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Faking it

Written By: - Date published: 10:36 am, February 15th, 2009 - 22 comments
Categories: economy, spin - Tags:

It’s a bit late but I thought I’d draw people’s attention to the work Pundit’s Tim Watkin has been doing on the government’s stimulus package. Or more rather the work he’s been doing on the government’s re-releasing of already approved spending under the guise of a stimulus package.

Because the interesting truth is they’re faking it.

According to Watkin the “stimulus package” is mostly made up of preannounced spending such as the last Labour government’s tax cuts and the purchase of Kiwirail.

Yes you read that right, this government is so clever it’s managed to go back in time and convince the last government to buy the railways to help stimulate the economy from a recession that nobody at the time knew was coming.

Remember all that malarkey from the nats and their supporters about “train sets” and “block of cheese taxcuts”? Turns out it’s now the cheese train that they think going to pull us out of the recession. And it was all their idea. At least that’s what they’re trying to tell us.

All aboard.

22 comments on “Faking it”

  1. IrishBill 1

    And I strongly recommend you read Watkin’s piece:

    http://pundit.co.nz/content/the-truth-about-nationals-so-called-stimulus-not-a-penny-more

    It raises some extremely concerning issues.

  2. expat 2

    It’s all a matter of context Bill.

    If you thought, in a growing or normal economy a $9Bn package was going to be inflationary and were going to cut that amount then in a shrinking economy (i.e. todays) then perhaps $9Bn is a prudent amount to be spending.

    And lets not forget the reason Labour did commit to spending all that money – a) to stop National saying they’d do it b) to try and buy their way into a 4th term

    Oh, and there is the tiny fact that NZ can’t afford to spend any more without being downgraded by S&P’s and heading the way of Iceland.

  3. gingercrush 3

    I have read both those pieces and his argument is in favour of something like Obama’s plan is because its 5% of GDP. Well that is fine and all. But what is that 5% of GDP being spent on. Is it being spent in the best areas. And lets not pretend for a second, that Obama’s stimulus package doesn’t contain numerous amounts of pork. You don’t simply spend a percentage of GDP and expect to somehow save your economy and create jobs. Such thinking is surely stupidity at its best.

    In fact how many jobs is Obama’s stimulus package meant to create now? 4 million. Keeps creeping up and yet does anyone who have read even parts of Obama’s stimulus package expect such jobs to created?

  4. IrishBill 4

    gc, what I took from the articles wasn’t that the 5% was the only way to go but that there is concern about the Nats going one way but trying to tell us they are going the other. That’s basic dishonesty. If the nats really believe that the pre-recession spend is enough they should come out and make the argument for it rather than treating the electorate as fools.

    Obama’s package may not do what it claims but at least he has had the guts to publicly release the policy and make it clear what it is as well as releasing the documents that informed it.

    expat, much has been mad of the S&P issue but the weight of their ratings has dwindled a bit since they gave big ticks to sub-prime products.

  5. RedLogix 5

    Oh, and there is the tiny fact that NZ can’t afford to spend any more without being downgraded by S&P’s and heading the way of Iceland.

    Expat nails it. Bill English has a terrible problem. It comes in several parts:

    1. A structural $15b pa current account deficit. The Reserve Bank can no longer borrow to fund it and is at present selling off assets to keep the NZ dollar from collapsing to worthlessness. Obviously they can only do this for a limited period.

    2. The banks operating in NZ currently require about 30% of their funding from short term sources overseas. Those lenders are looking at our total private sector indebtedness and (despite govt guarantees) are getting rather nervous about the currency exchange risk.

    3. Unemployment is rising rapidly, placing a huge strain on govt cash flow.

    4. National’s tax cut package has badly damaged the govt’s income base. Tax revenue essentially comes in three parts:

    a. PAYE. Stable and predictable.
    b. GST. Fairly stable, but prone to downturns when spending (or the velocity of money falters) or when people focus on repaying debt. (Financial services are GST free.)
    c. Company tax. Very volatile. The current downturn will put many businesses into a loss, and this source of revenue will go negative, storing up tax losses for years to come.

    By slashing PAYE National has hit the stable, predictable portion of govt revenue. And although Michael Cullen bequeathed him a good starting point, Bill English is going to find that lenders are going to look at his diminished ability to service and repay debt (plus the total indebtedness of NZ Inc.) with considerable scepticism. Besides, they are already stretched to the limit coping with their own domestic crisis. The simple truth is that National is NOT going to be able to compensate for the crisis with increased borrowing from overseas.

    The only alternative source of cash will be for the RB to print money. If they go down that path, it will only throw fuel on a hyper-inflationary bonfire already bearing down on us because of the current account deficit. Moreover the Australian banks (hugely exposed to NZ asset values) will revolt at such a move. If this worst case scenario does play out (triggered by the RB’s inability to hold up the value of the NZ dollar), expect NZ to finally abandon the Kiwi dollar, and become the newest State of the Australian Federation.

  6. Redbaiter 6

    They’re all faking it. From Obama to Key to Krudd in Aus, its all smoke and mirrors, and its not going to work and it never was going to work. The idea that more socialism can fix a system already bogged down by an excess of socialism is something only the left would be stupid enough to try.

