Epic fail

Written By: - Date published: 7:01 am, August 16th, 2011 - 64 comments
Categories: class war, national, unemployment, welfare - Tags:

Fran O’Sullivan before the Nat conference

John Key is primed to take an axe to welfare when he fronts his party faithful in Wellington tomorrow. As an election plank it will go down well with hardline National Party members, who believe beneficiaries should stand on their own feet. …

The latest labour force survey shows the unemployment rate is still flat-lining at 6.5 per cent of the workforce. … In New Zealand, youth nihilism has frequently turned inwards, as evidenced by the soaring suicide rate. But many members of Britain’s lost generation were at the forefront of the wave of riots that wreaked so much damage there this week.

If Key’s announcements do not contain measures to help the jobless young, they should be written off as an “epic fail”.

Fran O’Sullivan after the Nat conference? Watch this space…

Update: Nothing from Fran but the Herald editorial says – “there is also nothing in the Prime Minister’s announcement that creates jobs for young people … it is not enough for John Key to place the onus for job creation on a private sector that will respond confidently to Government policy”

64 comments on “Epic fail ”

  1. Carol 1

    Key does have a plan (of sorts) privatise the welfare system, with bonuses for businesses that get jobless young people into work or education: i.e. he’s looking to provide a way for businesses to profiteer from the lack of sufficient productive jobs, and the misery of young people. Instead of lining the pockets of the few, why not put the money into developing the real production, real jobs, and training/education fore the benefit of the many? – cut out the middle-man.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/5449705/Bonuses-for-firms-that-cut-teen-jobless-figures

    Further privatisation of the welfare sector will be part of the Government’s plan to get beneficiaries into work.

    National will offer cash bonuses to private organisations that reduce the tally of about 13,500 young people aged under 18 who are not in work or education.

    Prime Minister John Key said the use of community groups and companies was likely to be extended to other areas of the welfare sector.

    PS: Anthony must have been updating his original post on this, as I was typing the above comment & link.

    • jackal 1.1

      Organizations like Destiny Church are going to love National’s commercialization of the poor and outsourcing services to “help” them. It opens up avenues to more public money. That’s what the motivation behind Hannah Tamaki’s takeover bid for the Maori League is.

      What National doesn’t understand is that outsourcing and maintaining a lack of a career path for these young people is far more costly, and not only in financial terms. The fundamental flaw is that any scheme still requires the creation of jobs, which National is not addressing in any way shape or form.

      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10730987

      • joe90 1.1.1

        Expect more of this where, following the accusation of misconduct, the church went into damage control and closed ranks, shipped the alleged offenders out of the region, l**d in unison and accused complainant of lying.

    • Peter 1.2

      The plan is to give the Private Sector every opportunity to make money from the Public Sector by supplying goods and services or taking control of certain functions. Extra jobs are an after-thought.

  2. vidiot 2

    Bringing back “Youth Rates” should have an immediate impact on those figures.

    • Blighty 2.1

      evidence?

      If anything, ending youth rates encourages young people to work more, as the Herald notes:

      “work from the same source and by overseas researchers suggested the withdrawal of the rate actually resulted in 16- and 17-year-olds increasing their hours worked by 10 to 15 per cent. Indeed, youngsters had been encouraged to leave school earlier than usual in pursuit of the higher wages on offer.”

      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=10745387

      • Colonial Viper 2.1.1

        If anything, ending youth rates encourages young people to work more, as the Herald notes:

        Imagine that. You increase the price of youth labour, and they want to supply more of it.

        Classic neoclassical price/supply curve.

        Why do the Righties doubt their own medicine??? 🙂

        • Lanthanide 2.1.1.1

          Which if you follow “lump of labour” logic actually means fewer jobs.

          We get 6 people working 15% longer hours at the expense of creating a 7th job that someone else could have filled.

          I also don’t think people leaving school early is something we should want to encourage (unless they were achieving nothing at school anyway).

          • Draco T Bastard 2.1.1.1.1

            Nothing wrong with leaving school early just so long as they have the opportunity to go back to school/continue learning after they leave without having to lose everything they’ve worked for already.

        • Draco T Bastard 2.1.1.2

          Why do the Righties doubt their own medicine?

          You should know by now that the RWNJs only use statements/theories that seem to support their beliefs. They really don’t care if it’s true or not.

    • mik e 2.2

      Vidiot Spain has youth rates it has 65% youth unemployment .We can’t carry on having low wage workers and low wage jobs, even John Key disagrees with you .It will just shift the unemployment some where else,lower the amount of money going into the economy increasing overall unemployment.We need to look to countries that have low youth unemployment .Like Germany where youth are skilled trained from an earlier age and employer matched before leaving school .Also most European youth are required to stay in school till they are 18 skewing our terrible figures!

    • freedom 2.3

      vidiot, which figures will be affected ? the increasingly large numbers of unemployed or the ever growing profits of the business owners

  3. “there is also nothing in the Prime Minister’s announcement that creates jobs for young people”

    I think many people are expecting too much from one narrowly targeted policy. The announced policy targets early school leavers. The Green Paper on Vulnerable Children is targeting the youngest age group. So I think we will have to wait and see National’s whole range of policies rather than fuss over isolated bits.

    We know that the blanket benefit approach is very expensive, can result in many people getting benefits they don’t need (eg WFF), and creates a lot of general disgruntlement. Addressing specific problem areas makes sense if the targeting is done well, it’s impossible to “fix” everything but we need better results for the massive amount of money poured into social policies. If done well the people to benefit the most will be those that most need benefits.

