Fixing the reserve bank

Written By: - Date published: 1:14 pm, April 29th, 2014 - 32 comments
Categories: act, don brash, Economy, labour - Tags:

It has been pretty obvious for quite some time to most people that the Reserve Bank system that NZ uses needs fixing. The way it operates right now is pretty ludicrous. The economy heats up for any reason, the Reserve Bank detects a forthcoming threat to the inflation rate, they put up the OCR which in turn pushes up interest rates and dampens out the local demand that drives local inflation.

So far so good. But it doesn’t end there and only a simpleton (Don Brash comes to mind) would think that it did. Problem is that we live wide open and exposed to the world.

So having high real interest rates in a relatively stable country gives a few other effects. Hot money roars into the country looking for something to buy. It discovers relatively risk-free property and prosperous companies. It buys those and on the way through it manages to kickstart more inflation by pushing more money into the economy for consumption. The level of hot money looking for a quiet home also drags the exchange rates up thereby pricing our exports off world markets.

Gordon Campbell on Labour’s new monetary policy:-

The main dimension of Labour’s policy is to offer an alternative to the current reliance on interest rate hikes; mainly, by requiring higher contributions to Kiwisaver, as an inflation fighting tool.

We’re going to give the Reserve Bank another mechanism, which is a variable savings rate through KiwiSaver. The Reserve Bank will be able to keep its inflation anchor but instead of that money being lost to you in higher interest rates it will go into your savings. The benefit for the export sector is instead of jacking up interest rates and pushing up the exchange rate you will still control inflation but you’ll have lower interest rates and a better exchange rate.” Mr Parker said it would apply to working people but it would consider excluding those on the lowest incomes.

Right. Instead of paying higher interest rates to Aussie-owned banks and seeing those profits flow offshore, the Labour plan would channel those funds into domestic savings, and take a lot of the current speculator-driven pressure off the exchange rate. Even at the highest rates of Kiwisaver contributions envisaged by Labour, as Guyon Espiner pointed out on RNZ this morning, this would still be well below the level of compulsory superannuation contributions in Australia.

What does this mean for wage earners? Well No Right Turn takes the downside of it.

Which, combined with their universal Kiwisaver policy means that their “solution” to inflation is automatic universal wage cuts. So, when prices are rising, ordinary people will have less money in their pockets to pay for stuff. Thanks, Labour!

And this is exactly right. However that is exactly how you have to control inflation. The best way to stifle inflation is that you remove money for immediate consumption from the economy. In the old Reserve Bank way, this would mean higher interest rates. In this case through enforced savings, as he acknowledges.

Its a bit more complicated than that, of course, in that savers will get their money back in the long run. What it really does is redirect money from higher mortgage payments to an Aussie bank to your future self. But the immediate effect is the same: less money in people’s pockets while prices are rising. And the effect will be felt most by those who do not contribute to the problem: young people without mortgages. Somehow I don’t think they’ll be thanking Labour for this policy.

But just as importantly, for those younger people it will keep mortgage rates down and has a pretty good chance at least partially constraining the property bubble over the longer term.

Now as an aside Gordon Campbell points out the interesting political consequences of this.

English’s comments were a reminder of what has been a largely hidden dimension of this year’s election strategising. Clearly, a high exchange rate serves the political interests of the Key government, by protecting it from the immediate fallout from a lower exchange rate: which would include, for example, higher petrol prices at the pump, and higher prices for consumables. Most voters are consumers, not exporters – and thus, keeping the dollar aloft serves as a form of Muldoonist economic populism that John Key and Bill English seem very happy to embrace. Cheaper imports underpin spending in the local economy. (On the side, it also makes the imported component of our exports that much cheaper.)

So far, so good, so unsustainable. In a modern economy, no country can afford to put the interests of consumers ahead of its exporters, long term. At 85 cents to the US dollar, the pain currently being inflicted on our exporters is such that it exceeds any gains in efficiency they’ve been forced to make in order to survive. Sooner or later, the government is going to have to look beyond its own short term political interests, and start to govern in the interests of the country. For now – and just as it has done with respect to the age of superannuation entitlement – Labour is playing the role of the unwelcome guest that has to remind voters that the current policy settings cannot endure. In the old fable, the grasshoppers were more popular – but the ants had the better strategies for survival.

You don’t need to tell me that. For the last couple of decades I’ve worked most of the time in tech companies that do more than 90% of their sales offshore. One of the biggest problem has been the complete instability of the NZ currency compared to almost all of our trading partners. It helps a little on components but most local cost is in wages. But the instability of the currency is such that it often better to push the production offshore so the costs components and relatively unskilled labour don’t vary as much as they do in NZ, while keeping the skilled designers here. That way you keep most of your production risk in stable currencies (ie not the NZD), which are usually the same ones you are paid in like USD.

Your designers are paid local wages and have a low risk exposure to the exchange rate. But for designers to lose touch with the production systems means that eventually the imperative to move more of them offshore gets higher as well. So we lose another company.

But as those damn late night ads used to say “but there’s more”. No Right Turn again…

The non-headline stuff is where the real meat in the policy is. First, amending the Reserve Bank’s purpose to manage the balance of payments. There’s a consensus on the left that there needs to be some amendment, but whether it should include employment, the exchange rate or the balance of payments is disputed. Whichever it ends up as, it means the Reserve Bank will have to think about the consequences of its interventions, and should stop them from Brashing the economy to target a single part of it.

