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For a living wage

Written By: - Date published: 7:26 am, February 11th, 2013 - 175 comments
Categories: cost of living, jobs, wages - Tags:

The living wage campaign is announcing this week the results of its study into the pay that a family needs to afford the basics for a decent life in New Zealand. It’ll be around $18-$20 an hour, which is more than 40% of workers get. I look forward to the proposal receiving strong support from the parties of the Left – the Left has always said a well-paying job is better than welfare.

I also expect to hear the same old rich buggers saying it’s ‘unaffordable’. But it’s not.

This is a rich country – it’s just a question of how we spread the wealth. A decent life for all (generated by a sustainable economy) should be our first and highest goal.

Oh, and good on the Herald for its living wage series, which kicks off today.

I’m particularly interested in how many low and middle wage workers have been forced to become ‘contractors’, who are sold as independent business people but are, in fact, slaves with no work rights and who (as Mainzeal workers are finding) stand last in line for their money if something goes wrong. The rules around permanent jobs being done by dependent contractors need to be strengthen and there need to be requirements for businesses to take out insurance for money they owe contractors.

175 comments on “For a living wage ”

  1. IrishBill 1

    The rules around permanent jobs being done by dependent contractors need to be strengthen and there need to be requirements for businesses to take out insurance for money they owe contractors.

    Absolutely. And yet, with the Hobbit law, this government took us in exactly the opposite direction.

  2. vto 2

    Yep. I am sick to death of subsidising businesses with my taxes.

    Bloody free-loading business and employers. Why should I susbsidise them so their workers can feed themselves?

    Pay your costs business and employers and stop being bludging freeloaders.

    • Colonial Viper 2.1

      First target is large corporates and infrastructure monopolists ticket clipping and holding up costs while adding very little business value. Small businesses are being screwed in every direction currently.

      • Draco T Bastard 2.1.1

        First target is large corporates and infrastructure monopolists ticket clipping and holding up costs while adding very little business value.

        The collapse of Mainzeal and all the finance companies is proof of just how much value the big corporates and their high paid managers actually add.

    • TightyRighty 2.2

      Do you think it is ok for individuals to bludge off the taxpayer?

      [RL: Looks like a stupid threadjack to me. We all depend on each other one way or another.]

      • TightyRighty 2.2.1

        No, it’s a question that is fundamental in me replying to VTO’s comment. If you thought things through a little more you might realise that. It’s the same old story with the intellectually bankrupt on this site. If it’s good for the goose it should be good for the gander, except if the gander is someone who the “progressives” on this site seek to “protect” from “society. So if VTO hates businesses bludging, despite the tax, rates and jobs they provide, VTO should equally hate those individuals who sit around watching sky on benefits.

        • bad12 2.2.1.1

          So you believe in ‘magic’ then??? having a couple of hundred thousand beneficiaries all running round out in the economy asking for work will ‘magically’ produce 1000,s of those jobs will it???,

          There is only X amount of employment in the economy and jobs don’t ‘magically’ appear just because someone looks for one, i know you will find that hard to believe and provide us with a link or something which proves that such ‘magic’ solutions such as ‘looking for’ create employment…

        • vto 2.2.1.2

          Go and ask your question of yourself fool.

          I made no mention of individuals who bludge off the taxpayer. You just don’t like the fact that it is the rich and business who do the greater bludging.

          Wanna play add up the bludge?

    • swan 2.3

      This argument makes no sense. Employers pay the market clearing rate (except where the minimum wage prevents them from doing so). The taxpayer is not subsidising the employer, they are making a transfer to low wage earners. If you believed your argument you could apply it to the entire welfare state: “Why should I subsidise these employers by paying for their employees healthcare/ childrens education etc”

  3. fatty 3

    I hope Labour, Greens and Mana all propose $20 per hour. If not, they should not get your vote. How can a party on the left have policies that create working poor in NZ?
    This will mean raising taxes for the rich. So stop fucking around and say you are raising taxes…I’m looking at you Labour, do you care? If you are not willing to stand up for the working poor then you are a burden on humanity, and you are creating the working poor…Don’t deny it. Its true. Do us a favour and stop being a politician if being ethical is beyond you.

    This is not something that can be ignored

    • Polish Pride 3.1

      Thats cool so long as small businesses can increase prices on their goods to compensate them for the extra in wages they need to pay….but then will your living wage still be a living wage at that point.

      • David H 3.1.1

        Why they won’t need the compensation, because people will have extra money and they will spend it, then the businesses will have to hire more staff, to cope with the extra business. It’s the opposite of the vicious circle.

      • Colonial Viper 3.1.2

        Thats cool so long as small businesses can increase prices on their goods to compensate them for the extra in wages they need to pay….but then will your living wage still be a living wage at that point.

        So let’s try it and find out what actually happens.

      • Foreign Waka 3.1.3

        The lopsided economy is a result of having an increase in GDP without corresponding increase of the “share” in terms of increase in wages. You will notice that $1 bought more 10 years ago than an equally inflation adjusted $1 today. The wages stayed put in real terms and the minority got an even higher stake in the wealth. I am sure it makes sense when you look at the wage and purchasing power a decade ago vs today. The only way this can be righted is an equitable approach to tax. I know, it is not very “hip” but the load has to be spread in order to have a meaningful society. And in the end, for the majority of people, it is a meaningful life they want not a constant economic live lesson.

    • cricklewood 3.2

      Shouldn’t need to increase taxes, Working for families payments will plummet at current settings as will accomodation supplements. Even student loan payback will increase dramitically. Unless of course we move all the settings in line with a minimum wage increase…

  4. ianmac 4

    Perhaps those super rich politicians could show leadership by paying the Parliamentary cleaners a living wage?

    • David H 4.1

      Don’t make me laugh. All slippery wants is a lower than basic wage economy. Where he can count his success by the increase in homelessness, and beggars in the street, for him to spit on.

  5. felixviper 5

    “I also expect to hear the same old rich buggers saying it’s ‘unaffordable’ “

    Of course, and they’ll be here shortly whinging that it’s too much of a jump from the current level. But the fact is that it’s only a big jump because the min wage has been held way too low for too long.

    Should’ve been $15 5 or 6 years ago.

    • King Kong 5.1

      Personally I think everyone should be earning at least $50 an hour. I can’t see how you could possibly afford a decent case of Haut Brion if you were on anything less than that.

      Of course then I realised that would mean it would cost $100 a week to have your papers delivered and realised that was just stupid.

      [RL: Stupid is as stupid does. You are just one more of these away from self-martyrdom.]

      • vto 5.1.1

        just stupid

      • bad12 5.1.2

        i would suggest that that comment from you just moved the clock that indicates the length of your stay among us here as a commenter just moved to 2 minutes to midnight…

      • emergency mike 5.1.3

        The really funny part about this is that I’m pretty sure our dear leader has trotted out exactly the same ‘$15? Why not $20? Why not $30? Look the reality is…’ line as this moronic tr0ll. (Can’t find a link, maybe it was in a leaaders debate or something?)

        • swan 5.1.3.1

          So, what is the rebuttal to the argument then? I cant find it in this comments thread.

          • felixviper 5.1.3.1.1

            The rebuttal is that everyone should earn zero dollars per hour.

            It’s stupid, irrelevant, as logical as King Kong’s argument, and so bleeding obvious that no-one but you needed it said out loud.

            • swan 5.1.3.1.1.1

              You’ll have to explain it better. I dont understand what you mean.

              Lets just flesh out the arguments a bit. To simplify things a bit, there are two ways of setting labour rates – one is to let the market find its own equilibrium, the other is government regulation. So if the government is to regulate a higher level, what is the limit to this? If there are no unfavourable trade offs, then $50 an hour should be the policy surely. If there are unfavourable trade offs, then why do they not exist at $20 an hour? And if they do exist at $20 an hour, shouldn’t we carefully weigh them against the benefits of the policy?

              • Colonial Viper

                There’s plenty of unfavourable outcomes at market set pricing, you just like to ignore those because they are generally unfavourable to labour.

              • felixviper

                I’m not going to get into a discussion about markets determining a minimum wage.

                In our society we’ve decided to have a minimum wage to ensure a basic minimum standard of lifestyle, to ensure that people can feed their kids, to ensure that people aren’t grossly exploited for profit, to ensure that people can participate at a meaningful level in society.

                If it’s not enough to achieve these objectives (or whatever the stated objectives are) then it needs to be raised. Simple as that.

                Whether the market, left to it’s own devices, would determine an even lower minimum is irrelevant in this context as we’ve already decided to have a society with minimum standards. At best it’s another (usually boring) discussion but it’s not really part of this one.

                • swan

                  Except that “markets determining a minimum wage” is just another way of saying “labour markets reaching equilibrium”. So if you are not interested in equilibrium then you are not interested in the manifestation of a lack of equilibirum – ie unemployment. I think unemployment is a pretty important topic myself, and one that is central to any discussion about minimum wages.

                  • felixviper

                    No, I’m not interested in markets reaching equilibrium. I’m interested in a society with minimum standards.

                    Have you not been paying attention?

                    • swan

                      Well you could be interested in both those things if you wanted to be.

                      So you are not interested in unemployment, but you are interested in a society with minimum standards. Are you sure?

                    • vto

                      I can pick felix’s next reply from 10,000 miles. he he

                    • felixviper

                      lolz v, I don’t think I can even be bothered. As above, boring discussion.

                    • swan

                      OK thanks for trying to explain it to me.

                    • emergency mike

                      ‘s weird tho, i thought neo-classical economics had been pronounced dead once people realised that in spite of the x goes up y goes down awesomeness of it, it had no meaningful relationship to reality. apparently there’s still a few muffins who didn’t get the memo.

