Government as startup

Written By: - Date published: 8:00 am, September 4th, 2018 - 67 comments
Categories: Economy, election 2017, greens, jacinda ardern, labour, Media, Politics - Tags:

This new government is almost perfectly replicating the burn cycle of a startup business.

Like a tech startup, the popular notion is that it has two stages: a great idea and a spectacular payoff.

In reality, this government is behaving like a tech startup because there is an awful lot of work to do between these two points.

There are six distinct stages, each with specific needs in terms of growing internal competencies, building an adviser team, and creating a scalable infrastructure to support growth and get to the finish line. For a Labour-led government, that finish line is the next election, and the next, because their big ideas are such that they need three terms to see stuff actually altering society and New Zealand as a whole.

  1. Idea Generation.

This has occurred in this government through the policy formation processes of its three coalition partners, and came to a conclusion at the election and coalition document, and first Speech from the Throne. Through the coalition document, the roles of the founding members were determined. There is no doubt from the polling that until these ideas start delivering, the competitor will continue to loom massive.

  1. Vetting.

This is where the ideas take shape, and the initial cash burn amount is signalled. In this government, this was signalled very early through the mini-budget. But as with all early cash requirement announcements, it was out massively. The second part of this is what they are doing now: putting concepts out there, realising that it will take much, much longer to get a political payoff for the major concepts that they have underway (such as shifting New Zealand’s investments from housing to the productive sector, building rail lines, housing, altering child poverty, and lifting consumer spending with big sectoral pay increases). The PM has made the black and white commitment that there will be no exceeding the cash burn requirement through breaking their imposed debt rules.

Not all policies survive the first big burn, which is what we are going through.

  1. Customer Engagement.

There’s a central need for customer engagement. As a startup hybrid government with very little cabinet experience, they are slow to get to this. Thankfully the Prime Minister is the communications expert in Parliament right now; she’s back, and it’s showing. They’re a long way from the great “baby picture” phase of the first quarter, but they are getting out in the field as they should.

It’s yet to be determined whether all the hundreds of influencers on the 170+ committees – the “angel investors” spending their reputations into this cash burn period  – are really getting the payoff they might be entitled to. Tactically it’s smart to engage so many because with so many professionals engaged from so many fields, the capacity to critique is decreased. It shows that many believe that this startup is real. They are all motivated to ensure that it hits its milestones.

But this government is deep in its burn cycle. It’s spending political and taxpayer capital all over the place, it’s amping up the marketing with sustained promises of what it will deliver in the years to come, and it’s working all the hours God has given it to get there. Lower-order management is due for a re-tool to keep the rest of the sales team hungry.

This government is a long, long way from generating much political cash.

  1. Scaling

In their second and third year, they’ve done their prototypes, tested their political markets, costed them, and are ready to roll out the policy ideas rapidly. It is now out of startup mode and promising mode, and in to the phase of being an assured real government. The customer base expands significantly, requiring additional customer relationship management tools. That means every single Minister rehearses before every media interview, there’s a team in the PM’s office who has full command across the media scape, and there is one comprehensive message calendar that the government is working to, and as much as possible they are setting the agenda within its market.

This is the time where teams change, such as the formation of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development, and new PPP’s and UDA’s are formed. It’s also where accounting and banking needs become more technical, especially where selling your concepts across state or international boundaries as this government is. In the NZHerald this morning, Canadian pension fund CDPQ is ready to roll over procurement processes we are familiar with here and get into public consultation with NZTA on light rail even though they haven’t been awarded the job. In time we will see Cabinet and public servants change as the risks of scaling alter the experience needed to deal with this.

This government is not yet at scaling.

  1. Profitable Growth.

This government will have profitable growth when they sustain their popularity not on whether the Prime Minister is pregnant (or other irrelevant media story), but on whether citizens see that their policies really work, and that conviction is reinforced by within both MSM and digital media. That means it’s not just the occasional columnist; it’s when most product reviews come in and they are good.

The measure of profitable growth is whether this government gets re-elected. Which is kind of like a really big rights issue. The IPO was the first election.

And finally …

  1. Maturity/Exit

Yes, all things come to an end, and Labour governments are as bad at this as they are succession planning. In 2023 or 2026 they will lose because that’s just the way things are. But a really smart company has already invested all the political capital that they have been salting away by appointing friendly judges, friendly University Vice Chancellors, friendly Chiefs of Police and of the Defence Force, stacked the ACC and NZSuper and EQC Boards, tilted NZ On Air and TVNZ with their people. In some cases, they are rewards for Cabinet Ministers who could conceivably come back. You need them all there, because you know your children are going to want to launch their own – and they will need their own Angel Investors ready to vent a little of their own personal capital into that new burn, that new government.

In the meantime, this is the burn cycle.

67 comments on “Government as startup ”

  1. Gosman 1

    Why does the government want to lift consumer spending? NZ has not got a problem with depressed consumer spending. We do have a problem with productivity growth. Increasing consumer spending won’t help solve that.

    • dukeofurl 1.1

      Sending more and more logs offshore wont help productivity either. Same goes for those calling for ‘drill baby drill’ and its cousin ‘dig baby dig’

      • Kevin 1.1.1

        We don’t own the logs and the owners can do what they like with them. That is why selling forests 30 years ago was a classic NZ case of short term thinking.

        • Gosman 1.1.1.1

          Yes the owners can make as much money out of owning something they can get. What a terrible idea /sarc.

          • Draco T Bastard 1.1.1.1.1

            Yes it is. Such bludging is always a bad idea especially when it impoverishes society leading to its collapse.

            Which is where capitalism always takes a society.

            • Gosman 1.1.1.1.1.1

              I think you are mistaking Socialism for Capitalism again Draco 😉

              • Draco T Bastard

                No, I’m not.

                Capitalism is purely destructive of societies and always has been. That’s why almost all religions throughout the world ban usury and theft. That’s all capitalism is really – legalised theft.