The head of the reanimated corpse of Brash should now be spinning furiously along with those fools from ACT who are into simplicity (because they can’t handle the real world). Having to deal with more than one objective! We don’t want to burden the poor economists at the RB with too much to consider. However looking the balance of payments is pretty good. It includes the exchange rate and the export economy.

Secondly, there’s a commitment to “[take] the pressure off the Reserve Bank’s OCR by using government policy to address the sources of inflation in the non-tradable sector”. I suspect this is the bit which is going to be doing all the heavy lifting. The core drivers of inflation are house and electricity prices, and Labour has strong policies to target both (Kiwibuild and a capital gains tax; NZPower). Deflating the housing market by taxing the crap out of speculators and increasing supply to the people who need it should remove the need for the Reserve Bank to intervene in the first place. So we might not need their economic sadomasochism after all.

The do-nothing government movement loses its do-nothing figleaf because it is cannot shove everything off to the Reserve Bank. They’re effectively now concerned with the exterior economy. The government becomes largely responsible for the rigidities of internal economy. That is a pretty good mix.

Of course it does rather leave up in the air the ability of MPs to take on the task. Currently I can’t think of many in the current National or Labour with a good track record of solving structural blockages locally. In fact the only one I can think of offhand is David Cunliffe with the Telecom breakup.

32 comments on “Fixing the reserve bank”

  1. Colonial Viper 1

    And this is exactly right. However that is exactly how you have to control inflation. The best way to stifle inflation is that you remove money for immediate consumption from the economy.

    Don’t think so, you are only looking at one side of the equation. Under this system the poor get hit when inflation is running high and their benefits/minimum wage does not keep up. But to keep inflation low you hit the poor by taking money out of their income so they can’t spend it. So they get hit over and over again.

    Now lets look at a historical example. In the 1950’s and 1960’s workers incomes were increasing rapidly such that there was a new burgeoning middle class with increasing incomes, much better off per capita than ever before.

    BUT no rampant inflation? Why? Because the other factor which controls inflation is productivity of manufacturing, competitiveness of supply and having spare productive capacity on hand to soak up increased demand.

    So let’s get serious about what the current style of inflation control is all about. It’s about rationing downwards the amount of products and services that the poor are permitted to access, while preserving the buying power of those sitting on lots of capital.

    Which is very useful in a world of depleting resources where the 0.1% are very concerned that their paper wealth might suddenly not be worth more than the sheets it is printed on.

    • lprent 1.1

      BUT no rampant inflation? Why? Because the other factor which controls inflation is productivity of manufacturing, competitiveness of supply and having spare productive capacity on hand to soak up increased demand.

      Mostly there were a whole lot of kids. If you ever look at the economics of the 50s-60s in NZ what you find are immense building programmes for thing like schools, suburbs, roads, etc as people poured into the cities and had children. At a family you find the same thing with fridges, washing machines, rumpus rooms, etc. Damn near every country that wasn’t in abject poverty had a population boom after WW2, and it lasted to the 70s.

      Most of the time the capacity was literally built just in time to satisfy the demand. And of course we had some obvious labour supply rationing. Few women worked but a lot of them could and often did. They went out and worked whenever the wages got good enough.

      Plus of course we and most countries had closely controlled currencies and licensing for imports. They were effectively partially sealed at the borders. That meant that if you look at the balance of payments for NZ in the 50s and 60s they were small compared to the rest of the economy. They aren’t now because we’re now a full-blown trading economy.

      In the current rapidly greying world of those kids from the 50s and 60s in most developed world from the US to China, and with few constraints on the transfers of money, then what you have is excess savings sloshing around the world looking for a reasonably safe place to land.

      The population is pretty stable compared to the rate of growth we had back then. We could try more immigration as a system. But we have problems fulfilling our current limits when competing with other locations.

      If we locked our borders, then it will take us at least 20 years to develop a internal economy to replace the external trading. Basically we’d have to do a more gentile version of year zero in 1979 cambodia.

      • Colonial Viper 1.1.1

        So you know what is weird about what you just wrote?

        So in the 50’s and 60’s there was a big boom in the number of kids, lots of building activity, families feeling wealthier and spending it on homes and things for the home, the economy barely keeping up with spending demand, lots of trade barriers…YET (and this is my point) no skyrocketing inflation, no excessive profiteering, no tolerated price gauging.

        This is what I mean. A productive economy which makes stuff, is competitive, and is happy to supply the necessities of life to ordinary people without making a gouging profit margin on everything, limits inflation perfectly well.

        Further, you describe how there is all this excess global hot money looking for places to invest and cause asset price hikes. Agreed. Yet instead of causing that global capital pain in order to control price increases we’ve decided once again to target the pain at workers and the poor.

        It’s not good enough.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 1.1.1.1

          Wait a sec. If the reform is going to reduce incentives for capital gain and speculation in favour of investment in manufacturing and “human resources”* how will that kill the poor? Please forgive my ignorance.

          *Will someone bring me the head of the person who coined that atrocious blather?

        • lprent 1.1.1.2

          If you know some magic way to get people to breed, then do so. The nearest we ever got to it in my adult lifetime was after working for families started kicking in.

