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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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  • Be careful what you wish for: Labour's difficult triumph
    Labour’s overwhelming victory at the election has been greeted with rousing cheers on the left of New Zealand politics and the start of transformational demands. It’s a multi-generational win for Labour, out-polling the Kirk, Lange and Clark victories. You have to go back to 1938 for a bigger percentage (55.8%) ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    14 hours ago
  • A Skeptical Science member's path to an experiment on carbon sequestration
    During what now seems like another era entirely- back in February of this long year- Skeptical Science regular RedBaron (aka Scott Strough) mentioned in a discussion thread here that he'd been working on an idea for no-till cultivation of vegetables, was seeking to quantify what appeared to be promising results. Scott ...
    15 hours ago
  • Jacinda Will Keep Us Moving – To The Same Place.
    Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes? Not Likely: Though few New Zealanders would express it in such a fashion: Jacinda’s and Labour’s general handling of the Covid-19 crisis proved both to be highly effective defenders of the capitalist status quo. She, and they, kept the lights on. And that, in the absence of an alternative ...
    16 hours ago
  • The Greens and Labour
    With an absolute majority, Labour can govern in its own right, and doesn't need partners. But while unnecessary, they're a nice-to-have, both as backup and for PR reasons. Ardern has talked about "consensus", and there are obvious benefits for her of having government policy endorsed by as many parties as ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    16 hours ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #42
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Review... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... Earth has warmest September on record, and 2020 may clinch hottest year Record warmth in Europe and Asia overwhelms a ...
    21 hours ago
  • Josh Van Veen: The Vindication of Winston Peters
    An egalitarian spirit is currently being revived in New Zealand, and we should thank Winston Peters for keeping alive that spirit. Josh Van Veen, who once worked with the NZ First leader, pays his tribute.   With New Zealand First receiving less than 3% of the vote, critics are happily ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    21 hours ago
  • The Hunt for Red October: Musings on Taieri
    So New Zealand has had its general election. Jacinda Ardern has managed a single-party majority government, New Zealand’s first in twenty-six years, and its first since the adoption of proportional representation. I intend to do a comment on that further down the line – my feelings on the Sunday ...
    1 day ago
  • Lessons from the Election
    This year’s general election has broken new ground – and not just in terms of its outcome, the seats won and votes cast, and – in an MMP environment – the margin of victory. It also suggests that something quite fundamental has changed in New Zealand politics. The outcome is ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 days ago
  • The unexpected result
    The people have spoken, and its a Labour majority government. This wasn't meant to happen under MMP, and in fact its exactly what the system was designed to prevent: no majority governments, no elected dictatorships, unless we really, really want it (which at the time seemed unlikely on 40 years ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Schadenfreude is a dish best served blue
    What started out as the largest party in parliament has ended election night scratching the back door of the house of irrelevance. ...
    My ThinksBy boonman
    2 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #42
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week: Sun, Oct 11, 2020 through Sat, Oct 17, 2020 Editor's Choice A FIELD GUIDE TOTHE ELECTION AND CLIMATE CHANGE   The presidential election is just weeks away, and climate change has broken ...
    2 days ago
  • Legal Beagle: Election '20: The Special Votes
    The 2020 General Election has a preliminary result. For reasons I am unable to really explain, we will not have even a preliminary result for the end of life choice and cannabis legalisation referendums for some weeks (I dropped the ball on that one when the referendum legislation was before ...
    2 days ago
  • National rejects tonight’s result as a ‘rogue poll’
    National are dismissing tonight’s election result as an “obvious outlier” Half an hour into counting, National Party leader Judith Collins and deputy leader Gerry Brownlee are already dismissing tonight’s election result as a “rogue poll”, saying it’s an incomplete survey with shoddy methodology. Brownlee called an emergency media stand-up just ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 days ago
  • Jacinda Ardern ran down four National supporters with her car this morning but due to electoral law ...