    This is the depression that had to happen, as its the only way of bringing to an end the destructive and suicidal entwining of government and commerce.

    IT NEVER WORKS.

    SUSTAINABLE prosperity will only ever exist under small governments and an independent and self sufficient population. Once government becomes too big and erodes those two important factors in the citizenry, the decay sets in, and collapse then becomes only a matter of time.

  7. RedLogix 7

    RB,

    God you rise to the bait every time don’t you? When is it going to occur to you that the ONLY places in the world where your small govt libertarian fantasies are even remotely approached, are either ungovernable hell-holes like Somalia or Northwestern Pakistan… or figmentary relics of pre-Industrial history re-painted in rose tints to suit your agenda.

    Small govt is perfectly adequate if your population is indeed small, scattered and self-sufficiently independent. But that has not been a reality for at least a century, we now live in a world where billions of people, ideas and technologies live cheek by jowl in close and intimate interdependency. All societies have evolved larger and more complex governments in response. NONE of them successfully got smaller and less complex as you advocate.

    The only attempt to do so led by Thatcher and Reagan, based on the so-called Chicago school of Economics ideas about smaller govt, has set in train a series of increasingly unstable business cycles, that as with any under-damped oscillatory system, have gotten bigger and bigger until finally something fundamental has been broken.

  8. Redbaiter 8

    Sorry Redillogix, its Sunday, and I’ve better things to do than respond seriously to the insane interminable rantings of ivory tower brain damaged c*mm**s. Have a good deluded day.

  9. RedLogix 9

    Name calling.. is that all you have left? Your heart really isn’t in it any more is it?

    The sad part is that I could have told you how we will one day reach the liberated, small govt society you dream of. The dream is a good one, but you are going 180deg in the wrong direction.

  10. Ari 10

    You know that Reagan’s economic recovery actually stymied and entered another recession when he balanced the books after the new deal, right?

    Paying off your debt and shrinking down government spending are policies for boom times, not for the middle of a bloody recession. And even then, the tax cuts you cry for take away money that is far better saved under high interest rates then paid out in fast, well-targeted packages during the next bust.

    Look up Herbert Hoover next time you want to argue about small government during the middle of a recession.

  11. Redbaiter 11

    Y’know Ari, it just shows how narrow the average leftist’s mind is, and how confined their information sources are, and how blinkered they are in their political vision, when you advise me to “look up Herbert Hoover” in apparent gross ignorance of the fact that there is a substantial school of thought out there that believes Hoover’s reactionary thinking and misguided actions actually prolonged the depression unnecessarily.

    Get out of your ivory tower you damn insular self obsessed bore, and stop interfering in people’s lives when you know fuck all about that condition.

  12. RedLogix 12

    Hoover’s reactionary thinking and misguided actions actually prolonged the depression unnecessarily.

    The parallels between the outlook of the Hoover/Mellon Administration, and the Key/English one are rather remarkable.

    If Andrew Mellon had not so dramatically slashed taxes prior to the Depression in 1928, then Hoover would have not been forced to raise them again in the 1932 Revenue Act to prevent total Federal bankrupcy in the face of a nation about to collapse. Yet prior to this point Hoover was largely complicit with Mellon’s reactionary laissez- faire viewpoint, and completely failed to react decisively to the onset of the Depression allowing matters to deteriorate badly through 1930 and 1931. Then just when things were starting to recover in 1932, he is forced to savagely raise taxes pushing a huge fiscal contraction back into the economy, prolonging the downturn.

    Of course I’m not sure if you realise that this was probably Ari’s point at the outset.

    Hoover finished up (not entirely fairly) one of the most hated men in America. Wonder how Mr Key will fare?

  13. Redbaiter 13

    “Of course I’m not sure if you realise that this was probably Ari’s point at the outset.”

    Why don’t you let Ari speak for himself?

    As for what you have volunteered, its not really necessary to realise anything other than that any history written and revisied by any leftist is worthless history. I’m not impressed by your claims that x did this in reaction to y doing this and z was the outcome. Its all fantasy.

    Academia is infested with leftist propagandists who revise history to reflect their warped political perspectives, and this poisoned version is passed down to political neophytes who know no better, and if the neophytes never succeed in escaping the clutches of academia, never will, and so the misinformation spreads ever outwards like ripples from a stone dropped in a pond, and whole generations are infested with what is little more than delusional fairy tales dressed in all the false trappings of politically motivated academia. An academia there not to bring truth and light to young minds but to ensure there is another shoal of unthinking lemmings ready to subscribe to the drivel of unhinged power obsessed neurotics like Helen Klark.

    Its my money on the table. Not the taxpayer’s. I deal in reality. That’s why I’m not going to argue a million clouded points of history with someone so politically and socially stunted as yourself.

  14. Redbaiter 14

    “Of course I’m not sure if you realise that this was probably Ari’s point at the outset.’

    Why don’t you let Ari speak for himself?

    As for what you have volunteered, its not really necessary to realise anything other than that any history written and revised by any leftist is worthless history. I’m not impressed by your claims that x did this in reaction to y doing this and z was the outcome. Its all fantasy.

