For whom the Toll bells

Written By: - Date published: 10:26 am, May 5th, 2008 - 62 comments
Categories: assets, economy, election 2008, Environment - Tags: ,

The Government has bought back the rail stock and ferries from Toll for $655 million.

The privatisation of these vital assets, which are also natural monopolies, by National was a disaster from Day 1. National flogged the railways and the ferries off dirt cheap to their mates who asset-stripped them by slashing maintenance and taking huge profits. As every asset-stripper knows, at some point the Government has to stop economically vital assets being degraded and that’s what happened when Labour bought back the railways and the rail stock and ferries went into the ownership of Australian-based Toll.

The situation stopped getting worse but hasn’t improved: Toll wanted to make big profits too, it didn’t want to pay for the use of the tracks, and it was tempting to direct freight away from rail to its trucking line. While the Government has poured money into improving the tracks, Toll hasn’t done its part. More and more freight is moving by road when it should be going by rail.

20 years of under-investment and greedy owners have left us with a dilapidated rail and ferry system. Now the Government owns the whole system again it doesn’t need to waste time and effort trying to get private wonders to invest; it can start to make the upgrades that are needed itself. Rail should be an integral part of our national infrastructure, especially as peak oil approaches and more energy efficient means of transport are needed (rail is at least three times more energy efficient than road).

National has said it will sell the railways now the Government owns them again (well English said that, then Key said no asset sales in a first term, so who knows where they stand). Labour will undoubtedly be planning a major investment programme. The ownership of rail and the broader issue of public assets is shaping up to be a central election issue.

62 comments on “For whom the Toll bells”

  1. Steve Pierson 1

    So happy I got to use that pic of the wee kiwi and the train again

  2. higherstandard 2

    Nice pic Steve

    Will be interesting to see the debate on this issue I’m am ambivalent about whether it’s a good or bad thing.

    As Michael Cullen said Toll had done a good job increasing freight volumes and streamlining the operation of terminals, but it had struggled to run a “commercially viable” business without government support.

    Personally I’d love to have a train system as good as those in certain parts of Europe and NZers using it more – my biggest concern is however that they won’t and the government will find it just as difficult as Toll to make it run economically – although I’d be delighted to see the opposite happen.

  3. Great stuff, does the taxpayer inherit the billion plus dollar track upgrade bill? Hell, those tracks need some big time work, ask any Coal train driver.

  4. Very good. Now we need to buy back contact energy.

    Weird captcha is “confiscate it” – I like this very much.

  5. Steve Pierson 5

    They sure do need work and that’s going to be easier to do now the Goverment owns both the tracks and the rolling stock.

    I’m not sure we can ever expect rail to be economic in itself – it is the broader benefits it brings to the economy and the enviornment that are important.

    It will be interesting to see what Natioanl has to say: English said they would sell but later Key said no asset sales in a first term

  6. Perhaps some of the more marginal long-haul passenger routes, e.g. the Southerner and Overlander could be run as an afternoon-evening service – that way tourists could hop off along the route and stay for a day at one of the many small stops.

    This move is great for regional New Zealand, increased access to passenger terminals and freight flows will give some well-paid jobs back to the regions.

    One statement I have heard today particularly sticks in my mind – in response to the criticism that the NZ Railways Corporation was used to hide unemployment – “Surely, working at the railways, even under its old guise in which it is unlikely to return to, is better than unemployment for the individuals concerned?”

  7. So Steve “not sure we can ever expect rail to be economic in itself” ? Then why are we throwing money at it? The (private) trucking companies can make a profit while paying taxes to pay for building and maintaining roads and to subsidize their unprofitable rail competition. I’m not clear how this is going to stop the free fall of our productivity statistics: http://www.interest.co.nz/ratesblog/index.php/2008/01/28/chart-productivity/

  8. James Kearney 8

    mawgxxxiv- trucks don’t pay their own way on the roads considering the damage their weight does. The rest of us are effectively subsidising them, not to mention their carbon emissions.

  9. Steve Pierson 9

    mawgxxxxiv. you could never expect a health system that delivers care to everyone regardless of ability to pay to make a profit or an education system that gives educations to all up to 16 to be profitable and yet we have those because we realise there are wider benefits to having them. It is a nonsense to look only at the profitablity of an individual piece of infrastructure when considering it’s value to the economy.

    bernard hickley’s an idiot, I won’t be turning to him for economic advice.

  10. James Kearney 10

    a partisan idiot too

  11. Ted 11

    The Government did a ripping job of maintaining the railroads last time it owned them, I can’t wait for the repeat!

  12. Tane 12

    Of course Ted, they’ll be run on an entirely different model, one proven to be far more efficient than the ‘flog it off cheap to our robber barons mates’ model favoured by the Nats.

  13. Stephen 13

    The State Owned Enterprises Act might help in this case.

  14. Susan 14

    The pun in the title pains my achy breaky heart. But the song in my head is planes, trains and automobiles. It’s just brilliant that Kiwis are getting their assets back.

    Captcha: Bowie Ministerial

    I’d vote for that.

  15. Seems crazy to me that they freight coal from one side of the South Island to the other. Build the jetty at Granity Solid Energy. Go on. I dare you? Makes sense with rising fuel costs and at that other crap!

  16. James: could you publish the link to the numbers that show that heavy trucks don’t pay their way ? If you indicating cars are cross-subsidizing trucks isn’t the simple answer to change the tax regimes on petrol and diesel so that they reflect the actual costs attributable to the two different classes of vehicle. This still doesn’t rationalize cars & trucks subsidizing unprofitable rail freight.

    Steve: the implications of the health sector analogy you are offering is that those who opt for private health care should pay an additional special tax to fund the public health care system. The public health care system (unlike public freight transport) is actually providing a service that is not entirely duplicated by the private sector so the analogy is entirely meaningful.

    Surely the only way for long distance freight trains to turn a profit in New Zealand is for the government to regulate the ability of trucks to compete. Perhaps that is next on the ‘to do list’?

    Reading the rationale for electrification of Auckland’s passenger rail network ( and the special regional fuel tax to pay for it) it is interesting to observe that the actual benefits are hard to pin down and are not quantitatively monetized http://www.arc.govt.nz/transport/rail-electrification/electric-trains-and-a-regional-fuel-tax.cfm

  17. Here is an interesting alternative to electric trains: electric trucks !!!

    “Volvo has been working on research and development of hybrid technology for 20 years. Volvo’s tests and simulations show that hybrid drive for heavy vehicles is most suitable for vehicles forced during operations to make many starts and stops, such as buses, distribution trucks and refuse vehicles. In these cases, fuel savings can be up to 35%.” http://www.gizmag.com/go/6839/

  18. Phil 18

    In order to believe that this is a good move, you have to implicityly agree that more freight should be shipped by track, and less by road, than the current ‘regieme’ produces.

