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For the economic record

Written By: - Date published: 6:03 am, August 3rd, 2010 - 119 comments
Categories: economy, employment, john key, labour, national - Tags: , ,

John Key is popular like McDonalds and for much the same reasons. But he’s a politician without substance or mana. Substantive politicians don’t tell lies, like the ones Key told last week in Parliament about the widening wage gap with Australia. Or this one, that Key lobbed out in the middle of that dismal performance:

It took 9 years for Labour to make a complete and utter mess of the economy; it might take a bit longer than that for us to sort it out.

This lie is common from the fodder on the blogs, but I was surprised and disappointed to hear Key repeating it. So let’s take a look at Labour and National’s economic records shall we.

Labour’s legacy

Labour left the economy in good shape in 2008. Treasury said so at the time in their briefing to the incoming government:

A stable macroeconomic environment gives investors confidence in the New Zealand economy as a place to invest. It gives New Zealand businesses a degree of certainty for making business decisions. Successive governments have done a good job of getting the New Zealand economy in a position where it can respond well to economic shocks. Low levels of public debt allow freedom to look through short-term cyclical fluctuations and there is room to adjust monetary policy to support demand.

Bill English said so too, on Dec 18 2008:

“I want to stress that New Zealand starts from a reasonable position in dealing with the uncertainty of our economic outlook.” “In New Zealand we have room to respond. This is the rainy day that Government has been saving up for,” he told reporters at the Treasury briefing on the state of the economy and forecasts.

(Bill is still saying the same, in May 2010) The IMF agreed:

[New Zealand] was better placed, in terms of its starting point going into the crisis, than many countries. The basic nature of its banking system, the floating exchange rate, and low Government debt should stand it in good stead. … As well, “significant” stimulus from monetary and fiscal policy was happening, even if its full benefits had yet to be felt. “The average advanced country is starting with [government] debt of around 80 per cent of GDP,” Mr Brooks said. “New Zealand’s gross debt is around 20 per cent and in net terms it has positive financial assets. That’s important.”

Far from 9 years of economic “mess”, Labour oversaw a decade of growth. According to Reserve bank Governor Dr Allan Bollard in 2008…

“We have enjoyed a decade of growth, the longest period of economic growth since the post-World War 2 era. Inflation has been low, averaging 2.2 per cent since 1998.

Labour paid off debt from the past, grew the economy quicker than comparable countries, stopped the widening pay gap with Australia, took unemployment to 30 year lows, alleviated poverty with Working for Families, and started planning for the future (and stimulating the economy) with Kiwisaver and the Cullen fund. That’s an economic record to be proud of.

2008 recession

For a variety if reasons – none of them economic mismanagement – the New Zealand economy technically went in to recession in 2008. Dr Bollard sums up:

‘The international financial crisis actually played little role in the early part of New Zealand’s economic recession. Rather, it was drought, falling house prices and high petrol prices that dragged New Zealand GDP growth negative over the first three quarters of 2008″.

Despite being then caught up in the unfolding global recession, the resilient economy left by Labour recovered, and we were technically out of recession by the June quarter 2009. In other words the recovery was underway before the new National government’s first budget. National claim the credit of course, but we were out of recession before they even so much as twitched the reins of the economy.

The ongoing slowdown has certainly been harsh for New Zealand – especially to the many thousands who have lost their jobs – but the blame now fairly belongs to National. Labour left the economy in good shape, but National wasted the opportunity for a stronger rebound. Wasted it, because (unlike Australia) they have no idea and no plan for growth.

2008 election

It was obvious before the election that Labour both understood the magnitude of the global recession, and had a detailed plan and stimulus package ready for the economy. National, in contrast, was only focused on buying the election with irresponsible promises of massive tax cuts (a promise dropped as soon as their bums hit the ministerial seats). They had no realistic plan. John Armstrong summed up:

If actions speak louder than words, Labour was the winner on Day One of the official election campaign – game, set and match. In the fight over which of the two major parties is best at running the economy, Labour scored a significant tactical victory. …

Key’s earlier speech at National’s campaign opening in Auckland’s SkyCity Convention Centre said nothing new on economic policy. In fact, it said nothing new about anything.

If that was not bad enough, Labour was getting ready to lay out something really meaty just a few blocks away in the Auckland Town Hall. There, Helen Clark trumped Key by delivering the recovery package he had been demanding, including contingency plans to save jobs and the promise of a mini-budget in December. The upshot was that Labour looked like it was governing; National looked complacent and flat-footed.

The new National government

In the face of the worst global recession in decades, the incoming National government infamously went on holiday:

Govt’s ‘100 days of action’ includes 28-day holiday

It was supposed to be “100 days of action” … . but the new Government’s urgent agenda includes 28 days of a skeleton holiday-time operation. Despite the global economic crisis, Prime Minister John Key is on leave at his Hawaii getaway and – as in past summers – other ministers have been acting as the lone “duty minister”.

Not that it mattered much, because there’s very little difference between Nats on holiday and Nats asleep at the wheel. They had no plan of their own, so they tried to claim credit for the outgoing Labour government’s economic stimulus. Superb reporting by Tim Watkin at Pundit caught them out:

The $9 billion bait and switch

National claims its $9 billion stimulus package is one of the largest in the world and will protect New Zealand from the worst of the recession. But much of package is in fact old spending re-announced, including most of the previous government’s 2008 Budget and the purchase of KiwiRail that National so vehemently opposed

News sites and radio bulletins today are full of the government’s $500 million infrastructure spending plans, as part of its $9 billion stimulus plan for the economy. What they’re not telling you how the government is cutting and pasting old numbers under new headlines to make itself look more pro-active than it really is. … In truth, it’s a bunch of already budgeted-for spending plans re-announced and labelled a stimulus package. …

Tim finally got the truth:

The truth about National’s so-called stimulus: not a penny more

… Yesterday afternoon I got an answer and an admirably detailed answer at that from Bill English’s office. The short version is this: Last December the government confirmed that its new spending combined with Labour’s already committed spending would total $9b over the next three years. Every spending announcement since the business tax reform, the new bridges and schools hasn’t been about new money, it’s merely been telling us how that $9b would be spent. While the economy tanks and the rest of the world commits hundreds of billions in new spending, New Zealand hasn’t changed its fiscal plans one iota.

