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Farewell Mr Makhlouf

Written By: - Date published: 12:39 pm, June 13th, 2019 - 46 comments
Categories: Economy, treasury - Tags: ,

Being a public servant at the highest level takes incredible fortitude. Only a few stand out.

Gabriel Makhlouf leaves shortly as the Treasury Secretary.

He has led the formation of a framework that has restructured how the government spends public money from the ground up.

It is likely that this restructuring of advice and measurement about budget prioritisation will withstand any future change to a National-dominated government, since they were working on it under Minister of Finance and Prime Minister Bill English.

We have waited for decades for Treasury to be ruled not by ideology but by facts that drive policy outcomes.

This new framework makes it a more subtle and secure framework than the last time any central government tried a broad policy framework across all budget bids – the Growth and Innovation Framework in the early part of the Helen Clark government. That ambitious bid to stabilise policy extremes from the 1990s and to harness business effort for policy aims did not have a lasting impact in Wellington.

The new framework is likely to be more successful and enduring. Treasury’s Living Standards Framework aims to capture a comprehensive, balanced range of wellbeing outcomes indicators. It is not prescriptive about whether or how governments should intervene to promote wellbeing. It helps support advice about prioritisation.

The openness of the methodology makes it incredibly plain just what weighting the government is looking for, and provides the spreadsheets for government Departments to make wellbeing real for actual budgets.

In a sense it can also become an accountability framework for any government because it’s easier to see where funding is having the best effect.

Part of this is a wellbeing approach to cost-benefit analysis. It’s enlightened and enlightening.

In the last budget his Department was the target of a political hit – I won’t prejudge the results of it yet since the investigation continues. It’s not material to what has been delivered anyway.

But in order to make a new framework for budgets in New Zealand, it takes a totally policy-focussed team. Mr Makhlouf’s broad experience in policy framework development in tax, welfare, banking, and operational delivery was critical for the success of this budget and its framework.

This achievement needs to be separated from whether we think the budget was weighted better or worse in any one spending category. The framework is there and it is likely to endure.

That is as good a tribute to the work of a public servant as one could wish for.

46 comments on “Farewell Mr Makhlouf”

  1. Macro 1

    Thanks Ad – Ive been waiting for something like this to be said. It has certainly not been the focus of journalists, or commentators here for that matter. I find this 2019 Budget a very positive document from the point of view that it has been formulated, not just with an eye to constant growth of GDP – as if that was the only measure of a countries well being – which it certainly isn't  – but from the point of view as to how do each of the initiatives work towards improving the well being of people in this country.

    This year the emphasis has been on improving the lot of 5 sectors of our society representing people and situations who have been neglected for far too long. 

    • transitioning to a sustainable and low-emissions economy
    • boosting innovation, and social and economic opportunities in a digital age
    • lifting Māori and Pacific incomes, skills and opportunities
    • reducing child poverty, improving child well-being and addressing family violence
    • supporting mental well-being, with a special focus on under 24-year-olds.

    Anyone who has had any experience of accessing or helping those with mental health issues in this country will no only too well that anything like adequate support is almost non-existent until it is far too late in many cases.

    • ianmac 2.1

      Are you saying that his appointment to Ireland could be withdrawn? Simon would crow a victory but  the appointment is rock solid.

  2. ianmac 3

    Great to see how Treasury is being upgraded. Thanks Advantage. And in due course will Ireland benefit from the Mr Makhlouf Leadership? I bet that they do and it is the first time an "outsider" has been employed in that role. Wonder if the Opposition will give credit to him? 

  3. greywarshark 4

    He has been breaking ground. but where there has been a drought the ground can be incredibly hard.    So Mr Makhlouf I hope when you go from here that you enjoy more fertile and pleasant (relatively) pursuits overseas in your new position.

    Fran O'Sullivan at the NZHerald puts it simply.   You have to pay to read the rest.l

    It's been quite gross to watch the political jackals try and throw Treasury Secretary Gabriel Makhlouf under the bus before a State Services Commission investigation is complete.

    In my view much of what is at stake boils down to simple semantics over Makhlouf's use of the word "hack" and his use of that term again when he said there had been "deliberate and systematic" hacking of the Treasury website.
    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=12239505

    (It would have been more correct to use the word ‘burrowing’ into Treasury records that National carried out, rather like the rats that burrow into a compost heap.

    • ianmac 4.1

      So would Fran be a supporter of the Opposition handling do you think?

      • greywarshark 4.1.1

        Dear Mr Makhlouf  If you see this post, we sincerely appreciate your work and your ability to have made some positive changes which may lead us on to a brighter future than we have had to illuminate us in recent years.   We wish you well in Ireland, that has suffered from hubris as we have, and may you help them to survive that well.   After this comment, in this post, we get into the ordinary argy-bargy and nit-picking that is common to the great discussions of the ordinary citizens – mediocre, practising or advanced thinkers that come here and discourse.    So you could choose to pass by that if you wished.

         

    • alwyn 4.2

      "It's been quite gross to watch the political jackals".

      That is rather harsh of Fran isn't it? I thought she was on better terms with Grant Robertson and Andrew Little than to describe them in that manner. It's probably quite fair of course. Grant and Andrew both learnt their trade in student politics and they therefore play very, very rough.

