s diverse culture and build national pride are set to get a funding boost through the Major Events Fund, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford said today. The new Creative and Cultural Events Incubator, which is funded through the Major Events Fund, will open ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Classroom internet in hundreds of schools to get a boost
    The Government has begun a massive IT upgrade to provide more seamless internet access to 200 schools around the country. Te Mana Tūhono – Technology in Schools work programme will launch with a pilot of 10 smaller state schools early this year. IT equipment that gives students access to the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Construction workforce, apprenticeships hit record highs
    Working with industry and committing to rebuild New Zealand’s infrastructure has produced a record high number of Kiwis working in the construction industry and learning trades, says Minister for Building and Construction Jenny Salesa. New figures available today from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and the Tertiary Education ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • NZ concludes digital economy trade talks with Singapore and Chile
    A new trade agreement concluded today helps New Zealand exporters and consumers take advantage of opportunities from digital trade.    Minister for Trade and Export Growth David Parker together with Chile’s Vice Minister of Trade Rodrigo Yañez and Singapore’s Minister of Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing, have announced conclusion of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Provincial Growth Fund to fund Waipukurau cultural development and tourism
    The Ngā Ara Tipuna -  Waipukurau Pā Site Interpretation project will receive $2.798 million from the Provincial Growth Fund to create an authentic cultural tourism experience, Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today “The project will inform visitors about the history of six pā sites in Waipukurau with a combination ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • 21 new judges boost diversity, improve access to justice
    Twenty-one new District Court judges have been appointed in a move that will improve access to justice and boost diversity on the bench. The new judges include replacements for retirements and 10 new positions. Attorney-General David Parker today announced the 14 judges who can immediately be named, with the remainder ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Puhinui to Auckland Airport in 10 minutes
    Aucklanders are another step closer to getting rapid transit to the airport, with the start of construction to upgrade State Highway 20B to the airport, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. SH20B will be upgraded with additional lanes in each direction, dedicated to bus and high-occupancy vehicles between Pukaki Creek ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Advancing New Zealand’s trade agenda focus of Europe meetings
    World Trade Organisation reform, agricultural trade and a free trade agreement with the United Kingdom will be the focus of Minister for Trade and Export Growth David Parker’s visit to Europe this week. David Parker leaves on Tuesday for a series of meetings in the UK and Switzerland that aim ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Minister of Defence to visit counterparts in US and Canada
    The Minister of Defence, Ron Mark, departed today for the United States and Canada where he will meet with his counterparts.  While in Canada Minister Mark will meet with his counterpart, Minister of National Defence Harjit Sajjan.  “New Zealand and Canada are close friends, and share an instinctive like-mindedness on ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government to deliver family carers $2000 pay rise, expand scheme to spouses this year
    The Coalition Government is delivering this year the changes to Funded Family Care the disability sector has long-asked for, says Associate Minister of Health Jenny Salesa. “Today we are announcing the details of our big changes to Funded Family Care, including an annual average pay boost of $2,246.40 for funded ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Ko te reo kua mū: Piri Sciascia
    Minister for Māori Development Nanaia Mahuta joins te ao Māori in their sorrow as they learn of the loss of one of the great orators and spokespersons of a generation – Piri Sciascia.  “The son of Pōrangahau was a staunch advocate for Māori development and served his people for over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Minister opens new ecosanctuary at Cape Farewell
    A new ecosanctuary with a predator proof fence on Golden Bay’s Cape Farewell, which will restore a safe home for sea birds, rare native plants, giant snails, and geckos, was officially opened today by the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage. “There has been a fantastic community effort supported by the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Pacific partners work together to provide additional support to Australia
    The NZDF continues to support the Australian Defence Force (ADF) as it battles fires in Victoria and New South Wales, including by transporting Republic of Fiji Military engineers from Nadi to Australia, announced Defence Minister Ron Mark. On Saturday morning a NZDF Boeing 757 will depart New Zealand to uplift ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Kaikōura $10.88 million boost in tourism & business
    The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $10.88 million to boost business and tourism opportunities in Kaikōura, Parliamentary Undersecretary for Regional Economic Development, Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. As part of the Kaikōura Marina Development Programme, the following two projects will receive PGF funding: A $9.88 million investment to begin the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Govt accounts in surplus, debt remains low
    The Government’s books are in good shape with the accounts in surplus and expenses close to forecast, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown accounts for the five months to November. The operating balance before gains and losses (OBEGAL) was above forecast by $0.7 billion resulting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Auckland focus for first Police graduation of 2020
    The number of Police on the Auckland frontline is increasing with the graduation today of a special locally-trained wing of new constables. Police Minister Stuart Nash says the graduation of eighteen officers from Recruit Wing 333-5 means that more than 1900 new Police have been deployed since the Coalition Government ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Wairarapa gets $7.11m PGF water boost
    The Provincial Growth Fund is putting $7.11 million into creating a sustainable water supply for Wairarapa, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. The following two projects will receive Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) funding: A $7 million investment in Wairarapa Water Limited for the pre-construction development of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Progress with new Police station in Mahia
    Community safety and crime prevention in the East Coast community of Mahia has moved forward with the opening of a new Police station to serve the growing coastal settlement. Police Minister Stuart Nash has officially opened the new station, which was relocated almost 20 kilometres along the coast from the nearby ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Plans to protect the future of whitebaiting announced
    With several native whitebait species in decline the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage has today released proposals to standardise and improve management of whitebait across New Zealand. “The need for action for a healthy whitebait fishery has never been greater,” Eugenie Sage said.  “Four of the six whitebait species are ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New resource for schools to increase awareness and understanding of climate change
    A new Ministry of Education resource available for schools in 2020 will increase awareness and understanding of climate change, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “The resource, Climate Change – prepare today, live well tomorrow, will help students understand the effects of climate change at a local, national and global ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Getting more out of our most productive firms
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson has approved the terms of reference for an Inquiry into the economic contribution of New Zealand's frontier firms. Frontier firms are the most productive firms in the domestic economy within their own industry. “These firms are important as they diffuse new technologies and business practices into ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • NZDF sends more support to Australia
    The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) is sending an Environmental Health Team, a Primary Health Care Team and a Chaplain to Australia, boosting New Zealand support for the Australian Defence Force (ADF) as it battles bush fires in Victoria and New South Wales, Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand joins partners in calling for full investigation into air crash in Iran
    Acting Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Rt Hon Winston Peters says that developments suggesting a surface-to-air missile is responsible for the downing of the Ukrainian International Airlines flight in Iran is disastrous news. “New Zealand offers its deepest sympathies to the families of the 176 victims. It is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago