English’s record under fire

Written By: - Date published: 6:58 am, August 11th, 2011 - 56 comments
Categories: bill english, Economy - Tags:

Stuart Nash put Bill English’s feet to the fire yesterday on his economic record. English has been claiming that the economy is in better shape to withstand another economic crisis than it was in 2008. Does anyone seriously believe that? We’re poorer, we’re more indebted, we’re less employed, and costs are higher.

Nash pointed out the following sobering facts:

  • When National came to office net government debt was 1% of GDP. It’s now 20%.
  • National has borrowed $36 billion in two and a half years. That’s $55 million per weekday.
  • The government’s credit rating is now on negative outlook. It’s the first time since 1998 we’ve been on negative outlook.
  • GDP per capita has fallen 2% since National came to power. Remember, the recession officially ended in March 2009 – the first quarter National was in power.

To those facts you could add the following:

  • There are still quarter of a million jobless.
  • Unemployment remains at 6.5%, whereas Labour kept it under 4%.
  • There are 3 times as many people on the dole now as when National came to power.
  • Emigration to Australia is at record levels.
  • Inflation is running at 5.3% while wages are rising at 1.9%.
  • Business credit has fallen by 10% while mortgage debt has risen 6%.
  • the median household income has fallen 2%. For Maori,the fall is 8%, and Pacific Islanders 16%.

Anyone who says the economy is better now and we’re better placed to withstand another financial crisis when it’s clear we’re not even back on our feet since the first one is either naive or lying.

56 comments on “English’s record under fire”

  1. Colonial Viper 1

    Bill English is spouting hopium to his colleagues and the masses. Inhale deeply folks, abrogate your better judgement and common sense, and vote for National.

    The man has the same amount of economics sense and imagination as a neo-classical economics textbook from 1981.

    • Draco T Bastard 1.1

      The man has the same amount of economics sense and imagination as a neo-classical economics textbook from any time in the last two hundred years.

      FIFY

      We really haven’t learned anything about economics since laissez faire was introduced into England in the 19th century. We’re still basing our economic decisions and policies around money rather than the actual resources that we have sustainably available.

    • KJT 1.2

      Hasn’t even progressed as far as Adam Smith yet!

  2. Radio NZ reported another $160 million chink in Blinglish’s budget.  The DOL put ACC savings at $400m over three years.  Treasury put the figure at $580.

    The DOL warned there was no actuarial or economic basis to the Treasury’s projections.

    Blinglish being the cautious competent minister that he is went for the larger figure.

    This is not the first example of this occurring.  Optimistic Treasury advice was also preferred over more cautious IRD advice.

    There are that many holes in the budget it would sink if placed in water.  Along with our economy … 

  3. aj 3

    English is merely parroting the lines that we’ll hear between now and the election. Keys, interviewed by Sainsbury a few evenings ago was spouting the same trip – I was waiting in vain for Saisbury to call him out on this rubbish.

    • Lanthanide 3.1

      Yeah. He got a nice little sting in at the very end about him not liking Labour’s plan that would increase borrowing in the short term.

  4. vto 4

    I don’t trust anything Bill English says. He simply lies and distorts to suit his ends. He would clearly not hesitate to say something like “GDP has risen under National” when it clearly has not. He is brazen. Him, Key, Smith & Carter – the bag of snakes.

    Get stuck into the pricks.

  5. tc 5

    Couple the lies with compliant non questioning soapboxes like closeup and the nation etc etc and the truth will always be an inconvenient and ignored commodity.

    They go there because they know they’ll be unchallenged, it’s all part of the deal particularly with TVNZ.

  6. illuminatedtiger 6

    National’s (mis)management of the economy has been a trainwreck but since the media aren’t doing their jobs the Nats will continue to take the piss and lie to the New Zealand public.

    • Draco T Bastard 6.1

      The MSM are doing their jobs. It’s just that their job isn’t what we think it is or should be (holding politicians and the rich and powerful to account) but covering for the lies of the politicians and the rich and powerful.

      • vto 6.1.1

        Well not quite Mr Draco. I would surmise that the job of the MSM is to sell their media. Reporting on everything and anything is surely just an add-on as part of that primary role of selling.

        The fact that their job is to sell is ok as long as we all realise that that is the case, and not assume that their job is to report objectively as part of the fourth estate. Today they are just another business.

        No more, no less.

        Bring back independently funded media.

  7. Craig Glen Eden 7

    Yeah its all fine to say that Labour are just winging about a press that is anti them but when 2.5 years go by and they continue reproducing the National Governments lies as fact it starts to look very suspect. The MSM can hardly say that Labour hasnt bought these issues to the surface because they are constantly being raised in Parliament.

    As others are saying pretty much all the figures show NZ has gone backwards yet thats not what we hear in the MSM its all smile and wave “John Key what a great guy”.

    When people start taking action the media say hey hey you cant do that thats criminal, well I have to say a media who tell lies on behalf of the National Government is actually what is criminal.

  8. jackal 8

    Yeah! That JK is just one of the guys eh! Meanwhile in the real world New Zealand is not in a good position to weather another financial crisis because National has mismanaged the first one. Namely tax cuts for the wealthy, corporate welfare, cronyism and putting the squeeze on the public. Nact is following an American model that is a sad and scary story, and one the MSM is failing to tell properly. Ignorance is bliss until that ignorance comes up and smacks you in the face.

    Eight comments with no RWNJ trolling, that’s got to be a record.