      • Stuart Munro. 4.2.1

        Fran was referring to the opposition. I guess it was an oversight not to use the usual 'jackasses'.

        • alwyn 4.2.1.1

          Good God! Are you really so stupid that you pay to read the premium articles in thet ridiculous fish and chip wrapper?

          I never would have believed you were in that bad a state.

          • Stuart Munro. 4.2.1.1.1

            I think the last time I paid for a Herald must've been 1991, when I boarded the Eikyu Maru in Auckland as a MAF observer. I can still smell the mud off the mangroves.

            • alwyn 4.2.1.1.1.1

              How did you read the article in order to be able to tell us who she was talking about then? It isn't obvious from the little teaser one can see when you look at a "premium" article. Thus I just assumed, since it looked so like a complaint about the way that Grant seems to have thrown his Department Head under a bus that she was talking about Grant et al.

              Rather like Twyford seems to have been pushed in front of a bloody great truck by Parker. Such an "open and transparent" Government, don't you think? 

              • ianmac

                The only jackals that I have seen attacking Mr Makhlouf are the leaders of the Opposition. Not once have I seen any attacks from the Government benches. 

                Therefore alwyn you get zero marks for comprehension. 

              • Stuart Munro.

                Anyone with even mediocre comprehension skills can tell from the excerpt Alwyn – your misfortune is that anything that reflects negatively on that dreadful assemblage of ambulant dog tucker, the Opposition, gives you cognitive dissonance and leaves you readily confused.

  4. peterh 5

    All he did was. He called a shovel a spade

  5. SHG 6

    Treasury is not what it was.

  6. feijoa 7

    It is great to see a budget with a change of focus.

    Nationals budgets always seemed to crow the word SURPLUS or (nearly) SURPLUS

    and that was all

  7. gsays 8

    Thanks Advantage, I had no idea about any of your post.

    I am a little wiser now.

    It is a little unfortunate that he has been caught in the eddy  created by the leader of the opposition as he splashes about, out of his depth and flalling about with a raggedy connection to a positive budget.

  8. patricia bremner 9

    Yes Thanks Advantage.  Your article gives more information. 

    I am glad to hear Mr. Makhlouf was instrumental in forming the Budget's spread sheets.  At one point I wondered if he was involved in the leak.  Great to know he had a strong positive role.

    Sadly Soimin seems to enjoy poisoning the well with his actions and accusations. The budget was about people not GDP,  so he would find that strange. Destroying not building is his mantra.  So may it be a long long time before the opposition attains power.

     

    • Anne 9.1

      You speak for me too patrica bremner. 

      I was beginning to suspect as much because Mr. Makhlouf has been quiet and dignified since the saga began.

      Let me add Amy Adams to those who have been poisoning the well with false acusations. She misrepresented the most recent events involving the GCSB today at QT and she had the gall to question the ethics of government ministers when it is her own party who have been engaging in unethical tactics.

      https://www.parliament.nz/en/watch-parliament/ondemand?itemId=207246

      https://www.parliament.nz/en/watch-parliament/ondemand?itemId=207249

      • greywarshark 9.1.1

        Amy Adams – the gal with gall!   In fact the Gnats have an excess crop of it and are fermenting and bottling it.    This accounts for their wild and wacky behaviour.   

        Of course that is part of the RW tactics today;  to keep us busy with OTT verbosity and theatre while they get on with stripping the country, grabbing bits of it and polluting it while they carry out money-making projects that enable them to carry out further money-making projects and so on.

        So it goes.

      • SHG 9.1.2

        Publicly proclaiming a non-existent "systemic hack" of the government's most important financial systems and announcing a non-existent police investigation is quiet and dignified?

        • Anne 9.1.2.1

          An existent serious breach of confidential information was sought and achieved by a National Party staffer within the precincts of the Parliamentary buildings. The information gained was unethically used by the National Party against all known precedent and purely for self-serving political gain. As a result a formal investigation is under way to determine exactly what happened.

          Since then, several eminent legal experts have questioned the police's conclusion that the breach was not unlawful and did not warrant the title "hack".

          Given the police are not the experts when it comes to the letter of the law, I am inclined to suspect there is more to come over the legality or otherwise of the staffer's action and the subsequent release of the data by Simon Bridges and co. We will have to wait and see.

           

           

          • The Chairman 9.1.2.1.1

            Given the police are not the experts when it comes to the letter of the law…

            Considering the circumstances, one would expect they (the police) would have sought expert legal advice from the onset.

            Which raises questions why you're inclined to suspect there is more to come over the legality or otherwise?

            Have you got wind of talk Labour are applying political pressure on the police to revisit this as a further means to cover their ass? 

            If word like this got out it would only make matters worse for Labour.

            • RedLogix 9.1.2.1.1.1

              The informal word 'hack' has many and varied connotations, here are a few that come to mind:

              Unauthorised access = hack

              Leak = hack

              The Chairman = hack

              Getting the chop = hack

              End of patience with obtuse idiots = hacked off

            • Drowsy M. Kram 9.1.2.1.1.2

              A The Chairman "more left than most" comment that doesn’t compute.