    Dr. Ashley Bloomfield reported at today’s 1pm health briefing that the Coronavirus turns out not to exist, but that information was also withheld on the same grounds. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern began her election morning by ruthlessly driving her car into a family of National supporters just blocks from her ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 days ago
  • Six weird animals that have nothing to do with the election
    Get a load of these things! Some of these animals are just crazy. You wouldn’t want a single one of these animals anywhere near your kids. It could ruin them for life. Last thing you’d want is your kid growing up around any of these, and thinking that’s what animals ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    3 days ago
  • 1pm Covid Health Update for 17th October, 2020
    What follows is today’s 1pm health update from the Ministry of Health There are 12 new cases of Covid-19 today, six in managed isolation, three escaped, and three are wealthy foreigners so it’s fine. One of these cases is a man in his 50s who visited Auckland sex club Fisting ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    3 days ago
  • It's Election Day.
     This posting is exclusive to Bowalley Road. ...
    3 days ago
  • National caucus convening to elect new leader for final 2 hours of the campaign
    This is a breaking news event, and further updates and clarifications may be forthcoming. With less than three hours to go in the election campaign, The National Party is holding an emergency meeting to elect a new leader, one they hope can turn things around in the final one and ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    3 days ago
  • Judith Collins asking for two week extension on election due date
    Collins says she was “ever so close” to finishing everything up, but a family member died, her computer crashed, and she just needs “a little more time” to get things right. In a late move this evening, Judith Collins has written an urgent letter to the Electoral Commission requesting a ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    3 days ago
  • The Debunking Handbook 2020: Misinformation is damaging and sticky
    This blog post is part 1 of a series of excerpts from The Debunking Handbook 2020. The list of references is available here. Misinformation can do damage Misinformation is false information that is spread either by mistake or with intent to mislead. When there is intent to mislead, it is ...
    3 days ago
  • Not as a Christian, but as a New Zealander: Why I am voting against assisted suicide tomorrow.
    I am no stranger to lost causes. And, while there is always hope, it does appear that David Seymour’s “End of Life Choice” law will receive the necessary endorsement of voters to finally legalise assisted suicide in this country. A significant minority of voters will dissent, however.I will be one ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    3 days ago
  • Ardern reassures voters that Greens’ negotiating table will be a tiny, humiliating one
    On the eve of the election, the Prime Minister wants New Zealanders to know the Greens will be given a very small seat at the table, quite literally. In the final hours of the campaign, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has made a forceful appeal to the electorate not to be ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    3 days ago
  • A Waste of Time: The Hundred “Best” Fantasy Books
    Time Magazine has put out a list of the hundred best fantasy books of all time: https://time.com/collection/100-best-fantasy-books/ It is bad. Very bad. I get that this is clickbait nonsense, but… really. Time Magazine ought to be ashamed of themselves. Ostensibly, the selection process was as follows: ...
    4 days ago
  • Big changes do stick
    In one of her last pre-election interviews, Jacinda Ardern tries to defend her policy of doing nothing while in government: Ardern reflected on large changes made by Helen Clark’s government – particularly in education and welfare – that were still part of the system now, saying they prove smaller ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Polls show regret for not voting Green
    I have looked at election polling for last four elections and have noticed a concerning pattern. The Green Party's polling leading up to each election is stronger than what they actually achieve, then the poll immediately afterwards is always considerably higher. For most parties the opposite is generally the case. ...
    4 days ago
  • Climate Change: Planning to fail
    Last year, the government passed the Zero Carbon Act, setting short-term and long-term goals for carbon reduction. And they're already saying that they will fail to meet them: Environment Minister David Parker​ appears to have already given up on the country’s ability to meet the 2030 methane goal set ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Another issue Labour is ignoring its voters over
    Jacinda Ardern is trying to rule out even discussing a wealth tax if she gets re-elected. But if she gets re-elected, it will be by voters who support one. A Newshub poll shows that nearly half of all voters - and 60% of labour supporters - support a wealth tax: ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Scholarship Physics
    It’s that time of year when school students become seriously focused on exams. This year has been messy for student learning, and has affected some students more than others, but the NCEA external assessments and the Scholarship exams are going ahead pretty-much as normal. I’ve taken some interest in the ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    4 days ago
  • “Fitz” On Cannabis.
    "I Like It!" “Shall I tell you the real reason to legalise cannabis? Because all the stuff I’ve told you, while true, isn’t enough. You should legalise cannabis because you’d like it. No, actually, you’d love it! Cannabis makes food taste better. It turns music into magic. It suppresses pain and nausea ...