  9. Lanthanide 9

    I think there is a little truth in what Blinglish is saying, when it comes to the private sector. Most of the crappy businesses have already folded because they couldn’t handle the heat from the first recession. Those that are left are more resilient (like bacteria fighting an antibiotic…).

    Of course an additional recession, should we have one, isn’t going to do the economy any favours, but if it’s not too long or too deep then we’re not as likely to see as large a growth in unemployment as we did the first time. Of course it also means that the unemployed caused by the first recession will be even further ingrained.

    But he is still overstating it, and while the private sector may be able to get by without too much harm, the government won’t.

  10. queenstfarmer 10

    Gosh. Anyone would think there’s been the worst global recession since the 30s, collapse of the finance sector, major natural catastrophes, record oil prices, record exchange rates and sovereign debt crises.

    • felix 10.1

      …and a govt with an ideological aversion to taking any measures to respond to any of those things.

      • Lyall 10.1.1

        No Felix not quite. They have an ” ideological aversion to taking any measures (that you agree with) to respond to any of those things(in a way that you want them to). Quite different.

        • felix 10.1.1.1

          Sorry I forgot about their bold economic strategic response program.

          Tax cuts, wasn’t it?

          • queenstfarmer 10.1.1.1.1

            Yes. Just as well they didn’t go the other way, given the collapse of the Keynesian model.

            • felix 10.1.1.1.1.1

              If that’s so, then you’d best not crow about all this infrastructure and rebuilding then, aye?

              • queenstfarmer

                Not crowing about anything. Just stating facts. Fast tracking planned infrastructure projects is not the same as expanding Govt. It’s just a practical response in circumstances, which you have attempted to deny.

                • felix

                  My point is you’re dismissing Keynesian style stimulatory policy out of one side of your mouth and praising it out of the other.

                  Can’t have it both ways, q.

                  • Ianupnorth

                    Cycle track = job creation = epic fail; sad, but Kiwi’s believe them (National) – sad, sad, sad.

                • mik e

                  Expanding debt putting us in a more vulnerable position while the Tories in england have canned all motorway construction because its to dear and inefficient not worth getting into debt for qstf . Unless you haven’t read the amount this country spends on importing oil , obviously Steven Joyce hasn”t or he’s addicted to petrol fumes.

            • KJT 10.1.1.1.1.2

              More cognitive disassociation.

              It is the Neo-Liberal, not the Keynesian model, which has failed.

              Compare Argentina to the UK since 2002.

              Pity New Zealanders are not taught history any more.

          • Lanthanide 10.1.1.1.2

            You forgot how they pretended that all of Labour’s infrastructure spending was actually new spending by them.

            • felix 10.1.1.1.2.1

              Oh yeah but I have to take back the tax “cuts”, sorry, ‘cos as Mr Bill keeps reminding us they were actually a “revenue-neutral tax switch” so no harm no foul there.

              Cycleway?

        • mik e 10.1.1.2

          YOU mean borrow and hope, fudge the figures ,tax cuts for the wealthy user pay increases gst hike from read my lips. While we’ve had record receipts from our primary sector . Because of huge borrowing the returns our businesses have been getting are much lower than they should be lowering the tax take and employment. Savings are down contrary to borrowing Bills assumption causing higher interest and inflation causing more upward pressure on the dollar.The rednecks and media are to busy ogling smile and wave to ask any hard questions.

      • queenstfarmer 10.1.2

        What you mean is you don’t agree with the steps actually taken, such as fast-tracked infrastructure projects, zero budget, FRA / Securities Act reform, the Christchurch rebuild etc.

        • felix 10.1.2.1

          No, I mean nothing that’s done any good. As evidenced by the evidence.

          • queenstfarmer 10.1.2.1.1

            You don’t think they’ve worked, that’s fine. I agree they haven’t done “good” – not doing good is par for any Government. But that’s different to your incorrect assertion that the Govt was not averse to doing anything.

            • felix 10.1.2.1.1.1

              I don’t believe the things you’ve mentioned are actually a response to the issues you mentioned though.

              I think it’s just a bunch of stuff they wanted to do anyway.

              It’s like me having eggs for breakfast and saying I’m doing it to support the free range farm down the road, when actually I just like eggs.

            • Kaplan 10.1.2.1.1.2

              “not doing good is par for any Government”
              If you are comfortable with that, that is fine. It goes along way to explain why you are so comfortable with the current governments failings
              Meanwhile those of us that actually want a government that gives a shit will continue pointing out Nationals many flaws. Feel free to enjoy the ride.

    • vto 10.2

      Qstf, the collapse of the finance sector and resulting worst depression since the 1930s, and the sovereign debt crisis and resultant exchange rate volatilities, are the direct result of the unsustainable finance sector, which was deregulated, let loose, encouraged, and particiated in by the PM, by right wing policies, be it Reagan, Rogernomics or Ruth Richardson.

      This lot are continuing along the exact same path.

      I’ll give you natural disaster, but that’s it.

      • queenstfarmer 10.2.1

        Complete rubbish. NZ’s securities laws have changed little since the ’70s. The collapse of the finance sector was caused by the housing / property bubble that successive Govts allowed to blow out of control in the late 90s and 2000s, lax regulation and outdated laws. The Govt and in particular the Securities Commission was asleep at the wheel – Jane Diplock has a lot to answer for.

        Fortunately the Govt has started reforming the sector now, though whether a future Govt will once again allow the sector to get out of control remains to be seen.

        And the PM was in banking, not finance – there’s a big difference.

        • vto 10.2.1.1

          Qstf, complete rubbish. I was responding to your earlier post, which concerned mostly international events not just NZ specific events. Hence my reply in an international context.