          The point I was making was that you get very limited inflation when there is a pretty specific long term process of infrastructure investment in a relatively closed economy because it is relatively easy for the government to speed up or defer investment. It is damn hard to do the same after the infrastructure has been built because most of what is built is of limited economic value (think “Think Big”). It is also very hard to do when you don’t have barriers to the economy (we don’t). It is also very very hard to do when you don’t have the required industry in place to build it (just look at how hard it is to concentrate a build force for ChCh – would have been a trivial task 40 years ago). It’d take 20 years to put the latter back into place.

          In the meantime we’ve hit the end of the utility of the OCR for inflation control. They’re extending to toolkit to compulsory savings which over the longer term and with the greying population is going to benefit most of those who have to do it. The alternative is to raise OCR rates and for people not to save and to see the money flow out of the country. Which do you think is the worse of those two alternatives?

          I haven’t seen anything else that I’d consider more effective way of retaining that capital in NZ.

  2. greywarbler 2

    cv
    You might have cracked it there.

  3. Disraeli Gladstone 3

    To me, NRT is right in saying that it’s the younger generations that are going to be hit by compulsory Kiwisaver with the potential for rising contribution rates. Not only are they not really part of the problem with having no mortgages, they’ll also be wanting to pay off their student loans as well. Interest free or not, a student loan is becoming more and more of a shackle and graduates should be allowed to have the choice of using their savings to pay off their loans.

    Ugh. I like the less flashy part of Labour’s policies, but I could really only support a compulsory Kiwisaver with various exceptions for people struggling and for students with debt.

    • Naturesong 3.1

      Easy fix.

      Invest in New Zealand;
      Scrap student loans and make education free for New Zealanders again.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 3.1.1

        +∞

      • Disraeli Gladstone 3.1.2

        Agreed.

        But we all know Labour won’t do that, sadly.

        • Lanthanide 3.1.2.1

          I think it’s proper that a student loan, which allows for education that benefits both the individual and the community, is paid for by both the individual and the community.

          I think the current scheme is about right.

          • Colonial Viper 3.1.2.1.1

            Good if you study something which corporate money values Lanth. The things that society really needs to prosper – an understanding of theatre, language, literature, music, all those things can go into the financial bin.

            • Disraeli Gladstone 3.1.2.1.1.1

              Exactly. University has become a way to get a job. Which is fine, for some. However, university should also still be about education and becoming a well-rounded person. And as we make education more market-oriented, we move further and further away from that ideal.

              It’s also all well and good for a bunch of middle-aged politicians and pundits to talk about “proper” when we all got our education for free.

              • McFlock

                the other point is that ongoing training also has value for the coutry as well as the individual, not just a one-off degree. Placing a maximum on loans is stupid, from that perspective.

                • Disraeli Gladstone

                  Oh, I agree. I said in the other thread for this policy that of all National’s policy for their last two terms, the restriction on adult learners is the worst. Asset sales are flashy and emotional, but hitting people’s ability to retrain in an evolving world is downright cruel.

                  • blue leopard

                    +100 Disraeli Gladstone

                    Although I think that the way those on welfare have been treated is worse […yet there is even more likelihood of getting stuck on welfare if you can’t afford to retrain….]

          • One Anonymous Bloke 3.1.2.1.2

            Yes, no overt right-wing narrative going on here at all, move along.

            “Proper” gave you away, Lanth. Fuck your proper, what works (pick any reliable measure you want) best?

          • McFlock 3.1.2.1.3

            But a loan reduces the incentive to get the education – funny how the articipation rate in tertiary education rate is falling.

            Great for the knowledge economy, that /sarc

  4. Ray 4

    Well I that it is an interesting way to control inflation and it is time we had a conversation about that possible problem
    All that lowering the dollar will do is put more money in farmers and export business pockets, ok a lifted tax rate will maybe fix that but the rest of us face lifted costs thanks to fuel prices
    It was all very well David Parker saying fuel prices are based on oil prices but they will only go up if our dollar has to fall in relation to the US $ and the Greens Peak Oil arrives at the same time

    Not sure how compulsory saving for old age is going to help those on hard low wage jobs especially if the age to get it keeps on rising

  5. aerobubble 5

    Trish Sherson, from ACT, said that its good that housing and the dollar are over priced, totally ignoring the GFC that crashed economies with high debt, high house prices. Its truly imagination that sees anyone commenting on the economy who then totally ignores the printing that is actually pushing up demand in our economy. Demand that needs exchange in return, that has kept our low value primary goods flying offshore. Our economy is not strong, we’re just temporary meat to chew on until the world economy fixes itself, and then we are in for one almighty collapse (as other timber, milk, etc gets flowing) and on top Key’s running up government debt, just icing on the avalanche. So for Trish Sherson to say on Politics on Nine to Noon, that our economy is string is just so dull and boring, as well as not true.

    And now this, http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA1404/S00405/parker-wrong-nine-times-in-one-interview.htm. Clearly National have no clue they think our current growth from the bottom of the GFC is a good look, when anyone with an ounce of economic credibility is worried about the diaster Key is heading us for. They never were forced to declare the reasons why the GFC happened so low and behold they now can smarmy the spin and ignore its effects for the last six years.

    Unless we start clawing some of the profit back into savings, switch out of the low commodity economy into a high value economy, unless we disincentives sloth in our managing classes and re-educated them about the wider effects of the global economy. Its banking collapse would be a good starting point….

  6. Tangled_up 6

    “What it really does is redirect money from higher mortgage payments to an Aussie bank to your future self. But the immediate effect is the same: less money in people’s pockets while prices are rising. And the effect will be felt most by those who do not contribute to the problem: young people without mortgages.”