    4 days ago
  • Crusher fails to resonate
    Judith Collins - National Party leaderYou can tell the National Party is in damage control mode most of the time these days. Instead of being able to provide any valid alternative to a Labour led Government, Judith Collins is going out of her way to be controversial just to get ...
    5 days ago
  • A flaw in our electoral transparency regime II
    Last month, we learned there was a flaw in our electoral transparency regime, with the New Zealand Public Party receiving a quarter of a million dollars in donations which will never have to be decalred. And now its got worse,as it turns out they're also explicitly soliciting donations from rich ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • “Entirely separate”
    When two people whose identities we all know but cannot say publicly due to name suppression were charged with "Obtaining by Deception" over routing donations to NZ First through the NZ First Foundation, Winston Peters claimed his party had been exonerated because "The Foundation is an entirely separate entity from ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Judith Collins' little green lies
    New Zealand is not the United States, thank goodness. We don't have the same level of political partisanship nor public media outlets that blatantly display political bias. However, during the closing weeks of this campaign I do feel an infection of trumpism is evident. Judith Collins and her National Party ...
    5 days ago
  • Josh Van Veen: The Psychology of Ardernism
    Jacinda Ardern has made New Zealanders feel safe. Josh Van Veen looks at psychological understandings of leadership to help explain the ongoing success of Labour in this election campaign.   Simon Bridges could have been the Prime Minister. Opinion polls in February suggested a close election, with Colmar Brunton giving the ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    5 days ago
  • Let's Make Jacinda Break Her Promises.
    Make Her An Offer She Can't Refuse: Expecting Jacinda and her colleagues to break their promise not to introduce a Wealth Tax is not only unfair it is unwise. A consensus for change has never arisen out of a series of polite discussions - or base betrayals. A better New ...
    5 days ago
  • Two days to go, 12 questions still worth asking
    One last lap. One last crack. One last chance to boost your own policies or knock down your opponents. Tonight TVNZ hosts the final leaders’ debate and although over a million New Zealanders have voted and much of the policy debate seems to have stagnated around negative attacks, there are ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    5 days ago
  • Possible inter-satellite collision on Friday
    Two objects in low-Earth orbit may collide with each other on Friday, in a hyper-velocity impact which would lead to millions of fragments being left on-orbit, each potentially-lethal to functioning satellites. Fingers crossed (not that I am superstitious) that it is a miss, rather than a hit. One local ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    5 days ago
  • Do Elections Deliver What We Want?
    MMP may deliver a parliament which reflects us, but frequently the government does not. At the heart of my recent history of New Zealand, Not in Narrow Seas, is the interaction between economic and social change. I could measure economic change via the – far from comprehensive – ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    5 days ago
  • Flailing last grasps bring lasting gasps in the NZ General Election…
    The last week of the 2020 election here in New Zealand has been an increasingly torrid and venal affair has it not? Many expect the last week of any Election campaign to get considerably more tetchy, everyone is hurrying to nail the last voter down after all. But this ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    5 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #41, 2020
    Zika follows climate Sadie Ryan and coauthors combine what we know about the Zika virus and its preferred regime with modeling to show the pathogen will greatly expand its range during the next few decades. We do have some remaining control over the situation. From the abstract: "In the ...
    5 days ago
  • Does a delay in COP26 climate talks hit our efforts to reduce carbon emissions?
    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 Will the delay of the COP26 UN climate negotiations impact ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • Where do the parties stand on open government?
    The election is in less than a week, so I thought I'd take a quick look at where the parties stand on open government, freedom of information, and the OIA. The short answer is that most of them don't. While Andrew Little has "promised" to rewrite the OIA, there's no ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • The Second Time As Farce: National's Election Campaign Falls Apart.
    The Mask Of Civility Is Removed: According to Politik’s editor, Richard Harman, Collins has become her own campaign manager. Now, as a lawyer, you might think that the Leader of the Opposition would be familiar with the old saying: “The lawyer who defends himself has a fool for a client.” ...
    6 days ago
  • National's Little Helpers have A Cunning Plan.