          And re Key and his oh-so-productive money world, ok, it wasn’t the banking sector that needed bailing out internationally or in NZ was it. Nope, no banks joined the deposit guarantee scheme did they….. sheesh

        • mik e 10.2.1.2

          Prior to this there had been several attempts by Labour govts to put a more rigid frame work in place for the financial sector but National were dead against it, they and the financial sector said they would do a better job of self regulating than any govt could do I heard the arguments in parliament at the time.Its no place for govt to be involved they successfully argued!then they were hunting with the wolves no they are hunting the wolves.

          • queenstfarmer 10.2.1.2.1

            I’m sure National was dead against it at one stage (eg Brash era). Stupid. Thankfully Simon Power is moving things forward now.

            But it’s not credible to say Labour wanted to it but couldn’t. They had 9 years to sort it, they could pass whatever they wanted, they didn’t and it all went wrong on their watch. Although they can in turn shift at least some of the blame to Diplock.

    • Blighty 10.3

      the question isn’t ‘did bad shit go down’ it’s ‘is the country stronger now than in 2008’? and the answer is clearly ‘no’. So why is English claiming otherwise?

  11. randal 11

    I haven’t listened to any of the debate nor do I know the details but the sub text of any national party policy is fleecing the state.
    You have to watchout for that sort of stuff.

    • Draco T Bastard 11.1

      +1

      National really doesn’t care about the economy or the people. They care only for themselves and their rich mates. If they’re doing all right then the economy is no matter how many extra people are living in poverty.

  12. Afewknowthetruth 12

    The first time I ever heard Bill English on the radio around 1991 I thought said myself: ‘Who is that idiot and what planet does he come from?’, never expecting him to reach a position offering so much opportunity to destroy the NZ economy and destroy what remains of NZ society.

    He has the economic management skills we would expect from a 16-year-old who has just completed a sixth form economics and scraped a pass or as CV put it: The man has the same amount of economics sense and imagination as a neo-classical economics textbook from 1981.’

    There is much evidence to support the postulate that the government is deliberately wrecking the economy in preparation for an IMF takeover which will see NZ subject to ‘austerity’ and further looting by money-lenders and global corporations.

    However, since the present economic system is the problem, not the answer, and a global shortage in liquid fuels will bring down the IMF etc., the faster present economic arrangements collapse, the sooner we can move on to something better. In which case, keep up the good work, Bill. You’re doing a great demolition job. Keep lying to the nation. Some people still believe you.

  13. TEA 13

    Yes very interesting blog.
    English is a disaster, Key and English do not see eye to eye. This is a area to work on.

    I am unsure about who gets on with Smith. Somehow someway Smith and English need to be got stuck into.
    The Standard.org wastes far to much time attacking and criticsing Key.
    By all means – ATTACK SMITH and ENGLISH this is where the damage is being done.

    Plain and simple and unfortunately Key just smiles every thing off and gets away with all criticism.

    • pollywog 13.1

      Yup…thats what I’ve thought for a while too. The nats want to make it all about Key vs Goff in the election rather than Team Blue vs Team Red cos they know they’d get trounced otherwise.

      • Colonial Viper 13.1.1

        I also think that falling for CT’s presidential framing is a mistake. The entire Labour front row totally outweighs and outclasses the National front row. Ahem, excepting Brownlee.

        So LAB should team tag those blue b*stards.

        • Ianupnorth 13.1.1.1

          I posted a comment on the Facebook group “John Key has let down New Zealand” yesterday, more or less stating the same as TEA has said, namely get English, Smith et. al. and show up their failed policies, ignore Key, focus on the policies (this was in response to a comment made there saying it was all well and good collectively slating Key, but that wouldn’t change the government).
          The response was emphatic – everyone agreed, the job is to change the government and the policies, forget Key, he is Teflon.

  14. Afewknowthetruth 14

    queenstreetfarmer.

    Please explain what measures the government has taken to:

    1. reduce NZ’s vulnerability to the meltdown of fractional reserve banking

    2. reduce NZ’s vulnerability to worldwide sharemarket collapse

    3. prepare the nation for declining availability of oil

    4. prepare the nation for the food shortages that inevitably accompany the decline in availability of oil.

    5. prepare the nation for the collapse of globalisation which follows on from Peak Oil and will lead to shortages of clothing, footwear etc.

    6. prevent abrupt climate change making NZ largely uninhabitable a few decades from now.

    I think it would be fair to say that the government has taken zero measures on all issues that actually count.

    Gold is now close to $1,800, up from $1200 this time last year: that is a sure sign that everybody with intelligence and the capacity to shift out of corrupt ‘toilet paper’ fiat currency and bond markets is doing so.

    The truth is, we are governed by criminals and clowns who haven’t got a clue about anything in the real world and are only interested in propping up rapidly failing busibness-as-usual arrangements that provide them with rorts. That is something ideologues find rather unpalatable.

    • MrSmith 14.1

      Well..Well..Well…What about the cycle-way , so us peasants can still move around in the future. See that nice man Key really does care.

  15. Draco T Bastard 15

    the New Zealand economy having gone into recession well before the global financial crisis,

    So, is Bill English going to be held to account for his lies and misdirection? We did not go into recession before the GFC but as a general part of it. We also went into recession after the US and UK which were the two economic recessions that started the GFC.

  16. Marjorie Dawe 16

    I want to know how English is blatantly lying in parliament and how that could ever be seen to be honourable.