    • felix 3.1

      What we know is that the answer to this particular problem is jobs.

      If the policy doesn’t address this, then it simply doesn’t address the problem.

      And if it doesn’t address the problem, why the fuck should anyone give it the time of day?

      • Pete George 3.1.1

        There are far more problems than jobs.

        Unless you have a way of creating an unlimited number of productive jobs that everyone wants to do and that require no education or experience.

        • felix 3.1.1.1

          1. I said “this particular problem”. Duh.

          2. We don’t need an unlimited number, just a number that matches the working-age pop. Duh.

          3. Experience comes from having a job, not the other way around. Duh.

          Where we agree is that a focus on education is needed. Don’t hold your breath though, apparently the more pressing 20 million dollar issue is that 1600 kids on the dole have too much beer money.

          Hence my earlier comment. Duh.

          • Canter 3.1.1.1.1

            If the answer to this problem is jobs, why is it when we had near full employment in 2007 before the recession hit New Zealand, did the numbers in this category not go down? Because the government was giving them a bit of money every week and then just abandoning them to look after themselves. 90% of these people will graduate to long term welfare. Simply saying “we need jobs!” isn’t the silver bullet, they need to learn the life skills to hold down a job.

            It’s a pity Labour didn’t pick up this policy, it would have helped win back some of the middle.

            • jackal 3.1.1.1.1.1

              Could you link to the data you’re basing your comment on please?

            • Pete George 3.1.1.1.1.2

              There’s no reason why Labour can’t support this policy.

              Except for political bloody mindedness, which seems to be the default position.

              • freedom

                that and it is a vehemently heavy handed authoritatrian approach to the situation which will further alienate and stigmatise kids who are not the ones causing the issue in the first place

              • felix

                Pete finds it inconceivable that Labour doesn’t support this policy because he thinks every party in parliament should just get behind the government and back them or keep out of the way and keep quiet.

                He insists that this line of thinking doesn’t lead directly to a one-party state, and we just have to take him at his word that he’s stupid enough not to realise that.

                • Deliberate misrepresentation – again. You won’t back up your lies because you can’t, and you know you’re likely to a free pass by moderation.

                  Re the one party state you seem obsessed with:

                  National aiming for just 48pc of November’s vote

                  National has also indicated that, should it be in a position to rule alone, it will still strike post-election deals with compatible minor parties and make them part of its governing arrangement.

                  Epic fail felix.

                  • Campbell Larsen

                    ‘make them part of it’s governing arrangement’
                    The part that comes up with racist radical neo lib nonsense (act) so that the Rats can cherry pick the bits they like and distance themselves from the rest and still claim to be moderate.
                    The part that has one of it’s flagship policies (the Maori parties Whanau Ora) highjacked and used to roll out the privitisation of social services.
                    An offer to partner up with the Rats is about as appealing as an offer of an STD

                  • felix

                    Who said anything about National’s position, Pete?

                    I was talking about your position. You’re not speaking for National, are you?

                    Are you backing away from your previously stated desire for all parties in parliament getting behind the govt or getting out of the way?

                    If so, that’s a start. Bet you’re not though.

                    • Are you backing away from your previously stated desire for all parties in parliament getting behind the govt or getting out of the way?

                      I’ve never stated that.

                      All parties are already actively involved in governance in parliament. And I’ve always supported opposition parties – and coalition parties and MPs of the main governing party – to hold ministers and government to account.

                      You’re either erroneously or deliberately confusing statements against too many negative political attacks and attempts at destabilising government, which is quite different.

                      I want all parties to be more positively involved in parliament – and when they do speak up against crap that really matter (as opposed to perpetual auto-opposition) they will be taken seriously and will be far more effective.

                    • felix

                      Here you go retard:

                      http://thestandard.org.nz/drug-peddlers/#comment-330885

                      It’s a thread you ran away from mid discussion (which never happens of course).

                    • Epic fail felix.

                      You seem more shitty that usual today, and resorting to name calling doesn’t make your bullshit look any less splat.

                    • felix

                      Stick your fingers in your ears all you like, it’s all there in black and white at the end of that link for all to see.

                      Your argument in that thread as it stands supports a one-party state.

                    • Epic fail felix. My last comment was:

                      If the voters see that opposition parties are dredging up endless trivial crap:
                      – they get the perception it is being done by a trivial crappy politicians
                      – important issues that really need opposing risk being lost in the noise

                      I was highlighting how ineffective Labour have been in opposition. Nothing to do with one party state, I argue the opposite – the more strong parties and independent MPs the better.

                  • AAMC

                    Nationals Fascist roots…

                    “Nor were all those involved in the creation of the National Party necessarily imbued with the parliamentary spirit of moderation and compromise. Many of those who attended the party’s foundation conference had been, like National’s second leader, Sid Holland, members of the proto-fascist New Zealand Legion.

                    Presumably even less familiar with the democratic process was a clutch of former senior army officers: Colonel H.G. Livingstone, Colonel James Hargest and Colonel S.C.P. Nichols. They, too, played a prominent role during the National Party’s formative stages.”

                    http://bowalleyroad.blogspot.com/2011/08/gangsters-ball.html

              • mik e

                PG keep up your pathetic spin its nearly as bad as Nationals Jobs record. Especially under bill english 1998 -99 100,000 more on the dole cue 2008 -11 100,000 more on dole cues – the ones going to Australia in record numbers.

                • freedom

                  i will say this for the various National Governments we have had, they are consistent at producing results, usually regressive socio-economic catastrophies, but they are results.