    Academia is infested with leftist propagandists who revise history to reflect their warped political perspectives, and this poisoned version is passed down to political neophytes who know no better, and if the neophytes never succeed in escaping the clutches of academia, never will, and so the misinformation spreads ever outwards like ripples from a stone dropped in a pond, and whole generations are infested with what is little more than delusional fairy tales dressed in all the false trappings of politically motivated academia. An academia there not to bring truth and light to young minds but to ensure there is another shoal of unthinking lemmings ready to subscribe to the drivel of unhinged power obsessed neurotics like Helen Kl*rk.

    Its my money on the table. Not the taxpayer’s. I deal in reality. That’s why I’m not going to argue a million clouded points of history with someone so politically and socially stunted as yourself.

  15. RedLogix 15

    An academia there not to bring truth and light to young minds but to ensure there is another shoal of unthinking lemmings ready to subscribe to the drivel of unhinged power obsessed neurotics

    That’s more like the real RB man! Almost putting heart and soul back into it. For a moment there I was tempted into imagining you had lost your way.

    That’s why I’m not going to argue a million clouded points of history with someone so politically and socially stunted as yourself.

    Well you never do. Why start now? Hell that would bugger all my pre-conceptions. We crouch here in stunned awe at your towering knowledge, wit and wisdom… why argue facts and put all that hard earned rep at risk?

  16. More evidence that there is little difference between the National socialists and hard Labour.

  17. Quoth the Raven 17

    The only attempt to do so led by Thatcher and Reagan, based on the so-called Chicago school of Economics ideas about smaller govt, has set in train a series of increasingly unstable business cycles, that as with any under-damped oscillatory system, have gotten bigger and bigger until finally something fundamental has been broken.

    You better reread you’re history books if you think government got smaller under Thatcher and Reagan. Government spending and debt actually increased under Reagan. Governemnt spending also increased under Thatcher. So really government got bigger not smaller under both Thatcher and Reagan. And their programs of deregulation can be more aptly described as re-regulation. Why? Because they know as well as anyone else that the corporate plutocracy can’t survive without heavy state intervention in the economy.

  18. RedLogix 18

    You better reread you’re history books if you think government got smaller under Thatcher and Reagan.

    Yes of course it was all a conjob. But despite the fact that their reality and rhetoric did not mesh at that level, their programs of ‘re-regulation’ still had the effect of undoing many of the hard lessons learnt from the 1890’s and 1930’s Depressions that unmoderated capitalist markets (there is of course no such thing as a ‘free market’… all markets are regulated one way or another) create social disaster because they are inherently unstable.

    What Keynes made clear was that a degree of government regulation of the right kind was required to dampen the system so that it might function sustainably serving peoples need for both security and opportunity in balance. This was more or less achieved from the New Deal through to Reagan/Thatcher. Since then the business cycle has become increasingly unstable, with each successive boom/bust bigger and more dangerous than the previous one.

    Of course it is entirely possible to completely overdo the dampening as did the communists, but I think history is showing that so far the Social Democrats tend to get the balance about right. (And I appreciate that from the Libertarian’s point of view, nobody else gets anything right… so please don’t bother telling me all over again.)

    As an engineer who routinely tunes process control loops in real industrial processes, this is a pretty natural way for me to think about the relationship between politics and the economy. You can model it all mathematically with great rigour and precision, but in real life after you have tuned many hundreds of loops, you simply KNOW well enough what is happening just by looking at the trend plots.

  19. Quoth the Raven 19

    Redlogix – I suppose it depends whether you think much of the regulation is to make the market work better for ordinary people, a naive view, or that much of the regulation is there to sheild large corporations from competition, from organised labour, to caretlise industry at the expense of the consumer, to externalise their diseconomies of scale onto the taxpayer and consumer, to keep unemplyment artificially high, &c – just generally to enforce corporate plutocracy. I admit governments may do a bit of both, but you’ve got to ask yourself in what direction does the general thrust of it move.

  20. RedLogix 20

    QoT,

    Agreed. I keep coming back to that relatively simple, but powerful measure of social performance: % of GDP as Employee Compensation. Rooseveldt’s New Deal (largely built on the work initiated by Hoover’s RFC) dramatically shifted this ratio in favour of the working/middle classes, ushering in a period of unprecedented stability and prosperity in the USA.

    Of course the oligarchs would prefer more of the pie for themselves, and have assidously worked to undermine the New Deal ever since, with the ratio recently falling pretty much back to where is was in the 1920’s. (Sorry I could reference a graph, but I’m slogging my way onto the net via an exceedingly crap Nodafone 3G connection…grrr… thieving capitalist bastards have way oversold their network capacity, but charge us for it all the same.)

    Government can regulate to moderate the extremes of wealth and poverty, or it can regulate to exacerbate them. This to my mind one of the defining moral issues of our era. Technology makes wealth creation easy, we are fabulously more productive than ever in all history. Ordinary middle class people access a standard of living, that in many respects, could not be attained by even sovereigns and emperors of just a few centuries ago. Yet in many ways we still struggle with the question of HOW all that wealth is to be distributed, and to what uses we should put it.