  17. The slavish pattern of following international economic trends is disturbing and disappointing. English’s claim – ‘we didn’t see it coming’ (regarding economic downturn) was either a lie or vacuous ignorance. Either way, unacceptable.

    The global trend of government financed, well, everything, is an elephant that is tipping the room on end. The left and the right (or call them the the new left) are fussing over the furniture as it slips about.

    On the horizon is massive turmoil in the global markets and national economies as the ponzi scheme of fiat currencies, Keynesian economics and massive government intervention are exposed to the analysis of actual results – and real wealth has already started to flee.

    The US (and many other countries like us) will continue to argue over the furniture – who should get what taken from from whom, who gets favour, and how the table should be laid. Rather, government should realise that they are simply no good at any of the things they feel they ought to do, and hand responsibility – and the furniture – back to the people.
    And then focus on their only real function, protection of that private property & property rights, and the the freedom and safety of its citizens.

    The countries must either default, or pay their way by printing new money – neither of which are particularly palatable. The collapses should have been allowed to happen when they started, allowing a real rebuild to begin.
    Printing money punishes anyone with savings as this devalues the currency and leads to real inflation.

    Or there is the option to do the thing which takes real guts, and revert to a gold standard.

    And we slavishly follow…

    So what did li’l old NZ do?
    What should we do next?
    What will Bill do?
    What would the Greens do?
    What would dLabour do?

    • Colonial Viper 17.1

      You’ve listed multiple misconceptions.

      There was a simple way for the US to avoid this in 2008.

      1) Reimplement a strengthened Glass Steagall.
      2) Breaking up all “Too Big Too Fail” banks.
      3) Returning US taxes to 1980 levels.
      4) Taking criminal action against those responsible for the most fraudulent financial activity in 2004-2007.

      You mentioned none of those steps.

      As to what we should do
      1) Remove our clean currency float and go to a managed, less transparent one.
      2) Take steps to reward savers and keep saved capital in NZ e.g. via KiwiSaver, bank capital requirements, foreign currency taxes (e.g. FTT).
      3) Introduce a higher tax rate for corporate windfall profits and reinvest the proceeds in the productive economy.

    • Colonial Viper 17.2

      Printing money punishes anyone with savings as this devalues the currency and leads to real inflation.

      This is also a complete misconception. It is unclear when or how printing money in a highly productive, industrialised economy can cause inflation.

      As far as I can tell, if the money supply matches the true level of goods and services being produced in an economy and facilitates efficient trade, then there is NO PROBLEM. Even if the source of those dollars are printed interest free by the government, and not credit created by banks and attached to interest bearing debt.

  18. CV, agree wholeheartedly with your point 4 in first response. A duty to protect, when in effect, ordinary investors were unable to challenge or sue those cronies and crooks responsible for fraud.
    Interestingly, all those bankrupt large companies are now taking action, with JP Morgan (I believe it is) about to be on the large end of a $10b suit. Great stuff.

    Not so sure about the other interventions, which at best would only delay the inevitable but were also, really, treating the disease with more of its own symptoms. There certainly were calls for re-looking at anti – inflationary policies in 2008, but as I say, this deals not with the root causes.

    You make statements like – ‘there were simple’, and ‘complete misconception’ only to go on and actually not back these black and whites up at all, and this is echoed particularly in your second reply.

    I am curious then for your opinion, what does cause inflation?

    • Colonial Viper 18.1

      Glass Steagall prevented another runaway debt/derivatives crisis for more than half a century after the Great Depression. Until it was repealed that is. Quite simply put, merchant and savings banks MUST NOT get involved in potentially illiquid and hugely loss making proprietary trading.

      There must be a firewall between the hedge fund operations of a bank and the bank part of the bank. If the hedge fund part suffers huge losses, no one will care, it can be left to die without causing massive contagion through the banking sector.

      The fact that you do not back its reinstatement shows you’re less than eager for true financial reform. In fact you are taking the side of the big “Too Big To Fail” investment banks who originally lobbied for Glass Steagall to be taken down.

      You make statements like – ‘there were simple’, and ‘complete misconception’ only to go on and actually not back these black and whites up at all

      You wrote your post like you were a financial pro who knew what you were talking about, I’m not going to condescend you by teaching you to suck eggs. Each step I suggested has been suggested by many other people, and the rationale is well known, as I am sure you know.

      JPM will get slapped with a wet bus ticket (if that), none of their executives will have jail time, and the manufacture of financial fraud will continue.

      I am curious then for your opinion, what does cause inflation?

      Excess and uncontrolled liquidity overwhelming the real productive sector of an economy.

      So, what do YOU think causes it?