            • Colonial Viper 3.1.1.1.1.3

              If the answer to this problem is jobs, why is it when we had near full employment in 2007 before the recession hit New Zealand, did the numbers in this category not go down?

              Because this category is in the most difficult individual circumstances out of the 58,000 currently unemployed under 20.

              They need individualised attention and support not the pressure of John Key’s Food Stamps.

              It’s a pity Labour didn’t pick up this policy, it would have helped win back some of the middle.

              That’s a laughable suggestion.

              I’m personally pushing the Labour party left.

              And the “middle” income earner in NZ earns $28,000 p.a. You got shit show of having them support this initiative as they know that its their kids and grandkids who are going to get slammed and that National is coming for them next with Food Stamps.

            • Ross 3.1.1.1.1.4

              We had near full mployment in 2007? Could you provide me with the stats to support this, ta.

              • Colonial Viper

                A slight exaggeration methinks. 3.0-3.5% unemployment.Still too high.

                Google is your friend.

          • Mark M 3.1.1.1.2

            Felix

            less of the duh
            you sound to much like homer simpson

        • Ross 3.1.1.2

          Pete,

          What would those problems be?

        • jackal 3.1.1.3

          Rubbish Pete George. Ensuring there are jobs has the same policy aspect as ensuring people are trained to fill them. National has cut funding for training in many areas and ensured the economy does not recover by implementing huge tax cuts for the wealthy. This has created more inequality and social ills as well as unemployment.

          It’s not about creating an unlimited amount of jobs, it’s about creating enough jobs so that the young can become employed, learn the benefits of working and budgeting instead of having the state pay. We should not be expected to pay for the policy failures of National.

          It’s unacceptable that National has ensured a certain amount of unemployment to keep wages low. That reasoning goes against their promise to close the wage gap with Australia.

          John Key thinks a low wage economy creates investment and therefore jobs. What a load of bullshit! A low wage economy and a lack of jobs creates social disintegration. Wake up to that fact, vote accordingly and perhaps your house wont get robbed in the future.

        • freedom 3.1.1.4

          yes pete,there are 13,500 problems just in the age group this little bit of policy that has been announced dutifully ignores

    • mik e 3.2

      WFF is a targeted benefit at low income working families, not universal. it was started by peter dunne and national 1997.Australia has a similar policy pushed by the Howard government but they pay families up $140,000.Targeted policies have a very poor track record as opposed to universal benefits which don’t create huge tax hikes .The reason these days why targeted benefits are more common is we just don’t have enough money .But we are quiet happy to subsidize the damage alcohol and tobacco does to our society while neglecting poverty a $10 billion loss to our economy as a result of these substances abuse.A user pays tax on both of these substances would give us more than enough to get rid of poverty for ever but the booze barons have got Key and co in their back pocket!We are subsidizing the problem every tax payer we could universlize WFF and cut out the poverty and the poverty trap .

    • FFS Pete, don’t you ever listen? The Green paper is a smoke screen to get Family First and Destiny on the payroll – there is copious international research evidence of what works and what doesn’t (e.g. boot camps don’t work – like they have found out) – but ideology driven drivel wins votes – another fact!

    • Deadly_NZ 3.4

      But they don’t vote so Key is on safe ground, well that’s what he thinks, But what about the other part of this insidious policy where they are going to change the privacy rules (they must be inconvenient (like the labour law)) and hunt down all the other teens who are not in a recognised school or training programme(done make me laugh) And then come and tell them how to live their lives with this nice little bit of plastic NO ciggies alcohol chippies coke etc etc just good wholesome food on the Bennet approved starvation list.

      • Pete George 3.4.1

        They are not saying “NO ciggies alcohol chippies coke etc etc ” – just saying what most of the state money should be spent on. There will be some discretionary spending money, and there’s always the option to earn some money if they want to choose for themselves.

  4. Blue 4

    Fran O’Sullivan is a National insider who gets all the scoops in advance. I was amused by her column when it came out, being such a radical departure from her usual fare (Fran suddenly caring about the impact of neoliberal policies on children?) and waited for the other shoe to drop.

    Predictably, it did. Fran said that the measures should focus on youth unemployment or they would be an ‘epic fail’, and then, surprise surprise, it was declared later that day that Key’s bene-bashing announcement was going to focus on youth.

    It was a nice set-up, and I expect Fran this week to declare Key’s announcement manna from heaven.

  5. Ross 5

    To be fair, full employment has been off the agenda of both major political parties for many years. What policies did Labour introduce in its 9 years of office that were designed to create jobs?

    • Colonial Viper 5.1

      Labour understood how an economy works with both the private and public sector playing a role. Today, Labour would not be laying public sector workers off adding to unemployment queues even as the private sector is proving unwilling or unable to hire.

      Labour would not have been as callous as to cut training and apprenticeship programmes for youth even as youth unemployment soared close to 30%.

      National on the other hand…

      My personal view is that the true unemployment rate must be kept under 3% by whatever innovative means necessary, and the long term unemployment rate kept at less than 1.5%.

      In essence I agree with you that both parties have not had full employment policies for a long time, and that is because both parties have fallen for the neoliberal bullshit of a “natural rate of unemployment”.

  6. randal 6

    National cant deliver anything.
    their policy since taking ofice has been micro incrementalism and dithering.
    Basically they are the kiwi version of the tea party with all that implies about doing nothing in case it costs.
    That is unless someone of their cabal personally benefits.