Desperate to be seen to be doing something, Key came up with a talk-fest “Jobs Summit”, and his astounding plan to fight the global recession with a cycleway. How’s that working out again? National have now had two budgets, in economic terms both of them wasted. Or actually damaging. Oh and by the way, unemployment is still high and the wage gap with Australia is growing ever greater too.

Signs of recovery

Not because of but in spite of the bumbling National government, the battered NZ economy is trying to battle itself back to good health. There are occasional signs of hope. As usual the Nats are desperate to claim the credit. But none of the “green shoots” are due to the government. Here’s a typical example:

Rising commodities have supported New Zealand’s economic recovery over the past 12 months after it climbed out of its deepest recession in 18 years in the June quarter last year. Central bank Governor Alan Bollard said New Zealand’s trading partners had recovered faster than expected and this had filtered through to the country’s exports.

Thanks commodity prices! Thanks trading partners! No thanks National. Similarly:

The outlook for the financial system has improved over recent months, reflecting a recovery in the New Zealand economy driven by stronger trading partner activity and a sharp lift in the terms of trade, Reserve Bank Governor Alan Bollard said today…

Thanks terms of trade! Thanks again trading partners! No thanks National. But it’s not all down to international factors – consider:

Deficit Falls Further The Government’s deficit has decreased further, with the Crown’s operating balance for the nine months to March 31 coming in $2,006 million smaller than forecast at $1,327 million mainly due to gains on the Crown’s investment portfolios held by the NZS Fund, ACC and EQC.

Thanks Super Fund, ACC and EQC, or in other words thanks Labour governments (2001, 1974, 1947)! No thanks National. Overall our performance coming out of this recession is anaemic:

June 2010 rebound much slower than usual:

The Reserve Bank is expected to keep raising interest rates, despite figures showing a much slower recovery than seen in past rebounds from recession. … The pace of this recovery is only a fraction of other rebounds seen in the past 20 years, as the economy slowly picks up after the global financial crisis.

Missing in action – no thanks National!

Summing up

The last Labour government had an economic record to be proud of, and left the country well placed to weather the global recession. National squandered that legacy. They had no plan before the 2008 election, and they still have no plan to this day. All they can do is try and illegitimately claim the credit for every minor upward blip in an indicator, and watch helplessly as they fall further and further behind on every measure for their self appointed goal of catching up with Australia. John “It took 9 years for Labour to make a complete and utter mess of the economy; it might take a bit longer than that for us to sort it out” Key is telling us the direct opposite of the truth. His government is not fit to kiss Labour’s bright red economic arse.

119 comments on “For the economic record”

  1. Pascal's bookie 1

    Good stuff r0b.

    (anti-spam: details)

    • Mr Magoo 1.1

      Agree. That was an excellent summary (with references) of the whole process from the start. (except the last bit of course!)

      I would suggest working for a paper if I believed the editors would ever allow an article like this….

  2. happynz 2

    Stagflation is what I’m seeing – rising prices and flat, and indeed, falling wages in some areas. The National government doesn’t seem to have any game plan to address this problem.

  3. peter 3

    Guys, No one on the right is going to give Labour any credit for their economic management, I think that would be a ‘dead rat’ too many for those swine to swallow.

    • illuminatedtiger 3.1

      It’s still worth pointing out their lies though. The audacity of some of these born to rules is disgusting.

      • ZB 3.1.1

        North of $50,000 for a few like Key and north of $50 for the many minus $50 in increase taxes and levies.

        Sure you’d have to be gormless to run with the line that the changes were fair and balanced.

        Yet National did. And the many soaked it up.

        One isn’t born every day, one is born ever 10 second sound bite.

        The fact the media did not choke on the ‘fair and balanced’, and Labour failed to hold National to account, suggest that Democracy is not working, the lies are now so obvious its shocking.

        • Draco T Bastard 3.1.1.1

          North of $50,000 for a few like Key and north of $50 for the many minus $65 in increase taxes, levies and decreased wages.

          FIFY

      • burt 3.1.2

        The biggest bunch of lies and half truths is here; Pathetic spin to deflect from Labour’s mismanagement.

    • Fisiani 3.2

      The ball moved out of the scrum quickly and the halfback slipped a swift backward pass to his left. Stunning handwork but no forward progress as the ball aimlessly headed out to the wing. The winger, newly subbed on was tossed the hot potato ball half a millisecond before 4 burly opponents came crashing in.
      It’s called a hospital pass.
      Spending up large and leaving the cupboard bare was a scorched earth policy bordering on economic treason.
      The public know that Labour wasted their time in possession and are merely and desperately trying to blame the winger for being gang tackled. “We were wonderful. We kept possession.”
      Shame that they put no points on the board. Shame they wasted possession.
      Amazingly the right winger has retained possession and already made amazing gains. The crowd are cheering are really appreciating the talent and foresight as the ball is now in a rolling maul of infrastructure and education and health spending and a whole host of team improvements.
      All the tipsters at Ipredict are picking the Blue team to triumph in World Cup year.
      The Blues and the All Blacks will triumph in 2011.

  4. wyndham 4

    “It took 9 years for Labour to make a complete and utter mess of the economy; it might take a bit longer than that for us to sort it out.”

    Anyone watching question time in parliament will have noted that Keys’ statement is a mantra used by pretty well all the Nat. ministers. Particularly Bill English who seldom, if ever, replies to an Opposition query without almost that exact phrase. Ryall is another closely followed by Smith. It really is getting boring and one wonders at what stage of a new government’s life it should stop . . . .we are, after all, now some 18 months into this one.