          • Marcus Morris 1.1.1.1.2

            Not like you Gosman but I think you have missed the point Kevin is making. Profit is being made by overseas interests from raw product grown in NZ that sold off at bargain basement rates by a National Government thirty years ago. I was living in Levin when a large forest block (planted out by PD workers I think) was sold off to Renier for a ridiculously low price and I can recall local people being outraged at the time. I was talking very recently to a woman whose family was in the timber business for years and she says she “weeps” each time she sees a load of logs heading for the sport of Tauranga. Why has Kinleith been allowed to become so diminished. At bone time NZFP was New Zealand’s largest listed company. Does it rate at all now? We have got to look at adding value to our raw materials (like Tatua has done so successfully with milk). I am hopeful that Shane Jones sees things in a similar light.

      • Gosman 1.1.2

        Considering I’m not calling for that I don’t know why you brought it up.

        • Marcus Morris 1.1.2.1

          Goodness me. I thought that your direct implication was that any owner can make as much profit as they are able to. Fair enough. But in this case the owners are not New Zealanders and the assets that they are exploiting once were NZ owned and that they were sold off was a mistake. However I don’t expect you to see it that way.

          • Gosman 1.1.2.1.1

            The assets were not sold off by mistake. It was a deliberate action on behalf of the former owners and they received payment for the assets.

            • Marcus Morris 1.1.2.1.1.1

              You do love to be pedantic. The example that I mentioned was a publicly owned asset. Those responsible for the sale did not make a mistake in a legal sense – I know that and you know I know that. However there was general dismay in the community when news of the sale was made public and many felt that the asset had been sold far too cheaply.

      • SaveNZ 1.1.3

        Can’t see how investing so much into housing to be sold or rented to more low waged migrants (such as “restaurant managers” or “farm workers”) here is going to generate wealth.

        Wasn’t lowering immigration one of labour and NZ First election promises that took them over the line with voters?

        Blowing the budget on corporate welfare infrastructure to support John and Bill’s low wage economy and stimulate as much competition in that area to keep wages low and competition for low cost housing and jobs high, while encouraging as much driving as possible for the growing precariat class?

        P.S. there is not much public transport in poor areas and you can’t get around from your gig economy jobs or part time work on public transport as it currently takes twice as long, if it even goes where you need to go. What are people going to do for the next 10 years while they wait for the woefully inadequate public transport? Practicality is missing from Labour. New migrant and foreign money is buying up all the prime sites and driving those that live and work in NZ further out while penalising them for it, with petrol taxes and additional taxes to pay for public transport.

        Pretty hypocritical to complain about not investing in the productive sector when the governments money is being firmly thrown into construction and most messaging is to support construction business and not much else??? The government also seem to be freaking out when it looks like Kiwis are not going to be buying all the new apartments as they can’t afford them so allow foreign investors to buy them, keeping the inflated construction sector going while expecting Kiwi taxpayers to subsidise the process and keep it going by providing the taxes for infrastructure while not even being able to afford to live there.

    • left_forward 1.2

      …and which part of productivity growth theory are you thinking of Gosman?
      Stripping more natural resources, or making workers do more for less?
      Is this your capitalist voice or do you actually have some progressive ideas about how to grow productivity?

      • Gosman 1.2.1

        Ummm… you are aware that the key to productivity growth is usually capital investment aren’t you?

        • lprent 1.2.1.1

          Yep. Invariably to do capital investments in raising the productivity of employees and then passing some of the benefits on to the employees.

          That is the classical theory and one that works when there aren’t arsehole employees and rapacious shareholders around.

          That raises the overall quantity and quality of goods and services and feeds back onto the whole
          community.

          However over the last couple of decades it hasn’t worked like that.

          Instead real wages have diminished across virtually every sector of the economy regardless of the increases in productivity.

          Almost all the substantive costs of employee productivity increases have increasingly been pushed on to the employee and the government. This is known as tertiary education along with its massive subsidy and putative loans.

          At the same same time virtually all benefits from any benefits from any productivity increases have been translated directly into shareholder returns and executive salaries.

          Since then are the only real beneficiaries of such capital investments, then why should the unprividged care a toss for those arseholes?

          in essence you are a economic
          fossil. Perhaps you should learn about modern economies rather than trying to lecture by repeating rubbish that was dying when you were born.

          • Gosman 1.2.1.1.1

            I would dispute that Tertiary education has lead to massive increases in productivity.

            • greywarshark 1.2.1.1.1.1

              Gosman –
              Your rationale is : I shall dispute

            • Gabby 1.2.1.1.1.2

              Go on then gozzer, get disputin.

            • Draco T Bastard 1.2.1.1.1.3

              Tertiary education by itself doesn’t. Use of that education to develop the economy does.

              Unfortunately, we’ve not been using that education to develop our economy the way it needs to be developed and so we’ve seen an increase in poverty and inequality as the capitalists steal from from the rest of us.

        • left_forward 1.2.1.2

          Perhaps you mean production growth (but even then you have missed human and natural resources).
          Productivity is about efficiency of production (independent of the size of production) – productivity growth is about improving this efficiency.
          Capital Investment does not have any effect on productivity.

          • Gosman 1.2.1.2.1

            Wrong. If I invest in new capital equipment I would expect my productivity to increase (otherwise it has been a poor investment).

            • left_forward 1.2.1.2.1.1

              So even though you declare me to be wrong, you do in fact substantially agree that capital investment will only have an effect on productivity if it has a certain quality – i.e. it increases productivity!
              So having taken this meaningless diversion – please answer my question –
              [What makes a capital investment good to you ] –
              Stripping more natural resources, and / or making workers do more for less?

              • Gosman

                What makes capital investment good for me is that it allows workers to do more for the same amount of money AND it enables a business to use less natural resources to produce the same output.

                • left_forward

                  Thanks Gosman, we got there!

                  I assume you forgot about the return on investment – the increased profit! As a good capitalist that would be a given I guess.

                  Yet, you specifically refused to share some of the increased profit with the workers?

                  And what of the shared commons from which you have taken those (albeit reduced) natural resources – would it not also be good to refund the commons for the resources taken?

                • Ad

                  I just knew you you belonged in the Labour Party.

    • Nic the NZer 1.3

      What are you talking about? Increases in consumer spending are almost directly recorded as increases in income and therefore productivity (for the sectors which are spent on).

      • Gosman 1.3.1

        No they are not. I don’t know why you think that.

        • Nic the NZer 1.3.1.1

          Yes, it follows from the definitions.

          GDP = C + I + G + (X – M) = Total Income

          That is consumption by households, investment by businesses, government spending on goods and services, and net exports, which are equal to exports minus imports of goods and services.