    • mik e 6.1

      Randal they have made sure they and treasury get plenty of kickbacks from the major banks thats keeping a few people in the wellington barista business in jobs.

      • aerobubble 6.1.1

        Public and Private sectors. National believes in the private sector, and government should get
        out of the way, then it finds its ideology has problems, that government does need to have
        public sector policies and in rushes Key to the policy vacuum that has been right wing
        politics for the last thirty years. For thirty years cheap and cheaper high density energy (oil) has made it easy for governments to ignore public policy and let the private market provide
        solutions (since the public citizen body had lots to spend and everyone was paid too much or
        borrowed too much). That jig is up, the world has changed and the last to change, the
        first to change, boardrooms. The last to change the most conservative economic politicians.
        Key does not know what to do, so he just pulls nonsense out that appeals to those conservative
        voters who are too slow to change. we need change, we need a progessive not a regressive
        party in government.

    • KJT 6.2

      National does not have to do anything beyond get elected for another three years.

      Once they have taken anything which is not nailed down

      They will go collect their payoffs while we have to rebuild the country.

      So they can come back for another round of thieving in 9 years time.

      Every thing is succeeding well from their point of view. The theft of the wealth of yet another lot of ordinary people is proceeding nicely..

  7. jackal 7

    Here we see National’s policies in effect. It is clear that a low wage economy just causes impoverishment. Subsidizing that low wage economy with corporate welfare costs the taxpayer dearly. A low wage economy does not create jobs, it just maximizes profits. Much of that goes off shore as most companies employing low wages are owned by international corporates.

  8. Afewknowthetruth 8

    A point of grammar. It is not a good idea to put an adjective with a word which is normally used as a verb. Epic failure.

    NZ has endured the poltics of failure since the 1970s, when it became abundantly clear to anyone who was even slightly informed about energy and the environment that NZ was on a path to catastrophic failure via the squandering of resources.

    We have not quite hit the buffers at the end of the line yet but we are approaching them mighty fast, and no maintream political party is prepared to even discuss the fact that we are on a path to catastrophe. Instead, they continue to parrot the same old platitudes and fantasies that have been around for decades.

    These times are both interesting and scary.

      • Afewknowthetruth 8.1.1

        Thanks for that.

        Phrases to describe things come and go but fundamental truths remain.

        Incidentally, I looked the most recent Time magazine today. Unpalatable truths are leaking out all over the place now.

    • neoleftie 8.2

      um well thats not quite accurate – its accepted in my labour electorate by the high ranking MP that the end is nigh i.e peak oil, global warming but more pressing matters at the time where to get the most bang from the health ministry monies.
      Frankly those who accept the uncertainities and volatile nature of the coming dark period of the next fifty years are biding their time and waititng for the stars to align and shine on the NEXT WAY.

      • Afewknowthetruth 8.2.1

        Does that mean they are waiting for the die-off and hope that they won’t get lynched when the people they have been lying to for so long wake up and turn into an angry mob?

  9. randal 9

    yeah well ok. When its gone its all gone and it wont come back.
    We still riding on our credit but that wont last forever either.
    dont want to be a jeremiah about this but this world aint going to continue like this forever.

  10. Bored 10

    Point of order on epic failures Jokey Hen. Where is my f***kn cycleway? Is real world production too difficult after living in the casino Jokey?

  11. freedom 11

    some light relief ,
    still in the thread theme of Epic Fail and not in anyway condoning criminal behaviour,

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/5451704/Footprints-in-snow-lead-to-icecream-thieves

    apprentice? in what i wonder, blundering & pilfering

  12. Abhi 12

    Thanks God for “the Standard” and it’s critic of the center, and making people aware that there is an alternative ways to the the perceived crisis.