              "Labour are applying political pressure on the police…  …to cover their ass"

              Chair, think you'll find it's spelt 'arse', as in 'how to make an arse of yourself.'

            • Psycho Milt 9.1.2.1.1.3

              …one would expect they (the police) would have sought expert legal advice from the onset.

              One may speculate anything one likes, of course. 

              Which raises questions why you're inclined to suspect there is more to come over the legality or otherwise?

              That's "a question," singular, which is easily answered. Anyone with an interest in the matter and a good supply of cash is able to start a private prosecution. 

              Have you got wind of talk Labour are applying political pressure on the police to revisit this as a further means to cover their ass?

              No, but I have got wind of talk that National has a dirty politics crew that loves scamming people on social media into reading and accepting National's talking points. 

            • Anne 9.1.2.1.1.4

              Have you got wind of talk Labour are applying political pressure on the police to revisit this as a further means to cover their ass? 

              That's a risky road to go down TC. Inferring a slanderous story like that will not go down well with government, officials or the police. I suggest you sweep up the extraneous foreign matter inside your brain with a vacuum cleaner before someone turns up and does it for you. It could hurt. (sarc)

              • The Chairman

                Considering your party insights and the logical rationale the police would have sought expert advice, it was a genuine and valid question.

                If anything was slanderous here it would be your suspicion the police failed to seek expert advice from the onset. Suggesting they didn't do their job properly in a matter as high profile as this.

                You love riding that high horse so much I thought I'd give it a turn smiley 

  9. … ‘ He has led the formation of a framework that has restructured how the government spends public money from the ground up ‘ …

    ———————————-

    Oh really.

    And now we are going to see the reversal of the neo liberal liberalization of the Finance sector, the Reserve Bank and the Treasury… OK then…

    Storm of the Century

    • Stuart Munro. 10.1

      It's kind of the Turning Away in microcosm.

      First you rid yourself of the hereditary baggage of rulers.

      You have a democracy. But it's slow and fractious, so you anticipate needs and meet them. This is Savage et al, an enlightened technocracy.

      Then a bunch of wolves in sheeps clothing sell a new paradigm – call it the 'third way' or 'Rogergnomics', but the people are no longer even a consideration. But the new economics is an unmitigated failure. Traditional supporters learn to despise and revile Labour.

      Which leaves them kind of lonely. They seek friendships among their class – carpetbagging technocrats who deprive the ordinary citizens of the fruits of democracy. Thus the current mayor of Christchurch becomes a water thief and so forth.

      A party that once represented a substantial majority has been successfully marginalized and the asset theft frenzy can resume.

      • WILD KATIPO 10.1.1

        ''Born in lust , turn to dust, born in sin, come right in''…

        At least Mickey Joseph Savage was real to the core….unlike the gluttonous excuses for the sham representatives for the working class we see today aka neo liberal Labour.

        ”Born in lust , turn to dust, born in sin, come right in”…

        • Stuart Munro. 10.1.1.1

          I still have some hopes of JA – Labour has moved away from the hard greed and stupidity of Goff to some degree.

          But it seems I shall never have my own boat, much less build my own version of the garden of the Master of Nets.

          The Neoliberals stole that future, and no doubt hundreds of thousands of others.

          • WILD KATIPO 10.1.1.1.1

            And so therefore the 'missing' generation have some accounts to settle.

            ''Give me what I want and I will go away'',… 

            I had my young working life and future raped by these types, and I want recompense. And unlike many , I will not settle for their adultery's, their thefts, their pedophilia or their corporate sins. I will not let my 22 year old son suffer under them.

            ''Give me what I want and I will go away''.

            ''Born in lust ?, turn to dust, – born in sin ?, – come right in ''….

            • Stuart Munro. 10.1.1.1.1.1

              What happens to a dream deferred?
              Does it dry up
              Like a raisin in the sun?
              Or fester like a sore–
              And then run?
              Does it stink like rotten meat?
              Or crust and sugar over–
              like a syrupy sweet?
              Maybe it just sags
              like a heavy load.
              Or does it explode?

              Langston Hughes

  10. Sorry @Ad, I hadn't realised we'd sunk so low in our expectations (going forward).

    So (as they're apt to preface every sentence)

    Thank you Gabs! for doing the job you were paid handsomely to do. 

    Thank you for living up to to what was expected of you – despite that nasty little lapse of judgement in the words you used when under a bit of pressure and when confronting a few calling you to account for your actions.

    May God go with you, and may your CV be recorded as unblemished in your future endeavours

    • Do you,… think 'Gabs' cared that much?

      Or is he more in the line of Harold Titter who devastated our public health system?

      Give me what i want and i’ll go away – YouTube

      • OnceWasTim 11.1.1

        Well I guess 'Gabs' could have hung about in lil 'ole NuZull a while longer and been in line for any number of pozzies in the PS. All the right attributes: an import,  'a good bloke' (just call me Gabs), impressive CV as a generic manager (read all the right books on management and economic theory), well versed in the art of apportioning blame when things go tits up and taking credit when they're all good, and, better still – from the white wing of the Empire who knows how to come and show us mere colonials a 'best practiced' better way.