    With the current system does the cost of higher mortgage rates not get passed onto young people without mortgages (renters) also?

    • With the current system does the cost of higher mortgage rates not get passed onto young people without mortgages (renters) also?

      Very diffusely. There are long lag-times due to fixed mortgages and the Residential Tenancies Act, and many older rental properties are freehold anyway, meaning that they’re simply not affected. Which acts as a check on the ability of others to recoup their increased costs. Whereas variable mortgage rates go up within a week.

    • You_Fool 6.2

      Yes, but in a less transparent manner. Rent prices are “market based” and are therefore theoretically don’t rise and fall with interest rates.

      Of course in real life interest rates go up, rents go up. Rates come down rents stay the same until next time rates go up.

  7. blue leopard 7

    Thanks for this article lprent,

    Like others have commented (on other threads) it is pretty hard to get one’s head around financial policies and their ramifications and you have provided some explanation on these matters.

    I hope you do more of the same. 🙂

  8. Huginn 8

    Thanks for this
    I’ve noticed that National’s open support for a high exchange rate seems to be shifting to the centre of their economic strategy. They really need to be called out on it.

  9. Ad 9

    Everyone in an armchair wants structural change.

    The political sweet spot is to find structural change that people like.

    I wouldn’t go any further than they have on this- the one structural shift I think Labour is capable of doing (inside the caucus they have) is housing. Meaning: shifting New Zealanders into investing away from housing and towards more productive assets, while supporting more housing being built. They will use a wide range of tools and incentives, but they are as close to a sweet spot as they are going to get.

    It hits in the centre of the tennis raquet of bourgoeise mortgage belts, political and financial banking commentariat, MSM commentators (so far), and likely coalition supporters.

    Our addiction to housing as a form of capital is the one structural shift they can and should make in a first term.

    • Colonial Viper 9.1

      Our addiction to housing as a form of capital acceptable as financial collateral is the one structural shift they can and should make in a first term.

      Just clarifying. However I don’t think that this can be done in one term as it is the retail banks which gives housing the financial prominence it has, and they do that because of how profitable fuelling housing asset price bubbles is to them.

      • Ad 9.1.1

        Check how much the low-end mortgage market has shifted in just one quarter.
        This is pushing through an open door.

  10. captain hook 10

    check out tranny whipped paul henry using his gig on tv3 to push the national party barrow. he mouthing off about being forced to save but he doesn’t have the mental equipment to understand about being forced to give money to banks. you know, shifty’s mates. he is just another dweeb who needs money to make himself feel like he is somebody when all he is is a big mouth almighty with too much stuff.

  11. lurgee 11

    Not exactly germane, but I’ve always been in favour of compulsory Kiwisaver, and that a iwisaver account should be set up for every New Zealander at birth, with a government contribution, to establish something like the idea Tom Paine outlined in Agrarian Justice – a payment to every citizen on reaching maturity.