    I’m not convinced this is a good idea at all.

    If you want to move freight by road, the process is this;
    Get a truck to your warehouse, put good X into back of truck, drive to destination, pull good X out of truck into destination warehouse

    on the other hand, by rail the process goes;
    Get a truck to your warehouse, put good X into back of truck, drive to rail yard (which in all likelyhood invlolves navigating city streets) take good X out of truck and put it into railyard warehouse, put good X on rail line, train goes to destination, good X comes off rail line and into rail yard warehouse. Get a truck to the destination rail yard warehouse, and drive to destination warehouse (which again probably invloves navigating city streets)

    How can this be more efficient?

  19. Ari 19

    Maw: The point is that if you did jig around the taxes so that trucks paid their fair share, then there’d simply be an increased price passed on to the consumer for goods transported by road, notably food. Now, if rail is largely more viable, that might not be a bad idea in general, but their are consequences to removing subsidies and we should consider the cons as well as the pros when we’re considering removing them.

    Whatever you set the taxes to, we’re ALWAYS going to pay a social cost for the transportation network- if we’re going to have to pay that cost anyway, why not focus on transport that hauls more people or cargo for less cost, like trains? 😉

  20. Hoolian 20

    Labour will undoubtedly be planning a major investment programme. The ownership of rail and the broader issue of public assets is shaping up to be a central election issue.

    And whose going to pay for this? How can the Govt afford to buy back rails when it won’t buy (but rather sell) electricity lines or provide tax cuts to middle-income NZ?

    Why is the Govt doing this now, when current fiscal forecasts predict low (or no) budget surplus, when the Govt had a $11 billion surplus in the last few years? Now, the economy is slowing, household budgets are been squeezed and we’re all over taxed and underfed. Just another thing that NZ’ers have to pay for, with no benefit to any of us except the possiblity of Labour 4th term.

    Good one Labour. While I support the idea behind this intiative, I think its all too late, with only ‘potential’ gains for the common Kiwi – a lame duck I suspect.

  21. MikeE 21

    Are there any means of production that shouldn’t be nationalised according to the standard?

    [who are you asking? we’re a diverse group from across the Left. I would argue that most businesses ought not be nationalised but that we should as a society own the infrastructure that our economy is built on – other Standardistas might argue to the left or the centre of that position. SP]

    [lprent: And I’m to the right of SP – read the policy (top of the screen). Hey Steve you’re blocking my fun.]

  22. Steve Pierson 22

    Phil. Isn’t that an argument against having any decentralised production and distribution at all? If we all grew our own vegetables and made our own clothes we wouldn’t have to have trucks driving from point a to b to c at all. tha’s the logical conclusion to your argument.

    It’s more energy efficent to haul freight over long distance by rail than truck and the better your rail system the less you have to worry about delays.

    Dad4J – I agree with you about the coal from the West Coast too.

  23. Tane 23

    Are there any means of production that shouldn’t be nationalised according to the standard?

    Like most things MikeE, it depends which one of us you talk to.

  24. mondograss 24

    I wonder if they’ll let it be run as a standalone SOE, or if they’ll try to integrate with something else. NZ Post for example is a pretty good freight and logistics company in its own right. I wonder how they’d feel about running the freight side of the operation?

  25. Draco TB 25

    on the other hand, by rail the process goes;

    Or it could go like this:
    Load goods into container, truck picks up container and delivers it to the holding yard, Container placed on train and taken to destination where the process is reversed. I can see business opportunities here.

    Basically what you’re doing there is overstating the process to make it look more complicated. All of the process that you listed would still have to be done if there were no trains involved. That courier van that picked up the parcel for delivery to another city isn’t going to drive to the other city. It’s going to go to the warehouse where it will be packed with other parcels and put on a larger type of transport.

    Surely the only way for long distance freight trains to turn a profit in New Zealand is for the government to regulate the ability of trucks to compete.

    If it benefits society as a whole then why shouldn’t they be regulated?

    Captcha: highway have – definitely what’s happened since trucking was deregulated.

  26. randal 26

    nix to the railways dude…I wanna trip to disneyland, a spa pool, anew used car, aplasma tv, a trip to antarctica, a hardly davison, a leaf blower, a angle grinder, a vertical shafter, a horizontal planer, a trip to china to fulfill my destiny, and and and and and then we can fix up all the stuff that needs fixing…first things first ok!

  27. Phil 27

    “Isn’t that an argument against having any decentralised production and distribution at all? If we all grew our own vegetables and made our own clothes we wouldn’t have to have trucks driving from point a to b to c at all. tha’s the logical conclusion to your argument.”

    No, that’s not the logical conclusion at all, because you’re ignoring the fixed costs all those individual operations have to cover.

  28. “Are there any means of production that shouldn’t be nationalised according to the standard?”

    Hey, mike, turn that question on yourself…

    Are there any means of production that you would like to see in state ownership?

    Monopoly private providers lead to failed markets, which the taxpayer either ends up subsidising, regulating, or consumers paying out of their arse. Now, Labour has ended the private monopolies of two ex-SOE’s.

    Now all transportation will have to comply with triple bottom line standards.

  29. higherstandard 29

    Mondo

    Good lateral thinking

  30. Ari: re-balancing (if necessary, I have yet to see a link to the numbers) of overall road tax between heavy & light vehicles would not increase the overall tax take. We might pay more for food but less for petrol.

    “why not focus on transport that hauls more people or cargo for less cost” , clearly trains have not been able to achieve this or Toll wouldn’t have ditched them and the taxpayer wouldn’t have been the only buyer.

    Buying the trains was ,like blocking the sale of privately owned AIAL shares against Treasury & OIA advice, a politically & poll driven election year tactic.

  31. Billy 31

    People may not remember but, I think right up until the Lange government, if a business wanted to transport goods other than by rail, it had to demonstrate why transport by road was impractical and get a license from the government. I think this was openly acknowledged as a straight protection-of-the-government’s-business thing.

    It is not difficult to imagine that we are not far from going back to that.