                    • swan

                      “‘s weird tho, i thought neo-classical economics had been pronounced dead once people realised that in spite of the x goes up y goes down awesomeness of it, it had no meaningful relationship to reality”

                      I dont know where you got this idea from??

                    • felixviper

                      From seeing these exact same discussions played out over and over again with such predictable results?

                  • Are you seriously trying to argue that unemployment doesn’t happen without a minimum wage?

                    That demonstrates either a severe lack of understanding about what drives unemployment, or a high degree of understanding of trolling.

                    • felixviper

                      I don’t think he was seriously trying, no.

                    • swan

                      No. Saying x causes y does not mean x is the only cause of y.

                    • McFlock

                      fine then – we can set a minimum wage at a liveable standard, and work on the other causes of full employment to counteract any (so far undemonstrated) adverse effect from the existence of minimum wages and unemployment benefits.

                    • swan

                      So McFlock,

                      On that basis, lets go for $50 an hour as policy. Surely better $20

                    • McFlock

                      Yes, because how can a banker possibly live in dignity on under $50/hr?

                      That’s all the topic is about. Not an “if we set a UBI at a zillion dollars, we’d all be RICH, I tells ya!” absurdity. Just the belief that kids shouldn’t go hungry and that everyone should have a home before we start spending money on coffee beans that were shit out of a cat’s arse.

                      But keep up with the crazy talk, you funny.

                  • Mike

                    Who gives a flying fuck about the markets equilibrium. Lets get people a decent living wage first and let the fucking “markets” equilibrate. (not a word i think..hehe) from there. You can’t have any semblance of real market equilibration when the market is manipulated by the wealthy to their own advantage through rent seeking.

                    Go and start talking about the markets to someone struggling to pay the rent and feed their family on $13.50 an hour. Good luck.

                    There is no room in the market economic model for social relations or responsibility. People and their welfare are not deemed important other than they are producers and consumers. Take any of the free market model calculations or measures and you’ll see none of them have the welfare or stableness of society as part of the equation. The family and their ability to survive are not considered as relevant in terms of inputs into calculations.

                    Fuck the market!

    • alwyn 5.2

      The New Zealand minimum wage is, by international standards, actually very high in comparison to the median wage. In NZ, in 2011 it was 59% of the median wage. The only country in the OECD that was higher was France on 60%.
      In comparison Britain was 46%, Canada 45% and the US was 38%.
      When you suggest that it should have been $15 5 or 6 years ago I suspect you are like the (probably apocryphal) union leader who said that he would never be happy until every worker earned more than the average wage. $15 would have been more than the median wage for the time and would certainly have been inflationary.
      ref to the Economist
      http://www.economist.com/news/finance-and-economics/21567072-evidence-mounting-moderate-minimum-wages-can-do-more-good-harm

      • vto 5.2.1

        That may well be the case but there appears to be no relevance to the issue of being able to actually live on the wage. Bit useless that bit of information.

        It is cheaper to employ someone than keep a slave.

        • Colonial Viper 5.2.1.1

          Also, the NZ median wage has been collapsing as jobs have been lost, so no wonder the minimum wage looks Ok in comparison.

      • RedLogix 5.2.2

        Unfortunately alwyn you haven’t included any data on the cost of living in these various countries.

        In NZ, in 2011 it was 59% of the median wage.

        This might just tell us that our median wage is pretty crap too …

        • Colonial Weka 5.2.2.1

          And why the median? If you have lots of people on a low wage and a few people on a high wage, doesn’t that mean that the median is low? Wouldn’t the average wage be a more useful figure?

          • RedLogix 5.2.2.1.1

            Well it doesn’t really matter CW … just so long as you know which figure is being used, what it means and critically, WHY the person using it has chosen it.

          • RJL 5.2.2.1.2

            If you are interested in what proportions of the population actually earn, then median is more useful. As you say, if there are few people on a very high wage and many on a low wage, then all may look well looking at the average wage — but all the low wage people could be in desperate poverty.

            Average isn’t really that useful at all in this context. Although a comparison between the median and the average might tell you something about how skewed to the wealthy (or not) wages are.

            • Draco T Bastard 5.2.2.1.2.1

              Although a comparison between the median and the average might tell you something about how skewed to the wealthy (or not) wages are.

              IIRC, the median wage in NZ ATM is approximately half the average wage. Somewhere around 75% of the working population have an income less than the average wage.

          • Mike 5.2.2.1.3

            At least with the median you know where you stand. Looking at the median you can factually state that 50% of incomes are above that and 50% below.

            The average is not useful at all and in fact creates false perceptions of the real situation. The average is looked at by most people (who don’t stop to think) as the middle of the road thanks mainly to the MSM, when in fact the average is always way higher than what most people earn.

            For example the media uses the median regularly when looking at house prices but almost all of the time uses the average when looking at wages and incomes. The result, house prices don’t look so bad (a perception created by the media) and wages aren’t that low (again, a created perception). You have to wonder if there’s a policy in the media regarding this as it just doesn’t make sense.

            They also do things such as often using the household income, which again subconsciously creates a perception in many people of higher incomes than what the reality actually is. Most married couples (and unmarried couples), don’t hear the term household income and then think about how that relates to individuals. They can’t be blamed for that, but the politicians take advantage of such things thanks to a complicit media.

      • geoff 5.2.3

        What a load of horse shit, I hate this “if everyone was paid better it would just cause inflation, therefore we shouldn’t do it” meme.
        As if the situation we are in now isn’t completely inflated. Look at electricity prices, house prices, the price of food, it’s all way way over inflated compared to what it should be. You haven’t said anything about cost of living in your calculations.
        Prices are so bloated that everyone is struggling to keep their heads above water, aggregate demand is fucking dead as a dead thing, because people have been bled dry.

      • Draco T Bastard 5.2.4

        union leader who said that he would never be happy until every worker earned more than the average wage.

        [Citation needed]

      • Shane Gallagher 5.2.5

        As someone who moved here from Europe in 2002 I can tell you that the median wage here is terrible, which is why the minimum wage here is so high relative to it. What the figures actually show is that much of NZ is living on poverty wages…

        oh look 270,000 children living in poverty. What a coincidence! 🙂

      • Mike 5.2.6

        “The New Zealand minimum wage is, by international standards, actually very high in comparison to the median wage.”

        And no doubt the New Zealand median wage is, by international standards, actually very low, making your stat irrelevant.

        It’s not just the minimum wage that is too low to live on. Wages in general for those on lower incomes are too low. comparing the median wage to the minimum wage means nothing when there is such huge income disparity between the top and the rest.

  6. bad12 6

    There’s 2 forms of ‘contractor’ in the economy at the moment, the ‘willing’ small business owner who is in effect carrying most of the risk for the likes of just collapsed construction comapny Mainzeal who have multiple contractors supplying most of the labour and having the burdon of ‘risk’ being forced upon them on those construction sites,

    A relatively simple solution which would require a law change would simply see monies paid to the main contractor of any business activity first paid into a relevant ‘trust account’ managed by a specific Government department where contractors to the main contractor could lodge their claims against such monies having a set time frame within which to lodge such claims,

    The other law that need changing is that of ‘who’ is a secured creditor of any business that goes into receivership, my view is that contractors to and employees of the business that has collapsed should be first in the line of creditors as far as any claim against the businesses remaining assets are concerned,

    Obviously such a law would result in Banks being less forthcoming with revolving credit arrangements for such businesses which in turn would result in the businesses themselves having to carry more capital so as to allow their business to continue…

    • vto 6.1

      Yep, the line-up of unsecured creditors should read ……

      1. wage and salary earners.
      2. sub-contractors.
      3. …
      last. IRD.

      Why is the IRD near the top of the list now? Does anyone know what the good reason is for IRD to be ahead of the people who do the work?

      • bad12 6.1.1

        myself i would put the IRD 3rd on the list, the Banks are privately run institutions of ‘risk’ taking and should be last in line as a creditor,

        Not paying their relevant due tax allows such collapsed companies to in effect deny to NZ social services which taxation supports,

        With regards to Mainzeal in particular and the many companies operating in NZ as loss making entities where the parent company is registered in a ‘tax haven’ such as the Bahamas i would suggest that the actions of the directors of those companies have taken deliberate actions,(like de-listing from the NZ stock exchange the parent company and registering it in that tax haven),to circumvent the payment of due taxation in this country…

        • King Kong 6.1.1.1

          And as a bank why the hell would I lend to you without a front ranking security? No loan no business, no business no jobs.

          • RedLogix 6.1.1.1.1

            Why the hell should I work for you without a front ranking security of being paid?

            No work, no business either.

            • King Kong 6.1.1.1.1.1

              What is your total risk? Two weeks wages? You could always ask at the interview to be paid in advance.

              • Colonial Viper

                Wow you’re thick. Two weeks wages AND your home at risk, when you can’t pay your mortgage, let alone feed your family.

                I suggest bringing back enforceable redundancy payout clauses is crucial.

              • Lightly

                not just two weeks’ wages. Redundancy and leave entitlements can be tens of thousands of dollars

              • RedLogix

                Or as a subcontractor there is your whole business at risk. Which is indeed what contracting has devolved into … a means of pushing risk down onto weaker parties.

                Now while there is some merit in spreading some risk onto other parties that are better positioned to assume it. For instance it makes sense to sub-contract technical risk to engineering specialists or professionals, or to companies with specialised equipment that you only need for specific short phases of a project.

                But what has happened instead is that most subcontractors are nowadays doing what used to be core business for the principal. This is not done because it’s any cheaper, it’s not. It’s usually done to spread the commercial risk (and the health and safety risk as well) so that when the principal gets into strife .. there are plenty of hapless subbies around to pass the baby onto.