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    Sometimes you’ll just be so dog-tired, you can only keep yourself awake with a short stab of self-inflicted pain.A quick bite of the lip, for instance.Maybe a slight bite on the tongue or a dig of the nails.But what if you’re needing something a bit more painful?The solution is as ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    3 days ago
  • Some “scrutiny” II
    Last month I blogged about the Ministry of Justice's Open Government Partnership commitment to strengthen scrutiny of Official Information Act exemption clauses in legislation", and how their existing efforts did not give much reason for confidence. As part of that, I mentioned that I had asked the Ministry for its ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on why the Biden “peace plan” for Gaza is doomed
    After months and months of blocking every attempt by the UN and everyone else to achieve a Gaza ceasefire, US President Joe Biden is now marketing his own three-stage “peace plan” to end the conflict. Like every other contribution by the US since October 7, the Biden initiative is hobbled ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    4 days ago
  • Raised crossings: hearing the voice of vulnerable pedestrians
    This is a guest post by Vivian Naylor, who is the Barrier Free Advisor and Educator at CCS Disability Action, Northern Region, the largest disability support and advocacy organisation in Aotearoa New Zealand. She also advises on AT’s Public Transport and Capital Projects Accessibility Groups. Vivian has been advocating and ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    4 days ago
  • Leaving on a Jet Plane
    So kiss me and smile for meTell me that you'll wait for meHold me like you'll never let me go'Cause I'm leavin' on a jet planeDon't know when I'll be back againOh babe, I hate to go“The true measure of any society can be found in how it treats its ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    4 days ago
  • Bernard's mid-winter pick 'n' mix for Tuesday, June 18
    The election promises of ‘better economic management’ are now ringing hollow, as NZ appears to be falling into a deeper recession, while other economies are turning the corner. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The economy and the housing market are slumping back into a deep recession this winter, contrasting ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Scrutiny week off to rocky start
    Parliament’s new “Scrutiny” process, which is supposed to allow Select Committees to interrogate Ministers and officials in much more depth, has got off to a rocky start. Yesterday was the first day of “Scrutiny Week” which is supposed to see the Government grilled on how it spends taxpayers’ money and ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    4 days ago
  • The choice could not be more stark’: How Trump and Biden compare on climate change
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Barbara Grady Illustration by Samantha Harrington. Photo credits: Justin Lane-Pool/Getty Images, Win McNamee/Getty Images, European Space Agency. In an empty wind-swept field in Richmond, California, next to the county landfill, a company called RavenSr has plotted out land and won ...
    4 days ago
  • Differentiating between democracy and republic
    Although NZ readers may not be that interested in the subject and in lieu of US Fathers Day missives (not celebrated in NZ), I thought I would lay out some brief thoughts on a political subject being debated in the … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    4 days ago
  • Bernard's mid-winter pick 'n' mix for Monday, June 17
    TL;DR: Chris Bishop talks up the use of value capture, congestion charging, PPPs, water meters, tolling and rebating GST on building materials to councils to ramp up infrastructure investment in the absence of the Government simply borrowing more to provide the capital.Meanwhile, Christopher Luxon wants to double the number of ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • You do have the power to change things
    When I was invited to come aboard and help with Greater Auckland a few months ago (thanks to Patrick!), it was suggested it might be a good idea to write some sort of autobiographical post by way of an introduction. This post isn’t quite that – although I’m sure I’lll ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    5 days ago
  • Turning Away – Who Cares If We Don't?
    On the turning awayFrom the pale and downtroddenAnd the words they say which we won't understandDon't accept that, what's happeningIs just a case of other's sufferingOr you'll find that you're joining inThe turning awayToday’s guest kōrero is from Author Catherine Lea. So without further ado, over to Catherine…I’m so honoured ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • Dissecting Tickled
    Hi,Tickled was one of the craziest things that ever happened to me (and I feel like a lot of crazy things have happened to me).So ahead of the Webworm popup and Tickled screening in New Zealand on July 13, I thought I’d write about how we made that film and ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand Webworm Popup + Tickled!
    Hi,I’m doing a Webworm merch popup followed by a Tickled screening in Auckland, New Zealand on July 13th — and I’d love you to come. I got the urge to do this while writing this Webworm piece breaking down how we made Tickled, and talking to all the people who ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    5 days ago
  • What China wants from NZ business
    One simple statistic said it all: China Premier Li Qiang asked Fonterra CEO Miles Hurrell what percentage of the company’s overall sales were made in China. “Thirty per cent,” said Hurrell. In other words, New Zealand’s largest company is more or less dependent on the Chinese market. But Hurrell is ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    5 days ago
  • Review: The Worm Ouroboros, by E.R. Eddison (1922)
    One occasionally runs into the question of what J.R.R. Tolkien would have thought of George R.R. Martin. For years, I had a go-to online answer: we could use a stand-in. Tolkien’s thoughts on E.R. Eddison – that he appreciated the invented world, but thought the invented names were silly, and ...
    5 days ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #24
    A listing of 35 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, June 9, 2024 thru Sat, June 15, 2024. Story of the week A glance at this week's inventory of what experts tell us is extreme weather mayhem juiced by ...
    5 days ago
  • Sunday Morning Chat
    After a busy week it’s a good day to relax. Clear blues skies here in Tamaki Makaurau, very peaceful but for my dogs sleeping heavily. In the absence of a full newsletter I thought I’d send out a brief update and share a couple of posts that popped up in ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • The Book of Henry