    Captcha: Principles

  5. stunning insights r us 5

    So – apart from John Key, Money Traders vaulting ambition to be NZ P.M for the kicks, whats the point of National? Why The National? They don’t seem to be a political movement with an agenda – just an association of crummy troughers and repellent personalities who seek limelight and prestige.
    Ooooh yuck really.

    • illuminatedtiger 5.1

      Who have such a lack of internal talent that they can’t win an election without bringing someone in from the outside.

      • ghostwhowalksnz 5.1.1

        Nationals got Talent !
        Remember Melissa Lee. yes its hard to remember , even Key has forgotten her like all embarrassing facts from the past.
        There are no press releases earlier than a year ago. Nothing Zippo.
        Is she still alive ?

  6. Outofbed 6

    pretty much

  7. tc 7

    Nice post but again where is the consistent attack from Labour on these BS slogans they throw about both in the house and outside it.

    If only some of the ridiculous responses from NACT/MP Ministers to serous questions could make their way into the MSM it would show how clueless they are.

    • loota 7.1

      Goff and King should be all over this shit like a cheap suit. Day in day out day in day out. And the backbenchers need to be engaging in their communities with these messages.

    • Pete 7.2

      That’s my question too tc (thanks for the commentary R0B – bloody good to have it all in one spot).

      I keep hearing the same things that wyndham mentions upthread, but we hear nothing from Labour in defence. That’s where they’re losing the soft supporters on the left.

      Is there something in Standing Orders that prevents them from defending their record? And why, after facts have been proven (for example that economic growth levels were nothing like what English is positing in the House under Labour or National) do Labour not correct the record – press release etc. MIA.

    • Draco T Bastard 7.3

      And that is the big question: WTF isn’t Labour highlighting these lies from NACT?

  8. Joshua 8

    Just passing by and thought you would like to know, your article is not very biased at all. It addresses the issues of Labour lying about the state of the economy in the books as national were coming into parliament perfectly, and it effectively illustrates the high of the economic situation world wide at the time Labour were in power. And of course we have mentioned how not only were the books forged to make it look better than it was but we would also address the issues of Labour somehow losing the 6billion dollars in the bank before heading into the next term.

    Of course I’m not lying when I say you have addressed all the issues am I, I only started with the issues you have addressed and there is so much more.

    But of course the only way forward in the county is the Labour way, lets tax down all the businesses and support the unions, that way we can close down all the business that are not paying us enough, I mean if the business closes down we still keep our jobs right? I mean if the business are earning less money we still get bonuses right? I mean it’s the only way forward, with less money coming into the country we will all be better for it. like it’s the only way. haha you guys crack me up, you are actually seriously believing anyone with more than 2 brain cells are going to believe this crap?

    But how can we trust a man who gives all his earnings from parliament to charity?

    I don’t think I’ve come across such an ill-misinformed blog ever.

    By the way reading through the article, in future I recommend you get some of the facts right, especially when it come to funding publicly announced, Don’t bother arguing with me on this as I wont be back on this site, so any energy is just wasted.

  9. Bunji 9

    Superb post R0B. Lovely and systematic.

  10. coolas 11

    Great post ROB … but how do we get this info to all the battling Kiwis working so hard and long they haven’t got time to read/analyse but only catch up with the ‘news’ on TV.

    The 4th Estate have become part of Key’s Real/Estate. It’s shameful. The sycophancy of Sainsbury, Hoskins, Henry, Mora et all is sickening.

    Maybe pamphleteering, posting, handing out in the street.

    With your permission I’d like to copy this and distribute in my community. Yeah?

  11. BLiP 12

    As thorough and as accurate a systematic dismantling of National Ltdâ„¢’s mendacity as ever I’ve seen. Top work R0B, thanks.

    Ditto on coolas’ request, please.

  12. Lanthanide 13

    Why doesn’t someone from the Labour front bench (or indeed, all of them on the labour front bench, and they can take turns), have Bill Englishs quotes above written out. Then when someone from National spouts this crap, all they have to do is stand up and quote Bill English.

  13. r0b 14

    Gosh – thanks all for the warm response!

    Yes of course – this post is fully “open source” – you can redistribute and / or edit in whatever way you want with or without attribution. Just get the truth out there.

    Cheers
    r0b

    • Draco T Bastard 14.1

      Ah, attribution is actually a must as it allows people to check sources.

  14. bryce 15

    thanks Rob,

    now if we can just distribute this to the labour party…

    why are they not all over this like a donkey on a waffle?

    Or any of the up to and including ten thousand other inconsistent statements the National Party comes out with?

    Instead of watching Labour enjoy the waffily treat they deserve I have to put up with Smith, Ryall, Key, English and others of their ilk gurgling on glibly about whatever they choose to invent.

    By the way, isn’t it time that politicians stopped using the term flip-flop? it does my head in.

  15. jbanks 16

    “The last Labour government had an economic record to be proud of, and left the country well placed to weather the global recession.”

    Mediocre is not good enough for New Zealand.

    Labour did little to expand the productive economy over nine years. In their time they failed to capture any benefits from the longest period of economic activity since World War II. The growth in the New Zealand economy was due to a mix of fast-spending on government services, a property bubble, and high export commodity prices. Instead of dealing with critical issues like savings and investment, and economic productivity, Labour failed spectacularly. Economic productivity flat-lined under Labour.

    This is the reason that Business has no confidence in Labour, and this is the true measure of their failure. Labour support is at 30% of the general population, and would lucky to be in double figures with the business vote.

    To make it clear, not capitalising on the golden years IS making a mess of the economy.

    • Lanthanide 16.1

      Yes, I guess businesses do hate it when the unemployment rate gets down to 3 and 4%, because then they have to pay so much more to hire good staff. It’s much better when it’s an employers market with 6-7% unemployment because they can pick and choose who they like and pay them whatever they want.