                • woodpecker

                  Not just financial risk. I know a builder who constructed a roof, as per plan, as per building code, passed inspections, but when the roof sagged under its own weight, guess who ate the 40,000 to replace it.

              • woodpecker

                Alot of subbies work on statement at the end of the month for payment due on the 20th month following. So you could be looking at up to 6 weeks for payment. If you ask for advance the prime just opens the door and shouts NEXT!

                • Foreign Waka

                  And have to pay tax before being actually paid! What a hoot. An invoice issued is already a dollar earned for the IRD. Mind you that did obviously not apply to Mainzeal.

            • vto 6.1.1.1.1.2

              That’s right. Example – people in NZ require buildings to live and work and play in. Mainzeal and others fulfil this never-ending demand. It is simply (and it is simple) a matter of changing the existing set of regulations that Mainzeal and others operate under to another set of regulations to operate under – a set that looks after those that build the buildings ahead of other unsecured creditors, like IRD.

              As for secured creditors like banks, that is a bigger question and more complex. If it is required that workers and subbies rank ahead of banks then that will certainly be an issue for the banks and they will likely up-sticks and go elsewhere. Maybe. Or maybe they will learn to operate under the new set of regulsations – if they want to have a share of the NZ economic pie that is.

              Seeing off the banks wouldn’t be a bad thing anyway – there are other ways of providing credit into the economy (though an incredibly small number of businesses seem to understand this).

              You knows… I am arguing against my interest here as have been in self-employed business etc for some too many years. But the big picture is the more important one. If there is a healthy employed society whereby the big bulk of the populace is prosperous then my business will do well. If the big bulk is struggling then so too does my business. My business will adjust to any new norms and regs, hopefully within a short timeframe. Why do Key desciples insist on driving down the big bulk of the populace???? It seems brainless to me.

          • Colonial Viper 6.1.1.1.2

            And as a bank why the hell would I lend to you without a front ranking security? No loan no business, no business no jobs.

            Hence its crucial the Government become a provider of cheap business capital, pressuring the banks to improve their game or get out.

            • King Kong 6.1.1.1.2.1

              The classic left wing lollie scramble answer to everything.

              However, I would have thought that tax payers financing business fat cats on the cheap wouldn’t be a policy that I would hear from you.

              • vto

                How is it a lolly scamble anymore than the current system is? I look forward to your explanation.

                (Also, it is today the rightwing that throws the lolly scrambles – farmers irrigation, South Canterbury Finance, Hollywood, …. best you keep up lest you even more become redundant)

              • Colonial Viper

                What lolly scramble? Business owners are not kids, and the Government has a responsibility to fulfill societal roles that the banks are failing in.

                I would have thought that tax payers financing business fat cats on the cheap wouldn’t be a policy that I would hear from you.

                I thought you said that loans and credit were crucial for business and jobs? I happen to agree with you.

              • fatty

                The classic left wing lollie scramble answer to everything.

                The classic call from the greedy right winger who’s hogging the lollies. Weird how sharing has become an extreme position.

              • Mike

                Why not if it is a good income earning investment and has proper oversight?

          • bad12 6.1.1.1.3

            Yes exactly as you say KK, this is about the first comment from you that makes any sense of all your comments i have had the misfortune to read even tho you obviously haven’t meant the comment to read as it does,

            As a bank, no loan is to make no profits which means no need for Bank to be in New Zealand,

            Bye Bye bank creating a need for someone like a Government to create a loan entity or extend the bank it already owns ability to service the business sector…

          • Mike 6.1.1.1.4

            Because you get interest payments (profit) on ‘money’ which you didn’t actually have in the first place to be able to ‘loan’, created out of thin air at the push of a button and you carry no real risk. If it all goes belly up you end up getting assets or at the worst you write off the ‘loan’ via a bookkeeping entry, which won’t affect your profit other than that interest not realized through the rest of the interest payments that would have occurred.

            Or, if you’re canny, and you know the ‘borrower’ will probably not be able to service the ‘loan’, you could create some sort of new financial instrument enabling you to ‘sell’ the loan onto some unsuspecting retirement fund and then you could rake in some coin betting that the ‘loan’ you arranged would all go belly up.

            If all else fails you can just socialize all your losses and get taxpayers to bail you out with money they have to borrow from one of your subsidiary banks and on which they will have to pay interest over the coming years; which you can use to make sure your executives get a nice little ‘performance’ bonus like they were promised.

            Then, just to plan ahead, you can spend loads of money and time lobbying government to ensure no changes are made and no regulations are put in place to curb the financial industry, ensuring you will be able to make further profits doing the same things again in the future.

      • Mike 6.1.2

        I disagree, I would put IRD 2nd, behind wage and salary earners, as it is the public’s money Then sub-contractors (part of the risk of getting aiming for higher revenue via contracting), then other creditors, then banks.

        (Nah, just kidding….fuck the banks.)

    • RedLogix 6.2

      And the entire NZS 3910 contract model needs to be thrown out and re-written around the principles of good project management.

      What we have at present is merely a lawyer’s charter.

  7. BM 7

    So this $20 per hour for a family with 2 kids.
    Since the church is involved , I’m guessing mum stays at home and looks after the kids

    A one income family with the bread winner making only $18-20 an hour would most certainly
    struggle, luckily this family has working for families to fall back on giving them an extra $150-200(I’m assuming after tax) per week.

    WFF adds around 5$ per hour tax free to the families income, pushing them well above the “living wage”

    • vto 7.1

      But BM, you miss the entire point.

      WFF is a subsidy to business paid for by taxpayers. This government is anti-subsidy but takes full advantage of this subsidy and simply chants, with hands over ears…. “can’t hear you, can’t hear you, nyah nyah nyah”. This is the level of their intellect.

      • BM 7.1.1

        National would can WFF in a heart beat if it could, it’s complete bull shit and has become an albatross around the neck of New Zealand.
        Unfortunately far too many families now rely on WFF to survive these days, it’s now like super if any party touches it, they’re fucked.
        Thanks Helen Clark and Labour.

        • vto 7.1.1.1

          fancy that, you miss the point again

          WFF is a taxpayer subsidy to business and employers. It should be canned and replaced with a wage that people can actually live on.

          • grumpy 7.1.1.1.1

            Exactly vto.

            WFF is the main reason wage rates are so low in NZ. Employers don’t need to pay decent wages because the nice taxpayer makes sure the pittance is topped up.

            I also wonder at those who are pushing for a lower dollar – all that does is further lower everybody’s real income.

            • Colonial Viper 7.1.1.1.1.1

              I also wonder at those who are pushing for a lower dollar – all that does is further lower everybody’s real income.

              Yes it lowers the value of the monies held by those with large stocks of NZD or who have significant NZD income.

              However, it will also bring an onshoring of jobs and production. It will increase the price competitiveness of NZ products in overseas markets, helping our manufacturers. Given these factors many other NZers will be better off.

              • grumpy

                Goody! We might even get our own Nike and Addidas sweat shops!!!!

              • grumpy

                Not really CV. Purchasing power on virtually everything is diminished – from petrol to milk.
                A drop in $NZ would likely be offset by a rise in inflation.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Only goods with a significant foreign cost component will be impacted by a lower NZD value AFAIK.

                  A drop in $NZ would likely be offset by a rise in inflation.

                  Maybe. If it happens, just take money out of the top end of the economy to balance it out. But I can’t see it really happening other than new cars, Italian olives and smartphones becoming pricier.

                  • alwyn

                    That is simply not true CV.
                    Any goods that we produce in New Zealand and sell to overseas buyers will also be affected.
                    Consider one example. We produce lots of dairy products in New Zealand and sell them overseas. If the value of the NZ dollar drops the price we (or strictly Fonterra) for the exported goods will rise in New Zealand dollar terms. If they don’t we don’t want a reduced value NZ dollar do we? We pay in New Zealand the going rate for the goods. If the export prices go up (or down) the local price we pay for the same goods goes up (or down) to match.
                    This will happen for ALL tradeable goods that we produce.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Sure, I’d love to pay the same price as Australians, Chinese or Brits for a litre of milk. We get ripped off in NZ.

                      In all other cases the answer is still easy: have foreign buyers subsidise NZers for things like milk, meat and other locally grown produce.

                      In other words, don’t make NZers pay more for inferior produce, while sending the best stuff overseas.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      If the value of the NZ dollar drops the price we (or strictly Fonterra) for the exported goods will rise in New Zealand dollar terms.

                      Goods produced in NZ and exported are sold in US$. The seller then converts them to NZ$.

                      If the conversion is low (exchange rate is high) then the amount of NZ$ that can be spent in the NZ economy is also low and vice versa.

                    • alwyn

                      In response to Draco.
                      I reread my comment and realised I had left out the word get between the words “Fonterra)” and “for”. You have obviously interpreted it as being there.
                      Yes, you are right that many internationally goods are priced in US dollars. They don’t strictly have to be but they are. It’s the same reason that foreign exchange trading rooms only maintain exchange rates between each currency and the US dollar. There are far fewer numbers that have to be available and you can get a cross-rate by a simple multiplication.
                      However that’s why I put in the words “rise in New Zealand dollar terms”. You are only agreeing with me on that.
                      Having more New Zealand dollars to spend in New Zealand doesn’t however help the economy as a whole. It may help the dairy farmers but it merely shifts purchasing power to them and away from someone who doesn’t make their income from exporting. For those people prices of things they buy are going up.
                      If you regard having more dollars around is a good thing would you advocate simply issuing ten times as many. If not why not?

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Having more New Zealand dollars to spend in New Zealand doesn’t however help the economy as a whole. It may help the dairy farmers but it merely shifts purchasing power to them and away from someone who doesn’t make their income from exporting.

                      In theory, the farmer and manufacturers having more money to spend that money in increasing the business and thus creating more jobs and more wealth. That is, after all, why the government decreased taxes for the rich and increased them for the poor.