        Actually, at the moment I'd probably do a swap between Grainne Moss and Gabs McAloodleloodle – couldn't be any worse and they'd be seen to be doing something (going forwid)

        I'm thinking the State Services Commish  would be grateful for such a sage when considering the next Shuffle.  OT perhaps? NZTA? MBIE, MSD? the possibilities are endless

  11. More than the blunt truth right here….

    You don't like knowing do you? – YouTube



     

     

  12. The Chairman 13

    The new framework is likely to be more successful and enduring

    Yet, you go on to say:

    It is not prescriptive about whether or how governments should intervene to promote wellbeing. It helps support advice about prioritisation.

    As it is not prescriptive on how or in fact whether or not Governments intervene at all, it doesn't seem likely it will be more successful, but is likely to endure since work began under National's governance.

    With this so-called wellbeing Budget being the direct result of the new framework, it's evident the prioritisation is flawed.

    One can't seriously claim to be addressing family violence, mental health and poverty without significantly investing in housing and core benefit rates. Decent, stable housing and livable incomes are two vital prioritisations required before we can genuinely look at addressing other social ills.

    Therefore, it is clearly evident the new Budget framework is flawed from the onset.

    And going off the Government’s hyping of it, they have no plans to correct it in the short-term. Once again, taking the country down the wrong path.   

    • McFlock 13.1

      As it is not prescriptive on how or in fact whether or not Governments intervene at all, it doesn't seem likely it will be more successful,

      yawn

      It's a dashboard. It shows the situation, where you've been, how fast you're going, and what direction you're travelling with.

      What you do with that information is up to you, but in this case everyone can see the dashboard. Backseat drivers sit across the floor in opposition.

      Demanding that a dashboard should be prescriptive is like making a flight controller that can't pull up.

       

    • Drowsy M. Kram 13.2

      "Once again, [this Government is] taking the country down the wrong path."

      Another one of The Chairman's "more left than most" comments that doesn’t compute.

      The Chairman wants NZ to be on the 'right' path.