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    I've got one source saying more Labour MPs than expected are mulling whether to vote for the deal - including names who were not on the letter to Juncker and Tusk— Emilio Casalicchio (@e_casalicchio) 17 October 2019 I've compiled a list of possible reasons why Labour ...
    6 days ago
  • Why do we need control orders again?
    On Wednesday, the government was loudly telling us that it needed to legislate to allow it to impose "control orders" - effectively a parole regime, but imposed without charge, prosecution, conviction or real evidence - on suspected terrorists because they couldn't be prosecuted for their supposed crimes. Today, it turns ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Bullshitting the Minister
    On Monday, the Hit and Run inquiry heard from NZDF's former director of special operations, who claimed that the defence Minister knew everything about the Operation Burnham raid. Today, the inquiry heard from that (former) Minister - and it turns out that he didn't know nearly as much as NZDF ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Speaker: Extinction Rebellion is not a cult (but ecstasy for the people)
    Yoga gurus and cult leaders – I’ve seen a few. Two weeks ago, I unknowingly joined an alleged new-age cult at the Kāpiti coast, together with a giant kraken and some neatly dressed pensioners who would make any book club proud.They were among the two hundred people of all ages ...
    6 days ago
  • We need to bring the police under control
    The last decade has seen a trend of increasing weapons availability to police. Assault rifles. Tasers on every hip. Guns in cars. And following the march 15 massacre, pistols on every hip, all over the country. At the same time, its also seen an increase in the abuse of force: ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • If you can’t measure it, does it exist?
    In the last couple of weeks, I’ve been busy preparing for our summer paper on Science Communication. Looking for something amusing about ‘risk’ in science, I came across this neat xkcd.com cartoon about why so many people come knocking on my door (or phoning me, or emailing me) desperately wanting ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    6 days ago
  • Swinson’s swithering
    Jo Swinson is doing even worse at this Being Sensible lark that I'd thought.  I've just become aware of the following utterance
    .@KayBurley presses Lib Dem leader @joswinson on whether she would agree to a #Brexit deal 'no matter how bad a deal it is' as long as it had ...
    6 days ago
  • Women’s rights, trans ideology and Gramsci’s morbid symptoms
    by John Edmundson The International Socialist Organisation (ISO) have recently reposted a February article, by Romany Tasker-Poland, explaining ISO’s position in the “trans rights” debate.  It is available on their website and on their Facebook Page.  The article sets out to explain why “socialists support trans rights”.  It reads more ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    7 days ago
  • We need to take guns off police
    Today's IPCA report of police criminality: a police officer unalwfully tasered a fleeing suspect who posed no threat to anyone:The police watchdog has found an officer unlawfully tasered an Auckland man who broke his ankle jumping off a balcony to escape arrest. [...] To avoid arrest, the man jumped over ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • “Bringing kindness back”
    "Auckland City Mission: 10% of Kiwis experiencing food insecurity", RNZ, 16 October 2019:About half a million people are experiencing food insecurity, according to new research from the Auckland City Mission. Food insecurity, or food poverty, is defined as not having enough appropriate food. The City Mission said over the last ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Press Release: “Fake News” from Auckland City Council CCOs Board Chairs re pay and performance b...
    Media Statement for Immediate Release 16th October 2019 “Fake News” from Auckland City Council CCOs Board Chairs re pay and performance bonuses for top managers Despite comments from Auckland City Council CCOs Board Chairs re pay and performance bonuses for top managers—Herald Newspaper Tuesday Oct 15th–there is very little evidence ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    7 days ago
  • Ever-So-Slightly Bonkers: Simon Bridges Plays To His Base.
    Would You Buy A Used Propaganda Video From This Man? Bridges and the National Party’s strategists have discovered that the ideas and attitudes considered acceptable by today’s editors and journalists are no longer enforceable. The rise and rise of the Internet and the social media platforms it spawned means that ...
    7 days ago
  • Asking for food
    There is plenty of evidence of the way the business mentality has permeated every level of society since the recrudescence of market liberalism 35 years ago. You only need to think of how citizens in need of help from their government, their state, their country, are now routinely described as ...
    Opposable ThumbBy Unknown
    7 days ago
  • Forty years of change in the jobs Kiwi do and the places they call home
    John MacCormick Over the last 40 years, New Zealanders – and people in other countries – have experienced big changes in the jobs they do and where they live and work. These changes include: a decline in manufacturing jobs an increase in jobs in ‘information-intensive’ industries (which are better paid ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    7 days ago
  • Protecting Fresh Waterways in Aotearoa/NZ: The Strong Public Health Case
    Nick Wilson, Leah Grout, Mereana Wilson, Anja Mizdrak, Phil Shoemack, Michael Baker Protecting waterways has the benefits of: (1) protecting water from hazardous microbes; (2) minimising cancer risk and other problems from nitrates in water; (3) avoiding algal blooms that are hazardous to health; (4) protecting mahinga kai uses (cultural ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Massey University triggered to rebrand
    by The Council of Disobedient Women In a press release today Massey University announced it has decided to rebrand and reorientate after struggling to be a University for grown-ups. For some time the University has wanted to be a safe play space for wee-woke-misogynists who have been really badly triggered ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Swinson backing calls for a second referendum (again)
    After a brief dalliance with 'hard Revoke' it looks like the Lib Dems are changing ground on on Brexit, with leader Jo Swinson reverting to calling for a second referendum on Johnson's deal.The party has tabled an amendment to the Queen’s speech requesting that any deal brought back from Brussels ...
    1 week ago
  • An odious bill
    The government has decided that someone has done Something Bad. But despite their belief, there seems to be no evidence that they have actually broken the law. So the government's solution is to pass a retrospective law allowing them to be punished anyway, on a lower standard of proof. If ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • National is now the party of climate arson
    So, Judith Collins has done a Facebook rant about climate change, peddling the same shit National has been shovelling for the past twenty years: the impacts are overstated, there's no need to do anything about it, and its too hard anyway (oh, and its so unfair that people who peddle ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The environmental footprint of electric versus fossil car
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz There is a lot of discussion on the benefits of ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • “Manifest” by Andrew Bird – A Song For The Times.
    I came across this song quite by accident. If it isn't one of Greta Thunberg's favourites - it should be.Video courtesy of YouTube.This post is exclusive to Bowalley Road. ...
    1 week ago
  • Passing the buck
    Last month, NZDF's shoddy coverup of what it knew about civilian casualties in Operation Burnham began to fall apart, with the revelation that a report on the matter, which NZDF claimed not to have, had been sitting in an NZDF safe for the past nine years. Yesterday, the man responsible ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • India a major player in Earth observation satellites
    While many imagine that countries like the USA and Europe dominate space activities, in fact India is now a major player on this stage. It launches satellites for its own purposes and also commercially, and has constellations orbiting our planet and returning data of vital importance to that nation in ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    1 week ago
  • The rot at the top (2).
    Thanks to a report from the Acting Inspector General of Intelligence and Security following a complaint by Nicky Hager, we have come to find out that the SIS illegally spied on Mr. Hager on behalf of the NZDF after publication of Hager’s 2011 book, Other People’s Wars. The NZDF justified ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Common misconceptions about “Global Warming”
    COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT GLOBAL WARMING MYTH 1: Global temperatures are rising at a rapid, unprecedented rate. FACT: The HadCRUT3 surface temperature index, produced by the Hadley Centre of the UK Met Office and the Climate Research Unit of the University of East Anglia, shows warming to 1878, cooling to 1911, ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    1 week ago