                      And you’re right, a lot of that money will just find its way into trust funds and not be used to benefit NZ but some of it actually will be spent on building up businesses.

            • Wayne 7.1.1.1.1.2

              Grumpy, you are wrong on WFF. It reflects the fact that families with children have higher costs than other people. All developed economies have a tax credit system that reflects that reality.

              The intent of WFF is to ensure that families have enough income by essentially redistributing income from all other taxpayers. Remember it goes up with more children. The other alternative is a universal child benefit, but that goes to well off people as well.

              So when Helen introduced WFF, she was continuing a well trodden path, which is why National has kept it. The Nats in 1996 had a Family Tax Credit, which got replaced by WFF, but they essentially do the same thing. WFF recognised 10 years of inflation which is why it is higher than the Family Tax Credit.

              The key point is that to try and replicate WFF through wages would be impossible (or at least fundamentaly uneconomic). It would mean lifting the minimum hourly wage to around $20 per hour. WFF basically produces an income of around $40,000, hence the $20.

              The increase would have to be done for everyone, whether they were a beginning worker, or whether or not they had skills justifying $20. It could not be done just for people with families. And all wages at least up to $60 would have to increase to retain some level of proportinality.

              The New Zealand economy would obviously become uncompetitive.

              It is also why this campaign will fail. The minimum wage is $13.50 (but lets say it is $15). The effect of the campign is get the negotiated minimum wage to $20. That won’t happen, because employers can’t pay differential wages depending on a persons circumstances. essentiaaly it would have to be $20 for everyone. It is WFF that can take account of induividual circumstances.

              A more sensible campaign would be to make sure WFF keeps up with increases in cost of living.

              • Draco T Bastard

                It would mean lifting the minimum hourly wage to around $20 per hour.

                That’s about how much is needed for a single person to live well.

                And all wages at least up to $60 would have to increase to retain some level of proportinality.

                Nope. Proportionality does not need to be maintained. In fact, for the people at the higher end, what we should be seeing is a decrease in wages (probably through taxes so that higher WfF that you’re asking for can be paid).

                The New Zealand economy would obviously become uncompetitive.

                No it wouldn’t if we also worked on decreasing the value of the NZ$ on the forex.

                • Wayne

                  Well, if you were an apprentice on starting on $20 you would expect a substantial increase once you got your certificate, to at least $30, probably more, and after 5 years with a cert probably you expect $40. Otherwise why bother. That is why it will have (and should have) knock on effects.

                  When we had very high wages in meatworks and wharfs it meant a lot of people did not get qualifications who should have; that is why a wage spread is necessary to give people an incentive to gain skills.

                  Pre 1984 or thereabouts our pay scales were too compressed and it meant we had one of the lowest skill levels on the OECD. People who could have got skills could not see that it was worth their while to do so. I suspect one of the reasons we have low productivity is a residual legacy of that period, since it takes time to ensure most people get the higher level skills a modern economy demands.

                  But higher WFF would mean looking at taxes. More likely it will the key priority when looking at the next tax reduction package. This should be able to done in 2015/16 when we are back in surplus or close to it. A core issue for the 2014 election?

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    Pre 1984 or thereabouts our pay scales were too compressed and it meant we had one of the lowest skill levels on the OECD. People who could have got skills could not see that it was worth their while to do so.

                    To some degree I would agree with that but I also think that you’ll find that the major problem was that there just wasn’t enough capital investment to get rid of those jobs. If the jobs aren’t there, and low skill jobs should be phased out as fast as possible, then the people without skills need to go out and get them (which is why we need free education – our present system is quite literally wasting the abilities of tens of thousands of people, IMO).

                    More likely it will the key priority when looking at the next tax reduction package.

                    Lowering taxes will make the country even worse off just as the National Party has planned.

                  • Mike

                    “I suspect one of the reasons we have low productivity ”

                    Are you for real????

                    Productivity has nearly doubled in the last 40 years.

                    Wages, however, have stagnated or decreased in real terms, with all the additional profit going to those at the top instead of being shared as it used to be before the 80’s.

            • Draco T Bastard 7.1.1.1.1.3

              I also wonder at those who are pushing for a lower dollar – all that does is further lower everybody’s real income.

              Oh, look at that, another idiot.

              No, that’s not all it does. It also makes NZ products more affordable in NZ.

            • swan 7.1.1.1.1.4

              “WFF is the main reason wage rates are so low in NZ. Employers don’t need to pay decent wages because the nice taxpayer makes sure the pittance is topped up.”

              That is absolute nonsense. How does working for families lower the market rate? If anything it would increase the market rate by reducing labour supply – i.e. Mum is able to stay at home.

              • felixviper

                Do you really not understand how subsidies distort markets?

                • swan

                  So you think if we got rid of WFF then employment would go down as people wouldn’t bother working if they didnt get the WFF inducement?

                  • felixviper

                    No.

                    Stop pretending that we’re all constrained in our thinking by the market paradigm to which you’ve limited yourself.

                    • swan

                      Actually it was others that brought up the idea of WFF as a subsidy. It isn’t, unless you are redefining the term.

                    • RedLogix

                      So you think if we got rid of WFF then employment would go down as people wouldn’t bother working if they didnt get the WFF inducement?

                      Only if they had some other equal or better alternative to choose from.

                      Which most people do not have.

                    • felixviper

                      “It isn’t, unless you are redefining the term.”

                      Sure swan, in that case I’m redefining the term “subsidy” to mean “paying for something so someone else doesn’t have to”.

                      Happy now?

                      Oh and before you get too excited, no, I don’t have to renounce all other examples of subsidies just because I think this one is misguided.

                      mkay?

              • Mike

                It’s just another form of rent seeking and if you don’t understand how giving taxpayer top ups to people on low wages enables businesses to keep paying low wages then …… … bleh!

          • indiana 7.1.1.1.2

            The WFF family policy was never sold to the public as a subsidy to business by Labour when they announced the policy. Labour is equally anti-subsidy. When they draft policy, it is to be sold cost free to the recipient of the policy.

        • grumpy 7.1.1.2

          Only half right. Certainly WFF has become an electoral bride alongside Student Loans.

    • Mike 7.2

      WFF is simply another form of rent seeking.

      Instead of paying a proper living wage, companies are subsidized by taxpayers in the form of WFF. If workers were paid a fair wage, there would be no need for WFF.

      And what about single people and those on $13.50 an hour, or those on the unemployment benefit on around $200 per week. (plus landlord subsidy accommodation supplement)

  8. karol 8

    I heard part of the discussion on the topic on Nine-to-Noon this morning. One of the people (a woman) was saying it’s better for businesses to be treating their workforce well and paying a living wage.

    Can’t get the link code to work:

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/ninetonoon/audio/2546062/nz's-living-wage-campaign.asx

  9. NoseViper (The Nose knows) 9

    When talking about contractors, it is a situation where it is very efficient for the project owners and very inefficient for the worker (now Contractor, who has to do most of his paperwork, government forms etc and probably wait longer for his/her wages, a month perhaps and not necessarily bigger wages. One staff procurement company is now going onto weekly payments from its business customers for these reasons.)

  10. SJH 10

    I just want to say this is a very big leap from what was previously a $15 minimum wage campaign. Maybe this is too far? $18-$20 an hour would put a huge amount of people out of work. I have worked for $23 an hour at AFFCO in the past which was a lot of money for me. I am now working for $14.50 an hour in Central Wellington and I am able to survive as well as save and enjoy certain luxuries now and again. It would be nice to earn more but I think we need to be realistic about exactly how much. I find it hard to believe people need $18-$20 an hour just to “Live”.

    • fatty 10.1

      I can live on a couple of hundred dollars too. No problem, been doing it for years. But I don’t have any kids dependent on me…do you SJH?
      We can keep people earning $14 p/h…but when children are involved we are raising them in poverty and the results can be devastating.

      Also, I can frame this with right wing economic logic…
      If we have working poor with children, then the children are growing up learning that working is not worth the effort. Why would they bother busting their arse to live in poverty – a logical response from our children growing up in that situation is to move into crime or just bum around on the dole.

      What are we teaching our younger generation when working results in economic suffering?

      You also claim that it will cost people’s jobs SJH, but if we tax the rich and give to the poor, and that money is then spent in the economy (instead of sitting in a fat-cat’s overseas account, as it is now). Won’t that stimulate the economy and create more jobs? The apparent downside of this is that we must tax the rich – I don’t see how this is a downside

      • SJH 10.1.1

        No, I don’t have kids. I was the son of a solo mother and I know how difficult things can be. My mum has never found it easy to find work and still struggles to this day to find worthwhile employment.

        I don’t think $14 an hour is enough, but I think a sudden jump from a campaign for $15 to $18-20 is pretty signficant. Also $18-$20 is a range of $2, which is the total amount the minimum wage has risen in probably 7 or 8 years ( I don’t have figures to hand, if anyone knows where I can find some data and dates on the hostory of minimum wage in NZ that would be fantastic.)

        A campaign for $16 would likely have been a better move in my opinion. $18-20 just seems too much. Working For Families is already there to help people who have made the decision to have kids. I don’t think it’s any good for people to bust their ass for low wages, but we all know that decisions we make early on in life can make life more difficult as we get older. That doesn’t mean we don’t provide people with opportunities to overcome these difficulties, but it does mean that we have to take into account that some people are simply not going to be skilled enough to earn as much as they would like to.

        It certainly will cost people jobs. Take a restaurant with a staff of 30 for instance. If 20 of the staff are working for $14.50 an hour, and suddenly the minimum wage rose to $19, what kind off effect would that have the business? Thats thousands of dollars per week.