      Just to make my point clear: if Labour really had screwed over business so bad for so long, the unemployment rate would’ve been much higher. But actually they were doing a good job of economic management, so many businesses managed to thrive, grow, create jobs and employ people.

      • Rob 16.1.1

        The thing that gets me about all of this is that you seem to be oblivious about the amount of secondary level manufacturing jobs and processes that vanished from NZ over the last 10 years. A lot of jobs were transferred from this sector and I realise we created a many coffee makers, mortgage brokers, burger flippers and home appliance sales people employed by the growing retail sector , but jezz we did nothing to make NZ manufacturing strong and competitive , in fact I feel it was savaged by negligence.

        I remember talking to the union rep, when the company I worked for (a very long standing iconic NZ brand – not F&P) announced we were closing 3 manufacturing lines due to it all being outsourced to China and the guy told me he had just had three similar meetings over the last week and it did not even make it to the media any more. The comment above said that unemployment was static, it may well have been but the change in NZ industry and the types of functions was massive. We lost key production and manufacturing roles and shifted them to retail and supporting consumption and selling debt.

        However, obviously let’s keep congratulating ourselves on a job well done. Also why could they not have brought better management and governance of the finance industry and getting some remedy processes for leaking homes as that has really stuffed a lot of people?

        So flame away, but i think this is where some real underlying feeling is developing about the last Govt.

        • mcflock 16.1.1.1

          too a large degree I think you are right – there has been a sort of mantra that we can’t actually make anything sellable in NZ, all we’re good for are food, raw materials and the service sector (incl movies).

          E.G. “we can’t make trains in NZ”.

          But it goes beyond Labour and has become the “cultural cringe” of NZ. It is also tied in with the “globalisation is inevitable and means free markets” brigade. We are good enough to make movies and be corporate bankers, or milk sheep and shear flocks of cows, but apparently we’re incapable of making manufactured items that have a USP of high quality, even if we have to pay people more than a dollar a day.

          It pisses me off.

          • loota 16.1.1.1.1

            Yeah I know exactly what you mean, I have worked in NZ companies making the finest, world class, price/performance/feature competitive products and it gives me the runny ****’s to hear our ‘leaders’ suggest that the only thing NZ’ers can make these days is a frakking soy latte.

            But it goes beyond Labour and has become the “cultural cringe’ of NZ. It is also tied in with the “globalisation is inevitable and means free markets’ brigade.

            ^+1 mate

    • BLiP 16.2

      This is the reason that Business has no confidence in Labour,

      ORLY? Perhaps you can explain this? Even the Aussies know about it, yet you don’t? Just like your namesake Totally Without A Thought.

      • jbanks 16.2.1

        Don’t be so stupid.

        Labour will never have the business vote.

        It’s obvious that business confidence atm has more to do with the global economic state rather than the govt. response. Did you forget that business’s were very happy with tax cuts & the 90 day bill? (supporting business in a way Labour never would).

        I’ll make it real simple for someone like you. People in business overwhelmingly don’t vote for Labour because Labour is too much ideology not enough experience in the real world. They had their chance and blew it. It’s time for the professionals to step in & clean it up.

        • Pascal's bookie 16.2.1.1

          Perhaps you might like to explain this ideology business.

          Is National’s position on taxes ideological? Or is it a pragmatic thing?

          If the latter, perhaps you might have some comments on these graphs:

          http://www.presimetrics.com/blog/?p=92

          Or do you just not know what the words you use, mean.

          • jbanks 16.2.1.1.1

            The OECD average tax rate is 25 percent. A 33 percent tax rate is not competitive.

            It’s not rocket science.

            • Pascal's bookie 16.2.1.1.1.1

              Yep, not even rocket science is that simplistic.

            • loota 16.2.1.1.1.2

              wow what a crock. Reference for your 25% figure or it didn’t happen.

              Do you know what happens when you apply low taxes to a low value economy? Yes, that’s right, you get a Government which has to borrow shitloads just to pay week to week bills.

              Sound familiar?

              I love how the Right wing tries to position taxes as a race to zero.

              Time to bring in an estate tax on every dollar of assets over $1M, that figure adjusted for inflation and property prices annually.

              • Zaphod Beeblebrox

                Don’t you get Ireland or California? Hang on Californias not a low value economy? Looks like you get the same result in high value economies too- a bankrupt government in any case!

              • jbanks

                “wow what a crock. Reference for your 25% figure or it didn’t happen.”

                http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/36/Income_Taxes_By_Country.svg

                http://www.istockanalyst.com/article/viewarticle/articleid/2516996

                Only in America . . . oh wait

                • Draco T Bastard

                  http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10644470

                  A tax wedge is the difference between how much employers pay workers and how much workers take home. NZ’s is second-lowest behind Mexico, an OECD report has found. Photo / Glenn Jeffrey
                  A tax wedge is the difference between how much employers pay workers and how much workers take home. NZ’s is second-lowest behind Mexico, an OECD report has found. Photo / Glenn Jeffrey

                  The average New Zealand earner’s total tax burden is second-lowest in the OECD when superannuation and other compulsory taxes are counted, according to a new report.

                  Actually, did you read those links? Because they shoe NZ having a low tax wedge.

                  • Pascal's bookie

                    Timmy banks is talking solely about business tax, even though he doesn’t say so. He doesn’t mention that Labour cut business tax, or that National’s cuts will largely be eaten by the changes to depreciation rules etc. If he mentioned those things, his comments would make even less sense, so he doesn’t.

                    Nor does he mention why pleasing business has anything to do with the post. Perhaps he thinks business is more important than people. Perhaps corporations are real people, unlike whatever it is those people are that don’t operate in the real world, whatever that is.

                  • jbanks

                    We’re talking about corporate tax you muppet.

                    • loota

                      Almost all our frakking corporates (e.g. banks) are owned by foreigners mate, they already repatriate every NZ$ of profit they make offshore, you lower the tax rate on them all they will do is raptriate even more NZ$ offshore to their foreign shareholders and NZ will get to keep even less of their economic activity.