          So consumption spending counts directly in GDP which is a measure of economic income.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gross_domestic_product#Components_of_GDP_by_expenditure

          Further productivity is to some extent measured as income divided by time worked. For example OECD productivity data measures GDP per hour worked. So increases in consumption spending will almost directly have a positive impact on the productivity of the sectors of the economy where that spending occurs.

          https://data.oecd.org/lprdty/gdp-per-hour-worked.htm

          The alternative is that the hours work increase with the increases in consumption spending but I am pretty sure you need to be barking mad to believe there is no such slack in the economy to be exercised by such a spending increase.

          • Gosman 1.3.1.1.1

            Except you miss the fact that if Government increases spending it usually means less investment (unless the State borrows more) which means the equation does not change.

            • Nic the NZer 1.3.1.1.1.1

              Wrong again, Bob!
              BTW, if the government succeeds in increasing consumption spending this doesn’t increase government spending. As you can see they are two different parts of GDP.
              And no government spending does not directly decrease investment, though that is a commonly held belief in certain religious circles.

              • Gosman

                How can you increase spending without decreasing investment Nic?

                • Nic the NZer

                  Easy, just increase spending. You will notice both count positively towards GDP.

                  Also note all the domestic private sectors spending counts as consumption or investment. If there was an inverse relationship there it would be impossible for the private sector contribution to GDP to grow (or shrink), at all.

                  Your getting awfully confused about the basics.

                  • Gosman

                    You can’t just increase spending. The money has to come from somewhere. If you spend it you can’t invest it. Do you not understand basic maths?

                    • Nic the NZer

                      Christ your deluded.

                      A countries money supply is very far from fixed. It increases and decreases through accounting inside the banking system, including the central bank. You can verify that just by observing aggregate money supply statistics over time.

                      Also, consumption and investment spending are a flow so they can increase on the same money supply due to faster turnover.

                    • Gosman

                      Unless you print OR borrow money you CANNOT increase Consumer spending without impacting Investment. This has been known by Economists for a VERY LONG TIME.

                    • Nic the NZer []

                      So last years GDP outcomes where both consumption and investment spending nominally grew year on year, in fact didn’t happen then?

                    • arkie

                      Disputing reality is a trademark of ol’ Gosman

                    • Gosman

                      Noone is arguing that investment and consumer spending can’t go up if the economy is growing. What the argument is about is if you increase consumer spending artifically by an action of Government in the short term you will reduce the amount of money available for investment. You might bank on this having an effect in the medium or longer term if demand encourages capacity to be utilised more fully but if capacity is close to full then any increase in spending will not be hugely beneficial to the economy at all but will actively harm it as Business can not access enough capital to expand production AND the extra demand will drive up prices and costs.

                    • Nic the NZer []

                      “Noone is arguing that investment and consumer spending can’t go up if the economy is growing.” – Gosman

                      “You can’t just increase spending. The money has to come from somewhere. If you spend it you can’t invest it. ” – an earlier Gosman.

                    • Gosman

                      I’m not arguing that the result of a growing economy is more money for both Consumer spending AND Investment. I’m arguing that if you start from the point of view of increasing Consumer Spending (i.e. the other end of the equation) you will reduce the amount available for Investment and vice versa If you increase investment you reduce Consumer spending.

                    • Nic the NZer []

                      Wrong again Bob!
                      GDP is an accounting relation. Also in maths equality is symmetric it doesn’t matter which direction you look at it.

  2. Stuart Munro 2

    “In 2023 or 2026 they will lose because that’s just the way things are”

    That may be the way that things have been, but there are few to no signs of renewal among the Gnats at present. They oscillate between the blandly incompetent Bridges, the tainted and nasty Collins, and the frankly stupid Bennett & Brownlee.

    If Labour can deliver on its promises and responsibilities, the Gnats are out until they make a generational change. And they’re not good at change, they probably won’t make any until they plumb the bedrock English took them to back in the day.

    • Gosman 2.1

      I think your analysis of NZ Politics hasn’t got a very good track record at predicting political trends. I believe you are one of the many here who kept predicting the imminent demise of the last National government years before it actually lost.

      • Stuart Munro 2.1.1

        Really no one cares what you believe Gosman – your alleged beliefs are so full of it they’re a waste of pixels.

        Political parties have support of differing tenacity.

        There is volatile support, which changes with the wind, broad support, which may still be lost over significant issues or conspicuous failures, and there is bedrock support, which will largely stay with parties regardless of their activities.

        Bill English found National bedrock support to be in the order 24% back in the day, and on current performance there is every reason that their base should fall back in that direction; moreover, many of those supporters will have died since then, thus it is probable the Gnat bedrock is closer to 20%.

      • Duncan 2.1.2

        You seem to think money comes from the government printing press Gosman which is not generally true.
        Most of it comes from banks creating more money every time they book a loan. A bank only needs to hold around 14% capital, and the rest it can lend. This is why a bank does not make 1-2% return on capital (the difference between deposit interest rates and loan interest rates), it makes more than 10%, as it lends more than 7 times what its capital is.
        And in a time of rising house prices, the money supply increases as lending increases backed by increased deposits from those who sold their house at an inflated price and exit the property market.
        This is why the housing rises of the last 10 years are a ponzi scheme and are unsustainable and must collapse at some stage.
        And when the housing market contracts, money supply decreases and the economy pays the price. This is the cause of the current dip in business confidence although few probably understand the reasons or the implications.
        Check out the M3 money supply.
        https://tradingeconomics.com/new-zealand/money-supply-m3
        And note how it has increased way above normal rates of growth in the years since 2010 because of National’s foolish housing policy which drew in too much foreign investment and which will lead to certain collapse of all the banks within the next two years.
        If you understand what M3 money is and how it is created then you will understand your notion of a finite money supply is utter BS and you will also be witnessing the scale of the collapse that confronts us.

  3. Dennis Frank 3

    Seems rather lacking at stage 3: vision & strategy. Voters being customers in the analogy, they’re looking for substantial products. I’m not seeing enough marketing yet, possibly due to too much diversification in the product design stage or too much muddling in the implementation, pre-production.