        Taxing the rich may well be a solution to increasing government revenues and increase spending on social programs, but it doesn’t do much to help individual businesses cope with what could be a debilitating wage rise. The only way they’ll deal with that is by firing workers and raising prices.

        • Colonial Viper 10.1.1.1

          Some good points. But remember, on $15/hr you can’t save for the future, save for a deposit on a house, anything like that. Any increase in the minimum wage needs to be substantial, but also graduated. A sudden move from $13.50 to $19/hr would sink a lot of small businesses within the first 3 months.

          What needs to happen for any such change to prove viable is for businesses to experience lifting revenues as people get more discretionary income into their pockets, and start spending more not on imported junk, but on local goods and services.

          • grumpy 10.1.1.1.1

            Agree with your ssentiments but disagree that it can be achieved without a corresponding lift in productivity.

            Higher incomes with a high dollar is what is needed.

            • fatty 10.1.1.1.1.1

              Agree with your ssentiments but disagree that it can be achieved without a corresponding lift in productivity.

              Really? What have our productivity levels been and what do they need to get to?

            • Colonial Viper 10.1.1.1.1.2

              but disagree that it can be achieved without a corresponding lift in productivity.

              well that’s about major investment in capital equipment, plant, machinery and new technology. And I recognise that foreign machine tools get much more expensive as the NZD drops….

              • Draco T Bastard

                Which is where government printing of money and spending it into R&D really pays off. No need to import that foreign machine if we can make it here.

                • Colonial Viper

                  It takes 10-20 years of dedicated effort to gain competence in new technology via illegal copying and patent theft, and another 10-20 years to gain any kind of independent leadership.

                  So what you are saying can be done, but it will be extraordinarily difficult and a generational task.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    Oh noes, we can’t do it over night, oh woe is us.

                    /sarc

                    You do realise that we could license the technology as it is or possibly a generation or two behind and then work from there don’t you?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Of course you can license that knowledge. If anyone wants to sell you their IP, once they know you intend to enter their core markets.

            • Mike 10.1.1.1.1.3

              If wages had increased in line with increases in productivity over the last 30 years as they should have done, this thread would not exist.

          • SJH 10.1.1.1.2

            That’s true. I can’t save much. I’m only earnign a dollar above the minimum wage, but I suspect that’s why we call this the minimum wage.

            Someone starting out on the minimum wage would need to be very frugal and have low debt to save $150 – $200 a week.

            This is where I’m a little confused as to a “living wage”. Have they provided any data as to what exactly a $18-$20 living wage provides? With my student loan repayments and other debtss, if I was earning even $18 an hour I’d be able to save at least $200 a week.

            Is it a living wage, or are we talking about an ideal wage?

            • fatty 10.1.1.1.2.1

              This is just a guess, but its not a living wage in that it is the minimum to stay alive. It would be more as you say an ideal wage. That means that under a livable wage a person has access to opportunities to basic rights, such as a warm dry place to live (not a mansion, but a reasonable place where health will not be compromised), able to afford a healthy diet (veges, meat, grains, cereals etc.) It would also mean people are not excluded from citizenship – so that means being able to afford to partake in community activities, sports, recreation, swimming pools etc.

              That is just a guess, I could be stretching it there.
              I also wonder how they figure this out if this minimum wage is for someone with a child, or three, or none, or living in Westport, or living in Auckland…

              • SJH

                That’s very much what I was referring to.

              • KJT

                University studies show that at present, for a family of four, a healthy diet costs a minimum of $278 a week, rent for a basic family home is at least $250 even in backwaters like Whangarei. A cheap house is unlikely to have close access to public transport, even with non-casual working hours so for most workers a car is a necessity. There goes another $200 a week. Then there are clothes, health care, appliances, beds and bedding, school, some recreation (Eg. Kids rugby boots and fees) and the costs of going to work.

                Wages that are too low and WFF are a subsidy, from the rest of us, for employers who will not or cannot meet the full costs of the resources they use. Not even good capitalism.

                • fatty

                  thanks, do you have links to those studies KJT?…also are you going to start posting on your blog again?

                • KJT

                  Still looking for a publicly available web source for you. It was a recent Otago University study.

                  Incidentally the same study not long ago put the figure at $220.

                  Showing the excessive rise in cost, until the last few months, of staple grocery items.

            • Blue 10.1.1.1.2.2

              From what I read, the calculations relate to a family of four – Mum, Dad and two kids, and based on the assumption that one parent works 40 hours per week, and the other parent 20 hours per week.

              For this family, the ‘living wage’ covers essentials like rent, power, transport, basic nutritional food all cooked at home, rates, levies etc plus about one outing a month.

              http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10864565

              Obviously, single people with no kids will find this pay rate substantially more luxurious, while people with more kids will find it harder to cope on.

            • felixviper 10.1.1.1.2.3

              SJH: “Is it a living wage, or are we talking about an ideal wage?”

              Let’s rephrase that question as “Are we talking about a living wage or a subsistence wage?”

              Sick of these people talking as if it’s controversial to expect ordinary workers to have a decent bloody lifestyle.

            • infused 10.1.1.1.2.4

              ideal wage.

              • fatty

                Blue stated this – For this family, the ‘living wage’ covers essentials like rent, power, transport, basic nutritional food all cooked at home, rates, levies etc plus about one outing a month.

                Infused – do you really call that ideal? It appears to be the minimum to me…what would be your minimum?

            • Mike 10.1.1.1.2.5

              We’re talking about a fair wage for a fair days work. Corporations are making ever increasing profits yet not sharing the increase with workers by way of wage rises.

              A living wage means being paid enough that you are able to participate fully in and feel part of, society.

              It means you can save for retirement if you are careful with your spending, it means not having to stress about which bill doesn’t get paid this month. It means being able to one day maybe buy a house of your own, etc, etc, etc. We’re constantly reminded from birth that we have to “work for a living”, well if we’re working we should be paid enough to ‘have a living’ which is decent and fulfilling.

              “Someone starting out on the minimum wage would need to be very frugal and have low debt to save $150 – $200 a week. ”

              You’re obviously joking. Aren’t you? Someone on the minimum wage receives let’s say around $450 after tax. Take out your “$150 to $200” savings leaves them with $250 to $300 a week to pay their rent, buy food, petrol, registration, insurance, medical, power, water, phone, repairs, emergencies and so on and so on and so on.

              I don’t know where you live, but my rent is $200 per week which, to get your level of savings if i was on minimum wage would leave me with $50 to $100 a week for all my non rent living expenses. Not a hope in hell! Petrol alone is around $40 per week, leaving me just $10 to $60 for everything else. No matter how frugal, it simply ain’t possible.

              • SJH

                No I’m not joking, Mike.

                I’m only slightly above the minimum wage. If you don’t have any dependents it is possible to survive and save. Not everyone needs a car, I don’t have one. I walked 70 minutes to and from town for work while living in Wellington last year. It is possible, but it is tough. $450 minus $150-$200 savings would leave me with $250 – $300. My home costs are $150 which includes rent ($125), electricity, SKY TV costs. I rent a place with a friend for $250 a week which we split. So that leaves me with $100-$150 a week to buy food, use public transport, buy some beers, go to a gig or whatever I like. That’s why I said you would have to be very frugal. When I’m not frugal, I can either dip into my savings or go without. I’m lucky that I have a job and am reasonably frugal.

          • NoseViper (The Nose knows) 10.1.1.1.3

            CV
            Gradual implementation of higher minimum rates is the job. But some national controls on loose lending by big companies would be good. All purchases need to have a deposit and immediate payments – adjustable amounts could make it easier all around but no payment holidays etc. Also let’s start with special housing accounts at Kiwibank with encouraging features.

    • joe90 10.2

      Nothing quite like the politics of resentment.

    • RedLogix 10.3

      Once upon a time employers paid married men more than single men. Now we have WFF.

      Get it?

    • felixviper 10.4

      SJH: “I just want to say this is a very big leap from what was previously a $15 minimum wage campaign. Maybe this is too far?”

      Right on cue.

  11. tamati 11

    If you want an example of “contracting” being used to circumvent minimum wage laws look no further than the courier industry!
    Ever wonder why couriers come at 6am to drop of that parcel? They have to work twelve hours a day to feed themselves. The left should investigate this, the whole indusrty is a rort!

  12. rod 12

    Evidently, John Key isn’t keen on the $18-$20 per hour living wage idea.

    • Skinny 12.1

      Of course Key is not keen at all on a $18-$20 living wage, he isn’t keen on raising the minimum wage. 

      This is a great strategy by the mighty Unions to highlight the low wage economy in NZ. All opposition party’s need to run with this and put pressure on the Government to ‘get real’ and act for all our citizens not just the rich!

  13. Foreign Waka 13

    Article 23 of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that ” Everyone who works has the right to just and favorable remuneration ensuring for himself and for his family an existence worthy of human dignity.”
    Human dignity would be the word that is important here because it is closely related to the participation within society as a whole. The only way to enable this is be having the means to do so.
    And this is not possible with $ 13.50 per hr.

  14. 2008 – 9 was the end of the era of growth. We are now living in the reverse of that, and at some stage in the future those left alive are going to be living off what remains of ‘the land’.
    To get from where we are to that point is going to be bloody horrible, this is just the start, even the Greeks haven’t seen the worst of it.
    China got a taste in 1949 ish, when up to (guesstimate) 45 million starved to death, with stories come out like this one – Before a mother dies she tells her daughter that because she is just skin and bone the best part of her is her heart “So eat it” or the commune leader who made a man bury his son alive, because the 10 year old was seen eating when he shouldn’t have had food.
    Believe me I am not looking forward to all of this.
    Low wages is the least of our problems.
    But no one cares, we got Kiwi Saver, and the Green party. happy happy joy joy

  15. Afewknowthetruth 15

    All industrial economies have been heavily subsidised by cheap energy (particularly oil) for many decades, and wages largely reflect the rate at which fossil fuels are extracted from underground. Thus, the US reached the pinnacle of notional wealth when its oil extraction reached a maximum and has been in decline since. Britain peaked in coal extraction in 1913 and in oil extraction around 2000, so it is on the slippery slope down. Places like Spain were able to create short-lived speculative economies based on money creation and the transfer of wealth from other nations via tourism and food exports. New Zealand built an economy based on extraction of phosphate rock from places like Christmas Island and the conversion of oil into waste.