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    The government has decided that someone has done Something Bad. But despite their belief, there seems to be no evidence that they have actually broken the law. So the government's solution is to pass a retrospective law allowing them to be punished anyway, on a lower standard of proof. If ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • National is now the party of climate arson
    So, Judith Collins has done a Facebook rant about climate change, peddling the same shit National has been shovelling for the past twenty years: the impacts are overstated, there's no need to do anything about it, and its too hard anyway (oh, and its so unfair that people who peddle ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • The environmental footprint of electric versus fossil car
    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 There is a lot of discussion on the benefits of ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    5 days ago
  • “Manifest” by Andrew Bird – A Song For The Times.
    I came across this song quite by accident. If it isn't one of Greta Thunberg's favourites - it should be.Video courtesy of YouTube.This post is exclusive to Bowalley Road. ...
    5 days ago
  • Passing the buck
    Last month, NZDF's shoddy coverup of what it knew about civilian casualties in Operation Burnham began to fall apart, with the revelation that a report on the matter, which NZDF claimed not to have, had been sitting in an NZDF safe for the past nine years. Yesterday, the man responsible ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • India a major player in Earth observation satellites
    While many imagine that countries like the USA and Europe dominate space activities, in fact India is now a major player on this stage. It launches satellites for its own purposes and also commercially, and has constellations orbiting our planet and returning data of vital importance to that nation in ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    5 days ago
  • The rot at the top (2).
    Thanks to a report from the Acting Inspector General of Intelligence and Security following a complaint by Nicky Hager, we have come to find out that the SIS illegally spied on Mr. Hager on behalf of the NZDF after publication of Hager’s 2011 book, Other People’s Wars. The NZDF justified ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    5 days ago
  • Common misconceptions about “Global Warming”
    COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT GLOBAL WARMING MYTH 1: Global temperatures are rising at a rapid, unprecedented rate. FACT: The HadCRUT3 surface temperature index, produced by the Hadley Centre of the UK Met Office and the Climate Research Unit of the University of East Anglia, shows warming to 1878, cooling to 1911, ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    6 days ago
  • A climate of tyranny
    For the past week, Extinction Rebellion has been peacefully protesting in London to demand action on climate change. The British government's response? Ban their protests:Police have banned Extinction Rebellion protests from continuing anywhere in London, as they moved in almost without warning to clear protesters who remained at the movement’s ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Collins crushes climate
    An essay by Judith Collins MP reported on Carbon News yesterday seems to show an alarming shift in attitude within the National Party. Collins argues against the Zero Carbon Bill, the Paris Agreement, and downplays the magnitude of climate impacts. The Paris Agreement was adopted in December 2015 and ratified ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    6 days ago
  • More disappointment
    When they were running for election, Labour promised to overhaul the Employment Relations Act and introduce fair pay agreements to set basic pay and conditions on an industry level, preventing bad employers from undercutting good ones. They followed this up by establishing a working group, which reported back in January ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • What do these mother-child studies really say about fluoridation?
    A list of indicators of bad science – many of these are found in articles promoted by anti-fluoride activists. Anti-fluoride activists have been pouring money into a scaremongering campaign warning pregnant women not to drink fluoridated water. They claim fluoride will lower the IQ of their future child. Fluoride ...
    6 days ago
  • Losing Labour’s Mills-Tone.
    Nothing Left To Say: Labour's pollster, Stephen Mills, remains swaddled-up in the comforting myths of the 1980s. As if the experience of Roger Douglas’s genuinely radical post-Muldoon policy agenda was literally a once-in-a-lifetime thing – as much as the party could possibly absorb for at least the next 50 years.MEMO ...
    6 days ago
  • Speaker: Disability and the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse
    The Royal Commission on abuse in care is very significant for the disability community. For many decades last century, thousands of disabled children, and adults who managed to survive, were locked away from families and communities. This was not for anything they had done, but for the perceived threat their ...
    6 days ago
  • Spain is not a democracy
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • UK Conservatives hate democracy
    With an unfair voting system, uneven electorates and an un-elected upper house, the UK's "democracy" is barely worthy of the name. But now the government wants to make it worse:The government has been accused of suppressing voters’ rights with the potential disenfranchisement of tens of thousands of people after plans ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • What is wrong with our building industry?
    Back in the 90's and early 2000's, the building industry was building leaky homes which should never have been granted consent. Now it turns out they've been building dodgy office blocks as well:New imaging technology has revealed hundreds of major buildings nationwide have defective or missing concrete or reinforcing steel. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Local bodies
    Local body election results were released over the weekend, to joy or despair depending on where you live. In Auckland, Phil Goff trounced John Tamihere, who is muttering darkly about running for Parliament again (but which party would want him?) Wellington is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Weta Workshop, except ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • A future of government
      How could government evolve over the next decades? Reports of democracy’s imminent demise are greatly exaggerated.  However, satisfaction with political systems in many countries is low, so there is much to do for governments of all political stripes to improve relevance and trust. Digital technologies are seen as one ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Catalonia, interrupted