  13. SHG 14

    “old rich white guys” is such bad writing

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    Since invading in 2001, the US has consistently claimed that their war in Afghanistan has been going well, even when it continued year after year after year. Of course, they were lying, and thanks to the Washington Post and the US Freedom of Information Act, we get to see just ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Artificial Intelligence and You
    How should we think about artificial intelligence and the implications that it has for our work and leisure? There are many articles on artificial intelligence and its potential impacts on jobs, and the ethics of applications. These are important topics, but I want to focus on some less discussed aspects, ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    4 days ago
  • Statistical manipulation to get publishable results
    I love data. It’s amazing the sort of “discoveries” I can make given a data set and computer statistical package. It’s just so easy to search for relationships and test their statistical significance. Maybe relationships which ...
    5 days ago
  • More lies on the Twitter (Dan Hodges edition)
    The other big story concerning Leeds Hospital is Boris Johnson's bizzare behaviour at Leeds Hospital, where he was confronted by a journalist and challenged about a four year old boy with suspected pneumonia who was left sleeping on the floor, rather than getting  abed like a sick kid would in ...
    5 days ago
  • LabourActivistPunchedMattHancock’sSPADGate
    So, for a brief period of history, it was alleged that a protester had punched Matt Hancock's SPAD (not a euphemism; special adviser) when Hancock visited Leeds Hospital.This was reported by the likes of Robert Peston and Laura Keunssberg, as well as the less credible Guido Fawkes.  It also quickly ...
    5 days ago
  • France’s anti-Zionism is anti-liberté
    by Daphna Whitmore Last week France passed a law that equates anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism. It is based on a definition of anti-Semitism that includes criticism of Israel such as: “Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • Another bus lockout
    Over the past year we've seen major bus problems in Hamilton and Wellington, as drivers have sought better wages and an end to the bullshit of split shifts, which basicly see them "married to the job". And now its Auckland's turn. When NZBus's drivers planned low-level strike action of not ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: Showing us how its done
    The government has been congratulating itself over the passage of the Zero Carbon Act, which sets out long-term emissions targets. But those targets are insufficient. Meanwhile, Denmark is showing us how its done:Denmark’s parliament adopted a new climate law on Friday, committing to reach 70% below its 1990 emissions in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Public sector dysfunction should not be allowed to undermine freedom of information
    Another day, another piece of legislation with a secrecy clause. This time its the innocuous-seeming Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill, which (after establishing a new body and making it subject to the OIA in three different ways) includes the rapidly-becoming-standard clauses enabling it to request information from other public ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • “This is England, this knife of Sheffield steel…”
    The state of the United Kingdom is fractured, torn up, shredded. The Empire is gone, it died a long time ago. And yet, the country is still tracking with a lead in favour of the ones who play to the ingrained, class-bound division for political gain. It is a disgrace ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • CORSIA, coming soon to an airport near you
    On 27 September, Greta Thunberg addressed a crowd of 500,000 at the School Strike for Climate in Montreal, saying: “You are a nation that is allegedly a climate leader. And Sweden is also a nation that is allegedly a climate leader. And in both cases, it means absolutely nothing. Because ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    1 week ago
  • Cloaking hate speech and fake news in the right to free expression.
    It should be obvious by now but let’s be clear: The same folk who regularly traffic in disinformation, misinformation and “fake news” are also those who most strongly claim that their freedom of expression rights are being violated when moves are made to curb hate speech (as opposed to protected ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • The Physics (and Economics, and Politics) of Wheelchairs on Planes
    Michael Schulson When Shane Burcaw flies on an airplane, he brings along a customized gel cushion, a car seat, and about 10 pieces of memory foam. The whole arsenal costs around $1,000, but for Burcaw it’s a necessity. The 27-year-old author and speaker — who, alongside his fiancée, Hannah ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • To Advance Civil Rights, Oppose Transgender Extremism
    We are very pleased to publish this submission is from Lucinda Stoan. She is a social justice activist, mother, and educator, based in Washington State in the  US.   This detailed and comprehensive source-linked overview of trans issues and what is at stake will be useful for many people, especially in ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Faafoi should be fired
    Newshub last night reported that Broadcasting Minister Kris Faafoi had apparently promised to help out a mate with an immigration issue. While its normal for people to approach MPs for assistance in this area, when you're a Minister, the rules are different: as the Cabinet Manual says, Ministers must "at ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Adrian Orr – The Reserve Bank’s Revolutionary Governor?
    New Zealand's Underarm Banker: It bears recalling that the “independence” of the Reserve Bank Governor was for decades held up by neoliberal capitalists as the most compelling justification for passing the Reserve Bank Act. Interesting, is it not, how the ruling class’s support for the Bank’s independence lasted no longer than ...
    1 week ago
  • Driving Us Up The Poll.
    Rubbish In, Rubbish Out: Put all this together, and it’s difficult to avoid the conclusion that anyone who responds positively to a pollster’s request to “answer a few questions” is just ever-so-slightly weird. Desperately lonely? Some sort of psephological train-spotter? Political party member primed to skew the poll for or against ...
    1 week ago
  • Jordan Williams, Colin Craig podcast series announced
    “Free at last, Free at last, Thank God almighty we are free at last.” ― Martin Luther King Jr. A long and bitter court feud between former Conservative Party leader Colin Craig and Jordan Williams has been settled, with an apology and compensation from Williams. On Tuesday, Craig sent out ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    1 week ago
  • How plant-based meat is stretching New Zealand’s cultural and legal boundaries
    Samuel Becher, Victoria University of Wellington and Jessica C Lai, Victoria University of Wellington Earlier this year, the New Zealand-based pizza chain Hell Pizza offered a limited-edition “Burger Pizza”. Its customers weren’t told that the “meat” was plant-based. Some customers complained to the Commerce Commission, which enforces consumer law in ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Scientific integrity requires critical investigation – not blind acceptance
    Some people seem to want to close down any critical discussion of the current research into the relationship between water fluoride and child IQ. They appear to argue that claims made by researchers should not be open to critical review and that the claims be accepted without proper consideration ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: The shameful reality
    The government has been congratulating itself over the passage of the Zero Carbon Act, which sets out long-term emissions targets. Meanwhile, Climate Action Tracker has the shameful reality: those targets are insufficient:While New Zealand is showing leadership by having passed the world’s second-ever Zero Carbon Act in November 2019, under ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • More secrecy
    The government introduced a Racing Industry Bill today. As an urban who horse racing as pointless-to-cruel, and gambling as a tax on stupidity and/or hope, this isn't normally a bill which would interest me in the slightest, beyond grumpiness at more government money for a dying industry. But there is ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Unlikely online bully, Liam Hehir