                      You muppet.

                    • jbanks

                      “NZ will get to keep even less of their economic activity.”

                      Last year company tax contributed $9.3b to government revenue – about 25 percent of total income tax. And now our tax rates are more competitive it will encourage even more corporate investment.

                      So stop talking shite kermit.

        • Draco T Bastard 16.2.1.2

          Professionals? Everything that NACT have done so far shows that they’re all a bunch of incompetent amateurs. Not one of them has a friggen clue as to how the economy or society works.

    • Bunji 16.3

      Given you’ve largely copied and pasted your comment from a right-wing response to this, you’re well aware that business isn’t entirely pro-National. Indeed some fairly influential views are more in touch with current Labour thinking.

  16. Yogster 17

    Some what biased post

    The only real measure is labours economic performance relative to the rest of the world from 1999 to 2008 (say the OECD) over that period. As previously pointed out the whole world was enjoying a boom period which meant a trained monkey could have led NZ to a period of strong economic growth…

    Labours greatest legacy is that they didnt invest in measures that (signifciantly) increased productivity or infrastructure

    Instead they invested in social measures …so on a social equality / fairness perspective they a great success…no debate …. but dont try and say they also good economic managers…

    That being said National’s performance on both social and economic matters isnt any better (yet)

    • lprent 17.1

      The results say differently. Sure we didn’t go ‘up’ as fast as some economies. However because we were more prudent than the US or the UK we also didn’t go down as far.

      Perhaps you should read the post. You have to look at overall economic performance both in the good times and the bad. NZ by its trading nature is extraordinarily exposed to the world economic climate. Because we didn’t waste the good times by giving taxcuts rather than running down debt, we’re surviving the bad times pretty well compared to those countries that really wasted the good time – look at the US deficit going into the recession – it was horrifying.

      I suspect you have a issue with looking down – too much time staring at the sun (a common affliction amongst ACToids)?

      • Yogster 17.1.1

        Nice try. Dare you to post the results of our performance vs the OECD during labours reign…..even your statisticaly challenged posters would have great difficultly mantipulating or mis-interpretting that data!

        ….and I remember reading lots of posts stating how National have performed badly during the recession and its all Nationals fault that we havent come out of it as well as others…..

        So your new position is that “we’re surviving the bad times pretty well”…is is that due to National or labour…im so confused?

        PS: I actually never voted ACT. Voted labour while at uni, then started paying taxes in the real world and view changed and has been National for the last couple of elections. I find ACT as big a joke as the Greens..both way too idealistic but good for a laugh

        EDIT. Taking your point on board would be an interesting analysis to compare OECD ranking from 1999 to now (2010) as opposed to 2008….should answer the point whether the supposedly economic management of labour resulted less of a recission that offset the lower growth during 1999-2008

        Anyway i do enjoy reading your site and other peoples views. Even find myself agreeing with it sometimes. Its a good service you provide

        • Draco T Bastard 17.1.1.1

          So your new position is that “we’re surviving the bad times pretty well’ is is that due to National or labour im so confused?

          Should I be surprised that a RWNJ is confused…? Nope
          We’re surviving the bad times pretty well due to Labour saving the surpluses and paying down debt whereas NACT would have given tax cuts and increased debt (they said so).

          paying taxes in the real world

          No, you’re not. The entire contemporary economy is delusional (ie, not based in reality) and voting for NACT just shows that you’re part of the more delusional sect.

        • lprent 17.1.1.2

          For completeness sake it should run over a significiant period of recession – that was my point after all. There are a couple of problems with doing that kind of analysis at present.

          The biggest one is the lack of up-to-date data. From memory the OECD runs a few years behind. So what they’re looking at at present is the data from probably 2008 with the various stimulus packages unevenly holding up the economies.

          This recession has a couple more years to run by the look of it (we’d be able to see more by the end of the year if it does or not). So I’d probably be interested in doing that kind of number crunching in 2011 or 2012 as the stimulus packages get removed.

          However the percentage falls/growth in GDP/GNP have been quite a lot lower in NZ than the US/UK over the last few years (although not as good as aussie).

          That was exactly what was intended. Labour was actively seeking moving to a more stable economic environment long-term with less of the boom and bust that has been common through my working life. It looks to me like that has been achieved. The issue with that politically is that National seem to think that ‘long-term’ means until the next election – but there is nothing new in that.

          The worrying factor (as gingercrush was pointing out the other day) is in the private rather than the public debt levels. We need to get more levers in the hands of the reserve bank to deal with that. Some of the debt from local bodies is looking a bit problematic as well.

      • cough cough 17.1.2

        you could try listening to what people are saying instead of kneejerking lyn

        • lprent 17.1.2.1

          I did. Yogster was looking backwards without bothering to think about what was happening now and what would happen in the future.

          That lack of relative perspective with the chanting of meaningless slogans is something I associate with ACToids. Turns out (according to him) that isn’t the case. In which case, without the excuse of economic religious indoctrination, he really needs to think more.

          You (of all people) must be aware that I don’t tolerate fools easily….

    • Zaphod Beeblebrox 17.2

      So which do you prefer-? Cullen who reduced government debt by not dropping taxes (remember National wanted to do the opposite), set up the Superfund and Kiwisaver or English who is raising govt debt by cutting taxes, and is refusing to support any savings scheme.

  17. ak 18

    Top-notch as always r0b – another devastating collection of the facts that puts all professional “journalists” to shame and glaringly exposes the endemic tory tactic of the Repeated Lie in their Own Press. Granny grinds her organ and the monkey smiles and waves.

    Always catches up with ’em, but, as history grinds their mendacity back to dust. This grinning banker’s inanities will soon join “Financial Wizard”, “Switzerland of the South Pacific” and “Arrogant Helen” in the annals of farcical grotesquerie – pathetic cobwebbed curios, ignored and mouldering in the dank junk-shop of right-wing reaction.