    This government won’t earn a second term if it can’t produce a range of inspiring and worthwhile products. Twyford deserves credit for getting the first houses built for his ballot; first product off the assembly line. We await buyer reaction. Shaw’s process promises delivery soon, and critical appraisal awaits that product. Which other ministers are producing useful products for the voters?

    • David Mac 3.1

      I agree Dennis, the most important ingredient of any business or government is the customer. Everything else, hurdles to be cleared but without a customer every business fails. The customer is King.

      The difference between a fledgling tech idea and an app worth millions is that journey from zero customers to millions of potential/established customers.

      No matter where in the business growth cycle, once the ‘OPEN’ shingle is in the door satisfied customers come back for more and recommend the product/service to their friends.

      • Dennis Frank 3.1.1

        So David, do you see other ministers signalling the production of worthwhile or inspiring products prior to the next election? Who else other than Twyford & Shaw is a contender? Anything else that will be seen in retrospect as an historic achievement, such as Anderton’s Kiwibank or Peters’ Gold Card?

    • Gosman 3.2

      Taking that analogy further – If customers expectations are set that the product will be priced affordably but it is actually priced out of the reach of most people then it is likely people will not form a favourable opinion of the organisation providing the product regardless of whether they deliver a good quality product or not.

      • David Mac 3.2.1

        Pricing is a one of many components and plays a minor part in satisfying customers.

        If I have access to financing for my home and it’s an affordable amount I don’t care what the sticker price is.

        NZers aren’t yelling out for particular price points. They’re yelling out, ‘I just want somewhere pleasant, warm and dry to live mate.’

        • Gosman 3.2.1.1

          600,000 for a starter home is not affordable to most people. Heck I just bought a house with my wife for much less than that and it was a stretch financially despite both of us earning a good income.

          • David Mac 3.2.1.1.1

            Market forces Gosman. If Twyford gets close to his projections and creates a pile of $600k – $800k houses great things happen to the pricing of the houses all the buyers move out of. You stretched to afford your new place, as equally as important is what happened to the place you moved out of. Did you free up a rental or create an opportunity for an ‘on wages’ first home buyer?

  4. bwaghorn 4

    With regards to point 6. Labour need to go spend time with the AB’s management . Once the all blacks shifted from one all powerful coach who got axed after a few losses meaning a complete rebuild to the smooth transition type of management we saw going from Ted to Hansen with unstoppable results .

    • Gosman 4.1

      The All Blacks never transitioned to that model. The NZRFU could still cause the All Black Management team to resign and also could replace them next time their contracts are up for renewal.

  5. Bill 5

    Wouldn’t government as governance be nice?

    I know the post is intended as analogy, but the problem with this government is that it’s elevating a very specific measure of financial health above societal health. It’s the same shit as has been done these past decades, and it’s not working.

    When I say “it’s not working”, I mean that more and more people are seeing their personal long term and/or inter-generational prospects tank while a select few cream it.

    I also mean that it blew up in 2008, and the “independent” economists who control government treasuries insisted that society be bled and the blood used to restore the beast of finance to some semblance of health.

    A direct consequence of that is a sharper tanking of those personal prospects, and an even steeper general run-down of society in terms of services and infrastructure.

    A quick look around the world should tell even the most casual of observers that the patient (us) is spitting the prescribed medicine straight back in the face of those who would dole it out (the ‘traditional’ parties of government) Yet, this government is still happily picking up the prescriptions doled out by those “independent” economists.

    In the US, the Democratic Party (the Clinton iteration of it) is dead. In the UK, the Tory Party is dead, as is the “New Labour” project of Blair. Same across the continent of Europe, where the established parties of government that have held sway “since forever” are imploding and being replaced with a ‘new’ politics that sometimes embraces positive (notionally) left ideals, or sometimes quite ugly stuff usually associated with “the right” ( eg – anti-immigrant and chauvinistic nationalism).

    Anyway, a more apt analogy for the current NZ government might have been the stages of death for a person in an aged care facility – one that was somewhat run-down and short staffed, of course. 😉

    • Ad 5.1

      Honestly I thought I was going to get told off more for putting a commercial analogy around a democratic purpose.

      It would make for more interesting history if governments and movements ended more abruptly. But otherwise it would be hard work. Reports of the demise of the forms you mention would be welcome, and yet ……

      • RedLogix 5.1.1

        Honestly I thought I was going to get told off more for putting a commercial analogy around a democratic purpose.

        So did I. Once upon a time there would’ve been finger wagging about you going all ‘managerial’ on us. I’m encouraged we’ve been able to see past the passionate, but often rather narrow, perspectives of the last century. Overall I really enjoyed reading the OP.

        Having said that; I’m sure you’re aware that the external drivers of a government and a purely commercial entity are somewhat different. In particular governments respond to a democratic accountability that has much longer risk/reward horizon than your average tech startup.

        • Ad 5.1.1.1

          …but not that much longer.

          You can just imagine how long governments would last if they were measured by customer satisfaction.

      • Bill 5.1.2

        Well, JK did do that NZ Inc thang and NZ Labour seem happy enough just to take their allotted positions in the boardroom.

        I could believe that only the most ardent fans decked in red scarves and hats pay much attention to them any more, y’know….like that football team that used to fly high and fill the terraces with passionate thousands, who are now well established in the mid ranges of the third division playing before a smattering of shuffling old men who turn up every Saturday because “that’s what you do”.

    • left_forward 5.2

      So hang on Bill – you are saying that Trumpist style politics are somehow the antedote to the old order and that our moderately left Labour party is old and dying?
      I am far from being with you – it is much more likely that the Democratic Party (still the same old) will sweep away the GOP (which in my view is the party that is now dead) and our Labour Government will do two terms here at the very least.

      • Bill 5.2.1

        You’re aware the “established” Democratic Party nominees are being given a bloody good run for their money by upstart Progressive candidates? Some victories are being had and inroads made. (Trawl The Intercept if you want comprehensive articles covering various candidates and races won and lost)

        The NZ Labour Party is what the UK Labour Party would have been under that Welsh guy who challenged Corbyn for leadership (Owen Smith?) – a continuation of what I’d term more or less conservative liberal policies – ie, Blairism.