    Check. Check. One, two, three, four. Is this thing ON? Hello readers, I logged in last night (yeah, it’s been a while) to mark THE END of the landmark legal case, Jordan Williams v Colin Craig, which (gulp) reached The Supreme Court, in which New Zealand’s most-defamed man was suing the politician he ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    1 week ago
  • The Birth Of Israel: Wrong At The Right Time.
    Before The Birth: Israel’s most fervent supporters set their clocks ticking in Biblical times. They cite the kingdoms of David and Solomon as proof that, in the words of the Exodus movie’s theme-song: “This land is mine.” The majority of Israel’s backers, however, start their clocks in 1933 – the year Adolf ...
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Public Address Word of the Year 2019: Korero phase
    In an unreliable, strange and confusing world, Public Address is proud to present a measure of comfort and stability by annually asking everyone what words or phrases sum up the year that's been – and then giving some of them consumer goods as prizes for being clever or simply lucky.Well, ...
    1 week ago
  • Generalist to specialist
    Both my parents are pretty handy – and they seem to have the right tools for most jobs in the garage and they know how to fix practically anything. A similar story could be told about their generation’s experience in the workforce – being a generalist was not unusual and ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • A “coincidence”
    When it was revealed that NZ First had tried to enrich itself from public office via the Provoncial Growth Fund, the Prime Minister assured us that everything was OK as Shane Jones, the Minister responsible for the fund, had recused himself. Except it seems that that recusal came very late ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day
    Today is a Member's Day, and probably the last one of the year. After the marathon of the End of Life Choice Act, most of the bills up for debate today are uncontentious. First up is the second reading of Chlöe Swarbrick's Election Access Fund Bill. This will be followed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Worse than I thought
    The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee has reported back on the government's odious and tyrannical control orders bill. As expected, the fraudulent select committee process has made no significant changes (partly because they couldn't agree, but mostly because it was a stitch-up from the start, with no intention of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The cannabis bill and the referendum
    Yesterday, the government released its draft Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill, which will be put to a non-binding referendum at the next election. I'm not a drug policy expert, but Russell Brown is, and he thinks its pretty good. And pretty obviously, it will be a massive improvement on the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: The Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill: pretty good so far
    As you're probably aware, the draft bill outlining the proposed legal cannabis regime to be put to a referendum late next year was published yesterday, and has already attracted a flurry of comment. It's notable that a good deal of the comment is about proposals that aren't actually new.A minimum ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Alignment
    One of the big problems in New Zealand climate change policy is the government working at cross-purposes with itself. It wants to reduce fossil fuel use, but encourages oil and gas exploration. It wants to reduce transport emissions, but then builds enormous new roads. The problem could be avoided if ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • How climate change will affect food production and security
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz According to the United Nations, food shortages are a threat ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • More bad faith
    Last year, the government announced it was ending offshore oil exploration by no longer issuing new permits. The idea was that the industry would then die off as permits expired. Except almost immediately the government revealed its bad faith, by saying they would extend permits and alter conditions to keep ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Banning foreign money from our elections
    The government has said it will ban foreign donations to political parties and candidates, and will be introducing legislation to be passed under all-stages urgency this afternoon. While I agree with the goal, I don't see a particular case for urgency, unless the government is concerned about a flood of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Reforming the Education Acts
    The government introduced the Education and Training Bill to Parliament yesterday. Its a massive bill, which replaces both existing Education Acts, as well as various other bits of legislation (including some which are still proceeding through the House). I'll leave the serious analysis to teachers and people who actually know ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Bite-sized learning
    Amelia SharmanThere’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to micro-credentials, those bits of bite-sized learning that can help workers stay on top of technological change.  What’s a micro-credential? While definitions vary, micro-credentials can be understood as short courses that allow people to learn new skills or have an existing competency recognised. ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • “Not The Labour Party We Once Knew.”
    All Smiles Now: Claire Szabo is taking up her presidential role after serving as the CEO of Habitat For Humanity. Which is absolutely perfect! After KiwiBuild was so comprehensively mismanaged by Phil Twyford, the party has not only elected a new president from a thoroughly respectable not-for-profit, but one who ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Marxist versus liberal methodology on transgender ideology/identity politics
    While much of the NZ left has transitioned to postmodern and identity politics in relation to transgender ideology, there are some very good articles about that deploy Marxist methodology in relation to this subject.  The one below is from the British marxist group Counterfire and appeared on their site here ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Book review: The Farm by Joanne Ramos
    by Daphna Whitmore At Golden Oaks, a luxurious country retreat in the Hudson Valley, pregnant women have the best care money can buy. From the organic food, personalised exercise programmes, private yoga instruction and daily massages Golden Oaks looks like a country lodge for the upper class. Set some time ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Loosening the purse strings
    When Labour was running for election in 2017, it felt it needed to demonstrate "fiscal responsibility" and signed itself up to masochistic "budget responsibility rules". It was a fool's errand: the sorts of voters who demand fiscal responsibility are also the sorts of voters who believe that labour can never ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: How to get there
    Writing in Stuff, Joel MacManus looks at what we need to do to meet the Zero Carbon Act's targets. The core of it:1. Convert 85 per cent of vehicles on the road to electric. 2. Eliminate fossil fuels from all industrial heating up to 300 degrees Celsius. 3. Double our ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • anti-vaxxers in a measles epidemic: so many ways to be untruthful
    “Anti-vaxers are a pro-death movement,” those comments from Dr Helen Petousis-Harris speaking about six more Measles related deaths in Samoa over the past twenty-four hours. “Anti-vaxers are a pro-death movement,” those comments from Dr Helen Petousis-Harris speaking about six more Measles related deaths in Samoa ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    2 weeks ago
  • Is Youth Vaping a Problem in New Zealand?
    Professors Janet Hoek and Richard Edwards, Emeritus Professor Phil Gendall, Jude Ball, Dr Judith McCool, Anaru Waa, Dr Becky Freeman Recent media reports have presented conflicting evidence on youth vaping in NZ. While some NZ school principals report concerns about increasing vaping on school grounds and confiscating vapes, ASH Year ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago

  • New partnership to boost screen sector job opportunities
    Auckland’s growing screen sector is the catalyst for a new partnership between the Ministry of Social Development and Auckland’s economic development agency Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED). The launch today at FilmFX in Henderson, is to celebrate the partnership which looks to capitalise on the social and economic development opportunities ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    9 hours ago
  • A minute’s silence for Whakaari White Island victims
    A minute’s silence will be observed at 2.11pm on Monday 16 December in honour of the victims of the Whakaari White Island eruption, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has confirmed. “Wherever you are in New Zealand, or around the world, this is a moment we can stand alongside those who have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    9 hours ago
  • NZ to help fund fight against measles in the Pacific region
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced New Zealand will contribute NZ$1 million of funding towards the joint United Nations Fund for Children (UNICEF) and World Health Organisation (WHO) Pacific Regional Action Plan for Measles.   “Prevention through vaccination is the most effective way of avoiding illness and a costly health emergency. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • New Zealand remembers Sir Peter Snell
    New Zealand is today remembering one of our true sporting heroes, triple Olympic gold medal winner Sir Peter Snell. “He was a legend, here and around the world,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “Our thoughts are with Sir Peter’s wife Miki and their family.” “Sir Peter is recognised as New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • PM congratulates Boris Johnson on election victory
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has congratulated United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson on his election victory.  “New Zealand and the United Kingdom are close friends and despite our distance we are strongly connected by our history and people,” Jacinda Ardern said.  “I look forward to continuing to work with Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Building a platform for the future of rail
    The Government has released its long term vision for a sustainable 21st Century rail network that gets our cities moving, connects our regions and gets more freight off the roads.   Deputy Prime Minister and State Owned Enterprises Minister Winston Peters said the Government is committed to rebuilding New Zealand’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Prime Minister statement Whakaari White Island recovery operation
    I want to start by acknowledging the families who have experienced such grief and such loss since the extraordinary tragedy on Monday. Today was all about reuniting them with their loved ones. We've just come from the airport where many of them were gathered and in amongst what you can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New Zealand medical specialists to provide further support to Samoa
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters today announced further support for Samoa’s longer term needs as it continues to respond to a devastating measles epidemic. “Samoa’s health system has experienced massive strain in the wake of the measles epidemic. The volume of patients needing care during this outbreak, and the number of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Discounted electric-bikes offered to public sector workers
    Discounted electric bikes will be offered up to public sector staff across the country as part of the Government’s work to reduce transport emissions and support healthier transport options.  Associate Minister of Transport Julie Anne Genter officially launched the new initiative at Wellington Hospital today.  “The Government has negotiated bulk-purchase ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Australia and New Zealand confirm joint bid for FIFA Women’s World Cup
    The Australian and New Zealand Governments today launch an historic joint bid to bring the FIFA Women’s World Cup to the Southern Hemisphere for the first time. Australian Minister for Youth and Sport, Richard Colbeck and New Zealand Minister for Sport and Recreation Grant Robertson will announce the bold campaign, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Blackwater gold mine gets PGF boost
    The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) has approved a $15 million loan to help re-establish a gold mining operation at Blackwater Gold Mine, near Reefton, Rural Communities Minister and local MP Damien O’Connor announced at an event on the West Coast today. “This is great news for the Coast that could ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Papakāinga model inspires whānau well-being
    Papakāinga model inspires whānau well-being A housing project by Kohupātiki whānau in Hastings is an outstanding example of a Māori-led housing initiative that can reduce financial pressure and reconnect whānau to their whakapapa says the Minister for Māori Development Hon Nanaia Mahuta.  Minister Mahuta officially opened the Aroha Te Rangi ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government provides more funding for major community wetland restoration project
    Restoration efforts for a significant wetland in the Hawke’s Bay are getting more support announced Associate Minister for the Environment Eugenie Sage. “Wetlands are vital to healthy landscapes and ecosystems. They function as nature’s ‘kidneys’, filtering and protecting water quality, acting as nature’s sponges after rain and are home to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Housing First to help Nelson Tasman homeless
    Nelson has today seen the launch of Housing First Nelson Tasman. Today’s launch marks the expansion of the Government’s homelessness programme, Housing First, to the top of the South Island. “Housing First is a proven programme that puts people who are experiencing homelessness and multiple, high and complex needs into ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New funding to support Environment Centres working for sustainable local solutions
    New Government funding announced today will help communities make a difference in tackling environmental issues Associate Minister for the Environment Eugenie Sage announced in Hawkes Bay today. The Ministry for the Environment’s Community Environment Fund is dedicating $243,101 to growing the capacity and capability of the Environment Hubs Aotearoa’s (EHA) ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government takes bite out of loan sharks
    The days of vulnerable consumers falling victim to loan sharks, truck shops and other predatory lenders are numbered, following the Credit Contracts Legislation Amendment Bill passing its third reading tonight. “Too many Kiwis are being given loans that are unaffordable and unsuitable, trapping them in debt and leaving their families ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand safer as Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders Bill) becomes law
    A Bill that prevents terrorism and supports the de-radicalisation of New Zealanders returning from overseas has passed its third reading, Justice Minister Andrew Little says. The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill is a carefully targeted response to manage the risk posed by a small number of New Zealanders who have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Foreign Minister and Pacific Peoples Minister to visit Samoa
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio will travel to Samoa on Friday, where New Zealand medical teams are helping Samoa respond to an outbreak of measles. “New Zealand has been working closely with the Government of Samoa and offering our assistance from the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Pastoral Care Code will support tertiary students in 2020