    Great work r0b, keep it up.

  18. deemac 19

    and today’s Dom Post confirms what the semi-permanent sales season already told us: Wellington CBD is in economic trouble, the recession is not over, consumer confidence is low… and the government has no clue what to do about it.

    • loota 19.1

      The economic pain is coming, Labour better have and be seen to have, the plan to deal with it.

      Double Dipton is about to find out what a Double Dip is all about.

  19. jbanks 20

    “The only real measure is labours economic performance relative to the rest of the world from 1999 to 2008 (say the OECD) over that period”.

    Exactly, Labours 9 years of failed economic mismanagement and chasing social engineering ideologies sent NZ backwards by decades in all manner of OECD performance metrics.

    Leave the country to the professionals not the academics, the latter have never run businesses or worked at proper jobs in their lives. The fact that Labour squandered our prosperity, and the same social problems remains, is a testament to this.

    But the REAL facts won’t stop all the bleeding hearts with their fingers in their ears. “Awsome post R0B man *toke* we’re gonna win the next electionz *fap*”

    • BLiP 20.1

      Exactly, Labours 9 years of failed economic mismanagement and chasing social engineering ideologies sent NZ backwards by decades in all manner of OECD performance metrics.

      That’s what Actoids think, I guess . . . Yet you haven’t referenced one of these “performance metrics”? Wonder why.

    • Pete 20.2

      Yeah, let’s look at an OECD Report, they do have some merit.

    • Daveosaurus 20.3

      “failed economic mismanagement”

      That’s about the only true statement in your comment.

      Think about it… if you can.

  20. burt 21

    The economy was in recession before the global crisis, a decade of deficits were predicted due to that “prudent” financial management. But of course it was the failed policies of the 90’s that created the problems.

    Ther way I see it there is no point in having Labour govt’s – they never take responsibility for the mess they make, it’s always the other teams fault from decades earlier and when the other team say it might take a while to sort things out the same muppets that blamed policies from a decade earlier can’t understand the same thing applies to their red team policies.

    Apparently National changes have immediate impact and labour’s take decade to prove themselves… This thread is partisan hackery at it’s most disgraceful.

    • Zaphod Beeblebrox 21.1

      immediate impact- on what??

    • Pete 21.2

      Yeah, I’m with ZB – confused (but then I am a “leftie”).

      Where’s the ‘immediate’ impact, on anything at all? Anything?

      And, for the record, the only person who black-and-white says “Labour=Good, National=Bad” is you burt when you put words in other people’s mouths (as it were). And it’s getting old.

      It’s a lot better when you make an argument that doesn’t sound so whingey, and has facts and links (typically supporting said facts).

  21. randal 22

    so cut to the chase.
    national is the party of business.
    where is the new business?

    • loota 22.1

      Clearly National is the party of big multinational corporates, mining companies, banks and the like.

      But actual small NZ business like Hillside Engineering? The businesses which employ the vast majority of NZ’ers. Gufffaw, please don’t make me choke.

  22. Shona 23

    Thanks Rob,more useful stats for info junkies like me. Glad there’s no copyright Iprent as I have been printing flyers for over a year now using info from The Standard. Did some for the bike rallies and will be targetting the local farmers market in the Spring. Fact is not all people are sheeple. People Do want to know what is really going on. Keep it simple but respectful and be prepared to discuss the issues. I always provide link adresses on my flyers so folks can check it out for themselves and let them know I don’t belong to a political party.They are more inclined to take a flyer then. Cheers!

  23. Zaphod Beeblebrox 24

    Good to see at least someone is discussing these issues- with the exception of Oram and Hickey, the punditry seemed to have given up.

    The only other place I have seen this discussed is when Cunliffe blogs on Red Alert

    Wouldn’t it be good if we had at least some journalists out there sit down with English and ask complicated questions like- What are you doing about the Current Account? Or Whats happening with wages? Or if the crown is so far in debt why are you cutting taxes and building $bill roads? or even Where’s the plan?

    Happens in most countries in the world- except maybe North Korea, Fiji, Zimbabwe and NZ.

    • burt 24.1

      Last time the media wanted answers they were told that the business of govt is whatever govt decide it to be…. but still, that dictator is gone so they should sharpen up.

      • Zaphod Beeblebrox 24.1.1

        Fair enough, they were useless in noughties and they’re still useless now. Next time you cross the ditch, check out Kerry O’Brien or Tony Jones on ABC or the Sky News guys making Gillard and Abbott squirm in their seats every time they make a popularist gesture which everybody sees as BS. Check out Laurie Oakes in The Australian and see what he thinks of the current crop of backsliders.
        I’d love to see Key or English getting interviewed by those guys. Not quite the same as paul Holmes celebrity banter.
        Better still I’d love to see what John Clarke and Brian Dawes would have say about Brownlee, Tolley, Hide and the rest of the circus performers.

  24. Draco T Bastard 25

    Of course NACT have a plan. It’s a hard right dictatorial theft of NZ by NACT and their rich mates both here and abroad. They slip bit’s and pieces of it in when they think people aren’t looking and the MSM, owned by their rich mates, isn’t.

    BTW, encouraging more growth at this point in time when the Earth is heading for an anthropogenic ELE is like a doctor prescribing more cancer for the patient dying of cancer. It won’t help at all but it will cause far more more pain.

  25. comedy 26

    Pof pof pof pof fwap fwap fwap fwap

    “Labour’s great
    No Labour’s shite National’s better
    No National are evil, my sides better than yours
    No it’s not
    neh ne neh ne neh”

    It just goes on and on and on and on and nothing changes apart from where they sit in the debating chamber and that’s no joke.

    • Pascal's bookie 26.1

      It’s not true that nothing changes.

      You change your handle, for example, but not what you say, that remains the same.

      • comedy 26.1.1

        Bit like trying to convince everyone that you assess politicians actions on the basis of the actions and not on basis of the party they come from…………..