  32. Billy 32

    “…why transport by road was impractical…”

    why transport by rail was impractical…”

  33. ghostwhowalks 33

    Billy says
    ..It is not difficult to imagine that we are not far from going back to that.

    not .. not… back ..
    A triple negative.

    They protected the rail because there wasnt the money for investment in roads

    AS for the numbers
    ONE 40 t TRUCK does as much damage as 9600 cars
    http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2007-09-10-3878428638_x.htm

    Look at the Albany to Silverdale motorway.
    needs major repairs after 5 years only.
    Normal design period for the road is 20 years, with say resealing every 6 -8 years

  34. Billy 34

    When did “back” become a negative?

  35. Santi 35

    As a Toll shareholder I must congratulate the socialist Labour government for paying a handsome premium for my shares. It made my day and a few thousand dollars richer.

    Who says socialists aren’t losers? Well…..they are!

  36. RedLogix 36

    Santi,

    And if as a Troll shareholder you had lost money on the deal (it’s a free market after all which means you were free to loose as well as make on the deal)…. you would have been here accusing socialists of being corrupt thieves trampling on your sacred property rights.

  37. If rail is strategic, why are power lines not?
    And why did Cullen pay in excess of 200 million dollars more than this is worth. A socialist and other peoples money. I despair.

  38. Swampy 38

    There’s a lot of bollocks going out about this deal, especially the “sustainable” bit. All the rail tracks in the world are no use if we cannot economically export our stuff to the world, so to hear the Greens ranting on about reducing our dependence on oil is complete nonsense when their idea of NZ is an impoverished hippie backwater. As oil prices continue to rise the cost of shipping our goods to overseas markets will make much of our export sector unviable and the businesses will close up and move to Europe or the US (where their rail networks can ship the stuff economically to major population base) thus losing more and more jobs and shrinking our economy bigtime.

  39. Swampy 39

    Yes D4J why do they ship the coal across the South Island? Probably because Labour know they will have to close the coal mines soon to comply with their Kyoto commitments and don’t want to waste the money at Granity.

  40. How many facts can you manufacture at once?
    Rail is a natural monopoly: So how come it competes with trucks and coastal shipping? Natural monopolies have no readily substitutable alternatives, rail does.
    20 years of underinvestment and greedy owners: Well given five of those years were under state ownership, what does that say? Especially since the state spent $1.35billion bailing it out of debt in 1990. Great investment.
    Rail is at least three times more fuel efficient than road: Ignoring double handling and the fact that, amazingly with record oil prices, there isn’t a massive switch to rail. The fuel efficiency is true for long haul bulk freight but most of NZ freight movements are not of that kind. Regardless, if rail can’t compete with road then this much vaunted fuel efficiency doesn’t offset other costs.
    Brings benefits to the environment: How? Where is the evidence? The Surface Transport Costs and Charges study indicated that road was more environmentally friendly for freight movement than rail in some cases. This is an article of faith only.
    Trucks don’t pay the costs they impose on the roads: Um they do, road user charges increase exponentially according to weights of trucks, and this over recovers road maintenance costs for state highways.

    There is no economic or environmental reason to do this, it is an article of faith pure and simple. The government has forced everyone else to pay for a train set.

  41. burt 41

    Stuff: History of NZ railways

    An interesting read…

    1986 Labour government makes railways a state-owned enterprise. In six years the workforce is cut from 21,000 to 5000, while productivity of the land-based workforce is lifted 300 per cent.

    And back we go!

  42. burt 42

    vto nails it here

    Folk can’t afford the weekly food bill, power and petrol and the govt pays more than $200m over the book value just so it can say we own it.

    This is a disgrace, the govt are rich the people are poor. Go on slap em with more road and petrol tax to make the railways viable.

  43. Burt:

    You don’t understand productivity.

    The people are poor because wages are too low.

    Wages are low because people who think productivity comes from lowering wage inputs (as you seem to) had control of the government for fifteen years.

  44. burt 44

    Robinsod

    Wages are low and we have had a Labour govt for almost nine years.

    Wages have kept pace with the magical “inflation” percentage for the vast majority of NZ workers. If the vast majority of workers had had the same percentage pay rises since 1999 that the MP’s have had we would not be experiencing such budgetary pressure now.

    Junior Dr’s wouldn’t be on strike and people like you wouldn’t be trying to distract readers from the reality that the govt is rich and the people are poor. It’s time for Robin Hood to take back the big fat surpluses that the crooked king Cullen has taxed from our hard earned wages to build his empire.

    FFS – you call yourself a lefty and you support a govt that amasses enormous central wealth while workers suffer on low wages while you blame a govt from 18 years ago for todays situation. You are a sell out Labour apologist or a through and through communist. Please identify which you are.

  45. burt 45

    lprent

    I noticed that appear after I refreshed the page to obtain a more easily deciphered captcha. Kind of funky, Can you give me the same pattern but yellow?

    captcha: officials can ( well that answers my question)

  46. burt 46

    lprent

    OK, now you are deleting your own comments…. spooky.

  47. Sam Dixon 47

    Burt – “If the vast majority of workers had had the same percentage pay rises since 1999 that the MP’s have had we would not be experiencing such budgetary pressure now. ”

    The government doens’t set the wages of the vast majority of workers. Businesses do, it’s them you should be directing your complaint at

    And, of course, there is a limit to how quickly you can increase wages relative to growth before it just becomes pure inflationa nd you start a wage-inflation spiral.

  48. lprent 48

    Yeah – it was a test message to check the icon pickup speed. I usually zap them after doing whatever test I was after.

    I addressed it to you because you were the last message in the system. While checking your comments I noticed that your e-mail and therefore gravator had changed. Looked like an e-mail typo. Look at http://www.thestandard.org.nz/?p=1792#comment-31565

    I’m afraid that the identicons are generated from the MD5 of the e-mail. They come from gravator. I don’t pick them.

    You can have whatever you want. Just upload an image to gravatar – instructions and explanation in a new menu item at the top of the page. But it has to have a valid e-mail for the authentication e-mail.

    Lynn

  49. burt 49

    Sam Dixon

    It’s not business setting the pay rises for the teachers, the doctors, the nurses, police, GP’s and the radiographers. You know the people I’m talking about, the ones who the state can’t retain or attract.

    Remember the state it’s controlling 43% of our GDP. I’m thinking in Auckland airport terms 43% would be seen as a ‘majority’ but in NZ terms you seem to ignore it in the pay round equation.