    The Government has changed the law to improve student safety and welfare in university halls of residence and other student accommodation. The Education (Pastoral Care) Amendment Bill passed its third reading this afternoon and details of an interim Code of Practice setting out the Government’s expectations of tertiary providers have also been released. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New infrastructure funding tool to build housing developments faster
    A new tool to help councils fund and finance infrastructure could mean some housing developments happen a decade earlier than currently planned, Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford said today. “This new tool, developed by the Government in partnership with industry and high-growth councils, will allow councils to access private debt ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Vision to unite the primary sector launched today
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has welcomed the release of a bold new vision for the country’s vital food and fibre sector. “I’m delighted that New Zealand’s major farmer and grower organisations are today supporting the Primary Sector Council’s vision – Fit for a Better World,” he said. “The international consumers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • NZ congratulates PNG and Autonomous Bougainville Government on referendum
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has congratulated the Government of Papua New Guinea and the Autonomous Bougainville Government for completing a well-conducted referendum on the future political status of Bougainville. “New Zealand supported the referendum process by providing technical advice through the New Zealand Electoral Commission and leading a Regional Police ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Next steps for Upper North Island logistics
    In light of Cabinet’s position that freight operations on prime land in downtown Auckland are no longer viable, the Government will now embark on a short work programme to enable decision-making in the first half of next year, Associate Transport Minister Shane Jones says. Minister Jones is today releasing the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Surgical mesh restorative justice report received
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter has received the report back from a surgical mesh restorative justice process undertaken by Victoria University. The process heard stories, either in person or online submission, from more than 600 people affected by surgical mesh. “The report made for heart-breaking and confronting reading,” says ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • The Water Services Regulator Bill – Taumata Arowai a milestone for drinking water safety
    The Water Services Regulator Bill – Taumata Arowai , introduced to Parliament today, is a milestone for drinking water safety in New Zealand and will help improve environmental outcomes for urban waterways, rivers and lakes.  “This is a breakthrough for New Zealanders in terms of providing safe drinking water throughout ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Speech to new direction for criminal justice reform announcement
    Kia ora koutouE ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā matā wakaTēnā koutou katoaHaere ngā, moe maiKoutou ma ngā Rangatira Ko Anaru ahauKo au te Minita mo ngā TureHe Honore tino nui kei roto I ahau No reira tena koutou katoa Today, we are releasing two reports that are the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New direction for criminal justice reform
    The Government is looking to turn around the long-term challenges of criminal justice by taking a new approach to break the cycle of offending to ensure there are fewer victims of crime. Justice Minister Andrew Little released two reports today, Turuki! Turuki! from Te Uepū Hāpai I te Ora, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New law sets up $300m Venture Capital Fund
    New Zealand firms expanding beyond the start-up phase are set for more support after today’s passage of the Venture Capital Fund Bill, Associate Finance Minister David Parker said. The Bill, which establishes a $300 million Venture Capital Fund, puts in place a key initiative of the Wellbeing Budget’s economic package. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand’s National Statement to COP25
    E ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā iwi, e ngā rau rangatira mā. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa. Señora Presidenta, Excellencies, Delegates. International action A common thread that runs through the Paris Agreement is the commitment we have made to each other to do what we can to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • $12 billion in extra infrastructure investment
    The Government is lifting capital investment to the highest level in more than 20 years as it takes the next step to future-proof New Zealand. Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced $12 billion of new investment, with $8 billion for specific capital projects and $4 billion to be added to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Strong economy, careful spending gives $12bn of surpluses
    The Government is forecast to run $12 billion worth of surpluses across the four years to 2023/24 as the economy continues to grow. The surpluses will help fund day-to-day capital requirements each year. These include fixing leaky hospitals, building new classrooms to cover population growth and take pressure off class ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Priorities for 2020 Wellbeing Budget outlined
    Budget 2020 will continue the Coalition Government’s focus on tackling the long-term challenges facing New Zealand while also investing to future-proof the economy. When the Government took office in 2017 it was left with crumbling infrastructure, severe underinvestment in public services, degraded rivers and lakes, a housing crisis and rising ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Minister welcomes data-rich coastline mapping tool
    The Minister responsible for the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Act 2011 (te Takutai Moana Act 2011), Andrew Little has welcomed the launch of an online geospatial tool that provides data-rich, dynamic coastline maps that will significantly boost research and evidence-gathering under the Act. Te Kete Kōrero a Te ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Chief Victims Advisor reappointed for a further two years
    The Chief Victims Advisor to Government Dr Kim McGregor, QSO, has been reappointed in her role for a further two years. Dr McGregor has held the role since it was established in November 2015. She provides independent advice to government on how to improve the criminal justice system for victims. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand tsunami monitoring and detection system to be established
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Civil Defence Minister Peeni Henare have today announced the deployment of a network of DART (Deep-ocean Assessment and Reporting of Tsunami) buoys. “New Zealand and the Pacific region are particularly vulnerable to natural disasters. It is vital we have adequate warning systems in place,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • DART Buoys Announcement
    DART Buoys Announcement Aotea Wharf, 9.30am 11 December 2019   Acknowledgements Acknowledgements to Minister for Civil Defence Hon Peeni Henare also here today. White Island It is with regret that this event shadows the tragic natural disaster two days ago. The volcanic eruptions on White Island have claimed 5 lives, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Final steps for racing industry reform
    Racing Minister Winston Peters has welcomed the first reading of the Racing Industry Bill in parliament today. This is the second of two Bills that have been introduced this year to revitalise New Zealand’s racing industry. “Our domestic racing industry has been in serious decline.  The Government is committed to ...
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