  26. Carol 28

    English was just on Checkpoint on Nat Rad repeating his line, “After 9 years of Labour government who just threw money at the problem..”, English decided they don’t need so many public servants giving policy advice, because most of the research had already been done overseas, and they just needed to use google to get most of the info..???

    policy advice for the government via google???!!!

    • Zaphod Beeblebrox 28.1

      That was an absolute classic interview by Mary Wilson. Worth a post in itself. Real yes Minister stuff. Conclusion- We need to spend $20,000 for policy advice experts to tell us that we have too much policy, which we could be obtaining ourselves by paying outside advisors or by using google (all knowledge resides on Wikipedia of course).

      The 2 year study on drink driving they asked for last week (in lieu of not making a decision) is not really paying for advise however. Neither I assume would be any commision headed by Don Brash, Wyatt Creech or any other ex- National MPs.

      Of course why does government have to worry about advice from experts- Crosby Textor can surely decide policy.

    • Rosy 28.2

      Yet they can’t get the research they need to support lowering the drink-drive alcohol limit…

    • Draco T Bastard 28.3

      Hell, getting it off google would be better than where the NACTs usually get their advice from – their arse.

      • prism 28.3.1

        Something off google – a quote from A Fish called Wanda – paraphrased –

        Gorillas (politicians) don ‘t read philosophy (or google)
        Yes they do, they just don’t understand it.

  27. Joshua 29

    Hahahahahahaha I’m back, couldn’t help myself, this is a great comic site. I do have to say, there is allot of National Banter from Labour Lovers on this site, I indeed like the way the labour government blamed the Muldoon government for the 9million surplus they lost before getting voted out. Yes thats right Labour reigned up a $9million surplus in there second term, then blew it all, while we were still in a economic high, then when the economy fails it gone, great economics from the experts there.

    They and the Unions during the 9years have totally destroyed our manufacturing industry, I guess moving them onto the sickness benefit at least kept the unemployment figure down, oh and of course them all going to retail and hospitality. Which when coming to the recession is obviously the best way to save the country. * sarcasm*

    Also I think if I remember rightly, there was a remark wondering if I had been spared tackled during a rugby match, the answer is yes, more than once and I wasn’t the one worse for wear just as a note, however it doesn’t say much for you if I’m able to see the simple logic, and you are still in wonderland does it.

    Also someone assumed somehow that I do things for the National Party? No offence but anyone who has work or will work for the National Party would not be as stupid as some dude who got spear tackled one to many times, and end up on this site, twice commenting. Just as a note. And yes that is me, thought I better clarify seen some people on here wouldn’t be able to read along the lines.

    “It took 9 years for Labour to make a complete and utter mess of the economy; it might take a bit longer than that for us to sort it out.” – Somehow this is a lie – but it has been the pattern for a long time, National are in power, they get the economy rolling and productive, Labour gain power reap the rewards of the last government while destroying all the development work that has been done, National again take the reigns, fixes Labours mess while reaping the consequences of the last government, then the process starts again with Labour back in power.

    We are talking about the economy here people, there are definitely somethings Labour do that is good, there are other things they don’t, the economy is not one of their strong points, I will vote Labour on transport policies, where I would vote National on the success of our economy, I would vote Labour on Environmental Issues, were I would vote National on Security and Crime control. It depends what we need at the time, and now it’s economy and the crime issues that need to be solved, this is the main problems in society, this is where we need improvement.

    It’s about creating the best balance, and that is where the people come in, you will always have your extreme lefties like yourselves and you will have your extreme righties, however it’s the people in the middle who change their votes according to the situation they are in, that is how we achieve our balance and that is why National are in control this term, and will be next term. But remember the National Government has had the highest number of votes for the last 3 terms, including 2 terms where Labour were in power, the majority of the population voted National However Labour were able to pair up with the greens etc, to gain the numbers. Just a thought to ponder.

    BTW at the moment I am supporting National (how’d you guess?), how can you not support a government who get things done, instead of writing reports about how they will one day, and making no progress. It’s this attitude that they have earned my respect. They have succeeded in the real world, know how to achieve, our own prime minister came from nothing to become a millionaire, so yes because of his achievements in life I have more respect for him, and trust him in running the country over anybody else. So who would know more about the economy than him, or do you believe his success is pure luck?

    • Armchair Critic 29.1

      Hi Joshua, after your first comment it was pretty obvious you would be back. I hope you understand the concept of contributory negligence because, from your comments to date, you seem to be asking for it. And I have no doubt that some of the commenters will be happy to give it to you.

    • Pete 29.2

      kiwiteen, is that you?

      Joshua, can you please give me some specifics to show how the current government have “got things done”, specifically in relation to the economy (as you have identified that this is important) and the correlative impact this has had on the economy?

      Also, given that (IMO) Labour approached crime in a similarly punitive way as National do now (with a couple of exceptions – i.e. focus on rehabilitation (even though it was paltry) and restorative justice), why is it that you favour National over Labour? And, what are the things that National are doing better than Labour on crime? And do you think that being the country with the second-highest rate of incerceration in the Western world is ‘a good thing’?

      • loota 29.2.1

        People are happy to pay more to house and feed a prisoner than to house and feed our elderly.

        Go figure huh.

      • Armchair Critic 29.2.2

        I think Joshua is not kiwiteen. Similar mentality, though.

        • felix 29.2.2.1

          Just to be clear, this tool is definitely not Joshua Arbury.

          Don’t be fooled by the funny transport blog link. Just an attempt to muddy the waters.

          • lprent 29.2.2.1.1

            Definitely not kiwiteen unless he has moved house.
            Also not jarbury.

            Basically just looks like another wannbe with nothing much to say

      • Joshua 29.2.3

        Hi, I am certainly not and have never been this kiwiteen, although he/she sounds like a good character. Got things done in terms of economy, the biggest thing has been the investment in Infrastructure, although I do agree in terms of Transport the priority of the projects going ahead is not the best, the fact is it has saved the construction industry’s jobs, they were gone otherwise, remembering Fletchers is one of the biggest employers in the country, without the investment in infrastructure there job loss would of been the biggest the country has seen. By fast tracking these projects not only did they complete projects that have been on the table for years, but they saved thousands of jobs throughout the country.