    Now in the land of Angus beef and the mighty ABsWhere the steaks were juicy and the rivers did run foulIt would often be said,This meal is terrible,andNo, for real this is legit the worst thing I've ever eatenBut this was an thing said only to others at the table,not ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    6 days ago
  • Fact Brief – Is ocean acidification from human activities enough to impact marine ecosystems?
    Skeptical Science is partnering with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. This fact brief was written by Sue Bin Park in collaboration with members from the Skeptical Science team. You can submit claims you think need checking via the tipline. Is ocean acidification from human ...
    6 days ago
  • Happiness is a Warm Gun
    She's not a girl who misses muchDo do do do do do, oh yeahShe's well-acquainted with the touch of the velvet handLike a lizard on a window paneI wouldn’t associate ACT with warmth, other than a certain fabled, notoriously hot, destination where surely they’re heading and many would like them ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • Still doing a good 20
    Hello! Here comes the Saturday edition of More Than A Feilding, catching you up on the past somewhat interrupted week. Still on the move!Share Read more ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    7 days ago
  • Coalition of the Unwilling?
    What does Budget 2024 tell us about the current government? Muddle on?Coalition governments are not new. About 50 percent of the time since the first MMP election, there has been a minority government, usually with allied parties holding ministerial portfolios outside cabinets. For 10 percent of the time there was ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • Of red flags and warning signs in comments on social media
    Somewhat surprisingly for what is regarded as a network of professionals, climate science misinformation is getting shared on LinkedIn, joining other channels where this is happening. Several of our recent posts published on LinkedIn have attracted the ire of various commenters who apparently are in denial about human-caused climate change. Based ...
    1 week ago
  • All good, still
    1. On what subject is Paul Henry even remotely worth giving the time of day?a. The state of our nationb. The state of the ACT partyc. How to freak out potential buyers of your gin palace by baking the remains of your deceased parent into its fittings2. Now that New ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • The looting is the point
    Last time National was in power, they looted the state, privatising public assets and signing hugely wasteful public-private partnership (PPP) contracts which saw foreign consortiums provide substandard infrastructure while gouging us for profits. You only have to look at the ongoing fiasco of Transmission Gully to see how it was ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The Illusion of Power: How Local Government Bureaucrats Overawe Democratically-Elected Councillors..
    The Democratic Façade Of Local Government: Our district and city councillors are democratically elected to govern their communities on one very strict condition – that they never, ever, under any circumstances, attempt to do so.A DISINTEGRATION OF LOYALTIES on the Wellington City Council has left Mayor Tory Whanau without a ...
    1 week ago
  • Lowlights & Bright Spots
    I can feel the lowlights coming over meI can feel the lowlights, from the state I’m inI can see the light now even thought it’s dimA little glow on the horizonAnother week of lowlights from our government, with the odd bright spot and a glow on the horizon. The light ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Weekly Roundup 14-June-2024
    Another week, another roundup of things that caught our eye on our favourite topics of transport, housing and how to make cities a little bit greater. This Week in Greater Auckland On Monday, Connor wrote about Kāinga Ora’s role as an urban development agency Tuesday’s guest post by ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    1 week ago
  • The Hoon around the week to June 14
    Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The podcast above of the weekly ‘hoon’ webinar for paying subscribers features co-hosts and talking with:The Kākā’s climate correspondent about the National-ACT-NZ First Government’s moves this week to take farming out of the ETS and encourage more mining and oil and ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Climate policy axed in broad daylight, while taxpayer liabilities grow in the dark
    In 2019, Shane Jones addressed the “50 Shades of Green” protest at Parliament: Now he is part of a government giving those farmers a pass on becoming part of the ETS, as well as threatening to lock in offshore oil exploration and mining for decades. Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: Here’s the ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Rage Bait!
    Hi,Today’s newsletter is all about how easy it is to get sucked into “rage bait” online, and how easy it is to get played.But first I wanted to share something that elicited the exact opposite of rage in me — something that made me feel incredibly proud, whilst also making ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Friday, June 14
    Seymour said lower speed limits “drained the joy from life as people were forced to follow rules they knew made no sense.” File Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Friday, June 14 were:The National/ACT/NZ First ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Friendly but frank talks with China Premier
    It sounded like the best word to describe yesterday’s talks between Chinese Premier Li Qiang and his heavyweight delegation of Ministers and officials and Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and New Zealand Ministers and officials was “frank.” But it was the kind of frankness that friends can indulge in. It ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #24 2024
    Open access notables Wildfire smoke impacts lake ecosystems, Farruggia et al., Global Change Biology: We introduce the concept of the lake smoke-day, or the number of days any given lake is exposed to smoke in any given fire season, and quantify the total lake smoke-day exposure in North America from 2019 ...
    1 week ago
  • Join us for the weekly Hoon on YouTube Live
    Photo by Mathias Elle on UnsplashIt’s that new day of the week (Thursday rather than Friday) when we have our ‘hoon’ webinar with paying subscribers to The Kākā for an hour at 5 pm.Jump on this link on YouTube Livestream for our chat about the week’s news with special guests:5.00 ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Geoffrey Miller: China’s message to New Zealand – don’t put it all at risk