    Two years have now gone by since the Friday afternoon when my university-student son and I headed out of our Barcelona flat to a nearby primary school, designated as a polling station for the vote that was to be held the following Sunday: the referendum on Catalonia’s independence from Spain ...
    1 week ago
  • Sage Decisions Unwisely Over-Ruled.
    Overruled: The joint decision of Finance Minister, Grant Robertson (Labour) and his Associate Minister, David Parker (Labour) arguably the two most powerful ministers in Jacinda Ardern’s government, to grant OceanaGold the consents which Land Information Minister, Eugenie Sage (Greens) had earlier denied them, offers bitter proof of how hard fighting ...
    1 week ago
  • Government may ban voting in effort to get more people to do it
    More than double the number of people who will vote in this year’s local body elections have tried marijuana or urinated somewhere they shouldn’t have. As local elections look set for the lowest turnout in decades, with many regions falling well short of 40%, the Government is exploring a number ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Woman: Deleted.
    A Statement on Abortion Law Reform by the Council of Disobedient Women   On the eve of bringing an end to antiquated, anti-women abortion laws Green MP Jan Logie intends to write women out of the Bill. With a stroke of the pen, the woke are aiming for total erasure ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • The Hollowest of Men Ride Again… SURPRISE!
    Musings continue apace about “the experienced businessman!” soon to be taking up a National Party MP position. Or to be more accurate, being parachuted into a seat to shut down their former MP Jamie-Lee Ross, who despite his own shortcomings shed at least some more light on the inner workings ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • Barbaric
    The Ugandan government wants to murder gay people:Uganda has announced plans to impose the death penalty on homosexuals. The bill, colloquially known as “Kill the Gays” in Uganda, was nullified five years ago on a technicality, but the government said on Thursday it plans to resurrect it within weeks. The ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Is this study legit? 5 questions to ask when reading news stories of medical research
    Hassan Vally, La Trobe University Who doesn’t want to know if drinking that second or third cup of coffee a day will improve your memory, or if sleeping too much increases your risk of a heart attack? We’re invested in staying healthy and many of us are interested in reading ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Fighting Monsters.
    Freedom Of Speech? The Säuberung (cleansing by fire) was the work of the German Student Union which, on 10 May 1933, under the watchful eye of the Nazi Reichminister for Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, consigned 25,000 books to the flames in a ritual exorcism of “un-German thought”. According to the logic of the ...
    1 week ago
  • The next wave of kaupapa Māori politics: its constitutional, it must be.
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    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    1 week ago
  • Night lights of NZ from orbit
    New Zealand has prided itself for decades with regard to its lack of pollution, and all will be aware that the ‘100% Pure New Zealand‘ meme is under threat through land, water and air pollution of various causes. There is another type of contamination that the country also faces: light ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    1 week ago
  • Reporters deliver uplifting news to fleeing Japanese residents: they won’t miss any rugby
    New Zealand’s media is doing its part in Japan, reassuring those in the path of the storm that they won’t miss any rugby while away from their flooded homes. New Zealand sports reporters stationed in Japan for the Rugby World Cup have had the rare and heartwarming opportunity to inform ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Government in contentious discussions about whether to put surplus on red or black
    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones is the only Cabinet member in favour of putting it all on green. As Finance Minister Grant Robertson finds himself with an enormous $7.5 billion surplus, the Government has begun intense, at times contentious conversations about whether to put the money on red or black at ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Jordanian teachers’ successful strike has lessons for here
    by Susanne Kemp At the start of September close to 100,000 school teachers went on strike in Jordan.  They demanded a 50% pay rise.  A pay rise actually agreed to by the regime back in 2014. In early October, however, in the face of government repression and threats, the teachers’ ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Why some people still think climate change isn’t real
    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 Why do people still think climate change isn’t real? David ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • The SIS unlawfully spied on Nicky Hager
    Back in 2011, journalist Nicky Hager published Other People's Wars, an expose on NZDF's activities over the previous decade of the "war on terror". NZDF didn't like this, and especially didn't like the fact that it was base don leaks from their own. So, they had the SIS investigate him ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • October 2019 – Newsletter
    https://mailchi.mp/7d9133add053/closing-the-gap-october-2019-newsletter ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    2 weeks ago
  • And they wonder why we think they’re environmental vandals…
    The Zero Carbon Bill is due back from select committee in two weeks, and will likely pass its final stages in November. So naturally, farmers are planning a hate-march against it. But they're not just demanding lower methane targets so they can keep on destroying the planet; they're also demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Paying the price in California
    Last year, California burned. This year, to stop it happening again (or rather, to stop themselves from being found liable if it happens again), Pacific Gas and Electric is cutting power to half the state for a week:Schools are closed. Traffic lights down. Tunnels dark. Businesses unopened. Hospitals running on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Let’s Hear It For Up-Close-And-Personal, Hard-Copy Democracy!