        90 day job trail ring a thought, I know plenty of people who have employed people and retained them because of this bill, it has created and aloud companies to start growing quicker because of it. Alot of people who oppose this bill say it would encourage job switching, where the employer would switch the employed every 90 days, I would challenge them to find a case, as training staff is expensive, it takes at least 6months to retain the investment of having them on board. No company is stupid enough to do this that I know of, but it does take away the risk of getting a employee who wont do any work for example. Just a couple to start with.

        National have started by doubling the police force in trouble areas such as South Auckland, they have encouraged the police force and commissioned them to cut down on the drug trade, anyone here been hearing about the Drug raids all over the news? Of course if you are not aware this is where alot of other crimes develop from. Also they have increased the amount of prision beds so we are able to lock those who need to be away, which brings us to the next point. The main problem is not because we are sending to many people to prisons, but that we have created a society where they believe they will get away with anything, well because they do, usually a slap on the wrist. Until we scare these people away from crime and actually give them consequences for their actions, they will not stop committing crimes. It may take time, we now have a whole generation who believe they can get away with things, but we do need to get hard on them. So I believe it’s a small price to pay to achieve our main goal of reducing crime. Our punishments are not the harshest, in-fact we are one of the softest when handing out sentencing, it’s just that we need to kill this culture.

        • BLiP 29.2.3.1

          Crime has gone up since National Ltdâ„¢ came to power – the infrastructure spending was all committed to by Labour prior to the election – there is no evidence whatsoever that the 90 day trial has resulted in additional employment opportunities, in fact, statistics indicate everything National Ltdâ„¢ has tried in relation to employment and the economy has only made things worse.

          Are you Kiwiteen’s big brother?

        • loota 29.2.3.2

          So I believe it’s a small price to pay to achieve our main goal of reducing crime. Our punishments are not the harshest, in-fact we are one of the softest when handing out sentencing, it’s just that we need to kill this culture.

          The only way harsher sentencing will fix crime is when the entire population of the country becomes either prison guards or prisoners.

          And ironically, at that stage, you are still going to have a lot of crime.

  28. The National led government does have a plan.

    John Key wants to make New Zealand into the leading money trading market in the world,
    The first market to open each day as the sun rises in the east.

    John Key has decided who his chosen few will be, has promised them tax cuts so they can buy shares in the taxpayers assets when they float them as shares to the market.

    That’s after the next election, along with the progress plan used by the Pinochet regime to smash the unions. Those “Nasty Nats’ who wants them back.

  29. Jenny 31

    Yes, very good post. And yes, it is shocking that this has not been carried by the MSM,

  30. Joshua 32

    Armchair Critic – “Contributory negligence is a common law defense to a claim based on negligence, an action in tort. It applies to cases where a plaintiff has, through his own negligence, contributed to the harm he suffered. For example, a pedestrian crosses a road negligently and is hit by a driver who was driving negligently.
    Contributory negligence differs from contribution, which is a claim brought by one tortfeasor against another to recover some or all of the money damages awarded to the plaintiff.”

    Another words you are saying we are both negligent in our views. Nice reasoning!

    Margret – your sure your not on the National Party team, cause that sounds great!

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    1 day ago
  • New Bill to counter violent extremism online
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  • Mycoplasma bovis eradication reaches two year milestone in good shape
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    1 day ago
  • New payment to support Kiwis through COVID
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    2 days ago
  • PGF reset helps regional economies
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    3 days ago
  • Government exempts some home improvements from costly consents
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    3 days ago
  • Concern at introduction of national security legislation for Hong Kong
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    4 days ago
  • Samoa Language Week theme is perfect for the post-COVID-19 journey
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    4 days ago
  • Adult kakī/black stilt numbers soar
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    5 days ago
  • Waikato-Tainui settlement story launched on 25th anniversary of Treaty signing
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    5 days ago
  • Taita College to benefit from $32 million school redevelopment
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    5 days ago
  • Redeployment for workers in hard-hit regions
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    5 days ago
  • $35m to build financial resilience for New Zealanders
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    6 days ago
  • New District Court Judge appointed
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    6 days ago
  • $206 million investment in upgrades at Ohakea Air Force Base
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    6 days ago
  • Review of CAA organisational culture released
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    6 days ago
  • New Board appointed at Stats NZ
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    6 days ago
  • New Principal Environment Judge
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    1 week ago
  • Digital connectivity boost for urban marae
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    1 week ago
  • Govt increases assistance to drought-stricken Hawke’s Bay farmers
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    1 week ago
  • Investment in New Zealand’s history
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    1 week ago
  • Driving prompt payments to small businesses
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    1 week ago
  • Rotorua tourist icon to be safeguarded
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    1 week ago
  • $14.7m for jobs training and education
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    1 week ago
  • Is it time to further recognise those who serve in our military?
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    1 week ago
  • Paving the way for a fully qualified early learning workforce
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    1 week ago
  • Sport Recovery Package announced
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    1 week ago
  • Major boost in support for caregivers and children
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    1 week ago
  • Great Walks recovery on track for summer
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    1 week ago
  • Māori – Government partnership gives whānau a new housing deal
    The Government is investing  $40 million in a partnership with Māori to get more whānau into warm, dry and secure accommodation, Associate Minister for Housing (Māori Housing) Hon Nanaia Mahuta says.. “We are partnering with Māori and iwi to respond to the growing housing crisis in the wake of COVID-19. ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Keeping New Zealanders Safe In The Water
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    2 weeks ago
  • Legal framework for COVID-19 Alert Level referred to select committee
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    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand condemns shocking attacks on hospital and funeral in Afghanistan
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    2 weeks ago