  50. burt 50

    Sam

    To further qualify. I know the MP’s don’t set their own salary I have no issues with the MP’s getting pay rises well above the official CPI figures, what I do have issues with is that they won’t approve similar pay rises for sectors that badly require realignment with international markets.

    Had junior doctors had pay rises of the same percentage as the MP’s have had every year then I’m picking we wouldn’t have junior doctors strikes going on now.

    As for how quickly you can increase wages, do your maths on what level of pay rises 75% of families have had over the last few years. Didn’t Dr. Cullen say that govt spending is not inflationary, like Labour tax cuts aren’t. Come on cut the Labour good National bad shit – this country is heading for economic chaos if there isn’t some changes of direction very soon.

  51. Tane 51

    Burt, stoked to hear you’re in favour of big wage increases across the board. How do you reckon we go about doing it?

  52. Sam Dixon 52

    The public service employs 250,000 people (that’s the nurses doctors teachers etc). That’s about one in eight workers.

    Go to treasury and find our where the rest of the money goes (clue: superannuation). And it’s not 43% of GDP. Again, Treasury.

  53. burt 53

    Tane

    Lets start with the ones we can control, the public service pay, the tax and benefit rates.

    Link the public service (all sectors) pay rises to the Cabinet Ministers. No longer one getting circa 10% and another striking because they can’t have the same. Link the minimum wage to the same as well and flatten the tax rates after introducing a tax free bottom end and introduce income splitting abolishing WFF as you go. Index tax thresholds to ensure fiscal drag isn’t eroding peoples earning power as it is today.

    There, that’s a start.

  54. Sam Dixon 54

    Real (that’s after-inflation) household incomes have increased an average of 15% under Labour.

    The greatest increases have been for those on or near the minimum wage who have benefited from a 50% increase in the minimum wage and Working for Families.

    Would it be great if wages went up quicker? Sure. Tell me how you would see that happen. And remember – if it’s tax cuts, that’s a one-off increase and you won’t have any moeny to pay those junior docotrs and teachers more.

  55. burt 55

    Sam

    I was reading some material today about govt as a percentage of GDP, I don’t have it available where I am now. I’ll link a reference or post a source to back up my assertion (or I’ll apologise for my error) tomorrow.

  56. Sam Dixon 56

    Your solution is to fiddle with the tax rates, creating a couple of percent up some peple and down on net income for a few people (down for those paying not net tax currently thanks to working for families).

    And if you’re going to cut taxes sufficently to really move up net incomes by any meaningful amount (still nto a huge amount and remember it’s a one-off boost), you’re not going to have any money for large publice sector pay increases – so that’s not a solution to boosting thsoe wages, all you will do is keep the minimum wage, MPs, and the public service stuck on the same rate.

    I have sympathy with the idea that MPs pay rises are too high but there simply isn’t the money to give all the public service similar rises – it would have to come from higher taxation, and you’ve just lowered taxes, so it would have to some from borrowing, which is inflationary. A government that is borrowing to pay it’s staff is in deep sh*t.

    So, you could tie MPs rises down with others but that’s not going to life wages overall. And, as a good capitialist, I wonder if you would agree with CEOs and senrio mangement getting only the same rises as junior staff. After all, they get much larger rises now and it is actually those large rises that cause the MP rises to be large because the Remuneration Board that sets MPs wages is guided by similar level jobs in the private sector.

    Remember – even if you cut incoem tax altoghether you wouldn’t close the pay gap with Aussie and you would be left wih no money to pay the public service. The problem is low wages in the private sector, not tax.

  57. burt 57

    Sam

    You make the assumption that a capitalist wouldn’t want annual increases the same across all staff, they are apparently to cover inflation. Pay increases as a result of changes in duties, changes in role or other performance/experience based measurements are another story, as are adjustments for market forces.

    Lets make no mistake about this, the majority of low paid workers get a “CPI” increase and that is it. No performance bonus, no incentive to work smarter, no incentive to work harder or otherwise increase productivity. Union ‘award’ rates and collective bargaining have a lot to answer for here.

    Don’t confuse the MP’s pay rises with CPI increases, they are worth a lot more than that. However the fact they won’t approve similar increases for other public servants who are internationally very under paid astounds me. And don’t be a smart ass about not being able to afford it because I have just cut taxes, I haven’t, Labour hasn’t (yet) and it’s been a problem for a few years now.

    Besides, since when is a radical restructure of the tax system (add zero rates, add income splitting, change and flattern rates and index thresholds) been a one of bonus. Increasing a junior Dr’s take home pay through reducing taxation will stop them leaving the country as quickly as increasing their gross pay over three years. How you Labourites can’t understand net vs gross pay astounds me.

  58. burt 58

    Sam

    From stuff: http://www.stuff.co.nz/4490859a20475.html

    In June 2006, junior doctors went on strike for five days, disrupting care for 17,000 patients and costing boards about $5 million.

    What was the surplus in 2006? $8b? Ummm. You are right about the fat cat CEO’s enjoying the fruits of other peoples labour. I can’t see how you can support a political party who do exactly what you despise in the private sector. These pricks (the rick pricks) are flatly refusing to see other public servants (workers) get pay rises in the same vicinity as their own for the last 9 years.

    Now, about these railways – how much additional petrol tax will it take to subsidise the rail network to the point where people use it?

  59. burt 59

    Sam Dixon

    Re: the state controlling 43% of GDP.

    The source of that information was an article in ‘NZ Property Investor’ weekly from 05th May.

    “It’s May – the month Kiwis start working for themselves”

    “And, says Kerr, if the national tax burden is measured as a ratio of taxation to GDP, instead of spending, the picture of this country as being highly taxed is further accentuated. The latest OECD figures show that the “ratio of general government total tax and non tax receipts” to GDP – for New Zealand – is 45% for 2008, well above the average OECD ratio of 38.6% and higher than Germany’s ratio of almost 44%.”

    Kerr then uses these statistics to further discuss productivity, as you would expect an intelligent person to.

  60. r0b 60

    “And, says Kerr, if the national tax burden is measured as a ratio of taxation to GDP, instead of spending, the picture of this country”

    And, says r0b, if the national tax rate is measured using any numbers I like take away seven and carry the nine, then I can get you any answer I like.