  21. northpaw 21

    Because they know as well as anyone else that the corporate plutocracy can’t survive without heavy state intervention in the economy.

    So… what they have to do.. is corporate colonize it.. yes? [aka in some circles as ‘lying in unison’.]

    Very interesting thread.. yep, altogether..

  22. George.com 22

    Anyone who is interested in some further reading may like to have a look at the piece David Harvey (neo-marxist geographer and a worthwhile thinker) wrote a few days ago comparing the results of the US and Chinese stimulus responses.

    www dot creative-i dot info/?p=4659

    e is pessimistic that the US response will long term rethrone the states as the primary global hegemonic power. He thinks China is in a better position to cope with the financial crisis. He places a degree of trust in Keynesian responses but points to several weaknesses in the current US political economy to achieve this: a reluctance to redistribute wealth to the working class, a fixation with tax cuts over social investment, a predominance of military keynesianism over social keynesianism and a hysterical fear of anything even vaguely collective/socialist. China, he thinks, will have no problem enacting collective/social measures, if merely to quell rising discontent amongst the un/under-employed. In short, the contradictions of US neo-liberalism. Within the politics lie the seeds of its demise, the inability to cope with a major financial crisis.

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    Different Strokes: If a multicultural immigration policy imposes no obligation on immigrant communities to acknowledge and ultimately embrace their host nation’s most cherished traditions and values, then how is that nation to prevent itself from being reduced to a collection of inward-looking and self-replicating ethnic and cultural enclaves?THE COALITION GOVERNMENT’S ...
    7 days ago
  • Could There Be Method In Massey University’s Madness?
    Protective Zone: Reading the rules and guidelines released by Massey University, it is impossible to avoid the conclusion that its governing body considers the whole concept of free speech a disruptive threat to the orderly imparting of orthodox academic knowledge.IN TRUE ORWELLIAN fashion, Massey University has announced its commitment to ...
    7 days ago
  • How does poor air quality from bushfire smoke affect our health?
    Brian Oliver, University of Technology Sydney New South Wales and Queensland are in the grip of a devastating bushfire emergency, which has tragically resulted in the loss of homes and lives. But the smoke produced can affect many more people not immediately impacted by the fires – even people many ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: We need more trees, not less
    Farmers held a hate-march on Parliament today, complete with MAGA hats, gun-nut signs, and gendered insults. While supposedly about a grab-bag of issues - including, weirdly, mental health - it was clear that the protest was about one thing, and one thing only: climate change. And specifically, forestry "destroying" rural ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The IGIS annual report: Dead letters and secret law
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security released their annual report today, and I've been busy reading through it. In amongst the usual review of what they've been doing all year, there's a few interesting bits. For example, a discussion on "agency retention and disposal of information", which points out that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A referendum on bigotry
    The End of Life Choice Bill passed its third reading last night, 69 - 51. Thanks to a compromise with NZ First - which looks to have been necessary on the final numbers - the commencement of the bill will be subject to a referendum. Given the ugliness of the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Why municipal waste-to-energy incineration is not the answer to NZ’s plastic waste crisis
    Trisia Farrelly, Massey University New Zealand is ranked the third-most-wasteful country in the OECD. New Zealanders produce five times the global daily average of waste per person – and they are getting more wasteful, producing 35% more than a decade ago. These statistics are likely to get worse following China’s ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Political parties and GMOs: we all need to move on
    Recently more than 150 post-graduate students and young scientists presented an open letter to the Green Party via The Spinoff, encouraging them to reconsider their position on genetic modification. Their target is tackling climate change issues.[1] Can any party continue to be dismissive about genetic modification (GM) contributing to ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    1 week ago
  • Class, Identity Politics and Transgender Ideology
    by Deirdre O’Neill Under Thatcher and then Blair and continuing up until our contemporary moment, the working class has seen its culture slowly and progressively destroyed. The change from an industrial society to a service society produced a marked shift in focus from the working class as the backbone of ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Irony
    Since 2013, the Australian government has detained refugees without trial in Pacific gulags, where they are abused, tortured, and driven to suicide. The policy is not just an abuse of human rights and possible crime against humanity; it has also had a corrosive effect on the states Australia uses as ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • An age of protest.
    It seems fair to say that we currently live in a problematic political moment in world history. Democracies are in decline and dictatorships are on the rise. Primordial, sectarian and post-modern divisions have re-emerged, are on the rise or have been accentuated by political evolutions of the moment such as ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Another captured agency
    Last month, Greenpeace head Russel Norman surrendered his speaking slot at an EPA conference to student climate activist Sorcha Carr, who told the EPA exactly what she thought of them. It was a bold move, which confronted both regulators and polluters (or, as the EPA calls them, "stakeholders") with the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • NZ First’s dodgy loans
    The core principle supposedly underlying New Zealand's electoral finance regime is transparency: parties can accept large donations from rich people wanting to buy policy, but only if they tell the public they've been bought. Most parties abide by this, so we know that TOP was wholly-owned by Gareth Morgan, and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day: The choice on End of Life Choice
    Today is a Member's Day, probably the second-to-last one of the year, and its a big one, with the Third Reading of David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill. last Member's Day it was reported back from committee, after MPs voted narrowly to make it subject to a (rules TBA) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • How growth in population and consumption drives planetary change
    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 The growth of the human population over the last 70 ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • The disappearing Women …
    by The Council of Disobedient Women In her excellent oral submission to the Abortion reform select committee on 31st October on behalf of Otago University’s Department of Public Health, historian and public health researcher Hera Cook stated: “We would ask that the committee not use the term ‘pregnant persons’ and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • “A Passage to India”: enduring art in changing times
    by Don Franks In 1957, E M Forster wrote, of his greatest work: “The India described in ‘A Passage to India’ no longer exists either politically or socially. Change had begun even at the time the book was published ( 1924) and during the following quarter of a century it ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Contemptuous
    The Referendums Framework Bill was due back from select committee today. But there's no report on it. Instead, the bill has been bounced back to the House under Standing order 29593) because the Committee didn't bother to produce one. They probably tried. But given the membership of the committee (which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Zero Carbon: It’s not just a good idea, it’s the law