  • A climate of tyranny
    For the past week, Extinction Rebellion has been peacefully protesting in London to demand action on climate change. The British government's response? Ban their protests:Police have banned Extinction Rebellion protests from continuing anywhere in London, as they moved in almost without warning to clear protesters who remained at the movement’s ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Collins crushes climate
    An essay by Judith Collins MP reported on Carbon News yesterday seems to show an alarming shift in attitude within the National Party. Collins argues against the Zero Carbon Bill, the Paris Agreement, and downplays the magnitude of climate impacts. The Paris Agreement was adopted in December 2015 and ratified ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    1 week ago
  • More disappointment
    When they were running for election, Labour promised to overhaul the Employment Relations Act and introduce fair pay agreements to set basic pay and conditions on an industry level, preventing bad employers from undercutting good ones. They followed this up by establishing a working group, which reported back in January ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • What do these mother-child studies really say about fluoridation?
    A list of indicators of bad science – many of these are found in articles promoted by anti-fluoride activists. Anti-fluoride activists have been pouring money into a scaremongering campaign warning pregnant women not to drink fluoridated water. They claim fluoride will lower the IQ of their future child. Fluoride ...
    1 week ago
  • Losing Labour’s Mills-Tone.
    Nothing Left To Say: Labour's pollster, Stephen Mills, remains swaddled-up in the comforting myths of the 1980s. As if the experience of Roger Douglas’s genuinely radical post-Muldoon policy agenda was literally a once-in-a-lifetime thing – as much as the party could possibly absorb for at least the next 50 years.MEMO ...
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Disability and the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse
    The Royal Commission on abuse in care is very significant for the disability community. For many decades last century, thousands of disabled children, and adults who managed to survive, were locked away from families and communities. This was not for anything they had done, but for the perceived threat their ...
    1 week ago
  • Spain is not a democracy
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • UK Conservatives hate democracy
    With an unfair voting system, uneven electorates and an un-elected upper house, the UK's "democracy" is barely worthy of the name. But now the government wants to make it worse:The government has been accused of suppressing voters’ rights with the potential disenfranchisement of tens of thousands of people after plans ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • What is wrong with our building industry?
    Back in the 90's and early 2000's, the building industry was building leaky homes which should never have been granted consent. Now it turns out they've been building dodgy office blocks as well:New imaging technology has revealed hundreds of major buildings nationwide have defective or missing concrete or reinforcing steel. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Local bodies
    Local body election results were released over the weekend, to joy or despair depending on where you live. In Auckland, Phil Goff trounced John Tamihere, who is muttering darkly about running for Parliament again (but which party would want him?) Wellington is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Weta Workshop, except ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A future of government
      How could government evolve over the next decades? Reports of democracy’s imminent demise are greatly exaggerated.  However, satisfaction with political systems in many countries is low, so there is much to do for governments of all political stripes to improve relevance and trust. Digital technologies are seen as one ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    2 weeks ago
  • Speaker: Catalonia, interrupted
    Two years have now gone by since the Friday afternoon when my university-student son and I headed out of our Barcelona flat to a nearby primary school, designated as a polling station for the vote that was to be held the following Sunday: the referendum on Catalonia’s independence from Spain ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Sage Decisions Unwisely Over-Ruled.
    Overruled: The joint decision of Finance Minister, Grant Robertson (Labour) and his Associate Minister, David Parker (Labour) arguably the two most powerful ministers in Jacinda Ardern’s government, to grant OceanaGold the consents which Land Information Minister, Eugenie Sage (Greens) had earlier denied them, offers bitter proof of how hard fighting ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government may ban voting in effort to get more people to do it
    More than double the number of people who will vote in this year’s local body elections have tried marijuana or urinated somewhere they shouldn’t have. As local elections look set for the lowest turnout in decades, with many regions falling well short of 40%, the Government is exploring a number ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Woman: Deleted.
    A Statement on Abortion Law Reform by the Council of Disobedient Women   On the eve of bringing an end to antiquated, anti-women abortion laws Green MP Jan Logie intends to write women out of the Bill. With a stroke of the pen, the woke are aiming for total erasure ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • The Hollowest of Men Ride Again… SURPRISE!
    Musings continue apace about “the experienced businessman!” soon to be taking up a National Party MP position. Or to be more accurate, being parachuted into a seat to shut down their former MP Jamie-Lee Ross, who despite his own shortcomings shed at least some more light on the inner workings ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • Barbaric
    The Ugandan government wants to murder gay people:Uganda has announced plans to impose the death penalty on homosexuals. The bill, colloquially known as “Kill the Gays” in Uganda, was nullified five years ago on a technicality, but the government said on Thursday it plans to resurrect it within weeks. The ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Is this study legit? 5 questions to ask when reading news stories of medical research
    Hassan Vally, La Trobe University Who doesn’t want to know if drinking that second or third cup of coffee a day will improve your memory, or if sleeping too much increases your risk of a heart attack? We’re invested in staying healthy and many of us are interested in reading ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Fighting Monsters.
    Freedom Of Speech? The Säuberung (cleansing by fire) was the work of the German Student Union which, on 10 May 1933, under the watchful eye of the Nazi Reichminister for Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, consigned 25,000 books to the flames in a ritual exorcism of “un-German thought”. According to the logic of the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • The next wave of kaupapa Māori politics: its constitutional, it must be.
      “There can be no such thing as kaupapa Māori political parties or politics in Aotearoa” (Willie Jackson, Labour Party (2017). Māori TV, General/List Election Special) I begin with that claim because at the time, I was confounded at first that it fell out of Willie Jackson’s mouth, and then ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    2 weeks ago
  • Night lights of NZ from orbit
    New Zealand has prided itself for decades with regard to its lack of pollution, and all will be aware that the ‘100% Pure New Zealand‘ meme is under threat through land, water and air pollution of various causes. There is another type of contamination that the country also faces: light ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    2 weeks ago
  • Reporters deliver uplifting news to fleeing Japanese residents: they won’t miss any rugby
    New Zealand’s media is doing its part in Japan, reassuring those in the path of the storm that they won’t miss any rugby while away from their flooded homes. New Zealand sports reporters stationed in Japan for the Rugby World Cup have had the rare and heartwarming opportunity to inform ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Government in contentious discussions about whether to put surplus on red or black
    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones is the only Cabinet member in favour of putting it all on green. As Finance Minister Grant Robertson finds himself with an enormous $7.5 billion surplus, the Government has begun intense, at times contentious conversations about whether to put the money on red or black at ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Jordanian teachers’ successful strike has lessons for here
    by Susanne Kemp At the start of September close to 100,000 school teachers went on strike in Jordan.  They demanded a 50% pay rise.  A pay rise actually agreed to by the regime back in 2014. In early October, however, in the face of government repression and threats, the teachers’ ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago

  • More homes where they are needed
    More houses for homeless New Zealanders are being opened today in Tauranga by Associate Housing Minister Kris Faafoi. Six 2-bedroom quality units are being opened at 878 Cameron Road by Minister Faafoi and Accessible Properties, a local Community Housing Provider (CHP). Accessible Properties now provides more than 1,700 community housing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    54 mins ago
  • Minister of Finance and Sport and Recreation to visit Japan and Vietnam
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson departs tomorrow for events and meetings in Japan and Vietnam.  While in Japan, he will discuss economic and fiscal issues including meeting with the Minister of Finance, Taro Aso, and Minister of Economic and Fiscal Policy, Yasutoshi Nishimura. He will meet with the Minister of Education, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • Dashboard tracks housing progress
    The Government’s Housing Dashboard released today confirms record numbers of state houses are under construction and shows the Government build programme is gaining momentum.  “After nine years of inaction, and a hands-off attitude from the previous government we’re starting to see things move in the right direction for housing,” says ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • Ministerial Statement on the International Convention Centre fire
    Mr Speaker, I wish to make a ministerial statement relating to the Auckland fire. The Government is closely monitoring the situation with the fire at the NZ International Convention Centre and is thankful that everyone is now safe. Firefighters are doing an incredible job managing the fire and bringing it ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • Government invests in Te Reo, environmental data research
    The Government is investing in ambitious research that will digitise Te Reo, grow the low-carbon protein efficient aquaculture industry, help interpret environmental trends, and large data sets says Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods. The four projects range from teaching Siri to speak Te Reo to crunching large environmental ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • Government announces next steps as part of a comprehensive plan to fix skills gap
    A new education-to-employment brokerage service to strengthen connections between local employers and schools. Funding for more trades focused ‘speed-dating’ events to connect schools with employers. Promotional campaign to raise profile of vocational education. The Government is taking action to increase the number of young people taking up vocational education and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Corrections Amendment Bill passes third reading
    A Bill to improve prison security and ensure the fair, safe, and humane treatment of people in prison while upholding public safety has passed its third reading. Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis says the Corrections Amendment Bill makes a number of changes to ensure the Corrections Act 2004 is fit for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Ngāi Tahu CEO appointed to NZ-China Council
    Minister for Māori Development, Nanaia Mahuta, has selected Arihia Bennett MNZM, Chief Executive Officer of Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, as the Te Puni Kōkiri appointed representative on the New Zealand-China Council. The New Zealand-China Council (the Council) was established in 2012 as a New Zealand led and funded organisation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Southern Response claims move to EQC
    Responsibility for processing the small number of Southern Response claims still to be settled will be transferred to EQC by the end of the year. “As claim numbers reduce, it no longer makes sense for the Crown to have two organisations processing the remaining Canterbury claims,” Grant Robertson says. “Since ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Bowel screening starts in Whanganui
    Health Minister David Clark is encouraging Whanganui residents to take up the opportunity for free bowel screening, which can detect cancer early when it’s easier to treat.   Over the next two years 12,000 Whanganui locals, aged 60 to 74 will be invited to participate in the National Bowel Screening ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Pacific Peoples Minister to attend Our Ocean Conference in Norway
    Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio, heads to Oslo today to represent New Zealand at the sixth Our Ocean Conference, which is being hosted by the Norwegian Government from the 23-24 October. “The Our Ocean Conference mobilises real action on issues like marine plastic pollution and the impacts of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government announces 27 percent increase in Trades Academy places
    Two secondary-school initiatives are being expanded as part of the Government’s plan to see more young New Zealanders take up a trade to help close the skills gap.   This includes the largest single increase in Trades Academy places in recent years. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Education Minister Chris ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs, Pacific Futures Conference: Connection...
    Session 4: Pacific Connectivity – Youth, Media and New Opportunities   Kia ora tatou katoa and Warm Pacific greetings to one and all. Representatives of Tainui, the local people of the land, or manawhenua – the indigenous peoples of this area – have welcomed you this morning in accordance with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Methane reducing cattle feed one step closer
    The Government today announced its support for a project that could substantially reduce agricultural greenhouse gas emissions from cattle. The announcement was made as part of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor’s visit to Nelson’s Cawthron Aquaculture Park. The Cawthron Institute will receive $100,000 from the Government’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Bill to refresh superannuation system passes first reading
    Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni has welcomed the first reading of the New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension Legislation Amendment Bill. “Every New Zealander has a stake in New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension,” says Carmel Sepuloni. “They are our most common form of social assistance – nearly 800,000 New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government announces next steps in fight against measles
    Babies in Auckland aged six months and over can receive a free vaccination and children will all have access to vaccines, Associate Minister of Health Julie Anne Genter announced today at Papatoetoe High School.   The move comes as part of Government efforts to step up the fight against measles. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs, Pacific Futures: Connections, Identity...
    ***Check against delivery*** Good morning. It is a pleasure to be here, and to have the honour of opening this important conference on behalf of the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs. Let us take the opportunity to acknowledge all the people who have helped make today possible, including our special ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Police trial new response to high risk events