    Measured as per the OECD’s standard figures, personal tax in NZ is the third lowest in the OECD (lower than Australia!), see the graph on this page:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Income_tax

  61. burt 61

    rOb

    Yes, jumble up some numbers, just like the official CPI. scoff scoff petrol, basic food items, housing… Three things everybody needs which are consuming all of a low income but only a portion of a high income.

    It’s interesting on that graph you reference that NZ personal taxation is higher than Australia’s but our corporate taxation is much less. It’s odd that people are called ‘right wing’ when they highlight personal taxation of workers as being too high yet people who defend high personal taxation of workers and low taxation of corporates call themselves left wing. NZ is such a funny place.

  62. burt 62

    Dohhh

    Got that the wrong way around. No wonder it seemed odd.

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  • Press Release: “Fake News” from Auckland City Council CCOs Board Chairs re pay and performance b...
    Media Statement for Immediate Release 16th October 2019 “Fake News” from Auckland City Council CCOs Board Chairs re pay and performance bonuses for top managers Despite comments from Auckland City Council CCOs Board Chairs re pay and performance bonuses for top managers—Herald Newspaper Tuesday Oct 15th–there is very little evidence ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    21 hours ago
  • Ever-So-Slightly Bonkers: Simon Bridges Plays To His Base.
    Would You Buy A Used Propaganda Video From This Man? Bridges and the National Party’s strategists have discovered that the ideas and attitudes considered acceptable by today’s editors and journalists are no longer enforceable. The rise and rise of the Internet and the social media platforms it spawned means that ...
    22 hours ago
  • Asking for food
    There is plenty of evidence of the way the business mentality has permeated every level of society since the recrudescence of market liberalism 35 years ago. You only need to think of how citizens in need of help from their government, their state, their country, are now routinely described as ...
    Opposable ThumbBy Unknown
    22 hours ago
  • Forty years of change in the jobs Kiwi do and the places they call home
    John MacCormick Over the last 40 years, New Zealanders – and people in other countries – have experienced big changes in the jobs they do and where they live and work. These changes include: a decline in manufacturing jobs an increase in jobs in ‘information-intensive’ industries (which are better paid ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    23 hours ago
  • Protecting Fresh Waterways in Aotearoa/NZ: The Strong Public Health Case
    Nick Wilson, Leah Grout, Mereana Wilson, Anja Mizdrak, Phil Shoemack, Michael Baker Protecting waterways has the benefits of: (1) protecting water from hazardous microbes; (2) minimising cancer risk and other problems from nitrates in water; (3) avoiding algal blooms that are hazardous to health; (4) protecting mahinga kai uses (cultural ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 day ago
  • Massey University triggered to rebrand
    by The Council of Disobedient Women In a press release today Massey University announced it has decided to rebrand and reorientate after struggling to be a University for grown-ups. For some time the University has wanted to be a safe play space for wee-woke-misogynists who have been really badly triggered ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 days ago
  • Swinson backing calls for a second referendum (again)
    After a brief dalliance with 'hard Revoke' it looks like the Lib Dems are changing ground on on Brexit, with leader Jo Swinson reverting to calling for a second referendum on Johnson's deal.The party has tabled an amendment to the Queen’s speech requesting that any deal brought back from Brussels ...
    2 days ago
  • An odious bill
    The government has decided that someone has done Something Bad. But despite their belief, there seems to be no evidence that they have actually broken the law. So the government's solution is to pass a retrospective law allowing them to be punished anyway, on a lower standard of proof. If ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • National is now the party of climate arson
    So, Judith Collins has done a Facebook rant about climate change, peddling the same shit National has been shovelling for the past twenty years: the impacts are overstated, there's no need to do anything about it, and its too hard anyway (oh, and its so unfair that people who peddle ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • The environmental footprint of electric versus fossil car
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz There is a lot of discussion on the benefits of ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 days ago
  • “Manifest” by Andrew Bird – A Song For The Times.
    I came across this song quite by accident. If it isn't one of Greta Thunberg's favourites - it should be.Video courtesy of YouTube.This post is exclusive to Bowalley Road. ...
    2 days ago
  • Passing the buck
    Last month, NZDF's shoddy coverup of what it knew about civilian casualties in Operation Burnham began to fall apart, with the revelation that a report on the matter, which NZDF claimed not to have, had been sitting in an NZDF safe for the past nine years. Yesterday, the man responsible ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • India a major player in Earth observation satellites
    While many imagine that countries like the USA and Europe dominate space activities, in fact India is now a major player on this stage. It launches satellites for its own purposes and also commercially, and has constellations orbiting our planet and returning data of vital importance to that nation in ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    3 days ago
  • The rot at the top (2).
    Thanks to a report from the Acting Inspector General of Intelligence and Security following a complaint by Nicky Hager, we have come to find out that the SIS illegally spied on Mr. Hager on behalf of the NZDF after publication of Hager’s 2011 book, Other People’s Wars. The NZDF justified ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    3 days ago
  • Common misconceptions about “Global Warming”
    COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT GLOBAL WARMING MYTH 1: Global temperatures are rising at a rapid, unprecedented rate. FACT: The HadCRUT3 surface temperature index, produced by the Hadley Centre of the UK Met Office and the Climate Research Unit of the University of East Anglia, shows warming to 1878, cooling to 1911, ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    3 days ago
  • A climate of tyranny
    For the past week, Extinction Rebellion has been peacefully protesting in London to demand action on climate change. The British government's response? Ban their protests:Police have banned Extinction Rebellion protests from continuing anywhere in London, as they moved in almost without warning to clear protesters who remained at the movement’s ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Collins crushes climate
    An essay by Judith Collins MP reported on Carbon News yesterday seems to show an alarming shift in attitude within the National Party. Collins argues against the Zero Carbon Bill, the Paris Agreement, and downplays the magnitude of climate impacts. The Paris Agreement was adopted in December 2015 and ratified ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    3 days ago
  • More disappointment
    When they were running for election, Labour promised to overhaul the Employment Relations Act and introduce fair pay agreements to set basic pay and conditions on an industry level, preventing bad employers from undercutting good ones. They followed this up by establishing a working group, which reported back in January ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • What do these mother-child studies really say about fluoridation?
    A list of indicators of bad science – many of these are found in articles promoted by anti-fluoride activists. Anti-fluoride activists have been pouring money into a scaremongering campaign warning pregnant women not to drink fluoridated water. They claim fluoride will lower the IQ of their future child. Fluoride ...
    3 days ago
  • Losing Labour’s Mills-Tone.
    Nothing Left To Say: Labour's pollster, Stephen Mills, remains swaddled-up in the comforting myths of the 1980s. As if the experience of Roger Douglas’s genuinely radical post-Muldoon policy agenda was literally a once-in-a-lifetime thing – as much as the party could possibly absorb for at least the next 50 years.MEMO ...
    3 days ago
  • Speaker: Disability and the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse
    The Royal Commission on abuse in care is very significant for the disability community. For many decades last century, thousands of disabled children, and adults who managed to survive, were locked away from families and communities. This was not for anything they had done, but for the perceived threat their ...
    3 days ago
  • Spain is not a democracy
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • UK Conservatives hate democracy