    Two years into New Zealand’s Labour-led government, the long-delayed Zero Carbon Bill became law on 7 November. Passed essentially unanimously, the lengthy public debates and political manoeuvring faded away until the final passage was even anticlimactic: Flipping through the @nzstuff @DomPost I was starting to wonder if I’d dreamt ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: What happens next?
    Now the Zero Carbon Bill is law, what's next? Obviously, the ETS changes currently before select committee are going to be the next battleground. But we're also going to get a good idea of where we're going, and if the progress the Zero Carbon Act promises is good enough, during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate change will fuel bush fires
    Grant Pearce The effects of the current Australian bushfires in New South Wales and Queensland (and also again in California) are devastating and far-reaching. To date, the fires have resulted in several lives being lost and many homes and properties destroyed. Here in New Zealand, the impacts have been only ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Participation rates
    A passing comment in a post the other day about the labour force participation rates of older people prompted me to pull down the fuller data and see what we could see about various participation rates over the decades since the HLFS began in 1986.   As it happens, the ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Reddell
    1 week ago
  • Not So Much “OK Boomer” As “OK Ruling Class”.
    Distract And Divert: The rise of what we have come to call “Identity Politics” represents the ideological manifestation of the ruling class’s objective need to destroy class politics, and of the middle-class’s subjective need to justify their participation in the process.THE RELIEF of the ruling class can only be imagined. ...
    1 week ago
  • Asking for it …
    "I saw a newspaper picture,From the political campaignA woman was kissing a child,Who was obviously in pain.She spills with compassion,As that young child'sFace in her hands she gripsCan you imagine all that greed and avariceComing down on that child's lips?" ...
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand’s Poor Pandemic Preparedness According to the Global Health Security Index
    Dr Matt Boyd, Prof Michael Baker, Prof Nick Wilson The Global Health Security Index which considers pandemic threats has just been published. Unfortunately, NZ scores approximately half marks (54/100), coming in 35th in the world rankings – far behind Australia. This poor result suggests that the NZ Government needs to ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Thank Winston
    The Zero Carbon Act is inadequate, with a weak methane target designed to give farmers a free ride. But it turns out it could have been worse: Climate Change Minister James Shaw was so desperate to get National on board, he wanted to gut that target, and leave it in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Illicit markets and Bali Booze
    The Herald reprints an Australian story on a couple of tragic deaths in Bali from drinking cocktails that had methanol in them.  The story argues that methanol is likely the result of home distillation. But what the young tourists were experiencing was far from a hangover. They’d consumed a toxic cocktail ...
    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    2 weeks ago
  • This is not what armed police are for
    Last month, the police announced a trial of specialist roaming armed units, which would drive round (poor, brown) areas in armoured SUVs, armed to the teeth. When they announced the trial, they told us it was about having armed police "ready to attend major incidents at any time if needed". ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Spain’s failed electoral gamble
    Spain went to the polls today in the second elections this year, after the Socialists (who had come to power in a confidence vote, then gone to the polls in April) rejected the offer of a coalition with the left-wing PoDemos, and instead decided to gamble n a better outcome ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The astroturf party
    National has finally rolled out its "BlueGreen" astroturf party, fronted by an array of former nats and people who were dumped by the Greens for not being Green enough. Its initial pitch is described by Stuff as "very business-friendly", and its priorities are what you'd expect: conservation, predator-free funding, a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • How to cheat at university
    A couple of days ago I attended (and spoke at) the University of Waikato’s “LearnFest” event. There were lots of talks and sessions on very diverse aspects of teaching, mostly at tertiary level. One was by Myra Williamson from Te Piringa Faculty of Law here at Waikato, on Contract Cheating ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    2 weeks ago
  • How NZ was put on world maps using a transit of Mercury
    There will be a transit of Mercury – the planet Mercury will pass across the face of the Sun – taking place at sunrise in New Zealand on Tuesday, 12th November. It was by observing such an event 250 years ago that James Cook and his scientist colleagues were able ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    2 weeks ago
  • Georgina Beyer: We need to be able to talk without being offended
    Since becoming the world’s first openly transexual mayor and member of parliament, Georgina Beyer has been recognised as a trailblazer for trans rights. Daphna Whitmore talks with her about where she sees the current trans movement We start out talking about legislation the government put on hold that would have ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • The anti-fluoride brigade won’t be erecting billboards about this study
    If FFNZ really put their faith in “Top Medical Journals” they would now be amending their billboards to recognise new research results. Image from FFNZ but updated to agree with the latest research. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Chosen To Rule? What Sort Of Christian Is Chris Luxon?
    National Messiah? Chris Luxon identifies himself as an evangelical Christian. If he is genuine in this self-characterisation, then he will take every opportunity his public office provides to proselytise on behalf of his faith. He will also feel obliged to bear witness against beliefs and practices he believes to be ...
    2 weeks ago
  • War of the worms
    I'm going to make a Reckless Prediction™ that the Tories have 'topped out' in the 'poll of polls' / Britain Elects multipoll tracker at about 38%, and in the next week we will start to see Labour creep up on them.In fact, we might just be seeing the start of ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Marvelly shows us how to be a feminist without feminism
    by The Council of Disobedient Women Lizzie Marvelly: “I may have missed this… has @afterellen gone all terf-y? Or am I reading something incorrectly? “ https://twitter.com/LizzieMarvelly/status/1191840059105742849 After Ellen is a lesbian website that is unashamedly pro-lesbian, as you’d expect. So why is Ms Marvelly so bothered about lesbians having their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Out of the past – Tories to revive racist laws from the 16th century
    Did you know there once was a time when it was illegal to be a gypsy (aka Romani) in Britain?That was between 1530, when the Egyptians Act was passed, and 1856, when it was repealed.Amongst other things, the act forbade the entry of 'Egyptians' into England, ordered those already there ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 1000 of these now
    Some days I sit and think, “what will I write…?” What do you say when you get to 1000 posts? Maybe you just start where you are, diverge to where this all began, then offer a collection of reader’s favourite posts, and a few of your own? (And throw in ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    2 weeks ago
  • Has Shane Jones Just Saved NZ First?
    Counter-Puncher: The “activists” and “radicals” (his own words) from the Indian community who took such strong exception to Shane Jones’ remarks about Immigration NZ’s treatment of arranged marriages, may end up bitterly regretting their intervention. Jones is not the sort of person who turns the other cheek to his critics.SHANE ...
    2 weeks ago