    The Best Way: Missing from the on-line voting debate is any reference to the voting system that produces turn-out figures ranging from 77 to 93 percent of registered voters. The voting system used to collect and count the votes cast in our parliamentary elections. The system that involves citizens making ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 10/10: World Day Against the Death Penalty
    Today, October 10, is the world day against the death penalty. Out of 195 UN member states, 84 still permit capital punishment. Today is the day we work to change that. This year's theme is children. Having a parent sentenced to death or executed causes long-term trauma and stigmatization which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Talking Freer Lives: a Marxist gender-critical perspective from Australia
    Among the great new bunch of political friends we have been making recently is the excellent Australian-based Marxist gender-critical site, Freer Lives.  So we asked the comrade who set up that blog to write something for Redline on the blog, himself, his analysis of the rise of gender politics and ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Government spin accepted by union leadership
    by Don Franks  The Auckland City Mission is struggling with a 40 percent increase in demand for food parcels this year. A total of 23,020 were needed by June. Last month Missioner Chris Farrelly told the Herald the “cupboards are bare” and without an emergency food drive, he can’t see ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Forbidden Thoughts
    by The Council of Disobedient Women   Massey Wellington Student Association had a sit-in today. Imagine a sit-in. On a campus. Against a women’s rights meeting. Did the ’60s really happen or did we fucking dream it? They gathered in the student square, an echo chamber. Sitting on soft pillows ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Much love to my loyal Ukrainian readership
    For some reasons, my post about the mystery message from inside the Downing Street bunker seemed to catch people's attention.  Quite a lot of hits from NZ (unsurprisingly) and the USA (a bit more puzzlingly, but hi there, USAians!!) and 76 views from the Ukraine.I've celebrated my Ukrainian readers in ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Another day of bonkers GNUmours (again, sorry)
    First, almost a score of Labour MPs seem to have sent a letter to the EU basically begging them to accept a deal - any deal - just so Britain can get the Heck on with Brexiting instead of being trapped in limbo:
    To avoid no deal, deliver on the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour vs working class immigrants – again!
    by Phil Duncan In 2016 the National-led government suspended the Parent Visa Category, through which migrants were able to bring their parents into New Zealand.  Since then over 5,700 people have been in immigration limbo, stuck on the visa wait list. Labour is now bringing back the scheme.  Well, sort ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Speak Up for Women press statement: on Massey University and Feminism 2020
    The following was released yesterday (Tues, October 8) by the women’s liberation organisation Speak Up for Women. On 23 September Speak Up For Women announced that we would be holding an event at the Massey University Theaterette in Wellington. The event is called Feminism 2020. The intention of the event ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Farmers support dirty rivers
    The government is currently consulting on plans to improve freshwater quality. So naturally, farmers oppose it:South Taranaki farmers are preparing to fight proposed national freshwater changes that some fear will bankrupt them. The Government's proposed National Environment Standard on Freshwater Management, released in September, rated the Waingongoro River as one ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • No-one cares about local government
    Yesterday was the last day for (reliably) posting your vote away in local body elections. Turnouts are mostly much lower than the equivalent time last year (Palmerston North is down 2.3%), and so naturally people are pushing their online-voting snake oil again. Because the online census worked so well, lets ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The political ghosts of eugenics may matter more than the genetic
    This essay, on the political legacy of the eugenics movement, by Kenan Malik was originally published in the Observer on 6 October 2019, under the headline ‘The spirit of eugenics is still with us, as immigrants know to their cost’. Birth control. Intelligence tests. Town planning. Immigration controls. It’s striking how ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • “Surplus” again
    Another year, and the government has announced another enormous government "surplus". And just like last year, its nothing of the sort. When we have people homeless and sick and hungry, when we have schools and hospitals still falling down, when we have underpaid public servants and infrastucture unmaintained or unbuilt, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Inside the Downing Street bunker
    James Forsyth at The Spectator (I know, I know) has tapped one of his contacts inside Number Ten for an insight into the Johnson administration's thinking and strategy.It is fascinating, unsettling and quite, quite mad.  Some key points:Negotiations have stalled and the Johnson administration are keen to blame the EU: ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Taking Control Of The Nation’s Story.
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    2 weeks ago
  • Are GNUs extinct?
    Another round of tactical talks about forming a Government of National Unity have come to nothing with the Liberal Democrats still refusing countenance putting Jeremy Corbyn into Downing Street:Opposition talks on Monday made little headway over when to try and vote down Boris Johnson's government and who might succeed him as ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour chickens out again
    When the government was elected, it promised to lead the way on electric vehicles, and specifically to make the government vehicle fleet emissions-free where-practicable by 2025.They lied:There are 15,473 vehicles in the government fleet and only 78 are electric. When the coalition Government came into power in late 2017, the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Transgender extremism, violence at work against feminist meeting at British Labour Party conference
    by Nick Rogers The debate around the meaning of sex and gender made an appearance at this year’s British Labour Party conference in Brighton. Women’s Place UK – an organisation that questions the demand that biological males who self-identify as woman should have access to women’s spaces, to all-women shortlists, ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago

  • Methane reducing cattle feed one step closer
    The Government today announced its support for a project that could substantially reduce agricultural greenhouse gas emissions from cattle. The announcement was made as part of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor’s visit to Nelson’s Cawthron Aquaculture Park. The Cawthron Institute will receive $100,000 from the Government’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Bill to refresh superannuation system passes first reading
    Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni has welcomed the first reading of the New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension Legislation Amendment Bill. “Every New Zealander has a stake in New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension,” says Carmel Sepuloni. “They are our most common form of social assistance – nearly 800,000 New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government announces next steps in fight against measles
    Babies in Auckland aged six months and over can receive a free vaccination and children will all have access to vaccines, Associate Minister of Health Julie Anne Genter announced today at Papatoetoe High School.   The move comes as part of Government efforts to step up the fight against measles. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs, Pacific Futures: Connections, Identity...
    ***Check against delivery*** Good morning. It is a pleasure to be here, and to have the honour of opening this important conference on behalf of the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs. Let us take the opportunity to acknowledge all the people who have helped make today possible, including our special ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Police trial new response to high risk events
    Police Minister Stuart Nash says the safety of frontline officers and members of the public will be the focus of a new trial of specialist Police response teams in three of our largest urban centres. Police have this morning released details of an initiative to be trialled in Counties Manukau, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New awards celebrate fisheries sustainability
    The Minister of Fisheries is calling for entries for a new public award to celebrate innovation in our seafood sector. “I have established the Seafood Sustainability Awards to recognise and celebrate those throughout industry, tangata whenua and communities who demonstrate outstanding dedication and innovation towards the sustainability of New Zealand’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • More progress for women and we can do more
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter welcomes leaders in the private sector taking action on closing their gender pay gaps to ensure a fairer workplace for all New Zealanders. Ms Genter today launched a new report, Addressing the gender pay gap and driving women’s representation in senior leadership, from the Champions for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Proposals to curb environmental damage help our coasts and the oceans
    Government Ministers today welcomed the release of a marine environment report highlighting the four key issues affecting our oceans, estuaries and coastlines.  The release underlines the importance of government proposals to combat climate pollution, ensure clean freshwater, protect biodiversity, make land use more sustainable, and reduce waste and plastic.    Environment ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New mental health facility for Waikato
    The Government has approved funding for a new acute mental health facility for Waikato which will provide better care and support to people with mental health and addiction issues. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Health Minister Dr David Clark announced the $100 million project to replace the aging Henry Rongomau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • 500 new te reo Māori champions in our classrooms
    The Government is making progress on its goal to integrate te reo Māori into education by 2025, with over 500 teachers and support staff already graduating from Te Ahu o te Reo Māori,  Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis announced today. Kelvin Davis made the announcement at an awards ceremony in Waikanae today, for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Minister James Shaw welcomes 2018 Census first release
    Statistics Minister James Shaw has welcomed the first release of 2018 Census data. The first release of data today, 23 September, includes key data on population, regional growth, the number of homes and the size of different ethnic groups in New Zealand. Data from the 2018 Census will support the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Driving transparency, ethics and accountability in government use of algorithms
    Minister for Statistics James Shaw today announced a public consultation on a proposed algorithm charter for government agencies. The charter has been developed by the Government Chief Data Steward in response to growing calls for more transparency in government use of data. Computer algorithms – procedures or formulas for solving ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand and the Netherlands working together on climate change
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor, Climate Change Minister James Shaw and visiting Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte co-hosted a business roundtable in Auckland this morning focused on working together to address climate change.  “The Netherlands is an important partner for New Zealand. We share a strong agricultural history. Sustainable agribusiness and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Protecting fairness for workers and businesses
    The Government is taking action to build an inclusive economy where more of us receive our fair share at work and businesses can compete on great products and services, not undercutting wages and conditions, Immigration and Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. Two consultations launched today seek feedback ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Indigenous Freshwater Fish Bill Passes
    The future for New Zealand’s threatened indigenous freshwater fish looks brighter with the passing of the Conservation (Indigenous Freshwater Fish) Amendment Bill in Parliament today said Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “Until now, our freshwater fish legislation has been 20 years out of date. We have lacked effective tools to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Kiwis to take part in world’s biggest earthquake drill
    At 1.30pm tomorrow, hundreds of thousands of Kiwis will join about 65 million people around the globe in ShakeOut, the world’s biggest earthquake drill. The annual drill is to remind people of the right action to take during an earthquake which is to Drop, Cover, Hold, and to practise their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Rising wages and low inflation supporting Kiwis
    Kiwis are benefiting from higher wage growth and low inflation under the Coalition Government. Stats NZ data out today shows the rise in the cost of living remains low, as annual Consumers Price Index (CPI) inflation fell to 1.5% in September from 1.7% in June. “The low inflation comes as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • NZ economy strong amid global headwinds
    New Zealand’s economic strength and resilience has been recognised in a major update on the state of the global economy. The IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook released overnight shows a reduced global growth forecast over the next two years as issues like the US-China trade war and Brexit take hold. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Keeping New Zealanders safer with better counter-terrorism laws
    Justice Minister Andrew Little has today introduced a new Bill to prevent terrorism and support the de-radicalisation of New Zealanders returning from overseas. The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill gives the New Zealand Police the ability to apply to the High Court to impose control orders on New Zealanders who ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Improved succession and dispute resolution core of Ture Whenua changes
    A Bill that proposes targeted changes to simplify the processes for Māori land owners when engaging with the Māori Land Court has had its First Reading today. “The approach taken by the Government is to ensure that the protection of Māori land remains a priority as we seek to improve ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Speech to CTU Biennial Conference
    Let me first thank all the new unionists and members in the room. There is nothing more important to improving people’s working lives than people making the decision to care, to get on board and help, to take up the reins and get involved. Congratulations to you. You bring the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Minister ensures continued Whenuapai flight operations
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark has signed a certificate exempting the activity of engine testing at Whenuapai Airbase from the Resource Management Act 1991. The Act gives the Minister of Defence the power to exempt activities for the purposes of national security.  The certificate will mean the recent Environment Court ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • NZ joins Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced New Zealand will join the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action while attending APEC meetings in Chile. The objective of the 39 member Coalition is to share information and promote action to tackle climate change. It was formed in April this year, in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Lyttelton Parking
    Feedback sought– Lyttelton commercial zone parking  The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Poto Williams, is seeking feedback on a proposal to remove on-site car parking requirements for new developments in the Lyttelton commercial zone.  The proposal, by Christchurch City Council, asks that powers under section 71 of the Greater ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Hagley Oval
    Hon Minister Poto Williams Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration   MEDIA STATEMENT       Tuesday 15 October 2019 Feedback sought – Hagley Oval The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Poto Williams, is seeking feedback on a proposal about Hagley Oval. The proposal was developed by Regenerate Christchurch ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • CTU speech – DPM
    Ladies and gentlemen, NZCTU President Richard Wagstaff, members of respective unions – thank you for the invitation to speak to you today. This might be preaching to the choir, but the importance of trade unions in New Zealand’s historical arch is difficult to understate. And it is my belief that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Police Association Annual Conference
    "Let’s start by acknowledging that it has been a huge year. " Police Association Annual Conference James Cook Grand Chancellor Hotel Wellington Nau mai, haere mai. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, ka nui te mihi, ki a koutou katoa. President of the Police Association, Chris Cahill; Members of the Association and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand announces a further P-3 deployment in support of UN sanctions
    Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters and Minister of Defence Ron Mark have announced the New Zealand Government’s decision to again deploy a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 (P-3) maritime patrol aircraft to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions imposing sanctions against North Korea. New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand deeply concerned at developments in north-east Syria
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says New Zealand continues to have serious concerns for peace and stability in north-east Syria. “Recent reports that hundreds of ISIS-affiliated families have fled from a camp are deeply concerning from a humanitarian and security perspective”, Mr Peters says. “While we acknowledge Turkey’s domestic security ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government on high alert for stink bugs
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