    The old game is now over because global extraction of oil peaked several years ago and coal has become very problematic. Christmas Island has been stripped of phosphate (and most of the oceans have been stripped of fish). There are desperate attempts to prop up the system via fracking, deep=sea drilling etc. The bankster’s Ponzi scheme [of creating money out of thin air and charging interest on it] is unravelling via out-of-control debt and currency wars.

    Over the coming years we will see a substantial fall in notional wealth based on digits in computer systems throughout the entire world. It is inevitable. Needless to say, those at the top will ensure they get more than their share via whatever means they choose -probably overt fascism and/or feudalism, as opposed to the covert fascism and debt-slavery we currently endure.

  16. kiwi_prometheus 16

    “First target is large corporates and infrastructure monopolists ticket clipping and holding up costs while adding very little business value. Small businesses are being screwed in every direction currently.”

    “The left should investigate this, the whole [ logistics ] indusrty is a rort!”

    I think these comments point to the real problems that keep wages low and employment soft.

    NZ has a low productivity rate thanks to lack of capital investment by the management class who prefer to increase profits via undermining employment conditions.

    Regulations allowing monopolies or cartels to drain the nations wealth. The latest rort exposed is the power sector, free to suck the life force out of consumers thanks to no real independent regulator looking out for the little guy.

    An economy geared to low wage industries like Dairy and Tourism while a property bubble is cultivated, soaking up investment capital and increasing the risk of a financial crisis.

    Foreign ownership of banks etc sucking out what anemic wealth the NZ economy does produce.

    Campaigning for a living wage is quixotic while the above remain unaddressed – such a campaign could be useful only for bring attention to the above problems that are keeping wages suppressed.

    Where are the economist on The Standard?

    • RedLogix 16.1

      Plenty of economic material in this vein has been written or referenced over time. Many of us here pretty consistently find Steven Keen a good non-orthordox economist. I first spotted him in 2005, have his book ‘Debunking Economics’ and attended a seminar he did here recently.

      He’s not the only voice …. but he is Australian, occasionally refers to NZ, and is very accessible.

      • kiwi_prometheus 16.1.1

        Yeah I’m familiar with Steve Keen.

        “Many of us here pretty consistently find Steven Keen a good non-orthordox economist.”

        I’ve hardly heard him mentioned on here let alone any in depth discussion of his economic theory.

        Need some economists on here.

        • RedLogix 16.1.1.1

          Well Steven did comment here a couple of times some years ago… but that aside, there really are not a lot of non-orthodox economists in full-time employment in this country. Keith Rankin is the only other name that immediately leaps to mind, not to mention CTU’s Bill Conway.

          Otherwise you’ll just have to put put up with us enthusiastic amateurs.

        • Mike 16.1.1.2

          Why economists? You seem to be suggesting that an an economist is needed to discuss economics. I would have thought we’ve listened to economists for long enough and economic theory as it stands is no longer relevant as it does not include the welfare and stability of society in its’ calculations.

        • Colonial Viper 16.1.1.3

          I’ve hardly heard him mentioned on here let alone any in depth discussion of his economic theory.

          Please describe how your lack of attention is our problem.

    • Draco T Bastard 16.2

      The latest rort exposed is the power sector, free to suck the life force out of consumers thanks to no real independent regulator looking out for the little guy.

      It’s not that we need an independent regulator as that the power sector should never have been de-nationalised and turned in to a profit driven faux competition. It should have remained a government service running at a direct loss with taxes making up the difference rather than being a cash cow for government.

  17. Rogue Trooper 17

    Well, I do not think, sadly, that this minimum wage campaign is going to gain traction. the timing may be out, dwell on it.