  • New high tech traps will reduce the need for 1080 poison
    New Zealand First are celebrating the announcement of an investment of $3.5 million into five new trapping devices. These are a range of bait and trap devices, all designed to be left unattended for long periods of time. NZ First conservation spokesperson Jenny Marcroft says that this latest development will ...
    17 hours ago
  • Cowboy clampers will be stymied
    Clayton Mitchell, Spokesperson for Consumer Affairs The ‘wheel clamping’ Bill that will cap clamper fees to $100 passed its third reading in Parliament today. New Zealand First welcomes The Land Transport (Wheel Clamping) Amendment Bill to combat predatory wheel clamping behaviour in what is currently a largely unregulated business. Cowboy clampers are: gouging ...
    2 days ago
  • Mental Health Commission back on track
    Jenny Marcroft, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First welcomes the passage of the Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill through its first reading in Parliament. “Today’s progress takes serious action on the mental health and addiction crisis the country is facing,” says New Zealand First Health Spokesperson Jenny Marcroft. “The re-establishment ...
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand’s key assets are not for sale: national interest test delivered
    Mark Patterson, Spokesperson for Primary Industries Today the Government announced the delivery of the promise to protect New Zealand interests by applying a new National Interest Test to the sales of our most sensitive and high risk assets to overseas buyers. This further strengthening of the Overseas Investment Act will ...
    3 days ago
  • National interest test added to protect New Zealanders’ interests
    The Coalition Government is delivering on its promise to protect New Zealanders’ interests by applying a new national interest test to the sales of our most sensitive and high-risk assets to overseas buyers. Under current Overseas Investment Act (OIA) rules, assets such as ports and airports, telecommunications infrastructure, electricity and ...
    3 days ago
  • Electoral law breach allegations
    Rt Winston Peters, Leader of New Zealand First Allegations raised this morning by Stuff Limited / Fairfax concern a party matter but I am confident that New Zealand First has operated within electoral laws, now and for the last 27 years. Declarable donations were declared to the Electoral Commission. Our ...
    3 days ago
  • Wayne Brown hits back at critics: Ports of Auckland has to move
    The chairman of the Upper North Island Supply Chain Strategy (UNISCS) working group, Wayne Brown, has hit back at critics of his group’s recommendations to relocate the Ports of Auckland cargo operations to Whangarei’s deepwater port of Northport. The working group's recommendation to close Auckland waterfront to all but cruise ...
    4 days ago
  • Week That Was: Supporting our schools
    We're setting our young people up for success, investing in education around the country.  ...
    4 days ago
  • Kiwis to have their say on End of Life Choice
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First backs the public to decide on the End of Life Choice Bill via a referendum at the 2020 General Election. The Bill, with New Zealand First’s referendum provision incorporated, passed its final reading in Parliament this evening. New Zealand First Spokesperson for ...
    1 week ago
  • Addressing miscarriages of justice
    Darroch Ball, Spokesperson for Justice New Zealand First is proud that a key Coalition Agreement commitment which will provide for a more transparent and effective criminal justice system has been realised. Legislation to establish the Criminal Cases Review Commission, an independent body focused on identifying and responding to possible miscarriages of ...
    1 week ago
  • Week That Was: Historic action on climate change
    "Today we have made a choice that will leave a legacy... I hope that means that future generations will see that we, in New Zealand, were on the right side of history." - Jacinda Ardern, Third Reading of the Zero Carbon Bill ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Tax-free deployments for Kiwi troops
    Darroch Ball, New Zealand First List MP A Member’s bill has been proposed that would provide income tax exemptions for all New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel while on operational deployment overseas. The Income Tax (Exemption for Salary or Wages of NZDF Members on Active Deployment) Amendment Bill proposed by New Zealand First ...
    2 weeks ago
  • A balanced Zero Carbon Bill passed
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, New Zealand First Leader New Zealand First is proud to have brought common sense to the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill, which passed its final reading in Parliament today. Party Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters says months of hard work went into negotiating a balanced ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Paramedics’ status to be recognised
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First has listened to calls to recognise paramedics as registered health professionals under the Health Practitioners’ Competence Assurance Act (the Act). Today, the Coalition Government announced plans for paramedics to be registered as health practitioners under the Act, and the establishment of a ...
    2 weeks ago