    Keep Your hands Off Of My Stash: Viewed from the perspective of the 2020 General Election as a whole, the intervention of the Taxpayers’ Union against the Greens' Wealth Tax confirms the Right’s growing sense of desperation that the campaign is slipping away from them. With hundreds of thousands of ...
    6 days ago
  • Covid-19: A planetary disease
    Louise Delany* This blog focuses on the underlying environmental causes of Covid-19 (Covid) and the role of international law in tackling both Covid and other planetary crises. I argue that major changes to our relationship with our planet and its creatures are needed and these changes must be supported by ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    6 days ago
  • Liam Hehir: How to make your mind up
    If you’re still on the fence about how to vote, Liam Hehir says it’s probably more important for you to vote on the basis of your principles, and he offers a way to think about how these principles might align with the main party options.   Still undecided? Here’s how ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    6 days ago
  • What else apart from a Wealth Tax? The shape of a Labour-Greens coalition
    If you haven’t heard, the Green Party supports a Wealth Tax. Yeah, I thought you might have heard of it. Everyone’s been talking about it on the campaign trail these past few days. It would force the wealthiest six percent of New Zealanders to pay a one percent tax each ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    6 days ago
  • Time is slipping by for the fruit industry to improve wages
    The covid-19 pandemic has meant a lot of changes for New Zealand. Lockdowns, social distancing, a massive shift to working from home and the death of tourism for a start. But the sensible and necessary border closure has also completely cut off the supply of cheap, migrant labour - and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • A new low in American “democracy”
    Every US election, we're used to seeing long lines of voters, and reading stories of widespread gerrymandering and voter suppression (including things like flyers falsely telling people their assigned polling place (!) has moved or that voting will be on a different day, and robocalls threatening that people will be ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • A suggestion for Biden’s foreign policy.
    I have been thinking about US foreign policy after the upcoming election. My working assumption is that try as he might, Trump will lose the election and be forced from office. There will be much litigating of the results and likely civil unrest, but on Jan 21, 2021 the Orange ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    7 days ago
  • Bleak views of melting Antarctic ice, from above and below
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Karin Kirk Images from satellites high above the Earth have helped a research team put together a stark visual chronicle of decades of glacier disintegration in Antarctica. Meanwhile, a separate international research team has taken the opposite perspective – studying the ice ...
    7 days ago
  • Five reasons I am voting for National (and why you should too)
    Centre right voters have three realistic options this year.
      The National Party, which is currently at something of a low ebb but which remains the primary vehicle for conservative and moderate liberal voters; orThe libertarian ACT Party, which is undergoing a temporary boom as National struggles; orThe centre-left Labour ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 week ago
  • Graeme Edgeler: How to vote, and how to think about voting
    Your choice of who to vote for could make a real difference. Electoral law expert Graeme Edgeler suggests you make an informed choice, and he goes through a variety of different ways to think about your voting options.   The New Zealand general election is being held next Saturday, the ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    1 week ago
  • That School Debate: Tolkien, Shakespeare, and Anti-Stratfordianism
    Today, I am responding to one Philip Lowe, who back in August 2019 produced an interesting but flawed piece, looking at the way in which Tolkien viewed Shakespeare: Tolkien and Shakespeare: Counterparts ...
    1 week ago
  • Marching to the ballot boxes
    Today's advance voting statistics are out, showing that 450,000 people voted over the weekend, bringing the total advance vote to 1.15 million - just 90,000 shy of the 2017 total. So its likely that by the end of today, more people will have advance voted than did in the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: The long road to “Yes”
    One day in 1985, I came down from the loft where I was working as deputy editor of Rip It Up magazine, looking for lunch, and walked into a scene. There, on the corner of Queen and Darby Streets, a man was in the process of getting two kids to ...
    1 week ago
  • A funny thing for Labour to die in a ditch over
    Over the weekend, National unveiled its latest desperate effort to try and gain some attention: campaigning hard against a wealth tax. Its a Green Party policy, so its a funny thing for national to campaign against (alternatively, I guess it shows who their true opponents are). But even funnier is ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The comforting myth of the referendum ‘soft option’
    Assuming we don’t count Bird of the Year, last week was my first time voting in a New Zealand election. I’ve been here a while, but for reasons too dull to recount, I didn’t have permanent residence in time for any of the others. Anyway, it’s hardly up there with 1893, ...