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  • Gordon Campbell on juggling Covid, and France’s Trump-like populist
    It is the age-old Covid problem. How to balance the needs for firms (and schools) to re-open against the need to protect public health. In the past, the balance has been struck by insisting that the best public health outcomes also deliver the best economic (and educational) outcomes. While that ...
    6 hours ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 20 October 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Joe Atkinson, Political Scientist, University of Auckland: “NZPD is an indispensable source for political junkies like me. It sorts the wheat out from the media chaff and saves a lot of time.” Anyone can sign up to NZPD for free at: https://democracyproject.nz/nz-politics-daily/ Today’s content Housing Zane Small (Newshub): How ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    7 hours ago
  • The Picnic Period: A sign of our Covid times
    Auckland. For a long been it’s been known to Maori as Tamaki Makaurau, a place of ‘many lovers’. In the past fortnight, though, Auckland has shaken out the rug and grabbed a drink to become Tamaki Pikiniki, a place of many picnics. The humble picnic is now, in many ways, a ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 day ago
  • Are Covid vaccines becoming less effective?
    A critical debate about Covid-19 vaccines is when does protection wane, by how much, why, and what does this mean for controlling the pandemic and the impacts of infections. Depending on the studies or headlines you read it can be confusing. Some report declining vaccine effectiveness, and others don’t. Some ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    1 day ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 19 October 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Dr Oliver Hartwich, Executive Director, The New Zealand Initiative “There is a dearth of quality journalism in New Zealand, and so I am grateful to NZ Politics Daily for sifting through our media to discover the gems of reporting and opinion editorials. It is a valuable contribution to ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    1 day ago
  • The Entrust election
    Auckland is holding elections for EnTrust, its local electricity trust. Entrust is important - it owns electricity and gas-supplier Vector, and so the decisions it makes around energy infrastructure could make a significant difference to greenhouse gas emissions. But the elections have traditionally been ignored, so its run by CitRats ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Argentina returns the favour
    In the early 2000s, Argentinian victims of the Dirty War, denied justice due to a local amnesty, sought justice in Spanish courts, who obligingly convicted agents of that country's dictatorship of crimes against humanity under Spain's "universal jurisdiction" law. But Argentina wasn't the only country with a repressive dictatorship which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Climate Change: A good move, but not enough
    The government has announced that it will quadruple climate aid to developing nations, from $300 million to $1.3 billion over four years. This is good: "climate finance" - aid to developing nations to decarbonise and offset the damage caused by rich-country emissions - is going to be a flashpoint at ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Too Much Say, Not Enough Do.
    When The Green Party Co-Leader Speaks, Does He Make Any Sound? James Shaw must know that neither New Zealanders, nor the rest of humanity, will ever take the urgent and transformative action that Science now deems necessary to stave-off climate catastrophe.POOR JAMES SHAW: He’s the man this government sends out ...
    2 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the perils of declaring premature victory
    Sure enough, Saturday’s Vaxathon was a barrel of fun and a throwback not merely to the Telethons of the past. It also revived memories of those distant days of early 2020, when we were all carefully wiping down our groceries, not touching our faces, washing our hands for 20 seconds ...
    2 days ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 18 October 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Kim Gillespie, Editor NZME Newspapers Lower North Island & Communities “I find the daily email great for giving me an overview of each morning’s big issues across the media landscape, and really appreciate the huge amount of work that must go in to compiling it each day.” Anyone ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    2 days ago
  • Bryce Edwards: Political Roundup – Celebrating and critiquing 25 years of MMP
    Over the last week, MMP has been in the spotlight, given that it’s now been 25 years since the first general election was held under this proportional representation system. This has produced some important commentary and storytelling about the introduction of MMP and about the various pros and cons of ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    2 days ago
  • COVID-19 in Aotearoa: what does public health do now?
    Dr Belinda Loring, Dr Ruth Cunningham, Dr Polly Atatoa Carr* Public health activities have collectively made an incredible contribution to minimising the impact of COVID-19 in Aotearoa. But the work for public health is not over. As the situation in Auckland heralds a transition point in our approach to the ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 days ago
  • 2021 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #42
    Listing of articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week: Sun, October 10, 2021 through Sat, October 16, 2021 The following articles sparked above average interest during the week: ‘This is a story that needs to be told’: BBC film tackles Climategate scandal, Why trust science?, ...
    3 days ago
  • Is injection technique contributing to the risk of post vaccine myocarditis?
    Recent misleading media headlines about vaccines being administered incorrectly in the absence of evidence do little to help public confidence in vaccines. Spoiler alert, vaccines are not being administered incorrectly. The topic of this blog is based on what could be an important scientific question – is one of the ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    3 days ago
  • A Māori health expert reports from the Super Saturday frontlines
    Rawiri Jansen, National Hauora Coalition I write this as I charge my car, getting ready to head home at the end of a pretty good Super Saturday. It started with coffee and checking the news feeds as any good day should. Between 9 and 10 am as I drove to ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    3 days ago
  • Weddings and Leopards
    Could it be that the Herald is beginning to twig that an unremitting hostility to the government does not go down well with all its readers? The evidence for that is that, in today’s issue, two contributors (Bill Ralston and Steven Joyce) who usually enjoy sticking the knife in, take ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    3 days ago
  • The Chronicles of Kregsmal and Krunch: Volume I
    As noted previously, my weekly DND campaign with Annalax and Gertrude has been put on ice. I expect it to return eventually, but for now it is very much on hiatus. The remainder of the group have decided to run an entirely new campaign in the meantime. This ...
    4 days ago
  • Super Saturday recap: Patrick Gower doesn’t know what he’s supposed to do
    It was Aotearoa’s first national day of action in over ten years, the first since 2010, when Prime Minister John Key tried to inspire us to clean up our nation’s berms. It didn’t work. Today, New Zealand’s berms are worse than ever. But history is not destiny, and other cliches. ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    4 days ago
  • COVID-19 Worried about getting your vaccine or want a simple explanation?
    Worried about getting your vaccine? Let me tell you a secret. No-one likes getting a vaccine. People do it because they know they’re better off to. Let me tell you another secret, a weird one: the vaccine doesn’t really “do” anything. Confusing? Let me explain… Vaccines are a face at ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    4 days ago
  • Delta puts workers’ power under the spotlight
    by Don Franks Foremost fighting the Delta virus are workers, especially in health, distribution, service and education sectors. Unionised members of these groups are centrally represented by the New Zealand Council of trade unions ( NZCTU). Political journalist Richard Harman recently noted:“Businesses are caught in a legal tangle if they ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    4 days ago
  • Faster transitions to clean energy are also cheaper
    This is a re-post from the Citizens' Climate Lobby blog Several clean energy technologies like solar panels have become consistently cheaper year after year as the industries have benefited from learning, experience and economies of scale. Falling solar costs are described by “Swanson’s Law,” much like Moore’s Law described the rapid and consistent ...
    5 days ago
  • Abstraction and Reality in Economics
    Sometimes high theory loses the human point of the exercise.One of the joys of teaching is you learn from your students. When fifty-odd years ago, I was at the University of Sussex, a student doing our first-year economics course, Jim, came to me, saying he was pulling out because it ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    5 days ago
  • What Happened to the Team?
    Last year, in the early stages of the pandemic, the Prime Minister’s “team of five million” performed well; team discipline was maintained and we all worked well together. This year, however, has been a different story; team discipline has weakened, and many people have on numerous occasions behaved badly and ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: Another legal victory
    Across the world climate change activists have been going to court, seeking to make their governments act to protect future generations. And hot on the heels of victories in the Netherlands and Germany, there's been another one in France: A French court has ordered the government to make up ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Invasion Of The (Covid) Body Snatchers.
    It's Here! They're Here! We're Here! Help! It’s as if we’re all living through a Covid version of Invasion of the Body Snatchers. What has become of Jacinda? Where have they taken her closest Cabinet colleagues? The people on the stage of the Beehive Theatrette look the same, but they ...
    5 days ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 15 October 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Associate Professor Grant Duncan, Massey University, Auckland “The NZ Politics Daily email is very helpful in giving me a quick overview of current events and opinion. It allows me to pick out important or informative columns that I may otherwise have missed. I recommend NZ Politics Daily to anyone ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    5 days ago
  • Missing From The Anti-Covid Action.
    The Invisible Man: Where has the NZ Council of Trade Unions been during the Covid-19 Pandemic? Why hasn’t its current president, Richard Wagstaff (above) become a household name during the pandemic? Up there with Ashley Bloomfield, Michael Baker, Shaun Hendy and Siouxsie Wiles? WHERE HAVE THE UNIONS BEEN during the Covid-19 ...
    5 days ago
  • “Go West, Young Virus”
    The Auckland Coronavirus Outbreak potters along, not helped by the perception that the Government is disturbingly enthusiastic about “managing the virus” or loosening the border. Health Minister Andrew Little said today he envisages 90% vaccination rates (which we don’t have) eventually leading to 5,000 cases in Auckland a week… ...
    6 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #41, 2021
    How to fill a glass and thereby drink— from a fire hose So far this year, New Research has published listings for 3,291 papers concerning climate change from one aspect or another. Each edition includes two dozen or so articles describing freshly and directly observed effects of global waming. These ...
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: UKanians supports cuts
    The Guardian reports a study on emissions reduction policy from the UK, which found that UKanians overwhelmingly support stronger action than their government: The UK public backs a carbon tax on polluting industries, higher levies on flying and grants for heat pumps in order to tackle the climate crisis, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Media Link: “A View from Afar” on PRC-Taiwan tensions.
    In this week’s podcast Selwyn Manning and I discuss the upsurge in tensions between the PRC and Taiwan and what are the backgrounds to and implications of them. You can check the conversation out here. ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    6 days ago
  • Labour’s 2023 election manifesto
    This morning Health Minister Andrew Little effectively unveiled Labour's 2023 election manifesto: 5,000 cases a week in Auckland alone: Thousands of people will be infected with Covid-19 every week even with vaccination levels at 90 per cent, and hospitals face being overwhelmed once restrictions are eased and borders opened, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Don't Blame James.
    Emissions Impossible! So, don’t be too hard on poor James Shaw. His pathetic little To-Do list is, indeed, totally inadequate to the crisis. But, you know what? He’ll be lucky to get half of the items ticked-off. There’s just too many entrenched interests – not the least of whom are ...
    6 days ago
  • The “Pulpit of Strewth”
    Barry Soper is one half of one of one of those right-wing husband-and-wife duos in which the Herald seems to specialise. In today’s issue, he has a piece that doesn’t quite reach the heights (or depths) of a Hoskings-style anti-government hostility, but which does provide an interesting example of the ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    6 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the epic fails of Kris Faafoi
    Ever since Winston Peters first breathed life into this government in 2018, its own branding has been all about social justice and how we all need to be “kind” to each other. Somehow, Kris Faafoi must have missed the memo. His performance in the immigration portfolio (in particular) has neither ...
    6 days ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 14 October 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Mike Treen, Advocate, Unite Union “Please continue your incredible work compiling these news digests. As someone operating in the fields of advocacy for workers and the broader social justice areas it is invaluable to be able to check what is happening in the media relating to the issues I have to deal ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    6 days ago
  • Overconfident Idiots: Why Incompetence Breeds Certainty
    This is a re-post from the Thinking is Power website maintained by Melanie Trecek-King where she regularly writes about many aspects of critical thinking in an effort to provide accessible and engaging critical thinking information to the general public. Please see this overview to find links to other reposts from Thinking is Power. ...
    7 days ago
  • Climate Change: Abandoning ambition
    When Labour was first elected to power in 2017, they promised us "[an] ambitious plan to take real action on climate change". Four years and a lot of foot-dragging later, they've finally released that plan. And its not what was promised. Where to begin? Firstly, they've taken the Climate Change ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Many e-cigarette vaping liquids contain toxic chemicals: new Australian research
    Alexander Larcombe, Telethon Kids Institute   From October 1, it’s been illegal to buy e-liquids containing nicotine without a prescription from a doctor everywhere in Australia, except South Australia. But vaping with nicotine-free e-liquids is not illegal in Australia (though in some jurisdictions the e-cigarette devices themselves are illegal). Vaping ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Young adults worldwide have blunt message for governments: ‘We don’t trust you.’
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Karin Kirk Elizabeth Marks describes herself as “a psychologist who works on difficult problems.” Her past research aimed at helping people cope with challenging health conditions, apt training, it appears, for taking on climate change issues. A few years ago, she altered ...
    1 week ago
  • Making ‘Second Age’ Hobbits Work: Amazon Series Speculation
    Time for a good old-fashioned fandom furore. The Tolkien fandom hasn’t had a proper one of those since the Great Nudity Scandal of October 2020… so it clearly must be time to pontificate from on-high about a television series we still know vanishingly little about. This time the subject ...
    1 week ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 13 October 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Dr Lara Greaves, Political scientist, University of Auckland: “I love the NZ Politics Daily emails as they help me to keep on top of current events. It’s incredibly easy to skim through and follow the links. I really appreciate these as it means that I am exposed to a ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    1 week ago
  • The Data and Statistics Bill and the OIA
    The government introduced a new Data and Statistics Bill today to modernise and replace the 45-year old Statistics Act. Part of the Bill re-enacts the existing confidentiality regime (with one exception), which while a secrecy clause isn't an especially controversial one. Another part is aimed at removing "outdated" (inconvenient) limits ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Graham Adams: The debate over the $55 million media fund erupts again
    RNZ’s Mediawatch and a video clip viewed 42,000 times keep the topic of the Public Interest Journalism Fund fizzing. Graham Adams reports.   A week ago, the NZ Taxpayers’ Union posted a short video clip of the exchange in Parliament between Jacinda Ardern and Judith Collins in which the National ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    1 week ago
  • Multiple sclerosis: the link with earlier infection just got stronger – new study
    Scott Montgomery, UCL For most of the time since the first description of multiple sclerosis (MS) in 1868, the causes of this disabling disease have remained uncertain. Genes have been identified as important, which is why having other family members with MS is associated with a greater risk of developing ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Hit hard by the pandemic, researchers expect its impacts to linger for years
    Sora Park, University of Canberra; Jennie Scarvell, University of Canberra, and Linda Botterill, University of Canberra   The impacts of COVID-19 on Australian university researchers are likely to have consequences for research productivity and quality for many years to come. According to an online survey of academics at the University ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Covid and free speech
    by Don Franks Some commentators have likened the struggle against Covid 19 to the world war experience. To those of us not alive in those times, that comparison can only be academic. What the anti virus battle reminds me of much more is an industrial strike. In my twenties and ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • “Angry Blowhards”
    In today’s Herald, their excellent columnist, Simon Wilson, takes to task those “shouty” people whom he further describes as “angry blowhards”. They are those whose prime reaction to the pandemic is anger – an anger they seamlessly (and perhaps unwittingly) transfer from the virus to the government. The basis for ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Looking Forward To 2022.
    Future Tense? Okay, so that’s where we are in 2022. Living in a New Zealand where all the usual rules of politics once again apply. And, guess what? Jacinda’s government, once again, isn’t doing very well – not very well at all.LET’S PLAY A GAME. Let’s pretend we’re half-way through ...
    1 week ago
  • Gordon Campbell on Covid mandates, and the Covid pill
    The cliché about “living with Covid” will not mean life as we’ve known it, Jim. Vaccination is fast becoming a condition of employment, and also a requirement to participate in aspects of social life, such as travel, attending bars, cafes, and concerts etc. These protective measures enjoy a high level ...
    1 week ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 12 October 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Prof Alan Bollard, Professor of Practice at the School of Government, Victoria University of Wellington; Chair of the Infrastructure Commission: “NZ Politics Daily” provides a great public service – a quick and unbiased way to check policy announcements and analysis every morning.” Anyone can sign up to NZPD ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    1 week ago
  • Legal Beagle: A submission on the COVID-19 Public Health Response Amendment Bill (No 2)
    I have made a submission on the COVID-19 Public Health Response Amendment Bill (No 2).In preparing it, I looked at the Hansard for the first reading debate, and got name-dropped as someone likely to make a submission. So, of course I did. I focus on a small bit of the ...
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: More tales from the Medicinal Cannabis Scheme
    You may have read last week that two years after the publication of regulations for medicinal cannabis – and three years after the enabling legislation – two local products from a local manufacturer have finally met the minimum quality standards for prescription. You may also be interested to know that ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Real action requires government
    Over the weekend someone pointed me at a journal article on "The Poverty of Theory: Public Problems, Instrument Choice, and the Climate Emergency". Its a US law journal article, so is a) very long; and b) half footnotes (different disciplines have different norms), but the core idea is that the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Not doing our bit
    Last month the US and EU announced they would push an agreement to cut methane emissions by 30% (from 2020 levels) by 2030 at the upcoming climate change conference in Glasgow. The good news is that New Zealand is looking at joining it. The bad news is that that won't ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Delta’s Week Of Doom.
    Classic Shot: Are the Prime Minister’s formidable communication skills equal to the task of getting her government’s anti-Covid campaign back on track?IF JACINDA ARDERN thought last week was bad, the week ahead promises to be even worse. Sixty community cases of Covid-19, one of the highest daily totals so far ...
    1 week ago
  • Urgent measures needed to allow the safe re-opening of Auckland schools
    Dr Rachel Webb, Dr Jin Russell, Dr Pip Anderson, Dr Emma Best, Dr Alison Leversha and Dr Subha Rajanaidu* In this blog we describe the range of urgent measures that are needed to facilitate a safe return to schools in Auckland and other regions of the country where there is ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Children live online more than ever – we need better definitions of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ scree...
    Kathryn MacCallum, University of Canterbury and Cheryl Brown, University of Canterbury   The pandemic has fundamentally altered every part of our lives, not least the time we spend on digital devices. For young people in particular, the blurred line between recreational and educational screen time presents new challenges we are ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Putting Aotearoa on the map: New Zealand has changed its name before, why not again?
    Claire Breen, University of Waikato; Alexander Gillespie, University of Waikato; Robert Joseph, University of Waikato, and Valmaine Toki, University of Waikato   Our names are a critical part of our identity. They are a personal and social anchor tying us to our families, our culture, our history and place in ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Yes, of course festival organisers will follow the law on vaccination
    On Tuesday 5 October the New Zealand Government announced that proof of COVID-19 vaccination would be a requirement to attend large events this summer.It took a few days for event owners to absorb the information and understand the implications. By the end of the working week, most of the big ...
    1 week ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 11 October 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Jim Hubbard, Cartoonist “NZ Politics daily is a go to for cartoonists, or should be.  Political reporting enmasse like this gives cartoonists and political junkies a smorgasbord to get their teeth into. Essential and I daresay vital reading for those who care about the future of NZ.” Anyone can sign ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    1 week ago
  • 2021 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #41
    Listing of articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week: Sun, October 3, 2021 through Sat, October 9, 2021 The following articles sparked above average interest during the week: VFX Artist Reveals how Many Solar Panels are Needed to Power the ENTIRE World, Will you fall ...
    1 week ago
  • The Night of Parmenides: accepted
    A bit of good news on the writing front. My 3900-word short story, The Night of Parmenides, has been accepted by SpecFicNZ for their upcoming Aftermath anthology, to be published in early 2022. This is my first published short story to be explicitly set in my home-town of ...
    1 week ago
  • The Virus, the Politician, and the gang member
    . . . . . References Newshub Nation: Gang leader Harry Tam denies Winston Peters’ claims he helped infected woman breach COVID boundary, sparking Northland lockdown Te Ao News: ‘Apologise!’ Mob leader slams Peters’ Covid, Northland allegations Stuff media: Covid-19 – Search for contact of Northland case ‘extraordinarily frustrating’ CNBC: ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Rapid kits, responses, and openings: watch motivations, or catch something worse with Covid…
    Last week was probably a high point for many armchair “experts”, fresh from their high after some deep inhaling of the various musings and fumings, of an actually very smug, and very insualted John “Things all work for me…” Key, former Prime Minister and FOREX trader, had blitzed the ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • Bollocks
    It would appear we have an unwelcome presence in town.Positive wastewater results had been detected in Hamilton and Palmerston North on October 6 and 7. There are 26 cases in hospital, seven of these are in ICU or high dependency units (HDU).One of the people in hospital is in Palmerston ...
    2 weeks ago
  • World-leading?
    So, the Herald has found someone, as we can see from today’s issue, who is able to explain why we should not claim to have been “world-leading” in our response to the covid epidemic. It seems that we have been kidding ourselves when we celebrated our low total number of ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Why Is Labour So Frightened Of “Mr Stick”?
    Force Multiplier: Why are Ardern and her ministers so loathe to put a bit of stick about? The “emergency” legislation eventually enacted to authorise the measures needed to combat the Covid-19 pandemic failed to confer upon the New Zealand Government the unequivocal authority that subsequent events showed to be so ...
    2 weeks ago
  • The Need for an Updated Strategic Approach to Covid-19 Control in Aotearoa NZ
    Prof Nick Wilson, Dr Jennifer Summers, Prof Michael Baker* The NZ Government appears to have drifted into an unclear strategic approach to Covid-19 control. In this blog we outline one potential way forward: a regional strategic approach that considers “regional suppression” and “regional elimination”. To maximise the success of this ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago
  • Mairon: The Actual Source for the Blasted Name
    Long-time Tolkien geeks – or those bemused enough to run across a certain internet phenomenon – might know that ‘Sauron’ is not actually the real name of the Lord of the Ring. ‘Sauron’ is just an abusive Elvish nickname, meaning ‘the Abhorred.’ Sauron’s actual name, at least originally, ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Forced Re-entry
    The elimination of Covid strategy is not so much defeated but changing circumstances means that policy has to evolve. Our elimination stance was never sustainable or at least it would not be until the rest of the world also eliminated Covid-19. Elimination of the virus was a strategy we adopted ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    2 weeks ago