        Trump is no antidote. Sanders might have been (Probably would have been). Sturgeon is. Corbyn is. Podemos is…

        Voters are breaking left or breaking right depending on what’s on offer – anything to get away from what’s perceived (correctly imo) as the failed and out of touch establishment politics. And some establishment politicians have successfully and dishonestly gained office by tumbling to that and selling themselves as “not of the establishment” – Macron in France and Trudeau in Canada for example.

        NZ Labour might do two terms. We’ll see. The thing about NZ is the lack of any alternative (ie, National and NZ Labour subscribe to the same orthodoxy, the Greens have become somewhat of an adjunct to NZ Labour, and elections are really only over who gets a shot at being manager)

        • Ad 5.2.1.1

          Bill you will enjoy this little clip on the 3-person studio who are the support behind the Democratic Socialist candidates causing ripples within the DNC.

          Nice glimpses of their motivations based within Detroit.

  6. SPC 6

    If they are lucky, there will be

    a substantial migration to Oz because there are jobs to take up that pay enough to buy a home. And this results in an easing of local property values.

    If not, they need to be brave

    A CGT that is the GOAT. Any rental/investment home/bach property not the main place of residence upon post 1 April 2021 sale be subject to a CGT (no matter how long ago the property was purchased).

    Thus any suggestion Labour would win the 2020 election would cause a flood of properties onto the market and reduce land values for new Kiwi Build homes and thus reduce their cost.

    • burt 6.1

      So the only hope for the country is that the talented and mobile ( tax payers ) depart leaving cheaper houses for people on benefits.

      • SPC 6.1.1

        This is happening all the time, its just the matter of scale (in decline because of the slowdown in the Oz job market in recent years and tightening of access into the UK).

        It would only take net migration to Oz returning to previous levels to ease house values nationwide – which would ease rents for those not owning.

        If not, there is the more decisive form of CGT option.

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  • Waimahara: The Singing Spirit of Water

    There’s been a change in Myers Park. Down the steps from St. Kevin’s Arcade, past the grassy slopes, the children’s playground, the benches and that goat statue, there has been a transformation. The underpass for Mayoral Drive has gone from a barren, grey, concrete tunnel, to a place that thrums ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    20 hours ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Tuesday, July 23

    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 7:00 am on Tuesday, July 23 are:Deep Dive: Penlink: where tolling rhetoric meets reality BusinessDesk-$$$’s Oliver LewisScoop: Te Pūkenga plans for regional polytechs leak out ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    21 hours ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Tuesday, July 23

    TL;DR: As of 6:00 am on Tuesday, July 23, the top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day are:Health: Shane Reti announced the Board of Te Whatu Ora- Health New Zealand was being replaced with Commissioner Lester Levy ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    22 hours ago
  • HealthNZ and Luxon at cross purposes over budget blowout

    Health NZ warned the Government at the end of March that it was running over Budget. But the reasons it gave were very different to those offered by the Prime Minister yesterday. Prime Minister Christopher Luxon blamed the “botched merger” of the 20 District Health Boards (DHBs) to create Health ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    23 hours ago
  • 2500-3000 more healthcare staff expected to be fired, as Shane Reti blames Labour for a budget defic...

    Long ReadKey Summary: Although National increased the health budget by $1.4 billion in May, they used an old funding model to project health system costs, and never bothered to update their pre-election numbers. They were told during the Health Select Committees earlier in the year their budget amount was deficient, ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    1 day ago
  • Might Kamala Harris be about to get a 'stardust' moment like Jacinda Ardern?

    As a momentous, historic weekend in US politics unfolded, analysts and commentators grasped for precedents and comparisons to help explain the significance and power of the choice Joe Biden had made. The 46th president had swept the Democratic party’s primaries but just over 100 days from the election had chosen ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 day ago
  • Solutions Interview: Steven Hail on MMT & ecological economics

    TL;DR: I’m casting around for new ideas and ways of thinking about Aotearoa’s political economy to find a few solutions to our cascading and self-reinforcing housing, poverty and climate crises.Associate Professor runs an online masters degree in the economics of sustainability at Torrens University in Australia and is organising ...
    The KakaBy Steven Hail
    1 day ago
  • Reported back

    The Finance and Expenditure Committee has reported back on National's Local Government (Water Services Preliminary Arrangements) Bill. The bill sets up water for privatisation, and was introduced under urgency, then rammed through select committee with no time even for local councils to make a proper submission. Naturally, national's select committee ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Vandrad the Viking, Christopher Coombes, and Literary Archaeology

    Some years ago, I bought a book at Dunedin’s Regent Booksale for $1.50. As one does. Vandrad the Viking (1898), by J. Storer Clouston, is an obscure book these days – I cannot find a proper online review – but soon it was sitting on my shelf, gathering dust alongside ...
    2 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell On The Biden Withdrawal

    History is not on the side of the centre-left, when Democratic presidents fall behind in the polls and choose not to run for re-election. On both previous occasions in the past 75 years (Harry Truman in 1952, Lyndon Johnson in 1968) the Democrats proceeded to then lose the White House ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    2 days ago
  • Joe Biden's withdrawal puts the spotlight back on Kamala and the USA's complicated relatio...

    This is a free articleCoverageThis morning, US President Joe Biden announced his withdrawal from the Presidential race. And that is genuinely newsworthy. Thanks for your service, President Biden, and all the best to you and yours.However, the media in New Zealand, particularly the 1News nightly bulletin, has been breathlessly covering ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    2 days ago
  • Why we have to challenge our national fiscal assumptions

    A homeless person’s camp beside a blocked-off slipped damage walkway in Freeman’s Bay: we are chasing our tail on our worsening and inter-related housing, poverty and climate crises. Photo: Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 days ago
  • Existential Crisis and Damaged Brains

    What has happened to it all?Crazy, some'd sayWhere is the life that I recognise?(Gone away)But I won't cry for yesterdayThere's an ordinary worldSomehow I have to findAnd as I try to make my wayTo the ordinary worldYesterday morning began as many others - what to write about today? I began ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    2 days ago
  • A speed limit is not a target, and yet…

    This is a guest post from longtime supporter Mr Plod, whose previous contributions include a proposal that Hamilton become New Zealand’s capital city, and that we should switch which side of the road we drive on. A recent Newsroom article, “Back to school for the Govt’s new speed limit policy“, ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    2 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Monday, July 22

    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 7:00 am on Monday, July 22 are:Today’s Must Read: Father and son live in a tent, and have done for four years, in a million ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Monday, July 22

    TL;DR: As of 7:00 am on Monday, July 22, the top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day are:US President Joe Biden announced via X this morning he would not stand for a second term.Multinational professional services firm ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 days ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #29

    A listing of 32 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, July 14, 2024 thru Sat, July 20, 2024. Story of the week As reflected by preponderance of coverage, our Story of the Week is Project 2025. Until now traveling ...
    2 days ago
  • I'd like to share what I did this weekend

    This weekend, a friend pointed out someone who said they’d like to read my posts, but didn’t want to pay. And my first reaction was sympathy.I’ve already told folks that if they can’t comfortably subscribe, and would like to read, I’d be happy to offer free subscriptions. I don’t want ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    3 days ago
  • For the children – Why mere sentiment can be a misleading force in our lives, and lead to unex...