    PunditBy Colin Gavaghan
    1 week ago
  • Election: Equality Network’s Policy Matrix
    How will you vote this Election? We suggest comparing the Party policies on addressing inequality: The Equality Network identifies Ten Key Policy Areas that will make a difference: ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • Equality Network: Party Policy Star Chart
    ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • A Tale of Two Elections
    AS 2020 draws to a close, two very different countries, in different hemispheres and time zones, are holding elections that are of great importance, not only for their own futures but for the future of the world as well. The USA and New Zealand differ greatly in physical and economic ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #41
    Story of the Week... El Niño/La Niña Update... Toon of the Week... Climate Feedback Article Review... Coming Soon on SkS... Poster of the Week... SkS Week in Review... Story of the Week... How Joe Biden could reorient foreign policy around climate change A new report lays out ...
    1 week ago
  • Potential attack lines in the campaign's final week
    In the final week of the election campaign, parties large and small will want to make clear to voters why they are more deserving of your vote than the other guys. It doesn’t mean going negative… oh alright, it does a little bit. But it doesn’t mean playing dirty. It ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #41
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week: Sun, Oct 4, 2020 through Sat, Oct 10, 2020 Editor's Choice What Have We Learned in Thirty Years of Covering Climate Change? A climate scientist who has studied the Exxon Valdez ...
    1 week ago
  • Economic Resilience or Policy Brilliance?
    The economy has been through a traumatic experience. Prospects look sobering. Preliminary official estimates suggest that market production (GDP) fell 12.2 percent in the June Quarter 2020 – a huge, and probably unprecedented, contraction. In mid-April the Treasury had expected a fall of 23.5 percent (published in the 2020 ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • The SMC Video Competition: The Tītipounamu Project
    Recently, the Science Media Centre ran the third round of its 2020 SAVVY Video Competition for science researchers. With entries ranging from kea tracking to Beethoven’s piano pieces, we judges were incredibly impressed by the creativity and quality of submissions. This week, we’re featuring the work of runner-up, PhD candidate ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Interview with Nicky Lee
    Fellow New Zealand writer, Nicky Lee, has been doing some Q&A with other local speculative fiction authors: https://www.nikkythewriter.com/blog Each fortnight is a different author, answering ten questions about their Writing Process. I think it’s an excellent way of helping build the profile of the New Zealand speculative fiction ...
    1 week ago
  • Capital Vol. 3 lectures: converting surplus-value into the rate of profit
    This is the third in the lecture series by Andy Higginbottom on superexploitation.Here he looks at the problem of converting surplus-value into the rate of profit.(Part one of the lecture series is here, and part two is here) ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Another call for OIA reform
    A collection of top-level environmental and human rights NGOs is calling for reform of the Official Information Act: The Child Poverty Action Group, Greenpeace, Forest and Bird, JustSpeak, New Zealand Council for Civil Liberties and Amnesty International are calling for a comprehensive, independent review of the Official Information Act ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The advice on moving the election date
    When the Prime Minister moved the election date back in August, I immediately lodged OIA requests with the Electoral Commission and Ministry of Justice for any advice they'd given. Both refused, on the basis that the information would be proactively released. That's finally happened, a mere three weeks after the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Media Link: Pre-election craziness in the US.