  • Milestone of 1800 new Police officers
    The Coalition commitment to add 1800 new Police officers to frontline policing has been achieved with the graduation of 59 constables from the Royal New Zealand Police College today. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters say today’s graduation means 1825 new Police have been deployed all ...
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    12 hours ago
  • PM appoints business leaders to APEC Business Advisory Council
    Ensuring APEC work gets input from diverse New Zealand business and trade interests is behind three new appointments to the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC), Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says. Rachel Taulelei, Malcolm Johns and Toni Moyes have been appointed to represent New Zealand on the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    14 hours ago
  • PM speech notes for Trans-Tasman Business Circle
    Nau mai, haere mai. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā tatou katoa. Thank you for having me to speak today. To start, I’d like to acknowledge Sharron Lloyd, the General Manager of the Trans–Tasman Business Circle, the partners for this event Westpac’s  David McLean, and Derek McCormack from  AUT, and, of course ...
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    14 hours ago
  • Otago Regional Council given deadline for freshwater management plan
    A four-month investigation by former Environment Court judge Professor Peter Skelton found that Otago’s freshwater planning system is not fit for purpose to manage the region’s rivers, lakes and aquifers and that the Council has inadequate rules for the taking of water and the discharge of nutrients.   “Existing planning provisions ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • LGNZ Rural and Provincial Sector Speech
      Introduction Thank you for the invitation to speak to you today. This is the first opportunity I’ve had to speak to an LGNZ meeting since the local elections, and I’m delighted to see the fresh faces of newly elected mayors. To returning mayors here today, as well as chief ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • New Zealand to attend G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Japan
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters departs New Zealand today to attend the G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Nagoya at the invitation of this year’s G20 President, Japan. “This is the first time New Zealand will attend a G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting and we are deeply honoured that it is at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • Ambassador to the European Union announced
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today announced the appointment of diplomat Carl Reaich as New Zealand’s next Ambassador to the European Union. “The Ambassador to the EU is one of the most important and senior roles in New Zealand’s foreign service, advocating for New Zealand’s interests with the EU institutions,” Mr ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • New inventions boost Predator Free 2050 effort
        Innovation and technology are behind five new tools to give nature a helping hand by helping eliminate predators, funded through the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF), Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage and Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. “The new tools will be trialled in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • APEC 2021 Bill passes first reading
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has welcomed the first reading of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation 2021 (APEC 2021) Bill in Parliament today. The temporary bill supports New Zealand’s security preparations for hosting the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Forum in 2021. “APEC is the leading economic and trade forum ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Making progress for our kids
    The Government is making progress on improving the wellbeing of the one million New Zealanders under the age of 18,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on World Children’s Day. The Government has today recommitted to the most widely ratified human rights treaty in history – the United Nation’s Convention on ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Māori women in business contribute to our economy, whānau and communities
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter has released a new report celebrating the contribution of Māori women in business across Aotearoa New Zealand. “Māori women are leaders in our communities, they employ many people and support our economy and our communities,” Julie Anne Genter said. The report, Ngā wāhine kaipakihi: ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Two schools on the way for Omokoroa
    Four parcels of land have been bought in Omokoroa, in the Western Bay of Plenty District, for an education facility that will accommodate both a primary and secondary school on a campus-like facility, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. Two parcels were acquired from private land owners and two were ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Families Package helps over 1 million New Zealanders in first year
    1 million New Zealanders warmed by the Winter Energy Payment 36,000 families bank the Best Start Payment in first year 6,000 more families received the Family Tax Credit, 220,600 in total   They receive an increase too – from an average of $117 to $157 a week for Inland Revenue clients, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Clamp down on wheel clamping passes third reading
    New rules to clamp down on overzealous wheel clamping and extortionate fees charged in order to release a vehicle have passed their final stage in Parliament today. The Land Transport (Wheel Clamping) Amendment Bill has now passed its third reading. “These changes mean $100 will be the maximum wheel clamping ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill passes first hurdle
    An independent Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission is a step closer after it unanimously passed its first vote in Parliament today.  The Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill lays the groundwork for establishing the Commission as a fully independent crown entity – delivering on a key recommendation of He Ara ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Boosting border security with electronic travel authority – now over 500,000 issued