    National: The Party of ‘Law and Order’ IntroductionThis weekend, the Government formally kicked off one of their flagship policy programs: a military style boot camp that New Zealand has experimented with over the past 50 years. Cartoon credit: Guy BodyIt’s very popular with the National Party’s Law and Order image, ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    3 days ago
  • A friend in uncertain times

    Day one of the solo leg of my long journey home begins with my favourite sound: footfalls in an empty street. 5.00 am and it’s already light and already too warm, almost.If I can make the train that leaves Budapest later this hour I could be in Belgrade by nightfall; ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    3 days ago
  • The Chaotic World of Male Diet Influencers

    Hi,We’ll get to the horrific world of male diet influencers (AKA Beefy Boys) shortly, but first you will be glad to know that since I sent out the Webworm explaining why the assassination attempt on Donald Trump was not a false flag operation, I’ve heard from a load of people ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    3 days ago
  • It's Starting To Look A Lot Like… Y2K

    Do you remember Y2K, the threat that hung over humanity in the closing days of the twentieth century? Horror scenarios of planes falling from the sky, electronic payments failing and ATMs refusing to dispense cash. As for your VCR following instructions and recording your favourite show - forget about it.All ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    4 days ago
  • Bernard’s Saturday Soliloquy for the week to July 20

    Climate Change Minister Simon Watts being questioned by The Kākā’s Bernard Hickey.TL;DR: My top six things to note around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the week to July 20 were:1. A strategy that fails Zero Carbon Act & Paris targetsThe National-ACT-NZ First Coalition Government finally unveiled ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Pharmac Director, Climate Change Commissioner, Health NZ Directors – The latest to quit this m...

    Summary:As New Zealand loses at least 12 leaders in the public service space of health, climate, and pharmaceuticals, this month alone, directly in response to the Government’s policies and budget choices, what lies ahead may be darker than it appears. Tui examines some of those departures and draws a long ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    4 days ago
  • Flooding Housing Policy

    The Minister of Housing’s ambition is to reduce markedly the ratio of house prices to household incomes. If his strategy works it would transform the housing market, dramatically changing the prospects of housing as an investment.Leaving aside the Minister’s metaphor of ‘flooding the market’ I do not see how the ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    4 days ago
  • A Voyage Among the Vandals: Accepted (Again!)

    As previously noted, my historical fantasy piece, set in the fifth-century Mediterranean, was accepted for a Pirate Horror anthology, only for the anthology to later fall through. But in a good bit of news, it turned out that the story could indeed be re-marketed as sword and sorcery. As of ...
    5 days ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Friday, July 19

    An employee of tobacco company Philip Morris International demonstrates a heated tobacco device. Photo: Getty ImagesTL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy on Friday, July 19 are:At a time when the Coalition Government is cutting spending on health, infrastructure, education, housing ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Friday, July 19

    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 8:30 am on Friday, July 19 are:Scoop: NZ First Minister Casey Costello orders 50% cut to excise tax on heated tobacco products. The minister has ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Weekly Roundup 19-July-2024

    Kia ora, it’s time for another Friday roundup, in which we pull together some of the links and stories that caught our eye this week. Feel free to add more in the comments! Our header image this week shows a foggy day in Auckland town, captured by Patrick Reynolds. ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    5 days ago
  • Weekly Climate Wrap: A market-led plan for failure

    TL;DR : Here’s the top six items climate news for Aotearoa this week, as selected by Bernard Hickey and The Kākā’s climate correspondent Cathrine Dyer. A discussion recorded yesterday is in the video above and the audio of that sent onto the podcast feed.The Government released its draft Emissions Reduction ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Tobacco First

    Save some money, get rich and old, bring it back to Tobacco Road.Bring that dynamite and a crane, blow it up, start all over again.Roll up. Roll up. Or tailor made, if you prefer...Whether you’re selling ciggies, digging for gold, catching dolphins in your nets, or encouraging folks to flutter ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • Trump’s Adopted Son.

    Waiting In The Wings: For truly, if Trump is America’s un-assassinated Caesar, then J.D. Vance is America’s Octavian, the Republic’s youthful undertaker – and its first Emperor.DONALD TRUMP’S SELECTION of James D. Vance as his running-mate bodes ill for the American republic. A fervent supporter of Viktor Orban, the “illiberal” prime ...
    5 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Friday, July 19

    TL;DR: As of 6:00 am on Friday, July 19, the top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day are:The PSA announced the Employment Relations Authority (ERA) had ruled in the PSA’s favour in its case against the Ministry ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • The Hoon around the week to July 19

    TL;DR: The podcast above of the weekly ‘hoon’ webinar for paying subscribers last night features co-hosts and talking with:The Kākā’s climate correspondent talking about the National-ACT-NZ First Government’s release of its first Emissions Reduction Plan;University of Otago Foreign Relations Professor and special guest Dr Karin von ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #29 2024

    Open access notables Improving global temperature datasets to better account for non-uniform warming, Calvert, Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society: To better account for spatial non-uniform trends in warming, a new GITD [global instrumental temperature dataset] was created that used maximum likelihood estimation (MLE) to combine the land surface ...
    5 days ago
  • We're back again! Join us for the weekly Hoon on YouTube Live

    Photo by Gabriel Crismariu on UnsplashWe’re back again after our mid-winter break. We’re still with the ‘new’ day of the week (Thursday rather than Friday) when we have our ‘hoon’ webinar with paying subscribers to The Kākā for an hour at 5 pm.Jump on this link on YouTube Livestream for ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Gut Reactions.