  • Health reforms bill introduced to Parliament
    Legislation central to fixing the health system has been introduced into Parliament by Health Minister Andrew Little. “Rebuilding the public health system is critical to laying the foundations for a better future for all New Zealanders,” Andrew Little said. “We need a system that works for everybody, no matter who ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • NCEA and NZ Scholarship Exams to proceed
    NCEA and New Zealand Scholarship exams will proceed, including in areas where Alert Level 3 has been in place, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “The New Zealand Qualifications Authority, Ministry of Education and Ministry of Health have been working together to ensure exams can be managed in a safe ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • Limited change to onsite learning – for senior secondary students – in Level 3 regions
    Onsite learning at schools in Level 3 regions will start from next week for senior secondary school students to prepare for end of year exams, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “Secondary schools in these regions will start onsite learning for years 11 to 13 on Tuesday 26 October,” Chris ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • Guaranteed MIQ spots for health workers
    The Government is changing the way managed isolation is co-ordinated for health workers, guaranteeing 300 spots a month for the health and disability sector. “Our world-class workforce is vital in rebuilding the health system and dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic,” Andrew Little said. “Whether it’s bringing doctors or nurses in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • Govt helps to protect New Zealanders digital identities
    Making it easier for New Zealanders to safely prove who they are digitally and control who has access to that information is one step closer to becoming law, Minister for Digital Economy and Communications, Dr David Clark said. The Digital Identity Services Trust Framework Bill passed its first reading today ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • Red tape cut to boost housing supply
    New building intensification rules will mean up to three homes of up to three storeys can be built on most sites without the need for a resource consent New rules will result in at least 48,200 and as many as 105,500 new homes built in next 5-8 years Bringing forward ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Nationwide business partnership grows conservation jobs
    Further Government support for New Zealand’s longest-standing sustainable business organisation will open up opportunities for dozens of workers impacted by COVID-19 to jump start a nature-based career, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says. Partnering to Plant Aotearoa, led by the Sustainable Business Network (SBN), is a collaboration with iwi, hapū and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand increases climate aid contribution
    Government commits $1.3 billion over four years to support countries most vulnerable to the effects of climate change At least 50 percent of funding will go to the Pacific as it adapts to the impacts of climate change The increase means New Zealand now meets its fair share of global ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Super Māori turnout for Super Saturday
    Māori have put a superb effort into mobilising to get vaccinated over Super Saturday, with thousands rolling up their sleeves to protect themselves, their whānau and communities from COVID-19, Associate Health Minister Peeni Henare says. “It was absolutely outstanding that 21,702 Māori got vaccinated on this one day alone with 10,825 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Language assists Tagata Niue to thrive
    Despite the uncertain times we face with the challenges of COVID-19, our cultural knowledge, values and language remain constant, helping us progress towards goals in life, said  the Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio. This year, the Niuean community in New Zealand decided on the theme, “Kia tupuolaola e ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • New Zealand Ambassador to France announced
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