    We’ve improved border security with the NZeTA, New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority, which helps us to screen travellers for border and immigration risks off-shore before they travel to New Zealand. It was launched in August and became mandatory on 1 October 2019. More than 500,000 NZeTAs have been issued since ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Plan of action to protect seabirds
    A proposed national plan of action to reduce the number of seabirds caught in fisheries is being circulated for public feedback. Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash and Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage say New Zealand is a global centre of seabird diversity with about 145 species in our waters. It has more ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • National interest test added to overseas investment rules
    The Government is delivering on its promise to protect New Zealanders’ interests by applying a new national interest test to the sales of our most sensitive and high risk assets to overseas buyers. Associate Finance Minister David Parker said under current Overseas Investment Act rules, assets such as ports and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New housing part of support for Kaumātua
    The Government is building special housing to accommodate one of Aotearoa’s greatest taonga- our kaumātua, says the Minister for Māori Development, Hon Nanaia Mahuta.  Speaking at a National Kaumātua Service Providers Conference in Rotorua today, the Minister reinforced the importance kaumātua play in maintaining and passing on mātauranga Māori, knowledge, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Forestry helps prisoners into jobs
    Eleven men from a pilot forestry training programme for prisoners in Northland now have full time jobs or job offers upon release, Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis and Forestry Minister Shane Jones announced today. The ‘release to work’ programme was a collaboration between Te Uru Rākau and the Department of Corrections, ...
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    3 days ago
  • Reform of public service a step closer
    Minister of State Services Chris Hipkins today introduced into Parliament a Bill that will make it easier for the public service to tackle the biggest challenges facing Governments. The Bill represents the most significant change in the public service in 30 years. The State Sector Act 1988 will be repealed ...
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    4 days ago
  • Donations scheme to relieve pressure on families
    The families of more than 416,000 students will be better off next year as their schools have signed up to the Government’s donations scheme, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. The scheme will see almost $62.5 million in additional Government funding go to schools nationwide next year. “I’m really pleased ...
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    4 days ago
  • Further support for Samoan measles outbreak
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has announced further support as the Government of Samoa responds to a serious measles outbreak. “New Zealand will deploy a further 18 vaccination nurses, bringing the total to 30 working in Samoa over the next four weeks,” Mr Peters said. “A New Zealand Medical Assistance ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Speech to the Child Poverty Action Group 2019 Summit
      Fa’atalofa atu, malo e lelei, Kia ora koutou katoa Thank you to the Child Poverty Action Group for asking me to be here today to provide an update on some of the things that have been happening across my the social development portfolio.  Can I firstly acknowledge the vast ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing Annual Conference
    ***Please check against delivery*** Good morning everyone. It is a pleasure to be with you this morning to open this year’s New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing Conference and AGM. Firstly, thank you Dr Alan Jackson, NZTR Chair for your introduction. And let us acknowledge also: The NZTR Board; Dean McKenzie, Chair ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Fairer rules for tenants and landlords
    The Government has delivered on its promise to the over one million New Zealanders who now rent to make it fairer and more secure, Associate Minister of Housing (Public Housing) Kris Faafoi has announced today. Both renters and landlords will benefit from the suite of practical changes to the Residential ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Two decades of marine protection celebrated at Te Tapuwae o Rongokako in Tairawhiti
    A marine conservation milestone - the 20th anniversary of the establishment of Te Tapuwae o Rongokako Marine Reserve - is being celebrated today at a community event in Tairāwhiti/East Coast attended by the Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “The creation of this marine reserve in November 1999 was a game ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Food industry asked to step up fight against obesity
         The Government is asking the food industry to step up work to tackle obesity including reducing sugar, fat and salt in their products, better information for consumers, and tighter restrictions on advertising to children. Health Minister David Clark and Food Safety Minister Damien O’Connor have responded to a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Modern emergency care for Queenstown area
    ew, modern emergency department and outpatient facilities at Queenstown’s Lakes District Hospital mean better emergency care for the growing tourist mecca’s visitors and locals, says Health Minister David Clark. Today Dr Clark officially opened the hospital’s redeveloped Emergency Department and Outpatient facilities. The new facilities include: •    An extended Emergency Department ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Contraception important for New Zealanders
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter says today’s release of sexual and reproductive health data reinforces the significance of the Government’s commitment to providing free or very low-cost contraception. The Ministry of Health today published statistics from the Ministry of Health’s 2014/15 Health Survey. “It is important people can make ...
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