    Don’t put it all at risk. That’s likely to be the take-home message for New Zealand Prime Minister Christopher Luxon in his meetings with Li Qiang, the Chinese Premier. Li’s visit to Wellington this week is the highest-ranking visit by a Chinese official since 2017. The trip down under – ...
    Democracy ProjectBy Geoffrey Miller
    1 week ago
  • The Real Thing
    I know the feelingIt is the real thingThe essence of the soulThe perfect momentThat golden momentI know you feel it tooI know the feelingIt is the real thingYou can't refuse the embraceNo?Sometimes we face the things we most dislike. A phobia or fear that must be confronted so it doesn’t ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Gordon Campbell on how moderates empower the political right
    Struth, what a week. Having made sure the rural sector won’t have to pay any time soon for its pollution, PM Christopher Luxon yesterday chose Fieldays 2024 to launch a parliamentary inquiry into rural banking services, to see how the banks have been treating farmers faced with high interest rates. ...
    1 week ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Thursday, June 13
    In April, 17,656 people left Aotearoa-NZ to live overseas, averaging 588 a day, with just over half of those likely to have gone to Australia. Photo: Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Thursday, June 13 ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Our guide to having your say on the draft RLTP 2024
    Auckland’s draft Regional Land Transport Plan (RLTP) 2024 is open for feedback – and you only have until Monday 17 June to submit. Do it! Join the thousands of Aucklanders who are speaking up for wise strategic investment that will dig us out of traffic and give us easy and ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    1 week ago
  • The China puzzle
    Chinese Premier Li Qiang arrives in Wellington today for a three-day visit to the country. The visit will take place amid uncertainty about the future of the New Zealand-China relationship. Li hosted a formal welcome and then lunch for then-Prime Minister Chris Hipkins in Beijing a year ago. The pair ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • Fossil fuels are shredding our democracy
    This is a re-post of an article from the Climate Brink by Andrew Dessler published on June 3, 2024. I have an oped in the New York Times (gift link) about this. For a long time, a common refrain about the energy transition was that renewable energy needed to become ...
    1 week ago
  • Life at 20 kilometres an hour
    We are still in France, getting from A to B.Possibly for only another week, though; Switzerland and Germany are looming now. On we pedal, towards Budapest, at about 20 km per hour.What are are mostly doing is inhaling a country, loving its ways and its food. Rolling, talking, quietly thinking. ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Hipkins is still useless
    The big problem with the last Labour government was that they were chickenshits who did nothing with the absolute majority we had given them. They governed as if they were scared of their own shadows, afraid of making decisions lest it upset someone - usually someone who would never have ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Exercising with the IDF.
    This morning I did something I seldom do, I looked at the Twitter newsfeed. Normally I take the approach of something that I’m not sure is an American urban legend, or genuinely something kids do over there. The infamous bag of dog poo on the front porch, set it on ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Helm Hammerhand Anime: First Pictures and an Old English ‘Hera’
    We have some news on the upcoming War of the Rohirrim anime. It will apparently be two and a half hours in length, with Peter Jackson as Executive Producer, and Helm’s daughter Hera will be the main character. Also, pictures: The bloke in the middle picture is Freca’s ...
    1 week ago
  • Farmers get free pass on climate AND get subsidies
    The cows will keep burping and farting and climate change will keep accelerating - but farmers can stop worrying about being included in the ETS. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Wednesday, June 12 were:The ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Six ideas to secure Te Huia’s Future
    This is a guest post by our friend Darren Davis. It originally appeared on his excellent blog, Adventures in Transitland, which features “musings about public transport and other cool stuff in Aotearoa/ New Zealand and around the globe.” With Te Huia now having funding secure through to 2026, now is ...
    Greater AucklandBy Darren Davis
    1 week ago
  • The methane waka sinks
    In some ways, there may be less than meets the eye to the Government announcement yesterday that the He Waka Eke Noa proposal for farmers to pay for greenhouse gas emissions has been scrapped. The spectre of farmers still having to pay at some point in the future remains. That, ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • At a glance – Does positive feedback necessarily mean runaway warming?
    On February 14, 2023 we announced our Rebuttal Update Project. This included an ask for feedback about the added "At a glance" section in the updated basic rebuttal versions. This weekly blog post series highlights this new section of one of the updated basic rebuttal versions and serves as a ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Farmers get what they wanted – for now
    Since entering office, National has unravelled practically every climate policy, leaving us with no effective way of reducing emissions or meeting our emissions budgets beyond magical thinking around the ETS. And today they've announced another step: removing agriculture entirely. At present, following the complete failure of he waka eka noa, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Presumed Innocent?
    The blue billionaireDistraction no interactionOr movement outside these glazed over eyesThe new great divideFew fight the tide to be glorifiedBut will he be satisfied?Can we accept this without zoom?The elephant in the roomNot much happens in politics on a Monday. Bugger all in fact. Although yesterday Christopher Luxon found he ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    2 weeks ago
  • Gordon Campbell on our doomed love affair with oil and gas
    What if New Zealand threw a fossil fuel party, and nobody came? On the weekend, Resources Minister Shane Jones sent out the invitations and strung up the balloons, but will anyone really want to invest big time in resuming oil and gas exploration in our corner of the planet? Yes, ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    2 weeks ago