    Trump Writes His Own Story: Would the “mainstream” media even try to reflect the horrified reaction of the MAGA crowd to the pop-pop-pop of the would-be assassin’s rifle, and Trump going down? Could it even grasp the sheer elation of the rally-goers seeing their champion rise up and punch the air, still alive, ...
    6 days ago
  • Dodging Bullets.

    Fight! Fight! Fight! Had the assassin’s bullet found its mark and killed Donald Trump, America’s descent into widespread and murderous violence – possibly spiralling-down into civil war – would have been immediate and quite possibly irreparable. The American Republic, upon whose survival liberty and democracy continue to depend, is certainly not ...
    6 days ago
  • 'Corruption First' Strikes Again

    There comes a point in all our lives when we must stop to say, “Enough is enough. We know what’s happening. We are not as stupid or as ignorant as you believe us to be. And making policies that kill or harm our people is not acceptable, Ministers.”Plausible deniability has ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Thursday, July 18

    TL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy today are:The inside stories of KiwiRail’s iRex debacle, Westport’s perma-delayed flood scheme and Christchurch’s post-quake sewer rebuild, which assumed no population growth, show just how deeply sceptical senior officials in Treasury, the Ministry of ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • What's that Jack Black?

    Ah-rah, deeSoo-guh-goo-gee-goo-geeGoo-guh fli-goo gee-gooGuh fli-goo, ga-goo-buh-deeOoh, guh-goo-beeOoh-guh-guh-bee-guh-guh-beeFli-goo gee-gooA-fliguh woo-wa mama Lucifer!I’m about ready to move on, how about you?Not from the shooting, that’s bad and we definitely shouldn’t have that. But the rehabilitation of Donald J Trump? The deification of Saint Donald? As the Great Unifier?Gimme a bucket.https://yellowscene.com/2024/04/07/trump-as-jesus/Just to re-iterate, ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • June 2024: Earth’s 13th-consecutive warmest month on record

    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Jeff Masters and Bob Henson June 2024 was Earth’s warmest June since global record-keeping began in 1850 and was the planet’s 13th consecutive warmest month on record, NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information, or NCEI, reported July 12. As opposed to being focused in ...
    6 days ago
  • Connecting the dots and filling the gaps in our bike network

    This is a guest post by Shaun Baker on the importance of filling the gaps in our cycling networks. It originally appeared on his blog Multimodal Adventures, and is re-posted here with kind permission. In our towns and cities in Aotearoa New Zealand, there are areas in our cycling networks ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    6 days ago
  • Webworm Down Under Photos!

    Hi,I wanted to share a few thoughts and photos from the Webworm popup and Tickled screening we held in Auckland, New Zealand last weekend.In short — it was a blast. I mean, I had a blast and I hope any of you that came also had a blast.An old friend ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Thursday, July 18

    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 6:30 am on Thursday, July 18 are:News: Christchurch's sewer systems block further housing developments RNZ’s Niva ChittockAnalysis: Interislander: Treasury, MoT officials' mistrust of KiwiRail led ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Thursday, July 18

    TL;DR: As of 6:00 am on Thursday, July 18, the top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day are:Verbatim: Climate Change Minister Simon Watts held a news conference in Auckland to release the Government’s Emissions Reduction Plan, including ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • The politics of managed retreat

    Climate change deniers are now challenging the Government over a key climate change adaptation policy. That begs the question of whether New Zealand First will then support Government moves to implement processes to deal with a managed retreat for properties in danger of flooding because of sea level rise and ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    6 days ago
  • Some changes are coming

    Warm welcome again to those who are here. The Mountain Tui substack was officially started on the 2nd of July. I wrote about what led me here on this post. Since then, it’s been a learning to navigate the platform, get to meet those in the community, and basically be ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    6 days ago
  • About fucking time

    The US Supreme Court has been rogue for years, with openly corrupt judges making the law up as they go to suit themselves, their billionaire buyers, and the Republican Party. But now, in the wake of them granting a licence for tyranny, President Biden is actually going to try and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: False accounting and wishful thinking

    National released their draft 2026-2030 Emissions Reduction Plan today. The plan is required under the Zero Carbon Act, and must set out policies and strategies to meet the relevant emissions budget. Having cancelled all Labour's actually effective climate change policies and crashed the carbon price, National was always going to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • The Enemies Of Sunshine And Space.

    Our Houses? The Urban Density debate is a horrible combination of intergenerational avarice and envy, fuelled by the grim certainty that none of the generations coming up after them will ever have it as good as the Boomers. To say that this situation rankles among those born after 1965 is to ...
    7 days ago
  • Still the 5 Eyes Achilles Heel?

    The National Cyber Security Centre (NZSC), a unit in the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) dedicated to cyber-security, has released a Review of its response to the 2021 email hacking of NZ members of the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China (IPAC, … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    7 days ago
  • Britain's Devastating Electoral Slip.

    Slip-Sliding Away: Labour may now enjoy a dominant position in Britain’s political landscape, but only by virtue of not being swallowed by it.THE BRITISH LABOUR PARTY’S “landslide victory” is nothing of the sort. As most people understand the term, a landslide election victory is one in which the incumbent government, or ...
    7 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on why right wingers think all governments (including their own) are incompetent

    Since open denial of climate change is no longer a viable political option, denial now comes in disguise. The release this week of the coalition government’s ‘draft emissions reductions plan” shows that the Luxon government is refusing to see the need to cut emissions at source. Instead, it proposes to ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    7 days ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Wednesday, July 17

    TL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy this morning are:Chris Penk is set to roll back building standards for insulation that had only just been put in place, and which had been estimated to save 40% from power costs, after builders ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    7 days ago
  • Open Letter to Pharmac

    All this talk of getting oldIt's getting me down, my loveLike a cat in a bag, waiting to drownThis time I'm coming downAnd I hope you're thinking of meAs you lay down on your sideNow the drugs don't workThey just make you worse but I know I'll see your face ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    7 days ago
  • A blanket of misinformation

    Two old sayings have been on my mind lately. The first is: “The pen is mightier than the sword”, describing the power of language and communication to help or to harm. The other, which captures the speed with which falsehoods can become ingrained and hard to undo, is: “A lie can ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    7 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Wednesday, July 17

    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day to 7:00 am on Wednesday, July 17 are:Scoop: Government considers rolling back home insulation standards RNZ’s Eloise GibsonNews: Government plans tree-planting frenzy as report shows NZ no longer ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    7 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Wednesday, July 17

    TL;DR: As of 6:00 am on Wednesday, July 17 , the top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day were:Simon Watts released the Government’s draft Emissions Reduction Plan (ERP), which included proposed changes to the Emissions Trading Scheme ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    7 days ago
  • “Shhhh” – National's 3 Waters is loaded with higher costs and lays a path to ...