    This week in our “A View from Afar” podcast Selwyn Manning and I reflect on Trump’s increasingly erratic behaviour in wake of contracting Covid-19 and the domestic and foreign implications it has in the run-up to the November 3 national elections. You can find it here. ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago

  • NZ announces a third P-3 deployment in support of UN sanctions
    The Government has deployed a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 Orion (P-3) maritime patrol aircraft to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions imposing sanctions against North Korea, announced Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters and Minister of Defence Ron Mark. “New Zealand has long supported ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • Pacific trade and development agreement a reality
    Pacific regional trade and development agreement PACER Plus will enter into force in 60 days now that the required eight countries have ratified it. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker welcomed the announcement that the Cook Islands is the eighth nation to ratify this landmark agreement. “The agreement represents ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Securing a pipeline of teachers
    The Government is changing its approach to teacher recruitment as COVID-19 travel restrictions continue, by boosting a range of initiatives to get more Kiwis into teaching. “When we came into Government, we were faced with a teacher supply crisis,” Education Minister Chris Hipkins said. “Over the past three years, we ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Border exceptions for a small number of international students with visas
    The Government has established a new category that will allow 250 international PhD and postgraduate students to enter New Zealand and continue their studies, in the latest set of border exceptions. “The health, safety and wellbeing of people in New Zealand remains the Government’s top priority. Tight border restrictions remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • First COVID-19 vaccine purchase agreement signed
    The Government has signed an agreement to purchase 1.5 million COVID-19 vaccines – enough for 750,000 people – from Pfizer and BioNTech, subject to the vaccine successfully completing all clinical trials and passing regulatory approvals in New Zealand, say Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods and Health Minister Chris Hipkins. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • International statement – End-to-end encryption and public safety
    We, the undersigned, support strong encryption, which plays a crucial role in protecting personal data, privacy, intellectual property, trade secrets and cyber security.  It also serves a vital purpose in repressive states to protect journalists, human rights defenders and other vulnerable people, as stated in the 2017 resolution of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Ministry of Defence Biodefence Assessment released
    The Ministry of Defence has today released a Defence Assessment examining Defence’s role across the spectrum of biological hazards and threats facing New Zealand. Biodefence: Preparing for a New Era of Biological Hazards and Threats looks at how the NZDF supports other agencies’ biodefence activities, and considers the context of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Approaches to Economic Challenges: Confronting Planetary Emergencies: OECD 9 October 2020
    New Approaches to Economic Challenges: Confronting Planetary Emergencies: OECD 9 October 2020 Hon David Parker’s response following Thomas Piketty and Esther Duflo. Good morning, good afternoon, and good evening, wherever in the world you might be. I first acknowledge the excellent thought provoking speeches of Thomas Piketty and Esther ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Kaipara Moana restoration takes next step
    A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed today at Waihāua Marae between the Crown, local iwi and councils to protect, restore and enhance the mauri of Kaipara Moana in Northland. Environment Minister David Parker signed the document on behalf of the Crown along with representatives from Ngā Maunga Whakahī, Ngāti ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand and Uruguay unite on reducing livestock production emissions
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor and Uruguayan Minister of Livestock, Agriculture and Fisheries Carlos María Uriarte have welcomed the launch of a three-year project that will underpin sustainable livestock production in Uruguay, Argentina, and Costa Rica.  The project called ‘Innovation for pasture management’ is led by Uruguay’s National Institute of Agricultural ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • 3100 jobs created through marae upgrades
    Hundreds of marae throughout the country will be upgraded through investments from the Provincial Growth Fund’s refocused post COVID-19 funding to create jobs and put money into the pockets of local tradespeople and businesses, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones and Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta have announced. “A total ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Health volunteers recognised in annual awards
    Health Minister Chris Hipkins has announced 9 teams and 14 individuals are the recipients of this year’s Minister of Health Volunteer Awards.  “The health volunteer awards celebrate and recognise the thousands of dedicated health sector volunteers who give many hours of their time to help other New Zealanders,” Mr Hipkins ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Community COVID-19 Fund supports Pacific recovery
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio says a total of 264 groups and individuals have successfully applied for the Pacific Aotearoa Community COVID-19 Recovery Fund, that will support Pacific communities drive their own COVID-19 recovery strategies, initiatives, and actions. “I am keen to see this Fund support Pacific ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Community benefits from Māori apprenticeships
    Up to 50 Māori apprentices in Wellington will receive paid training to build houses for their local communities, thanks to a $2.75 million investment from the Māori Trades and Training Fund, announced Employment Minister Willie Jackson today. “This funding will enable Ngāti Toa Rangatira Incorporated to provide its Ngā Kaimahi ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Training fund supports Māori jobseekers
    Rapidly growing sectors will benefit from a $990,000 Māori Trades and Training Fund investment which will see Wellington jobseekers supported into work, announced Employment Minister Willie Jackson today. “This funding will enable Sapphire Consultants Ltd. to help up to 45 Māori jobseekers into paid training initiatives over two years through ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • Ruakura Inland Port development vital infrastructure for Waikato
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