    With an unfair voting system, uneven electorates and an un-elected upper house, the UK's "democracy" is barely worthy of the name. But now the government wants to make it worse:The government has been accused of suppressing voters’ rights with the potential disenfranchisement of tens of thousands of people after plans ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • What is wrong with our building industry?
    Back in the 90's and early 2000's, the building industry was building leaky homes which should never have been granted consent. Now it turns out they've been building dodgy office blocks as well:New imaging technology has revealed hundreds of major buildings nationwide have defective or missing concrete or reinforcing steel. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Local bodies
    Local body election results were released over the weekend, to joy or despair depending on where you live. In Auckland, Phil Goff trounced John Tamihere, who is muttering darkly about running for Parliament again (but which party would want him?) Wellington is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Weta Workshop, except ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • A future of government
      How could government evolve over the next decades? Reports of democracy’s imminent demise are greatly exaggerated.  However, satisfaction with political systems in many countries is low, so there is much to do for governments of all political stripes to improve relevance and trust. Digital technologies are seen as one ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    6 days ago
  • Speaker: Catalonia, interrupted
    Two years have now gone by since the Friday afternoon when my university-student son and I headed out of our Barcelona flat to a nearby primary school, designated as a polling station for the vote that was to be held the following Sunday: the referendum on Catalonia’s independence from Spain ...
    6 days ago
  • Sage Decisions Unwisely Over-Ruled.
    Overruled: The joint decision of Finance Minister, Grant Robertson (Labour) and his Associate Minister, David Parker (Labour) arguably the two most powerful ministers in Jacinda Ardern’s government, to grant OceanaGold the consents which Land Information Minister, Eugenie Sage (Greens) had earlier denied them, offers bitter proof of how hard fighting ...
    6 days ago
  • Government may ban voting in effort to get more people to do it
    More than double the number of people who will vote in this year’s local body elections have tried marijuana or urinated somewhere they shouldn’t have. As local elections look set for the lowest turnout in decades, with many regions falling well short of 40%, the Government is exploring a number ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    7 days ago
  • Woman: Deleted.
    A Statement on Abortion Law Reform by the Council of Disobedient Women   On the eve of bringing an end to antiquated, anti-women abortion laws Green MP Jan Logie intends to write women out of the Bill. With a stroke of the pen, the woke are aiming for total erasure ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    7 days ago
  • The Hollowest of Men Ride Again… SURPRISE!
    Musings continue apace about “the experienced businessman!” soon to be taking up a National Party MP position. Or to be more accurate, being parachuted into a seat to shut down their former MP Jamie-Lee Ross, who despite his own shortcomings shed at least some more light on the inner workings ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    7 days ago
  • Barbaric
    The Ugandan government wants to murder gay people:Uganda has announced plans to impose the death penalty on homosexuals. The bill, colloquially known as “Kill the Gays” in Uganda, was nullified five years ago on a technicality, but the government said on Thursday it plans to resurrect it within weeks. The ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Fighting Monsters.
    Freedom Of Speech? The Säuberung (cleansing by fire) was the work of the German Student Union which, on 10 May 1933, under the watchful eye of the Nazi Reichminister for Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, consigned 25,000 books to the flames in a ritual exorcism of “un-German thought”. According to the logic of the ...
    7 days ago
  • The next wave of kaupapa Māori politics: its constitutional, it must be.
      “There can be no such thing as kaupapa Māori political parties or politics in Aotearoa” (Willie Jackson, Labour Party (2017). Māori TV, General/List Election Special) I begin with that claim because at the time, I was confounded at first that it fell out of Willie Jackson’s mouth, and then ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    1 week ago
  • Night lights of NZ from orbit
    New Zealand has prided itself for decades with regard to its lack of pollution, and all will be aware that the ‘100% Pure New Zealand‘ meme is under threat through land, water and air pollution of various causes. There is another type of contamination that the country also faces: light ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    1 week ago
  • Reporters deliver uplifting news to fleeing Japanese residents: they won’t miss any rugby
    New Zealand’s media is doing its part in Japan, reassuring those in the path of the storm that they won’t miss any rugby while away from their flooded homes. New Zealand sports reporters stationed in Japan for the Rugby World Cup have had the rare and heartwarming opportunity to inform ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Government in contentious discussions about whether to put surplus on red or black
    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones is the only Cabinet member in favour of putting it all on green. As Finance Minister Grant Robertson finds himself with an enormous $7.5 billion surplus, the Government has begun intense, at times contentious conversations about whether to put the money on red or black at ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Jordanian teachers’ successful strike has lessons for here
    by Susanne Kemp At the start of September close to 100,000 school teachers went on strike in Jordan.  They demanded a 50% pay rise.  A pay rise actually agreed to by the regime back in 2014. In early October, however, in the face of government repression and threats, the teachers’ ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Why some people still think climate change isn’t real
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz Why do people still think climate change isn’t real? David ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • The SIS unlawfully spied on Nicky Hager
    Back in 2011, journalist Nicky Hager published Other People's Wars, an expose on NZDF's activities over the previous decade of the "war on terror". NZDF didn't like this, and especially didn't like the fact that it was base don leaks from their own. So, they had the SIS investigate him ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • October 2019 – Newsletter
    https://mailchi.mp/7d9133add053/closing-the-gap-october-2019-newsletter ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • And they wonder why we think they’re environmental vandals…
    The Zero Carbon Bill is due back from select committee in two weeks, and will likely pass its final stages in November. So naturally, farmers are planning a hate-march against it. But they're not just demanding lower methane targets so they can keep on destroying the planet; they're also demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Paying the price in California
    Last year, California burned. This year, to stop it happening again (or rather, to stop themselves from being found liable if it happens again), Pacific Gas and Electric is cutting power to half the state for a week:Schools are closed. Traffic lights down. Tunnels dark. Businesses unopened. Hospitals running on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Let’s Hear It For Up-Close-And-Personal, Hard-Copy Democracy!
    The Best Way: Missing from the on-line voting debate is any reference to the voting system that produces turn-out figures ranging from 77 to 93 percent of registered voters. The voting system used to collect and count the votes cast in our parliamentary elections. The system that involves citizens making ...
    1 week ago
  • 10/10: World Day Against the Death Penalty
    Today, October 10, is the world day against the death penalty. Out of 195 UN member states, 84 still permit capital punishment. Today is the day we work to change that. This year's theme is children. Having a parent sentenced to death or executed causes long-term trauma and stigmatization which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Talking Freer Lives: a Marxist gender-critical perspective from Australia
    Among the great new bunch of political friends we have been making recently is the excellent Australian-based Marxist gender-critical site, Freer Lives.  So we asked the comrade who set up that blog to write something for Redline on the blog, himself, his analysis of the rise of gender politics and ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Government spin accepted by union leadership