    This is a long, possibly technical, but very, very important read. I encourage you to take the time and spread your awareness.IntroductionIn 2022, then Labour Party Prime Minister Jacinda Adern expended significant political capital to protect New Zealand’s water assets from privatisation. She lost that battle, and Labour and the ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    1 week ago
  • Plugging a video channel: Dr Gilbz

    Dr. Ella Gilbert is a climate scientist and presenter with a PhD in Antarctic climate change, working at the British Antarctic Survey (BAS). Her background is in atmospheric sciences and she's especially interested in the physical mechanisms of climate change, clouds, and almost anything polar. She is passionate about communicating climate ...
    1 week ago
  • Some “scrutiny” again

    Back in 2022, in its Open Government Partnership National Action Plan, the government promised to strengthen scrutiny of Official Information Act exemption clauses in legislation. Since then they've run a secret "consultation" on how to do that, with their preferred outcome being that agencies will consult the Ministry of Justice ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Crashing New Zealand's health system is not the way to prosperity, Prime Minister

    Another day, and yet another piece of bad news for New Zealand’s health system. Reports have come out that General Practitioners (GP) may have to close doors, or increase patient fees to survive. The so-called ‘capitation’ funding review, which supports GP practices to survive, is under way, and primary care ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    1 week ago
  • Closer Than You Think: Ageing Boomers, Laurie & Les, Talk Politics.

    Redefining Our Terms: “When an angry majority is demanding change, defending the status-quo is an extremist position.”“WHAT’S THIS?”, asked Laurie, eyeing suspiciously the two glasses of red wine deposited in front of him.“A nice drop of red. I thought you’d be keen to celebrate the French Far-Right’s victory with the ...
    1 week ago
  • Come on Darleen.

    Good morning all, time for a return to things domestic. After elections in the UK and France, Luxon gatecrashing Nato, and the attempted shooting of Trump, it’s probably about time we re-focus on local politics.Unless of course you’re Christopher Luxon and you’re so exhausted from all your schmoozing in Washington ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • How the Northwest was lost and may be won

    This is a guest post by Darren Davis. It originally appeared on his excellent blog, Adventures in Transitland, which we encourage you to check out. It is shared by kind permission. The Northwest has always been Auckland’s public transport Cinderella, rarely invited to the public funding ball. How did ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    1 week ago
  • The Kākā's Chorus for Tuesday July 16

    Luxon has told a Financial Times’ correspondent he would openly call out China’s spying in future and does not fear economic retaliation from Aotearoa’s largest trading partner.File Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy on Tuesday, ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Tuesday, July 16

    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 6:00 am on Tuesday, July 16 are:PM Christopher Luxon has given a very hawkish interview to the Financial Times-$$$ correspondent in Washington, Demetri Sevastopulu, saying ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Tuesday, July 16

    Photo by Ryunosuke Kikuno on UnsplashTL;DR: The top six announcements, speeches, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day to 6:00 am are:BNZ released its Performance of Services Index for June, finding that services sector is at its lowest level of activity ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • The second crisis; assumption was the mother

    Late on the night of July 16, 1984, while four National Cabinet Ministers were meeting in the Beehive office of Deputy Prime Minister Jim McLay, plotting the ultimate downfall of outgoing Prime Minister Sir Robert Muldoon, another crisis was building up in another part of the capital. The United States ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • Can we air condition our way out of extreme heat?

    This is a re-post from The Climate Brink by Andrew Dessler Air conditioning was initially a symbol of comfort and wealth, enjoyed by the wealthy in theaters and upscale homes. Over time, as technology advanced and costs decreased, air conditioning became more accessible to the general public. With global warming, though, ...
    1 week ago
  • Review: The Zimiamvian Trilogy, by E.R. Eddison (1935-1958)

    I have reviewed some fairly obscure stuff on this blog. Nineteenth century New Zealand speculative fiction. Forgotten Tolkien adaptations. George MacDonald and William Morris. Last month I took a look at The Worm Ouroboros (1922), by E.R. Eddison, which while not strictly obscure, is also not overly inviting to many ...
    1 week ago

  • Charity lotteries to be permitted to operate online

    Minister of Internal Affairs Brooke van Velden says lotteries for charitable purposes, such as those run by the Heart Foundation, Coastguard NZ, and local hospices, will soon be allowed to operate online permanently. “Under current laws, these fundraising lotteries are only allowed to operate online until October 2024, after which ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • Accelerating Northland Expressway

    The Coalition Government is accelerating work on the new four-lane expressway between Auckland and Whangārei as part of its Roads of National Significance programme, with an accelerated delivery model to deliver this project faster and more efficiently, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says. “For too long, the lack of resilient transport connections ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • Sir Don to travel to Viet Nam as special envoy

    Sir Don McKinnon will travel to Viet Nam this week as a Special Envoy of the Government, Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced.    “It is important that the Government give due recognition to the significant contributions that General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong made to New Zealand-Viet Nam relations,” Mr ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • Grant Illingworth KC appointed as transitional Commissioner to Royal Commission

    Minister of Internal Affairs Brooke van Velden says newly appointed Commissioner, Grant Illingworth KC, will help deliver the report for the first phase of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into COVID-19 Lessons, due on 28 November 2024.  “I am pleased to announce that Mr Illingworth will commence his appointment as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • NZ to advance relationships with ASEAN partners

    Foreign Minister Winston Peters travels to Laos this week to participate in a series of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)-led Ministerial meetings in Vientiane.    “ASEAN plays an important role in supporting a peaceful, stable and prosperous Indo-Pacific,” Mr Peters says.   “This will be our third visit to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • Backing mental health services on the West Coast

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