    Police Minister Stuart Nash says the safety of frontline officers and members of the public will be the focus of a new trial of specialist Police response teams in three of our largest urban centres. Police have this morning released details of an initiative to be trialled in Counties Manukau, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New awards celebrate fisheries sustainability
    The Minister of Fisheries is calling for entries for a new public award to celebrate innovation in our seafood sector. “I have established the Seafood Sustainability Awards to recognise and celebrate those throughout industry, tangata whenua and communities who demonstrate outstanding dedication and innovation towards the sustainability of New Zealand’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • More progress for women and we can do more
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter welcomes leaders in the private sector taking action on closing their gender pay gaps to ensure a fairer workplace for all New Zealanders. Ms Genter today launched a new report, Addressing the gender pay gap and driving women’s representation in senior leadership, from the Champions for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Proposals to curb environmental damage help our coasts and the oceans
    Government Ministers today welcomed the release of a marine environment report highlighting the four key issues affecting our oceans, estuaries and coastlines.  The release underlines the importance of government proposals to combat climate pollution, ensure clean freshwater, protect biodiversity, make land use more sustainable, and reduce waste and plastic.    Environment ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • New mental health facility for Waikato
    The Government has approved funding for a new acute mental health facility for Waikato which will provide better care and support to people with mental health and addiction issues. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Health Minister Dr David Clark announced the $100 million project to replace the aging Henry Rongomau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • 500 new te reo Māori champions in our classrooms
    The Government is making progress on its goal to integrate te reo Māori into education by 2025, with over 500 teachers and support staff already graduating from Te Ahu o te Reo Māori,  Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis announced today. Kelvin Davis made the announcement at an awards ceremony in Waikanae today, for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Minister James Shaw welcomes 2018 Census first release
    Statistics Minister James Shaw has welcomed the first release of 2018 Census data. The first release of data today, 23 September, includes key data on population, regional growth, the number of homes and the size of different ethnic groups in New Zealand. Data from the 2018 Census will support the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Driving transparency, ethics and accountability in government use of algorithms
    Minister for Statistics James Shaw today announced a public consultation on a proposed algorithm charter for government agencies. The charter has been developed by the Government Chief Data Steward in response to growing calls for more transparency in government use of data. Computer algorithms – procedures or formulas for solving ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • New Zealand and the Netherlands working together on climate change
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor, Climate Change Minister James Shaw and visiting Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte co-hosted a business roundtable in Auckland this morning focused on working together to address climate change.  “The Netherlands is an important partner for New Zealand. We share a strong agricultural history. Sustainable agribusiness and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Protecting fairness for workers and businesses
    The Government is taking action to build an inclusive economy where more of us receive our fair share at work and businesses can compete on great products and services, not undercutting wages and conditions, Immigration and Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. Two consultations launched today seek feedback ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Indigenous Freshwater Fish Bill Passes
    The future for New Zealand’s threatened indigenous freshwater fish looks brighter with the passing of the Conservation (Indigenous Freshwater Fish) Amendment Bill in Parliament today said Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “Until now, our freshwater fish legislation has been 20 years out of date. We have lacked effective tools to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Kiwis to take part in world’s biggest earthquake drill
    At 1.30pm tomorrow, hundreds of thousands of Kiwis will join about 65 million people around the globe in ShakeOut, the world’s biggest earthquake drill. The annual drill is to remind people of the right action to take during an earthquake which is to Drop, Cover, Hold, and to practise their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Rising wages and low inflation supporting Kiwis
    Kiwis are benefiting from higher wage growth and low inflation under the Coalition Government. Stats NZ data out today shows the rise in the cost of living remains low, as annual Consumers Price Index (CPI) inflation fell to 1.5% in September from 1.7% in June. “The low inflation comes as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • NZ economy strong amid global headwinds
    New Zealand’s economic strength and resilience has been recognised in a major update on the state of the global economy. The IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook released overnight shows a reduced global growth forecast over the next two years as issues like the US-China trade war and Brexit take hold. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Keeping New Zealanders safer with better counter-terrorism laws
    Justice Minister Andrew Little has today introduced a new Bill to prevent terrorism and support the de-radicalisation of New Zealanders returning from overseas. The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill gives the New Zealand Police the ability to apply to the High Court to impose control orders on New Zealanders who ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Improved succession and dispute resolution core of Ture Whenua changes
    A Bill that proposes targeted changes to simplify the processes for Māori land owners when engaging with the Māori Land Court has had its First Reading today. “The approach taken by the Government is to ensure that the protection of Māori land remains a priority as we seek to improve ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Speech to CTU Biennial Conference
    Let me first thank all the new unionists and members in the room. There is nothing more important to improving people’s working lives than people making the decision to care, to get on board and help, to take up the reins and get involved. Congratulations to you. You bring the ...
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