  • Reserve Bank chair reappointed
    Professor Neil Quigley has been reappointed as Chair of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand Board for a further term of two years, until 30 June 2026.  “Professor Quigley has played a key role in establishing the new Board after the commencement of the new RBNZ Act on 1 July ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • School attendance increases
    School attendance data released today shows an increase in the number of students regularly attending school to 61.7 per cent in term one. This compares to 59.5 per cent in term one last year and 53.6 per cent in term four. “It is encouraging to see more children getting to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Record investment in public transport services
    The Government has announced a record 41 per cent increase in indicative funding for public transport services and operations, and confirmed the rollout of the National Ticketing Solution (NTS) that will enable contactless debit and credit card payments starting this year in Auckland, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.“This Government is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • GDP data shows need to strengthen and grow the economy
    GDP figures for the March quarter reinforce the importance of restoring fiscal discipline to public spending and driving more economic growth, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  Data released today by Stats NZ shows GDP has risen 0.2 per cent for the quarter to March.   “While today’s data is technically in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Women continue to make up over 50 per cent on public sector boards
    Women’s representation on public sector boards and committees has reached 50 per cent or above for the fourth consecutive year, with women holding 53.9 per cent of public sector board roles, Acting Minister for Women Louise Upston says. “This is a fantastic achievement, but the work is not done. To ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government supporting Māori business success
    The Coalition Government is supporting Māori to boost development and the Māori economy through investment in projects that benefit the regions, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones and Māori Development Minister Tama Potaka say. “As the Regional Development Minister, I am focused on supporting Māori to succeed. The Provincial Growth Fund ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Better solutions for earthquake-prone buildings
    Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk has announced that the review into better managing the risks of earthquake-prone buildings has commenced. “The terms of reference published today demonstrate the Government’s commitment to ensuring we get the balance right between public safety and costs to building owners,” Mr Penk says.  “The Government ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Prime Minister wraps up visit to Japan
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has just finished a successful three-day visit to Japan, where he strengthened political relationships and boosted business links. Mr Luxon’s visit culminated in a bilateral meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio followed by a state dinner. “It was important for me to meet Prime Minister Kishida in person ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Major business deals signed on PM’s Japan trip
    Significant business deals have been closed during the visit of Prime Minister Christopher Luxon to Japan this week, including in the areas of space, renewable energy and investment.  “Commercial deals like this demonstrate that we don’t just export high-quality agricultural products to Japan, but also our world-class technology, expertise, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Strategic Security speech, Tokyo
    Minasan, konnichiwa, kia ora and good afternoon everyone. Thank you for the invitation to speak to you today and thank you to our friends at the Institute for International Socio-Economic Studies and NEC for making this event possible today.  It gives me great pleasure to be here today, speaking with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • National Infrastructure Pipeline worth over $120 billion
    The National Infrastructure Pipeline, which provides a national view of current or planned infrastructure projects, from roads, to water infrastructure, to schools, and more, has climbed above $120 billion, Infrastructure Minister Chris Bishop says. “Our Government is investing a record amount in modern infrastructure that Kiwis can rely on as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Making it easier to build infrastructure
    The Government is modernising the Public Works Act to make it easier to build infrastructure, Minister for Land Information Chris Penk announced today. An independent panel will undertake an eight-week review of the Act and advise on common sense changes to enable large scale public works to be built faster and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • NZ enhances North Korea sanctions monitoring
    New Zealand will enhance its defence contributions to monitoring violations of sanctions against North Korea, Prime Minister Christopher Luxon announced today.  The enhancement will see the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) increase its contributions to North Korea sanctions monitoring, operating out of Japan. “This increase reflects the importance New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Speech to Safeguard National Health and Safety Conference
    Good afternoon everyone. It’s great to be with you all today before we wrap up Day One of the annual Safeguard National Health and Safety Conference. Thank you to the organisers and sponsors of this conference, for the chance to talk to you about the upcoming health and safety consultation. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Ōtaki to north of Levin alliance agreements signed
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has welcomed an important milestone for the Ōtaki to north of Levin Road of National Significance (RoNS), following the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) signing interim alliance agreements with two design and construction teams who will develop and ultimately build the new expressway.“The Government’s priority for transport ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Improvements to stopping Digital Child Exploitation
    The Department of Internal Affairs [Department] is making a significant upgrade to their Digital Child Exploitation Filtering System, which blocks access to websites known to host child sexual abuse material, says Minister of Internal Affairs Brooke van Velden.  “The Department will incorporate the up-to-date lists of websites hosting child sexual ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New vaccine research aims to combat prevalent bovine disease
    A vaccine to prevent an infectious disease that costs New Zealand cattle farmers more than $190 million each year could radically improve the health of our cows and boost on-farm productivity, Associate Agriculture Minister Andrew Hoggard says. The Ministry for Primary Industries is backing a project that aims to develop ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Making it easier to build granny flats
    The Government has today announced that it is making it easier for people to build granny flats, Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters and RMA Reform Minister Chris Bishop say. “Making it easier to build granny flats will make it more affordable for families to live the way that suits them ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • High Court Judge appointed
    Attorney-General Judith Collins today announced the appointment of Auckland King’s Counsel Gregory Peter Blanchard as a High Court Judge. Justice Blanchard attended the University of Auckland from 1991 to 1995, graduating with an LLB (Honours) and Bachelor of Arts (English). He was a solicitor with the firm that is now Dentons ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Health workforce numbers rise
    Health Minister Dr Shane Reti says new data released today shows encouraging growth in the health workforce, with a continued increase in the numbers of doctors, nurses and midwives joining Health New Zealand. “Frontline healthcare workers are the beating heart of the healthcare system. Increasing and retaining our health workforce ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government to overhaul firearms laws
    Associate Justice Minister Nicole McKee has today announced a comprehensive programme to reform New Zealand's outdated and complicated firearms laws. “The Arms Act has been in place for over 40 years. It has been amended several times – in a piecemeal, and sometimes rushed way. This has resulted in outdated ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government delivers landmark specialist schools investment
    The coalition Government is delivering record levels of targeted investment in specialist schools so children with additional needs can thrive. As part of Budget 24, $89 million has been ringfenced to redevelop specialist facilities and increase satellite classrooms for students with high needs. This includes: $63 million in depreciation funding ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Major health and safety consultation begins
    A substantial consultation on work health and safety will begin today with a roadshow across the regions over the coming months, says Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Brooke van Velden.  This the first step to deliver on the commitment to reforming health and safety law and regulations, set out in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Growing the potential of New Zealand’s forestry sector in partnership
    Forestry Minister Todd McClay, today announced the start of the Government’s plan to restore certainty and confidence in the forestry and wood processing sector. “This government will drive investment to unlock the industry’s economic potential for growth,” Mr McClay says. “Forestry’s success is critical to rebuilding New Zealand’s economy, boosting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government cancels forestry ETS annual service charges for 2023-24
    Annual service charges in the forestry Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) will be cancelled for 2023/24, Forestry Minister Todd McClay says. “The sector has told me the costs imposed on forestry owners by the previous government were excessive and unreasonable and I agree,” Mr McClay says. “They have said that there ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Speech to the LGNZ Infrastructure Symposium
    Introduction Thank you for having me here today and welcome to Wellington, the home of the Hurricanes, the next Super Rugby champions. Infrastructure – the challenge This government has inherited a series of big challenges in infrastructure. I don’t need to tell an audience as smart as this one that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government boosts Agriculture and food trade with China
    Trade and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard welcomed outcomes to boost agricultural and food trade between New Zealand and China. A number of documents were signed today at Government House that will improve the business environment between New Zealand and China, and help reduce barriers, including on infant formula ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • NZ and China launch Services Trade Negotiations
    Trade Minister Todd McClay, and China’s Commerce Minister Wang Wentao, today announced the official launch of Negotiations on Services Trade between the two countries.  “The Government is focused on opening doors for services exporters to grow the New Zealand’s economy,” Mr McClay says.  As part of the 2022 New Zealand-China Free Trade Agreement Upgrade ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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