    by Don Franks  The Auckland City Mission is struggling with a 40 percent increase in demand for food parcels this year. A total of 23,020 were needed by June. Last month Missioner Chris Farrelly told the Herald the “cupboards are bare” and without an emergency food drive, he can’t see ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Forbidden Thoughts
    by The Council of Disobedient Women   Massey Wellington Student Association had a sit-in today. Imagine a sit-in. On a campus. Against a women’s rights meeting. Did the ’60s really happen or did we fucking dream it? They gathered in the student square, an echo chamber. Sitting on soft pillows ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Much love to my loyal Ukrainian readership
    For some reasons, my post about the mystery message from inside the Downing Street bunker seemed to catch people's attention.  Quite a lot of hits from NZ (unsurprisingly) and the USA (a bit more puzzlingly, but hi there, USAians!!) and 76 views from the Ukraine.I've celebrated my Ukrainian readers in ...
    1 week ago
  • Another day of bonkers GNUmours (again, sorry)
    First, almost a score of Labour MPs seem to have sent a letter to the EU basically begging them to accept a deal - any deal - just so Britain can get the Heck on with Brexiting instead of being trapped in limbo:
    To avoid no deal, deliver on the ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour vs working class immigrants – again!
    by Phil Duncan In 2016 the National-led government suspended the Parent Visa Category, through which migrants were able to bring their parents into New Zealand.  Since then over 5,700 people have been in immigration limbo, stuck on the visa wait list. Labour is now bringing back the scheme.  Well, sort ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Speak Up for Women press statement: on Massey University and Feminism 2020
    The following was released yesterday (Tues, October 8) by the women’s liberation organisation Speak Up for Women. On 23 September Speak Up For Women announced that we would be holding an event at the Massey University Theaterette in Wellington. The event is called Feminism 2020. The intention of the event ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Farmers support dirty rivers
    The government is currently consulting on plans to improve freshwater quality. So naturally, farmers oppose it:South Taranaki farmers are preparing to fight proposed national freshwater changes that some fear will bankrupt them. The Government's proposed National Environment Standard on Freshwater Management, released in September, rated the Waingongoro River as one ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • No-one cares about local government
    Yesterday was the last day for (reliably) posting your vote away in local body elections. Turnouts are mostly much lower than the equivalent time last year (Palmerston North is down 2.3%), and so naturally people are pushing their online-voting snake oil again. Because the online census worked so well, lets ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The political ghosts of eugenics may matter more than the genetic
    This essay, on the political legacy of the eugenics movement, by Kenan Malik was originally published in the Observer on 6 October 2019, under the headline ‘The spirit of eugenics is still with us, as immigrants know to their cost’. Birth control. Intelligence tests. Town planning. Immigration controls. It’s striking how ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • “Surplus” again
    Another year, and the government has announced another enormous government "surplus". And just like last year, its nothing of the sort. When we have people homeless and sick and hungry, when we have schools and hospitals still falling down, when we have underpaid public servants and infrastucture unmaintained or unbuilt, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Inside the Downing Street bunker
    James Forsyth at The Spectator (I know, I know) has tapped one of his contacts inside Number Ten for an insight into the Johnson administration's thinking and strategy.It is fascinating, unsettling and quite, quite mad.  Some key points:Negotiations have stalled and the Johnson administration are keen to blame the EU: ...
    1 week ago
  • Taking Control Of The Nation’s Story.
    Fatal Contact: With the arrival of captain James Cook in October 1769, the islands of what would become New Zealand ceased to be the preserve of Polynesian navigators and settlers and became a part of both the world’s map and the world’s history.THE MAORI NATIONALIST assault upon the historical meaning ...
    1 week ago
  • Are GNUs extinct?
    Another round of tactical talks about forming a Government of National Unity have come to nothing with the Liberal Democrats still refusing countenance putting Jeremy Corbyn into Downing Street:Opposition talks on Monday made little headway over when to try and vote down Boris Johnson's government and who might succeed him as ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour chickens out again
    When the government was elected, it promised to lead the way on electric vehicles, and specifically to make the government vehicle fleet emissions-free where-practicable by 2025.They lied:There are 15,473 vehicles in the government fleet and only 78 are electric. When the coalition Government came into power in late 2017, the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Transgender extremism, violence at work against feminist meeting at British Labour Party conference
    by Nick Rogers The debate around the meaning of sex and gender made an appearance at this year’s British Labour Party conference in Brighton. Women’s Place UK – an organisation that questions the demand that biological males who self-identify as woman should have access to women’s spaces, to all-women shortlists, ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Rebelling in Wellington
    Yesterday I went down to Wellington to participate in the Extinction Rebellion protest. Its part of the latest global wave of XR actions, with actions happening all over the world. Some of those protests are massively disruptive: in Canada, XR is blocking major bridges, stopping people from getting to work. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • ‘The Workshop’ – Report: Talking about Poverty and Welfare Reform: A Guide to Strategies that ...
    The Workshop is a charitable trust for public good. The Workshop undertake research to find ways of communicating that will build support for the solutions that work to solve complex social and environmental problems. See their Report on Talking about Poverty and Welfare Reform below. ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    2 weeks ago
  • Exclusive language
    What is language? We generally assume that it a facility unique to humans, allowing us to share what’s in and on our minds. We can tell of our plans, our past exploits, our knowledge. It also allows us to lie. And yet there are vast numbers of people we can’t ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Corballis
    2 weeks ago
  • April 2018 – Submission to the NZ Govt Tax Working Group
    You can read our submission HERE ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    2 weeks ago
  • 2018 – Submission to the NZ Government Tax Working Group
    Read our submission here ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    2 weeks ago
  • Guardian: Poll shows DISASTER for Corbyn and the End of Times
    The Guardian - ever eager to forewarn of doom and disaster on the left - are leading with a new poll from Opinium, which puts the Conservatives 15% clear of Labour.Con 38% +2Lab 23% -1Lib Dem 15% -5Brexit 12% +1Green 4% +2This isn't good news, and it would be very ...
    2 weeks ago
  • How prostitution became the world’s most modern profession
    Being and Being Bought (Spinifex Press, 2013) by Kajsa Ekis Ekman  A synopsis and commentary of Chapters 1-2 by Daphna Whitmore Ekman, a Swedish journalist and critic, brings together a Marxist and feminist analysis of prostitution and surrogacy in this groundbreaking book She opens the discussion with a definition of ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Clever legal fellow on Scottish challenge to Brexit
    I make no claims to having much legal knowledge,  so I defer to those trained in this area.I am very much enjoying this twitter stream from m'learned friend in Edinburgh, deciphering the legal arguments around the Scottish court challenge to Boris Johnson, based on the charmingly obscure principle of Nobile ...
    2 weeks ago
  • An Open Letter From Closed Minds.
    Ivory Folly? The University of Auckland’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Stuart McCutcheon, upheld the right of the radical nationalist group, Action Zealandia to exercise their freedom of speech – not matter how distasteful that speech might be. A wiser community of students and scholars would have nodded their agreement and moved on. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Extinction Rebellion members want to “eat babies”
    If you are not convinced terrorist Organisation ‘Extinction Rebellion’ is very, very dangerous – watch this video at one of their recent meetings. Not only is this obviously mentally ill Woman begging the other terrorists to promote killing and “eating” babies and children, if you watch carefully other members nod ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    2 weeks ago

  • New awards celebrate fisheries sustainability
    The Minister of Fisheries is calling for entries for a new public award to celebrate innovation in our seafood sector. “I have established the Seafood Sustainability Awards to recognise and celebrate those throughout industry, tangata whenua and communities who demonstrate outstanding dedication and innovation towards the sustainability of New Zealand’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 hour ago
  • More progress for women and we can do more
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter welcomes leaders in the private sector taking action on closing their gender pay gaps to ensure a fairer workplace for all New Zealanders. Ms Genter today launched a new report, Addressing the gender pay gap and driving women’s representation in senior leadership, from the Champions for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • Proposals to curb environmental damage help our coasts and the oceans
    Government Ministers today welcomed the release of a marine environment report highlighting the four key issues affecting our oceans, estuaries and coastlines.  The release underlines the importance of government proposals to combat climate pollution, ensure clean freshwater, protect biodiversity, make land use more sustainable, and reduce waste and plastic.    Environment ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • New mental health facility for Waikato
    The Government has approved funding for a new acute mental health facility for Waikato which will provide better care and support to people with mental health and addiction issues. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Health Minister Dr David Clark announced the $100 million project to replace the aging Henry Rongomau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • 500 new te reo Māori champions in our classrooms
    The Government is making progress on its goal to integrate te reo Māori into education by 2025, with over 500 teachers and support staff already graduating from Te Ahu o te Reo Māori,  Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis announced today. Kelvin Davis made the announcement at an awards ceremony in Waikanae today, for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • Minister James Shaw welcomes 2018 Census first release
    Statistics Minister James Shaw has welcomed the first release of 2018 Census data. The first release of data today, 23 September, includes key data on population, regional growth, the number of homes and the size of different ethnic groups in New Zealand. Data from the 2018 Census will support the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • Driving transparency, ethics and accountability in government use of algorithms
    Minister for Statistics James Shaw today announced a public consultation on a proposed algorithm charter for government agencies. The charter has been developed by the Government Chief Data Steward in response to growing calls for more transparency in government use of data. Computer algorithms – procedures or formulas for solving ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • New Zealand and the Netherlands working together on climate change
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor, Climate Change Minister James Shaw and visiting Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte co-hosted a business roundtable in Auckland this morning focused on working together to address climate change.  “The Netherlands is an important partner for New Zealand. We share a strong agricultural history. Sustainable agribusiness and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • Protecting fairness for workers and businesses
    The Government is taking action to build an inclusive economy where more of us receive our fair share at work and businesses can compete on great products and services, not undercutting wages and conditions, Immigration and Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. Two consultations launched today seek feedback ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    24 hours ago
  • Indigenous Freshwater Fish Bill Passes
    The future for New Zealand’s threatened indigenous freshwater fish looks brighter with the passing of the Conservation (Indigenous Freshwater Fish) Amendment Bill in Parliament today said Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “Until now, our freshwater fish legislation has been 20 years out of date. We have lacked effective tools to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Kiwis to take part in world’s biggest earthquake drill
    At 1.30pm tomorrow, hundreds of thousands of Kiwis will join about 65 million people around the globe in ShakeOut, the world’s biggest earthquake drill. The annual drill is to remind people of the right action to take during an earthquake which is to Drop, Cover, Hold, and to practise their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Rising wages and low inflation supporting Kiwis
    Kiwis are benefiting from higher wage growth and low inflation under the Coalition Government. Stats NZ data out today shows the rise in the cost of living remains low, as annual Consumers Price Index (CPI) inflation fell to 1.5% in September from 1.7% in June. “The low inflation comes as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • NZ economy strong amid global headwinds
    New Zealand’s economic strength and resilience has been recognised in a major update on the state of the global economy. The IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook released overnight shows a reduced global growth forecast over the next two years as issues like the US-China trade war and Brexit take hold. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Keeping New Zealanders safer with better counter-terrorism laws
    Justice Minister Andrew Little has today introduced a new Bill to prevent terrorism and support the de-radicalisation of New Zealanders returning from overseas. The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill gives the New Zealand Police the ability to apply to the High Court to impose control orders on New Zealanders who ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Improved succession and dispute resolution core of Ture Whenua changes
    A Bill that proposes targeted changes to simplify the processes for Māori land owners when engaging with the Māori Land Court has had its First Reading today. “The approach taken by the Government is to ensure that the protection of Māori land remains a priority as we seek to improve ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • Speech to CTU Biennial Conference
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